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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 80a

The Colonial Secretary to Governor Sir John Young

The Colonial Secretary to Governor Sir John Young.



Your Excellency having declined to nominate to the Legislative Council the two additional Members lately recommended by my colleagues and myself, through the Honorable the Attorney General, I consider it my duty to resign the office of Colonial Secretary, together with all other offices thereto appertaining. And as I understand your Excellency's objection to the nominations in question is in no way founded upon personal reasons, but rests chiefly upon the assumed desirability or expediency of confining the number of Members of the Legislative Council within a certain fixed limit, arbitrarily determined by your Excellency, in concert with our predecessors, but never assented to by my colleagues or myself, and wholly without authority or recognition from the Constitution Act, or from any other statute, I feel bound to place on record my respectful but most emphatic protest against what appears to me an unwise and unconstitutional attempt on your Excellency's part to control the operation of our constitutional laws in a manner calculated to favour the political opponents of the present Ministry, and to paralyze the action of representative institutions. And I take occasion further to remark page 84 upon the extraordinary contrast presented on the one hand by your Excellency's unwillingness to accept the recommendation of my colleagues and myself in this particular instance, as well as in other instances of a similar kind, which I need not specify, and on the other by the apparent readiness evinced by your Excellency in acting upon similar recommendations from the Ministry that preceded ours, as, for instance, on that memorable occasion when, with the concurrence and by the authority of your Excellency, twenty-one new Members were, during the last Session of the former Legislative Council, suddenly and simultaneously nominated to that body, for the notorious and openly avowed purpose of rescuing the then Ministers out of a purely political difficulty; and again, on a later occasion, when, in constructing afresh the present Legislative Council, your Excellency and the Executive Council used their formal authority expressly to secure for the same Ministers what, in the peculiar language of that Minute of the Executive Council, by means of which this piece of business was transacted, was termed a "fair working majority," or, in other words, a majority to aid in retaining the same Ministers in office. The cases to which I have above referred, I regret to say, appear to me to betray a degree of partiality on your Excellency's part towards our predecessors, as compared with the Members of the present Administration, inconsistent with your Excellency's position as Her Majesty's Representative in this Colony, and of which my colleagues and myself have some reason to complain. I have accordingly the honour to request that your Excellency will forward a copy of this letter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

I have, &c. (signed)

William Forster.