CHAPTER IX.--A JOINT PLAN OF RECONSTRUCTION. (continued)

SCHEME RECOMMENDED.

A.--Constitutional Changes.

ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT.

  558.--(1) Under the present system of Government, the Legislature is responsible to the people and is composed of His Excellency the Governor and two Houses of Parliament, while the executive business of the Government is transacted by an Executive Council or "Cabinet", the members of which are appointed by the Governor in accordance with the accepted canons of parliamentary practice. We recommend that, until such time as Newfoundland may become self-supporting again, there should be substituted for this system a form of Government under which full legislative and executive power would be vested in the Governor acting on the advice of a specially created Commission of Government over which His Excellency would preside. The existing Legislative and Executive Council would for the time being be suspended.
  (2) The Governor-in-Commission would be responsible to Your Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom for the good government of the Island, the general supervision of Your Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom being exercised through the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs. The existing Letters Patent and Royal Instructions would be suspended and new Letters Patent and Royal Instructions would be issued in their place.
  (3) The Commission of Government would be composed of six members, exclusive of the Governor. The members of the Commission would be appointed by Your Majesty, on the advice of Your Ministers in the United Kingdom. Three members of the Commission would be chosen from Newfoundland, and three from the United Kingdom. The former would be paid from Newfoundland funds, the latter from United Kingdom funds.

LEGISLATION.

  (4) Laws would be enacted by the Governor by and with the advice of the Commission of Government. Laws would take effect immediately on enactment, but the power of disallowance would be reserved to Your Majesty. Advice in respect of such laws would be tendered to Your Majesty by Your Ministers in the United Kingdom. Copies of all laws would accordingly be sent by the Governor, as soon as enacted, to Your Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with a full statement of the objects and reasons for their enactment.
  (5) The laws in force in Newfoundland would continue to be in force under the new form of government, except in so far as they might be varied by legislation. It would no doubt be desirable that, immediately on the coming into force of the new Letters Patent and Royal Instructions, a law should be enacted by the Governor-in-Commission providing for such adjustments in the existing laws as might be necessitated by the new constitution, e.g., for references in existing laws to the Executive Council or to the Governor-in-Council to be construed as if they related to the Governor-in-Commission.

EXECUTIVE ACTION.

  (6) As in the case of legislation, so in executive matters the Governor would act on the advice of the Commission of Government. He would, however, be given powers in executive matters to act in emergency on his own initiative: in any case he would inform the Commission of his action as soon as might be, and would report the grounds for his action to Your Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.
  (7) All appointments to, and promotions in the Public Service would be made by the Governor-in-Commission, subject, in cases where the salary of the office exceeded a specified figure, to the prior approval of Your Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court would, as at present, be subject to the approval of Your Majesty.
  (8) The members of the Commission of Government would take charge of, and would be collectively responsible for the good working of the various Departments of Government. These would accordingly be divided into six groups; each of these groups would be placed under the control of a member of the Commission as a whole. The manner in which the Government Departments might be most efficiently and economically grouped can best be settled in the light of experience: but it is suggested that the three Newfoundland members of the Commission might take charge of the following Departments:--

Home Affairs,
Justice,
Education,
Public Health and Welfare,
Police,
Labour,
Liquor Control,
Pensions.

  (9) The remaining Departments, grouped as follows, might be placed in charge of the three members of the Commission chosen from the United Kingdom:--

(1) Finance.
    Customs.
    Income Tax.                  
    Post Office.
}
Department of Finance.

(2) Marine and Fisheries. 
    Forests. 
    Agriculture and Mines.  
}
Department of Natural Resources.

(3)Public Works.
    Railway.
    Steamship services and
      other communications.
    Newfoundland Hotel.
}
Department of Public Utilities.
GENERAL.

  (10) All laws would be enacted, and all other matters coming before the Commission of Government would be decided, by unanimity or, if on any matter there should not be unanimity, by a majority of the votes given. In the latter event, the Governor and each member of the Commission actually present would each exercise one vote.
  (11) As already indicated, the Governor would normally preside at all meetings of the Commission of Government. The Commission would elect from among the Newfoundland members a Vice-Chairman who would preside in the Governor's absence. But in the event of the Governor being absent from the Island, either on vacation or by special permission, or in the event of the accordance with the existing practice, by the Chief Justice, who would thereupon preside over the meetings of the Commission of Government.




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