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The Regulating Act.


.by experience, not to have sufficient force and efficacy • to prevent various abuses which have prevailed in the

government and administration of the affairs of the said • United Company, as well at home as in India, to the manifest injury of the public credit, and of the commercial interests of the said Company.' The Act, in its 13th section, further recites that King George II. bad, by his Letters Patent, granted a Charter constituting Courts of Civil, Criminal and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in Madras, Bombay, and Bengal, and gives power to ‘His • Majesty, by Charter or Letters Patent under the Great • Seal of Great Britain, to erect and establish a Supreme • Court of Judicature at Fort William aforesaid, to consist

of a Chief Justice and three other Judges, being barris• ters in England or Ireland, of not less than five years' • standing, to be named from time to time by His Majesty, « his heirs and successors.' This Statute was an important step in the process of consolidating the dominion of the Company as a territorial Government, and of bringing that Government under the direct control of Parliament. A still more decisive step in the same direction was the passing of the Act of 1833 (3 and 4 William IV. cap. 85). This Act, while confirming the Company in the possession of the territorial acquisitions and revenues then held by them for another twenty years, finally abolished the commercial character and operations of the Company, and converted it into a purely political body, having a delegated authority from Parliament to govern the British dominions in India. By the third section of the Act the exclusive right of trading with the dominions of the Emperor of China, and of trading in tea, was to cease in the following year. The fourth section enacted that the Company should • with all con

venient speed after the twenty-second day of April • 1834 close their commercial business and make sale • of all their merchandise, stores, and effects at home • and abroad distinguished in their account-books as • commercial assets, and all their warehouses, lands, • tenements, hereditaments, and property whatsoever

which may not be retained for the purposes of the . Government of the said territories, and get in all

debts due to them on account of the commercial • branch of their affairs, and reduce their commercial • establishments as the same shall become necessary, and discontinue and abstain from all commercial business which shall not be incident to the closing of their o actual concerns, and to the conversion into money of • the property herein before directed to be sold, or which

shall not be carried on for the purposes of the said . Government. It is the 43rd section of this Act which distinctly creates the Governor-General in Council a subordinate Legislature. The general legislative powers conceded are restricted by the latter part of the section, which makes the important exceptions that

the said Governor-General in Council shall not have • the power of making any laws or regulations which

shall in any way repeal, vary, suspend, or affect any of

the provisions of this Act, or any of the provisions of • the Acts for punishing muting and desertion of officers 6 and soldiers, whether in the service of His Majesty or • the said Company, or any provisions of any Act here• after to be passed in anywise affecting the said Com

pany or the said territories or the inhabitants thereof, or any laws and regulations which shall in any way affect any prerogative of the Crown, or the authority of Parliament, or the constitution or rights of the

Act for the Better Government of India. 171

6 said Company, or any part of the unwritten laws or • constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 6 and Ireland whereon may depend in any degree the • allegiance of any person to the Crown of the United • Kingdom, or the sovereignty or dominion of the said • Crown over any part of the said territories.' The next section, the 44th, gives power to the Court of Directors of the Company to disallow any law or regulation made by the Governor-General in Council.

The last epoch in the course of claiming for Parliament the direct government of India through the medium of the Prerogative of the Crown is marked by the passing of the Act of 1858 - for the better Government of India,' by which the government of the British territories in India was transferred from the Fast India Company to the Crown. (21 and 22 Vict. cap. 106.) The first section of this Act enacts that the Government of the territories now in the possession or under

the Government of the East India Company, and all 6 powers in relation to Government vested in or exer

cised by the said Company in trust for Her Majesty, shall cease to be vested in or exercised by the said • Company, and all territories in the possession or under • the Government of the said Company, and all rights

vested in, or which if this Act had not been passed "might have been exercised by, the said Company in re"lation to any territories, shall become vested in her

Majesty, and be exercised in her name; and for the 6 purposes of this Act India shall mean the territories 6 vested in Her Majesty as aforesaid, and all territories 6 which may become vested in Her Majesty by virtue 6 of any such rights as aforesaid. The fourth section enacts that India shall be governed by and in the name of Her Majesty, and all rights in relation to any • territories which might have been exercised by the said • Company if this Act had not been passed shall and

may be exercised by and in the name of Her Majesty • as rights incidental to the Government of India ; and

all the territorial and other revenues of or arising in • India and all tributes and other payments in respect

of any territories which would have been receivable by

or in the name of the said Company if this Act had • not been passed, shall be received for and in the name

of Her Majesty, and shall be applied for the purposes • of the Government of India alone, subject to the pro• visions of this Act.'

The subsequent legislation by which the powers of the Viceroy and his Council have been defined, and the relations between the Government at home and the Government in India have been ascertained and regulated, properly belongs to the topic of the Prerogative of the Crown in its reference to Parliament, under which head it will be discussed.

The · Act for enabling Her Majesty to accept a surrender upon terms of the lands, privileges, and rights • of “the Governor and Company of Adventurers of 666 England trading into Hudson's Bay," and for admit• ting the same into the Dominion of Canada,' which was passed on July 31, 1868, affords another instance of the process by which Parliament gradually brings within the range of a centralised form of Government outlying districts and territories which, for as long as two hundred years, may have been subject to no other administration than the peculiar and local one assigned by a Charter conceived far more in the interests of tråde Colonies having no Constitution.


than of government. Had the American Colonies not revolted, there can be little doubt that Parliament must have been called upon to provide some effective modern substitution for the old Charters under which they came into existence; but the course of American history has itself afforded so potent a precedent for the organisation of Colonies and more or less settled territories, that it is a mere vague speculation to conjecture what course colonial history would have taken if unaided by the warnings and examples supplied by the experience of the United States.

The settlement of British Columbia, and the annexation of the Fiji Islands and of the Transvaal, though illustrating at some points the present topic—that of the progressive absorption of the government of newly acquired or imperfectly organised territories by Parliament,-still more aptly illustrate the modes in which Parliament and the Crown compete and co-operate in the achievement of this end. It will thus be more suitable to allude in detail to these instances of Parliamentary activity when the Prerogative of the Crown in its relation to Parliament is treated of.

3. It may well be doubted whether, when a Colony has a Constitution conceded by Parliament, Parliament can intervene to legislate for any persons or officials who are subject to the Legislature created by the Constitution. But, previous to the establishment of a Constitution, there is no doubt that Parliament may interpose for conferring rights and imposing duties on some or all the inhabitants of particular Colonies or territories, which in all other respects are governed directly through the medium of the Royal Prerogative. Thus, long before New South Wales and Tasmania

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