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Government of Western Samoa Report of the Commission to Inquire into and Report upon the Organization of District and Village Government in Western Samoa

(c) The Preparation of District and Village Government Proposals

(c) The Preparation of District and Village Government Proposals

48. The procedure by which districts and villages should obtain legal recognition of their authority would involve the presentation of detailed proposals to the District and Village Government Board by the district or village concerned, as explained in the preceding section of this report. In general, it will be a responsibility of the existing traditional authorities in each district or village to draw up such proposals, in consultation with all sections of the people. When agreement has been reached regarding the exact form in which legal recognition is desired, application should be made to the Board for consideration of the proposals. These proposals, when duly accepted by the Board, will be the subject of a recommendation to the High Commissioner, who will then, if he is in agreement, issue a Proclamation granting legal recognition to the particular local authority and defining its powers. In this way, each district and village should be assured that the powers granted are in accordance with custom and with present needs.

49. The general form which such district or village proposals should take will require to be defined by Ordinance. The full scope of the powers which may be accorded to district or village authorities will have to be clearly laid down, along with those provisions in the local-government system which will not vary as between one part of the country and another.

50. In all those matters which will depend, on the other hand, upon the custom and practice of the particular district or village, the details will be determined by the High Commissioner's Proclamation in each case. It will therefore be necessary for those presenting proposals to the Board to make sure that all such matters are adequately provided for, and it will be the duty of the Board to point out any gaps in the proposals as they are presented.

51. In the succeeding sections of this chapter, some indication is given as to which matters should be defined by Ordinance of the Legislative Assembly and which will have to be determined, in each particular case, by Proclamation.