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novel authorities under a more direct central control, are yet further indications of parliamentary determination to allow no deference to the most antique county usages to stand in the way of the public advantage and of general economy.

It is needless to refer again to the enactments and operation of the Municipal Corporations Act; and it would be superfluous to say much on Mr. Forster's comprehensive measure for combining local activity with central supervision in the matter of Public Education. The former of these measures was one rather of renovating what was on the eve of expiring than of novel construction. The latter measure marked the introduction of a wholly new policy, based upon the constitutional right of the State, thereby for the first time asserted, to intervene, whatever the cost, or whatever the mechanical pressure needed for the purpose, in order to vindicate the claims of the young to education, in the same way in which by the Poor-law system it had for centuries vindicated their claim to food and clothing. Whatever novelty there is in this great measure must be looked for rather in the combination of local and central machinery which it employed, than in any startling constitutional assumption. The assumption of constitutional right was really contained in all the previous assumptions on the part of Parliament to protect the young at the expense of negligent parents, of the parish, or of the State, as the case might be; and it needed only a larger and deeper view of all the issues at stake in the matter of public education, as compared with other ends habitually sought by far more decisive and even questionable parliamentary means, to bring it into clear light, and rank it in its true order of necessary sequence.


The constitutional history of British Dependencies may be compendiously described as that of a gradual transfer of the functions of government from the Crown, in the exercise of a well-recognised prerogative, to Parliament, either as exercising its governmental functions directly, or only as controlling those subordinate Legislatures in the Dependencies which have been created either directly by the Crown, or by competent local authorities, or by Parliament itself. In the case of Dependencies acquired by conquest or by cession in time of peace,—as well as in the anomalous case of British India, which owes its existence as a dependency to both these causes combined, in addition to the special circumstances of the trade settlements effected in accordance with Charters of Incorporation,—the claims of the Crown to institute a local Government, or to supervise the action of existing institutions, wholly apart from any immediate interference of Parliament, have been universally recognised and everywhere illustrated in practice. In the case of Dependencies which owe their existence to voluntary settlement,-or, as in the case of the plantations,' to voluntary settlement supported by Charters of Incorporation,-it would seem that the settlers have a claim either to have their local government expressed and limited by their charter, or else to share in the constitutional advantages of direct parliamentary government, to which, if they had continued at home, they would have retained their right. In the

Parliament and the Dependencies.


case of those small Dependencies, such as Gibraltar, Malta, Ascension Island, Hong Kong, and perbaps Heligoland, --which seem to be rather occupied for military, naval, or diplomatic purposes than for purposes of strictly colonial extension, the paramount authority of the Crown seems likely to continue for some time unassailed. In the case, however, of all the other classes of Dependencies in the aggregate, the period of history now under consideration will be memorable for an aggression in all directions of the action of the British Parliament. This action is conspicuous in the following forms:

1. The framing of local and representative institutions, or the confederation of previously isolated colonies for the purpose of obtaining more effective local government:

2. The bringing of Dependencies (such as British India and the Hudson's Bay territories) previously subject to some anomalous management due to historical causes, under the direct or indirect control of Parliament:

3. The passing of special Statutes binding on the persons resident in certain Dependencies, or on Government officials in those Dependencies :

4. The passing of Statutes applicable to the British Dominions generally, including all the Dependencies, or certain of them specially narned :

5. The control of the Executive Government at home in their dealings with the Governors of Dependencies, and in their policy as to assenting or not assenting to Acts of local Legislatures.

1. The history of direct parliamentary interference with the government of the Colonies dates from what is known as the Quebec Act of 1774, and was the direct consequence of the revolt of the North American Colonies, to the history of which struggle the modern constitutional relation of Parliament to the Dependencies is consequently affiliated. By the Quebec Act, the Canadian settlements on the banks of the St. Lawrence, which had hitherto been under military rule, were placed under the government of the Crown through the medium of a local Council, and a Colonial Secretary at home, then for the first time appointed. The existing French Land-Law and the Roman Catholic Church were permanently established. The statutory test which at that time excluded all Roman Catholics everywhere else in the British Dominions from all public offices was of course dispensed with. A third of the members of the Council were to be French Canadians. The next epoch is that of what is known as Mr. Pitt's Constitution Act of 1791, by which Canada was divided into two parts or provinces, with the Ottawa river for a boundary ; each province having a Governor and an Executive Council appointed by the Crown, and also a Legislative Body consisting of two Houses, one appointed by the Crown and the other by means of popular representation. The political history of the two Canadas, troubled and sinuous as it has been, is chiefly interesting as explaining the connection between the legislation of 1791 and that of the Canadian Confederation Act of 1867, which marks the next important epoch of parliamentary intervention in colonial government. The Confederation Act recites that the Pro

vinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick

130 Vict. cap. 3.

The Canadian Confederation Act. 153 • bave expressed their desire to be federally united into

one Dominion under the Crown of the United King• dom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution • similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom ;' that such a Union would conduce to the welfare of • the Provinces and promote the interests of the British

Empire ;' that on the establishment of the Union • by authority of Parliament, it is expedient not only • that the Constitution of the Legislative Authority in • the Dominion be provided for, but also that the nature

of the Executive Government therein be declared ;' and that it is expedient that provision be made for

the eventual admission into the Union of other parts of British North America ;' and it goes on to enact that it should be lawful for the Queen in Council to • declare by proclamation that on and after a day there• in appointed, not being more than six months after * the passing of the Act, the Provinces of Canada, Nova • Scotia, and New Brunswick should form and be one • Dominion under the name of Canada; and on and • after that day those three Provinces should form and

be one Dominion under that name accordingly.' The Act creates an Executive Council, and a Parliament with two Houses, the Senate and the House of Commons, very much on the lines of the Constitution Act of 1791, but with the difference that both Houses of the Legislature were to be representative bodies ; and provides for the extension of the Confederation by a clause which enacts that "it shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with • the advice of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy • Council, on addresses from the Houses of the Parliament • of Canada, and from the Houses of the respective Legis• latures of the Colonies or Provinces of Newfoundland,

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