The West Indies Gazette
VOL. 4 THURSDAY, 29TH JUNE, 1961 No. 25
TABLE OF CONTENTS
No. SUBJECT MATTER PAGE
68 Publication of Report of The West Indies Constitu-
tional Conference, 1961 ... ... ... 51
PUBLICATION OF REPORT OF THE WEST INDIES CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE, 1961
IT is hereby notified for general information that the Report of The West Indies Constitutional Conference, held
in London from 31st May to 16th June, 1961, is published as a Supplement to this issue of the Gazette.
GOVER wMNT PMTMnG OrTCBE TRNDAD, W.I.-1961
The West Indies Gazette
VOL. 4 THURSDAY, 29TH JUNE, 1961 No. 25
REPORT OF THE WEST INDIES CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE
held in London in 'May and June, 1961
The modem movement towards federation in the West Indies was originated by a talented
group of prominent West Indians in the period between the two World Wars. The names of the
late Senator Marryshow of Grenada and Captain Cipriani of Trinidad have a special place in the
history of this movement. Just before the end of the Second World War (in March, 1945) the late
Colonel Oliver Stanley, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, addressed a despatch to all West
Indian Governments in which he stated that the aim of Her Majesty's Government's colonial
policy in the Caribbean would be to achieve a federation of the British territories in the area. A
series of conferences beginning with the Montego Bay Conference of 1947 followed, in the course
of which there gradually evolved a plan for a British Caribbean Federation. At the last of these
conferences' in London in February, 1956, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Leeward
Islands Territories (less the British Virgin Islands) and the Windward Islands Territories-a total
of ten Territories-decided finally that they would "be bound together in federation."
2. In furtherance of this decision the British Caribbean Federation Act, 1956 provided for the
establishment of the Federation of the West Indies and a subsequent Order in Council2 provided for a
Federal Constitution. Under this Constitution there was to be a Governor-General who would preside
over a Council of State comprising a Prime Minister and other Ministers; a Senate with two members
from each territory except Montserrat which had one; a House of Representatives of 45 members
distributed between the Territories on a weighted formula which took account of, but was not
solely determined by, population; and a Federal Supreme Court. The Legislative powers of the
Federation were set out in an Exclusive Legislative List and a Concurrent Legislative List. (See
Appendix A). Both the Federal and Territorial Legislatures were empowered to legislate for subjects
on the Concurrent List but Federal legislation would take precedence. Finally the Preamble to the
Federal Constitution affirmed the principles of freedom of religious worship and the greatest possible
freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Federation and set out the aim of establishing
as quickly as possible a Customs Union including internal free trade. Certain interim provisions
of this constitution came into force on 3rd January, 1958 when the Rt. Hon. Lord Hailes, G.B.E.,
arrived in Trinidad to assume office as Governor-General of the Federation. The remainder of the
constitution came into force on 22nd April, 1958, when the Federal Parliament was inaugurated
in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret.
1 Report published as Cmd. 9733
2 Statutory Instrument No. 1364 of 1957
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL AND LANCASTER HOUSE CONFERENCES
3. A special feature of the Federal Constitution was the provision (Article 118) that within
five years of its coming into force there should be a conference to review it, to be attended by
Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, the Federal Government and the governments
of the federated Territories. The purpose of this conference would be, inter alia, to review the
Federal Constitution and in particular, in the light of progress made towards establishing a Customs
Union and other relevant factors, to consider the provisions for the levying of taxes on income and
profits. On 26th June, 1958, the Federal House of Representatives passed a resolution which called
on the Federal Government to ensure that the conference provided for by Article 118 of the Federal
Constitution was convened not later than June, 1959 "in order to achieve the goal of self-government
and Dominion status within the Commonwealth at the earliest possible moment".
4. It was subsequently decided that in advance of the Constitutional Conference with Her
Majesty's Government the Federal Government should hold an Inter-Governmental Conference with
the territorial governments in order to work out a pattern of proposals on which they might be
able to reach agreement before proceeding to formal discussions, with Her Majesty's Government.
This Inter-Governmental Conference took place in Trinidad on 28th September, 1959, and was
attended by delegations from all the governments in the Federation and by observers from the
Colonial Office. It adjourned on 8th October, 1959 having agreed that the next stage of the
Federation's constitutional advance should be independence within the Commonwealth. To-examine
the implications of this intention the conference established two ministerial Inter-Governmental
Committees with the terms of reference set out in Appendix B. These two Inter-Governmental
Committees, and their supporting ministerial and official working parties, met at intervals through-
out the remainder of 1959 and 1960 and submitted reports.
5. While this process of inter-governmental discussion was proceeding the Federal Government,
in pursuance of a motion carried by the Federal Parliament, proposed to the Secretary of State
for the Colonies that the Federation should be granted full internal self-government, which had
already been achieved by (or had been granted in principle to) Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad
and Tobago. The Secretary of State accepted this proposal and the Federation achieved full internal
self-government on 16th August, 1960.1 The principal results of this change were that the Federal
Government became fully responsible for all matters within its competence, except defence and
external affairs, and the Governor-General ceased to preside over the Council of State, which
became the Cabinet.
6. The Inter-Governmental Conference was finally reconvened on 2nd May, 1961. Once again
Her Majesty's Government was represented by Colonial Office observers. The conference concluded
on 16th May, 1961 having reached agreement (on some questions on a majority basis) on a wide
range of questions, but leaving certain important issues outstanding, including a review of the details
of the existing Federal Constitution. It had earlier been agreed that the Constitutional Conference
with Her Majesty's Government should be held in London on 31st May and on that date it duly
opened under the Chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. lain Macleod, M.P. A list of those who attended
is at Appendix C. The Conference ended on 16th June, 1961 and its principal conclusions are set
out in the following Chapters. In the course of its deliberations, the Conference appointed a special
Committee to carry out the detailed review of the present Federal Constitution referred to above.
The conclusions reached by the Conference bn the basis of the recommendations of this Committee
in so far as they are not fully covered in the body of the Report are set out in Appendix D.
1 Constitution of the West Indies (Amendment) Order in Council, 1960
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 3
THE PROPOSED FEDERAL CONSTITUTION
7. The Federation will, as at present, consist of Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada,
Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Christopher, Nevis and Anguilla, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad and
Tobago. All unit territories will have equal status. This will require revision of the Constitutions of
the Leeward and Windward Island Territories to reflect this principle, and it was agreed that the
necessary instruments should come into force on or before the date of independence. The Cayman
Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands will not have the status of unit territories and their
position will be governed by special arrangements. (See paragraphs 30-40 below).
8. The Governor-General will be appointed by Her Majesty on the advice of the Federal Prime
Minister. There will be no provision for a Deputy Governor-General. When the office of Governor-
General is vacant or the Governor-General is absent or incapacitated his functions will be performed
by such person as Her Majesty on the advice of the Federal Prime Minister may appoint or, in
default of such an appointment, by the Chief Justice of the Federation.
The Federal Legislature
9. The Legislative Power of the Federation will be vested in the Federal Legislature which will
consist of Her Majesty, a Senate and a House of Representatives.
10. Each territory will be represented in the Senate by two Senators. The Senators will be
appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Cabinet or Executive Council of the
territory they represent. The life of the Senate will as at present be a fixed term of five years.
The House of Representatives
11. The first House of Representatives will consist of 64 members of whom five will be elected
in Barbados, 30 in Jamaica, 16 in Trinidad and Tobago, one in Montserrat* and two in each of
the other Territories. This is the result, based on the 1960 estimated population figures, of the
formula contained in the Inter-Governmental Conference Decision No. 10, namely that-
(a) The number of members of the House of Representatives to be elected in a Territory
will be one member plus an additional member for each complete unit of population
in that Territory;
(b) the unit of population will be 55,000; and
(c) the number of members to be elected in any Territory shall not, in any case, be less
than the number that are to be elected therein under Article 15 of the existing
12. (a) To make any necessary adjustments in the composition of the House of Representatives,
there will be a Standing Committee of the House of Representatives, of which the
Speaker will be Chairman. The first meeting of this Committee will be held in 1970,
and thereafter the Committee will meet every five years.
(b) It will be the duty of the Committee to report to the House-
(i) whether by reason of changes in the estimated populations of the Territories
the application of the above formula requires any alteration in the number of
members of the House of Representatives to be elected in any Territory; and
(ii) whether, in the opinion of the Committee, it is desirable that the number
constituting the unit of population should be altered.
13. (a) If the Committee reports that any alteration in the number of members of the House
of Representatives to be elected in any Territory is required by the application of
the above formula, the alteration will automatically take effect at the next dissolution
of the Federal Legislature.
(b) Should the Committee recommend any alteration of the unit of population, this would
have to be considered by the House and could be given effect only by a constitutional
amendment made in accordance with the appropriate procedure.
There will be provision for an alternate member for Montserrat.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
,(c) In estimating the population of the Territories the Standing Committee will be guided
by the figures of the latest census or, in'any period where relevant census figures
are not available, on the basis of population figures submitted by the Governments
of Units and certified under Federal Law and Regulation, provided that the first
such review shall be on the basis of the 1970 census.
14. As at present there will be Exclusive and Concurrent Legislative Lists. The Federal Legis-
lature will have power to legislate with respect to any matter on either List, Federal law prevailing
in the event of inconsistency with the law of a Territory. Territorial Legislatures may legislate on
subjects in the Concurrent List. Legislation on matters not contained in either List is for the Legis-
latures of the Territories. (The alterations in the Exclusive and Concurrent Legislative Lists are set
out in Appendix E).
15. Special provision will be made regarding the assumption by the Federation of power to
legislate on Development of Industries and Taxes on Income and Profits (see paragraph 20 on
page 5). There will also be special provision concerning the exercise by the Federation of its powers
in relation to Freedom of Movement (see paragraph 21 on page 5).
16. A Money Bill and certain other financial measures' may be introduced only in the House
of Representatives. Any other Bill may be introduced in either Chamber of the Federal Legisla-
ture. Money Bills may be presented to the Governor-General for assent if they have not been passed
by the Senate within one month of having been sent to the Senate. The Senate will have a delaying
power of one year in regard to other Bills, except measures for amendment of the Federal Consti-
tution (see paragraph 19).
17. The authority and responsibility for the external affairs of the Federation will be governed
by special arrangements as follows :-
(a) The ultimate authority over and responsibility for the external affairs of the Federa-
tion shall rest with the Federal Government.
(b) The Federal Government may make any treaty, convention or agreement with foreign
countries or international organizations with respect to any matter (including those
that are residual).
(c) The Federal Legislature may make laws for implementing any such treaty, convention
or agreement with respect to any matter (including those that are residual):
Provided that no such law of the Federal Legislature with respect to a
residual matter shall apply to any Territory unless that Territory consents to its
(d) The Government of a Unit Territory may enter into negotiations with any foreign
government or International Organisation with a view to agreement on any matter
within the legislative competence of the Unit Territory concerned.
The Federal Government shall be kept informed of the course of the negotiations
and no such agreement shall be valid unless consented to or ratified by the Federal
(e) A Territorial Legislature may make laws for implementing any treaty, convention or
agreement with respect to any matter that is not on the Exclusive List.
18. The Federal Government will have the sole responsibility for establishing diplomatic
missions abroad and for accepting diplomatic missions from other countries. Unit Governments
will have the right to establish non-diplomatic missions abroad dealing with such matters as tourism
and trade promotion and to receive non-diplomatic visits from other countries.
1 viz: any Bill which makes provision for imposing or altering any tax or any charge on the revenues or
other funds of the Federation or for compounding or remitting any debt due to the Federation.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 5
Amendment of the Federal Constitution
Ordinary and Entrenched Provisions
19. A distinction is made between ordinary provisions and entrenched provisions. Ordinary
provisions are those which may be amended by the ordinary legislative processes of the Federal
Legislature and consist of the matters set out in Appendix F. All other provisions of the Federal
Constitution will be entrenched provisions. Any proposal to amend the entrenched provisions will,
except where some other special process of amendment is prescribed, be dealt with as follows :-
(i) the proposed amending law must be passed by each House of the Federal Legislature
by an absolute majority;
(ii) if the Senate rejects the Bill, or amends it in a manner unacceptable to the House of
Representatives, the House of Representatives must again pass it within three months
from the date of its rejection, or amendment as the case may be, by the Senate;
(iii) the Bill must then be approved by absolute majorities in a majority of the representa-
tive Houses of the Legislatures of the Territories representing a majority of the popu-
lation of the Federation.
(a) no Bill that reduces the numerical representation of a Territory in the Senate shall have
effect unless each House of the Legislature of that Territory has passed a resolution
signifying consent to its having effect; and
(b) no Bill that alters the provisions of the Constitution giving effect to paragraphs 11 to
'13 above (except a Bill which alters only the unit of population) shall have effect
unless each House of the Legislatures of all the Territories have passed resolutions
signifying their consent to its having effect;
(c) no Bill amending those provisions of the Constitution that prescribe the procedure
for altering the limits of a Unit will have effect unless each House of the Legislature
of all Units has passed a resolution signifying its consent.
Development of Industries : Taxes on Income and Profits
20. Any proposal that the Federal Government should assume powers to legislate on the
subjects "Development of Industries" and "Taxes on Income and Profits" will not come into force
until the proposal has been approved by a majority of each House of the Federal Legislature and
by an absolute majority of the Representative House of each Unit Legislature. There will be a
review of this arrangement at the end of nine years at which, if no earlier decision has been taken
to allow the Federal Legislature to exercise its powers in this matter, the Federal and Unit
Governments will consider together whether any change should be made in these arrangements;
provided that in the absence of agreement by all Governments these arrangements will continue.
Further reviews will take place under arrangements to be agreed.
Freedom of Movement
21. Amendment of the provisions of the Federal Constitution dealing with this matter will be
subject to special arrangements. It is accepted that the aim of the Federation should be to move,
as quickly as possible, to a position whereby all inhabitants of the Federation will be able to move
freely from Territory to Territory subject to no controls or impediments, other than those required
in the general public interest (e.g. by public health requirements). Bearing in mind, however, that
an immediate withdrawal of all existing migration controls throughout the Federation would cause
serious social and economic stresses to certain Territories, the following arrangements have been
(i) the Federal Constitution will contain a declaration of intention that freedom of move-
ment is to be the ultimate objective;
(ii) this declaration will not invalidate laws reasonably necessary in the public interest of
the Federation or of any Unit;
(iii) control of the movement of persons will appear on the Exclusive Legislative List;
(iv) during a period of nine years after Independence the exclusive powers of the Federal
Government will not be exercised except with the concurrence of the Unit Govern-
(v) the question of shortening this period will be reviewed at the end of the fourth year
by the Federal Government in conjunction with all Territorial Governments;
(vi) during this period, no Unit Territory will legislate to increase or expand any restric-
tions upon migration now obtaining without the consent of the Federal Government;
(vii) after the expiration of this period, each Territorial Government will have the right to
determine, with the concurrence of the Federal Government, the appropriate remedial
measures required to deal with any economic disruption that results in a Territory
from inter-Territorial migration.
6 Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
The Federal Executive
22. The Federal Cabinet will consist of the Prime Minister and such number of other Ministers
as the Prime Minister may decide, and the Governer-General will assign portfolios to them on the
advice of the Prime Minister. Provision will be made in the Constitution for the payment of a
pension to a retired Prime Minister.
The Federal Supreme Court; Appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
23. The Federal Supreme Court will be the supreme judicial organ of the Federation. The pro-
visions of the existing constitution with respect to appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council will be retained.
24. The Federal Chief Justice will be appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the
Prime Minister. Other Federal justices will be appointed on the advice of the Federal Judicial
Service Commission. There will be provision for a special tribunal to examine whether the question
of a judge's removal from office should be referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
and for the Governor-General to act on the advice of that tribunal. As at present a judge of the
Federal Supreme Court will be removable from office only if the Judicial Committee advises his
removal on grounds of inability or misbehaviour. The power of the Governor-General to suspend
a judge whose removal from office is under consideration and to revoke such suspension will be
exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister.
25. The office of Attorney-General will cease to be an office in the public service, and the
Attorney-General will be appointed and removable by the Governor-General on the advice of the
Prime Minister. The Prime Minister will be free to advise the appointment of a person who is not
a member of either House of the Legislature. If such a person is appointed, he will not be required
to become a member of either House and so long as he is not such a member he will have no
right of audience in either House and will not be eligible for appointment to the Cabinet. In the
exercise of his powers with respect to the institution, continuance and discontinuance of prosecu-
tions the Attorney-General will not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or
26. The Customs Union Plan provides for the phased introduction of internal free trade and
the adoption of a common external tariff to be completed within a maximum period of nine years.
The supervision of the Plan will be carried out by a, special Inter-Governmental Committee of
Ministers, under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister of Trade and Industry. This committee
will be assisted by a Standing Advisory Panel of experts to whom any disputed matters of interpreta-
tion arising from the interpretation of the Customs Union Plan can be referred, and by a Federal
Inspector-General of Customs who will co-ordinate territorial action and give advice where necessary.
The process of harmonisation of the external tariff will be achieved in accordance with an agreement
to be made between the Federal and Unit governments. The Federal Constitution will include a
constitutional obligation upon territories to adjust their tariffs in accordance with the Plan. A
Federal Customs Law and a Federal Customs Administration will only come into operation at the
end of the transition period when a full Customs Union has been established. The question of the
return by the Federal Government to Unit Governments of any revenues derived from customs
duties in excess of requirements would be considered at the reviews which are to be held at the
end of the third and the sixth years after independence under the arrangements for considering
the sources of Federal revenue. To compensate for the loss of customs, revenues Unit governments
will be able to impose consumption duties. The range and amount of these duties will be entirely within
the competence of Unit governments provided that they make no discrimination between locally
produced and imported goods, and that there is no violation of international obligations.
27. The mandatory levy will be abolished and the Federal Government will be given an
independent taxing power sufficient to enable it to finance its developing obligations. This taxing
power will be governed by the following arrangements :-
(a) The Federal Government's principal source of revenue will be the import duties of
customs on all the items in List I in the Customs Union Plan excluding petroleum
products; these items will be harmonised as rapidly as possible and the duties will
be subject to such changes as the Federal Government may decide to make from
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
time to time. The exercise of the power to impose additional duties will be subject
to the right of Unit Governments to request the Federal Government to rescind or
vary the tariff change in certain circumstances. This arrangement is estimated to
provide a total revenue of West Indies $28.3 million which, with the addition of
taxes on Federal incomes and other miscellaneous receipts, will provide total Federal
revenues at the rate of West Indies $30 million (approximately) in 1962.
(b) Before the Federal Government takes over full control of customs duties at the end
of the transition period, there will be at least two intervening reviews; the first
before the end of the third year of independence, the second before the end of
a further period of three years. At these reviews, additional sources of revenue
may be agreed upon.
(c) If upon the first review no agreement is reached regarding additional sources of
revenue, the Federal Government will have the power to collect by a levy upon
Territorial Governments up to 5 per cent. of the total proceeds of import duties
levied by Territorial Governments on items in Lists II and III; and if upon the
the second review no agreement is reached, the Federal Government will have the
power to collect a further 5 per cent.
The Federal Public Service
28. There will be a Federal Public Service Commission, members of which will be appointed
by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Amendment to Unit Constitutions
29. An amendment of any of the provisions of the Constitution of a Unit relating to the matters
referred to in (a) to (g) below require the approval of the Federal House of Representatives
signified by a resolution supported by the votes of a majority of the members of that House :-
(a) the position of Her Majesty in the Executive and Legislature of the Unit;
(b) the office and functions of Governor;
(c) the system of Ministerial Government;
(d) the retention of an elected Chamber of the Legislature;
(e) the ensuring of the dissolution of the Legislature and the holding of elections at regular
or prescribed intervals;
(f) the Supreme Court including the office of Judge;
(g) the constitution and functions of the Judicial (or Judicial and Legal) and the Public
and Police Service Commissions. (This would not include an amendment which
related solely to the number of members or the Quorum of the Commissions.)
Turks and Caicos Islands
30. The Turks and Caicos Islands are now within the Federation of The West Indies, but are
not represented in the Federal Parliament and do not contribute financially to the Federal
31. Their position will remain unchanged on independence-although they will of course,
then cease to be a dependent territory of the United Kingdom and the powers of the United
Kingdom will pass to the Federation.
32. They have at present constitutions less advanced than the Unit Territories. It is proposed
to introduce some changes shortly and they will thereafter hope to move towards internal self-
government in the expectation of eventually becoming a Unit Territory of the Federation.
33. Although the Cayman Islands are now within The West Indies, they are not represented
in the Federal Parliament and do hot contribute financially to the Federal Government. The
representatives of the Islands fear that if they remain part of the Federation after independence
their economic development might be prejudiced. The Cayman Islands will cease to be a dependent
Territory of the United Kingdom, but will withdraw from the Federation at independence. They
will enter into a special associated status with the Federation under which they will enjoy full
internal self-government, and the Federal Government will by agreement assume responsibility
for their external affairs and defence.
8 Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
34. These arrangements will last for a trial period of five years, after which a joint review
of the position will be carried out by the Federal Government and the Government of the
Cayman Islands to decide whether the Islands should continue in an associated relationship, or
seek to become a Unit Territory. If the decision on review is that the Islands should break all
connection with the Federation, they will then have a right to petition the Crown for reversion
to Colony status. Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom will give an undertaking
that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the United Kingdom will resume responsibility for the
Cayman Islands should they exercise this right.
Definition of Territories and Related Matters
35. The Federal Constitution will contain a provision to the effect that the limits of each Unit
will be the limits that existed at the date of independence. Where territory is transferred from
one Unit to another, the alteration in the Federal Constitution will be effected by a law of the
Federal Legislature after the consent of the legislatures of both Units concerned has been obtained.
Where territory not part of an existing Unit is added to an existing Unit, or where part of an
existing Unit is removed from that Unit for a purpose other than its transfer to another Unit
or the creation of a new Unit, the alteration will be effected by a law of the Federal Legislature
after the consent of the legislature of the Unit concerned has been obtained. Where the number
of Units in the Federation is to be changed either by the creation of a new Unit out of territory
comprised in an existing Unit or existing Units, or by an amalgamation of existing Units, the
change will be effected under the procedure set out in paragraph 36 below with the additional
requirement that the concurring Unit legislatures forming the majority will have to include those
of all Units affected by the change, so that two or more Units will not be amalgamated without
the consent of the legislatures of both or all of those Units.
Accession o New Units
36. Amendment of the Federal Constitution to permit the accession of further Territories to
the Federation will be dealt with under the following arrangements:-
(i) The proposed amending law must be passed by each House of the Federal
Legislature by an absolute majority;
(ii) if the Senate rejects the Bill, or amends it in a manner unacceptable to the
House of Representatives, the House of Representatives must again pass it within
three months from the date of its rejection or amendment, as the case may be,
by the Senate;
'(iii) the Bill must then be approved by absolute majorities in a majority of the
representative Houses of the Legislature of the Territories.
Regional Council of Ministers
37. There will be a Regional Council of Ministers consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairman,
and the Premiers and Chief Ministers of the Units for consultation between the Federal and
Territorial Governments on matters of general concern. The Council will be established by
convention and no provision for it will be written into the Constitution.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 9
OTHER MATTERS DISCUSSED AT THE CONFERENCE
Interim Financial Arrangements before Independence
38. It was recognized that the Federal Government will be faced with unusually heavy
expenditure in the period before independence, particularly in connection with the expansion of
the armed forces, the establishment of its diplomatic machinery and the independence celebrations.
It was agreed that in order to enable the Federal Government to meet these special additional
expenditures the Federal Government should be allowed if necessary to collect the whole mandatory
levy for 1962 despite the fact that the revised arrangements for federal finance set out in para-
graph 27 will come into operation at the date of independence; provided that the total amount
contributed to the Federal Government by Unit Governments in 1962 should not exceed West Indies
39. There will be a further Conference in London opening on 8th January, 1962, which will
deal with defence, financial, economic, international relations, (i.e. to consider arrangements for
an exchange of notes relating to treaty obligations) and other matters which concern the indepen-
dence of the Federation. Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom will discuss with
The West Indies at this Conference the form and scale of the economic assistance that the United
Kingdom will accord the Federation after independence.
40. In deference, however, to the representations made during the Conference on behalf of
the smaller Territories concerning the urgency of their need for development, Her Majesty's
Government stated their readiness to send a small official Mission to The West Indies as soon this
could be mounted (say within 3 or 4 weeks from the holding of the Conference) with the object
of considering, in consultation with the Unit Governments of the Windward and Leeward Islands
and the Federal Government, any particular short term projects which were of special urgency or
importance to the smaller islands but which for one reason or another had not found a place
within the existing approved development programme. Her Majesty's Government were able to
state that the United States Government had agreed to be associated with this Mission, and Her
Majesty's Government and the United States authorities (subject to the availability of Congressional
appropriations) would respectively consider the provision of finance for such projects as the Mission
might recommend. In the case of the United Kingdom contribution this finance would be additional
to the existing Colonial Development and Welfare allocations. In making its examination the
Mission would of course have to limit its scope to a relatively small number of short term projects,
i.e. those which could be completed within a year or so. Her Majesty's Government stated that
they were glad' to be able to this extent to respond to the representations which had been put
forward and particularly appreciated the willingness of the United States authorities to associate
themselves with the proposed investigation.
41. These arrangements represent a special approach to a specific problem and do not in any
way prejudge or prejudice the total amount of assistance which Her Majesty's Government may
be able to accord The West Indies in the light of the discussions of the Conference of 8th January.
European Economic Community
42. The Conference had a general discussion about the European Economic Community at
which the Lord Privy Seal (The Rt. Hon. Edward Heath, M.P.), was present. The delegates asked
for an assurance that West Indian Governments would be fully consulted before any decision which
would affect them were taken by Her Majesty's Government in United Kingdom. The Secretary of
State gave the following assurance :-
"We will continue to keep West Indian Governments, Federal and Unit, closely in-
formed, as we have done in the past, of any developments which occur on questions
of European trade; secondly, we will consult them on the general policy to be followed;
and thirdly, we will take no decisions on questions affecting commodities of importance
to them without consulting with them."
Treaty Rights and Obligations
43. The Conference agreed in principle that The West Indies should accept the rights and
obligations applicable to The West Indies under treaties entered into by Her Majesty's Government
by the customary procedure, i.e. Her Majesty's Government and the Federal Government will
exchange notes which will subsequently be registered with the United Nations. The Federal and
Unit Governments will, however, hold a formal conference to examine the treaties which would be
dealt with by this arrangement in order to ascertain whether there are any objections to the accept-
ance of the provisions of any particular treaties. Any problems identified at this Conference will be
reviewed at the Conference with Her Majesty's Government which is to open in London on
8th January, when decisions will be taken as to what steps are necessary to deal with any difficulties.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
44. With so many delegations present at the Conference it was inevitable that certain delega-
tions should find themselves not in agreement with some of the conclusions set out in Chapter III
of this Report. Many indeed recorded dissent on particular items. It was recognized that
the conclusions reached at Lancaster House were ad referendum to Legislatures. The Secretary of
State made it clear that, in accepting the scheme as a whole for the purpose of presentation to
their legislatures, delegates would be fully entitled to explain the stand which they had taken on
particular matters during the Conference.
45. This scheme should give The West Indies its opportunity to plan an effective and construc-
tive role in international affairs. It should enable The West Indies, in conjunction with powerful
friends and allies to provide adequately for its own defence, and should give the Federal Govern-
ment the means wherewith to provide more adequately than hitherto certain common services. By
giving to all West Indians an opportunity to demonstrate their political and administrative talents
on a larger stage, it will stimulate world interest and confidence in The West Indies with all the
advantages-psychological and material-which that must bring to all its inhabitants.
46. Against this background the Conference agreed, subject to such decisions as may be
obtained by each delegation from their respective legislatures and peoples, to request Her Majesty's
Government in the United Kingdom to take the necessary measures to revise the Federal and Unit
SConstitutions on the basis set out in this Report. In this context the Conference agreed that it
would not be necessary to hold elections in the Unit Territories specifically in relation to
independence. A Federal General Election should be held, on the basis of the new Constitution,
not later than six weeks after Independence Day. The Secretary of State assured the Conference
that, on these understandings, Her Majesty's Government would take the necessary steps to intro-
duce legislation to grant The West Indies independence on 31st May, 1962.
47. The Conference also expressed the desire of The West Indies to become on independence
a Member of the Commonwealth. The Secretary of State warmly welcomed this proposal and under-
took that at the appropriate time Her Majesty's Government would consult the other Common-
wealth Governments with a view to securing their concurrence.
Signed this 16th day of June, 1961.
IAIN MACLEOD, R. B. M. KING,
16th June, 1961
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 11
FEDERAL CONSTITUTION OF 1958:
EXCLUSIVE AND CONCURRENT LEGISLATIVE LISTS
PART I. THE EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATURE LIST
1. Audit of accounts of the Federal Government.
2. Borrowing of monies for the purposes of the Federal Government.
4. The provision by the Federation of financial, advisory or other assistance to any Govern-
ment, person or authority in relation to any matter.
5. The establishment, maintenance and regulation of Federal agencies and institutions for
research, investigation or the promotion of special studies in relation to any matter.
6. Exchange control.
7. Federal libraries, museums and similar institutions, that is to say:-
(a) any libraries museums and similar institutions established by the Federal Government;
(b) any other libraries, museums and similar institutions in any Territory which the
Governor of that Territory, with the consent of the Governor-General, designates
as Federal libraries, museums and institutions by order published in the official
Gazette of that Territory.
8. Immigration into, and emigration and deportation from, the Federation.
9. Income tax on emoluments and allowances (including pensions, gratuities and other like
allowances) paid from the public funds of the Federation to the President, Vice-President or a
member of the Senate, or the Speaker, Deputy Speaker or a member of the House of Representa-
tives or to persons who are or have been in the service of the Crown in respect of the government
of the Federation, which service, for the purposes of this paragraph, shall be deemed to include
service as a judge of any Federal court or as a member of the Council of State.
10. Legal proceedings between the Federation and a, Territory or between Territories (subject
to article 80 of this Constitution).
11. Legal proceedings by or against the Federation other than proceedings against or by a
12. Public relations of the Federation.
13. The public service of the Federation (subject to Chapter VII of this Constitution and
any regulations made under that Chapter).
14. Pensions and gratuities payable out of the public funds of the Federation.
15. The reference to and determination by the Federal Supreme Court of any such question
as is mentioned in article 42 of this Constitution.
16. The service and execution in any Territory of the civil and criminal processes, judgments,
decrees, orders and decisions of the courts of any other Territory and the attendance of persons
from any Territory at the courts of any other Territory.
17. The University College of the West Indies.
18. The matters with respect to which the Federal Legislature is empowered to make laws
by any of the following provisions of this Constitution, that is to say sub-paragraph (c) of para-
graph (1) of article 17, article 18, paragraph (h) of article 21, articles 41, 83, 85 86, 87, 88 and
90, and sub-paragraph (f) of paragraph (6) of article 116.
PART II. THE CONCURRENT LEGISLATIVE LIST
1. The acquisition of property of any) Territory, person or authority for any purpose of the
2. Civil aviation and ancillary services including ancillary transport services and safety of
5. Astronomy and Meteorology.
6. Audit of public accounts other than accounts of the Federal Government.
7. Banks (including savings banks) and banking.
8. Bankruptcy and insolvency.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, .1961
9. Bills of exchange and promissory notes.
10. Borrowing of monies for the purposes of the Government of any Territory.
12. Companies, that is to say general provision as to the incorporation, regulation and winding-
up of bodies corporate, other than bodies incorporated directly by a law of the Federal Legislature
or of the Legislature of any Territory.
13. Conciliation and arbitration in relation to industrial disputes.
14. Control of the movement of persons between Territories (subject to articles 49, 50 and 51
of this Constitution).
15. Copyright, patents, trade marks, designs and merchandise marks.
16. Criminal law and procedure.
17. Currency, coinage and legal tender.
18. Customs and Excise duties (subject to articles 94 and 95 of this Constitution).
19. Development of industries.
20. Evidence and the recognition of laws, of public acts and records, and of judicial
S21. Fishing beyond the territorial waters of the Federation by vessels registered or licensed
in the Federation.
22. Insurance other than insurance undertaken by the Government of any Territory but includ-
ing insurance undertaken by the Government of any Territory that extends beyond the limits of
23. Marriage and divorce, and custody and guardianship of infants:
Provided that no provision of any law of the Federal Legislature with respect to these
matters shall have effect in any Territory unless and until the legislative chamber or, in case of
a Territory having two legislative chambers, each of the legislative chambers of that Territory has
resolved that the law shall so have effect.
24. Matters ancillary to the naturalization or registration of persons as citizens of the United
Kingdom and Colonies.
25. Atomic Energy.
26. Oaths, affirmations and statutory declarations.
27. Postal services (subject to article 97 of this Constitution).
28. Prisons and other institutions for the treatment of, and methods of treating, offenders
against any law, whether or not that law is within the legislative competence of the Federal Legis-
lature or, as the case may be, of the Legislature of the Territory.
30. Shipping and navigation, including lighthouses, lightships, beacons, buoys and other pro-
visions for the safety of shipping.
32. Students services, that is to say the provision of financial and other assistance for persons
receiving university education or such education or training as is referred to in paragraph 33 of
33. Subject to paragraph 17 of the Exclusive Legislative List, professional, technological and
agricultural education, training and studies.
34. Surveys, investigations and research (except by a Federal agency or institution) in relation
to any matter connected with the economic and social development of the Federation.
35. Taxes on income and profits other than such taxes as are referred to in paragraph 9 of
the Exclusive Legislative List:
Provided that no law of the Federal Legislature enacted by virtue of this paragraph shall
make provision for the levying during the period of five years beginning with the date when this
Constitution comes into force of any such tax.
36. Telegraph and telephone communications between the Federation and countries outside the
Federation and between Territories; wireless, television and similar forms of communication.
37. Trade and commerce with countries outside the Federation and between Territories.
38. Trade unions.
39. Weights and measures.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF TWO MINISTERIAL INTER-GOVERNMENTAL
COMMITTEES ESTABLISHED IN OCTOBER, 1959
To deal with constitutional and political issues, viz :
(ai) Basis of representation;
(b) Dominion Status: the financial and legal implications of an early date;
(c) Reserve powers;
(d) Common Citizenship and Freedom of Movement.
Terms of reference as follows :-
(a) To prepare and present a study of possible framework for a Dominion of The West
Indies with special reference to:-
(i) submissions received from Governments on this matter;
(ii) a minimum framework for a viable Dominion;
(b) To examine and advise on constitutional matters including division of powers, Federal
revenues and taxation;
(c) To consider and make recommendations with regard to common citizenship and
freedom of movement, defence needs, overseas representation and administrative
matters (including training);
(d) To report on the implications of Dominion Status in regard to -
(i) Loan raising;
(ii) Assistance from Her Majesty's Government (including grants-in-aid,
Colonial Development and Welfare and Colonial Development Corporation
(iii) International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International
(iv) Other overseas assistance;
(v) Special external trade agreements (including particularly bananas and
(e) The Conference having agreed on the principle:
(a) That Unit Territories should be represented in the Federal House of
Representatives on the basis of population;
(b) that there shall be no diminution in the number of seats currently held by the
(c) to consider and make recommendations on:-
(i) the most appropriate formula on which to apply this principle;
(ii) the ceiling, if any, which should be placed on the total number of seats
in the House;
(iii) the arrangements which should be made for periodic revision of the
composition of the House of Representatives;
(iv) what modifications, if any, ought to be made to the composition and powers
of the Senate in consequence of any recommendations on the above matters.
(f) To consider and make recommendations on any matters with regard to which it is
considered that, pending the conclusions of the Conference to be convened under
Article 118 of the Constitution, the Federal Government could facilitate and expedite
the transition to Dominion Status.
To deal with economic and social matters, viz:-
(a) Internal Free Trade and Common External Tariff;
(b) Federal taxation policy including Income Tax and Excise;
(c) Federal financial policy including Colonial Development and Welfare assistance;
'(d) Concessions and Incentives to Industry.
1i Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
LIST OF THOSE ATTENDING
THE WEST INDIES CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE 1961
Sir Grantley Adams, C.M.G., Q.c. ... Prime Minister
Mr. C. G. D. La Corbiniere ... ... Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Trade and Industries
Mr. R. L. Bradshaw ... ... ... Minister of Finance
Mr. A. S. Sinanan ... ... ... Leader of Opposition
Mr J. S. Mordecai, C.M.G. ... ... Deputy Governor-General
Mr. H. L. Da Costa, Q.c. ... ... Attorney General
Mr. F. A. Phillips ... ... ... Cabinet Secretary
Mr. F. D. C. Williams, C.M.G. ... Financial Secretary
Mr. O. E. Henry ... ... ... Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister's
Mr. P. W. C. Burke ... ... ... Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and
Mr. S. Ramphal ... ... ... Assistant Attorney-General
Mr. W. A. Richardson ... ... Information Officer
Mr. C. R. Stollmeyer, C.B.E. ... ... Acting Commissioner for the West Indies,
British Guiana and British Honduras in
Mr. D. S. Brookes ... ... ... Secretary
Mr. V. C. Bird
Mr. E. H. Lake
Mr. D. K. McIntyre
... ... Chief Minister
... ... ... Minister of Social Services
... ... ... Attorney-General
Dr. H. G. H. Cummins, C.B
Mr. M. E. Cox ...
Mr. R. G. Mapp ...
Mr. J. E. T. Branker
Mr. E. S. S. Burrowes, C.M
Mr. C. A. Burton ...
Mr. L. A. Pinard ...
J. Rose, D.F.C., M.B.E.
T. W. Farrington
O. L. Panton ...
E. 0. Le Blanc ...
W. S. Stevens ...
A.. D. W. Johnson
C. A. Seignoret
I.E. ... Premier
... ... Minister of Trade, Industry and Labour
... ... Minister for Communications, Works and
... Leader of Opposition
.G. ... Financial Secretary
... ... Cabinet Secretary
... ... Administrator
... ... Elected Member of Executive Council
... ... Nominated Member of Legislative Assembly
... ... Chief Minister
... ... Minister of Labour and Social Services
... Financial Secretary
... ... Principal Assistant Secretary
Report.of the West Indies Constitutional. Conference, 1961 J5
G. E. D. Clyne ...
E. A. Heyliger ...
H. H. Williams ...
N. E. Venner ...
E. M. Gairy
... ... Attorney General
... ... Secretary to Government
... ... Principal Secretary in Chief Minister's Office
... ... Adviser to the Government
Mr. N. W. Manley, g.c., M.M.
Mr. V. L. Arnett ... .
Mr. F. A. G. Glasspole ...
Mr. E. R. Richardson, C.M.G.
Mr. J. L. Cundall, C.M.G., Q.C.
Mr.V. H. McFarlane, C.B.E. ...
Mr. G. A. Brown ... .
Mr. A. I. Morais ...
Mr. A. E. T. Henry ... .
Mr. W. H. Bramble ...
J. W. Allen ...
T. E. A. Perkins
D. F. Johnson ...
... Premier and Minister of Development
... Minister of Finance
... Minister of Education
... Permanent Secretary
... Director, Central Planning Unit
... Assistant Under-Secretary
... Public Relations Office
... Chief Minister and Minister of Trade and
... Member of Legislative Council and Opposition
... ... Financial Secretary
... ... Crown Attorney
C. A. P. Southwell, J.p. ... ... Chief Minister and Minister of Finance
J. N. France ... .. .. Minister of Social Services
S. H. Graham ... ... ... Attorney-General
A. Haley ... ... ... Financial Secretary
Mr. G. F. L. Charles
Mr. H. B. Collymore
Mr. D. James
Mr. M. Salles Miquelle,
Mr. E. T. Joshua ...
Mr. C. L. Tannis ...
Mr. B. F. Dias ...
... ... Chief Minister
... ... Minister of Trade and Industry
Nominated Member of Legislative Council
O.B.E. ... Nominated Member of Legislative Council
Chief Minister and Minister of Finance,
Labour and Public Relations
.. ... Minister of Communications and Works
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Eric Williams ... ... ... Premier and Minister of Finance
L. N. Constantine ... ... Minister of Works and Transport
W. J. Alexander ... ... Nominated Member of Legislative Council
P. Hobson ... ... ... Nominated Member of Legislative Council
E. E. I. Clarke, C.M.G ... ... Attorney-General
J. O'Neil Lewis... ... ... Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of
Industry, Commerce, Tourism and
W. G. Demas ... ... ... Office of Premier
Barry B. L. Auguste ... ... Office of Premier
O. C. Mathurin... ... ... Public Relations Officer, Office of Premier
16 Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
TURKS AND CAIGOS ISLANDS
Mr. G. C. Guy, M.B.E.
Mr. E. T. Wood ...
Mr. P. -Higgs ..
The Rt. Hon. Iain Macleod, M.P.,
Chairman of the Conference
The Hon. Hugh Fraser, M.B.E., M.P ...
Sir Hilton Poynton, K.C.M.G ..
Mr. A. R. Thomas, C.M.G.
Mr. D. Williams
Mr. G. W. Jamieson...
Miss M. Z. Terry ...
... ... Administrator.
... ... Treasurer, Collector of Customs, Postmaster
and General Manager of Government
Member of Legislative Assembly
Secretary of State for the Colonies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State,
Mr. J. C. McPetrie, C.M.G., O.B.E
Mr. A. R. Rushford ... .
Mr. D. G. Gordon-Smith
ASSISTANT TO U.K. DELEGATION
Miss E. E. Mann ...
Mr. R. B. M. King, M.c.
Mr. A. Leavett
Mr. G. P. Lloyd ...
Mr. E. G. Donohoe ...
Mr. D. H. Doble
Mr. T. M. Jenkins ...
Mr. E. M. Glover ..
Mr. E. H. Bitten ...
Mr. A. W. Cassey ...
Miss I. M. Howlett ...
... Colonial Office
... ... Secretary-General
} Press Officers
... ... Conference Officer
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 17
CONCLUSIONS REACHED BY THE CONFERENCE ON THE BASIS OF THE
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ON REVIEW
OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION
1. Governor-General's powers and duties
The provision in the existing Constitution directing the Governor-General to comply with
Royal Instructions should be omitted.
The Constitution should expressly enact the general United Kingdom convention that the
Governor-General must always act on the advice of the Cabinet or a responsible Minister (save in
cases where he is expressly authorised to act in some other manner).
The following functions of the Governor-General should be exercised as indicated below:-
(i)' The extension of service of a Judge after the age of 65, on the advice of the
(ii) Appointment of an Acting Chief Justice, on the advice of the Prime Minister.
,(iii) Appointment or removal of the "appointed Member" of the Judicial Service
Commission, on the advice of the Prime Minister.
(iv) Appointment of the Auditor General, as in the appointment of Permanent Secretaries.
(v) Removal of the Auditor General, as at present.
(vi) Decision as to the number of members to comprise the Public Service Commission
and appointment of such members and members of the Public Service Appeal Board,
on the advice of the Prime Minister.
(vii) Removal of members of the Public Service Commission and the Public Service Appeal
Board, on the advice of the Prime Minister but only on grounds of misbehaviour or
(viii) The appointment, removal and disciplinary control of Ambassadors, High Com-
missioners and other principal representatives of the Federation abroad, on the
advice of the Prime Minister.
(ix) The appointment, removal and disciplinary control of his personal staff, in his
In substitution for the existing powers conferred upon the Governor-General, the Public and
Judicial Service Commissions, and the Public Service Appeals Board should be empowered to make
regulations governing their procedure with the consent of the Prime Minister or another Minister
authorised by him, and the other matters relating to these bodies for which provisions may at present
be made by regulations made by the Governor-General should be matters for which the Federal
Legislature may make provision.
Appointments, &c., to Judicial and Civil Service posts (other than those for which special
provision has been made) should be made by the Governor-General in accordance with the advice
of the appropriate Service Commission instead of "on the recommendation of" the Commission.
2. Performance of Governor-General's functions
No provision should be made for the Governor-General to exercise any of his functions when
outside the Federation and when an acting appointment has taken effect.
3. Dependent territories
Provision should be made for the Federal Legislature to make laws for the government of any
Territory acquired and not incorporated in a Unit Territory.
4. Seat of Federal Government
The present provision should be retained but should not be entrenched.
18 Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
5. Loss of Residential Qualification by Senators
The power of Governor-General to revoke the appointment of a Senator who ceases to be
resident in the Territory which he represents should be exercised on the advice of the Premier or
Chief Minister of that Territory.
6. Temporary absence or inability of Senators
No provision should be made for the temporary replacement of Senators who through absence
or illness are unable to perform their functions.
7. Composition of House of Representatives
It would be appropriate that the Standing Committee referred to in paragraph 12 of the Report
should include representatives of each Unit, and the Standing Orders which would govern its
composition and procedure should be drawn up with this in mind.
8. Date of Registration
The Federal Legislature should be empowered to fix the date with reference to which the
residential qualification of applicants for registration should be ascertained.
9. Disqualification for Election Offences
The power of the Federal Legislature to prescribe disqualifications from membership of the
Federal Parliament on account of Federal election offences should extend to disqualifications on
account of Unit election offences.
10. Electoral Areas
The present provision (i.e. that electoral areas in a Territory for returning members of the
House of Representatives should be established by or under a law of the Legislature of that
Territory) should be retained.
11. Membership of Legislature-Disqualification through Contracts
No provision should be made for disqualification on account of contracts with the Government.
12. Membership of Both Unit and Federal Legislatures
The provision in Articles 11(b) and 22(b) of the existing Constitution should be amended so
as to reduce the period within which persons appointed or elected to the Federal Legislature should
cease to be members of Unit Legislatures or Executive Councils from 21 days to 7 days;
13. Provision for Appeals against Decisions Involving Loss of Membership of the Federal Legislature
Provision should be made whereby vacation by a member of his seat in the Federal. Legislature
resulting from a decision of some authority (e.g. conviction by a Court) could be suspended
pending the determination of an appeal against that decision.
14. Disqualification Arising from an Office of Profit under the Crown
The provision in Articles 10(b) and 21(b) of the existing Constitution should be replaced by
a provision allowing the Federal Legislature to specify the offices which would carry disqualifications.
It would, however, be desirable that certain offices which clearly should carry disqualification (e.g.
Judges) should be specified in the Constitution itself.
15. The Speaker
It would be desirable for the Speaker to be an elected Member but the present provision
allowing for the election of a Speaker from outside the House of Representatives should be retained.
The quorum in the House of Representatives should be 24 members representing at least
The period within which casual vacancies in the House of Representatives should be filled
should be determined by Federal legislation.
"Citizens of The West Indies" should be defined for the purposes of the Constitution-on the
following lines, i.e. "any person who, by the law of The West Indies, has the status, of a citizen
of the West Indies and pending the enactment of such a law means a British subjectt"
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 10
19. Reservation of Bills
No provision should be made for the reservation of Bills.
20. Prorogation and Dissolution
Provision should be made for the Governor-General to prorogue and dissolve the Federal
Legislature on the advice of the Prime Minister.
21. General Elections
The provision in Article 39 of the existing Constitution should be retained.
22. Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Houses of the Federal Legislature
That part of Article 41 of the existing Constitution which qualifies the power conferred upon
the Federal Legislature by reference to the privileges, immunities and powers of the United Kingdom
House of Commons should be omitted.
23. Right to Participate in Proceedings of Houses of the Federal Legislature
No provision should be made for a Minister who is a member of one House to take part in
the proceedings of the other.
24. Staff of the Senate and House of Representatives
The provision in Article 42A of the existing Constitution should be retained.
LEGISLATIVE POWER WITHIN THE FEDERATION
25. Emergency Powers
No additional provision to the effect that during the currency of a proclamation of emergency
the executive authority of the Federation should extend to the giving of directions. to the Government
of a Territory or any officer or authority thereof should be included in the Constitution.
26. Powers of Disallowance in respect of Laws relating to Federal Government stock
No provision for disallowance should be included in the Constitution, but the status of stock
should be preserved by action under the Colonial Stock Act, 1934.
27. Powers to make laws having extra-territorial operation
The provision in Article 5 of the existing Constitution enabling extra territorial legislation to
be enacted for certain purposes should be deleted and provision should be made in The West
Indies Independence Act giving both the Federation and Units a general power to make laws
having extra-territorial operation.
28. The Cabinet
No limit on the size of the Cabinet should be prescribed in the Constitution.
29. Allocation of Portfolios
The substance of the present provision should be retained (i.e. the Governor-General should
assign portfolios on the advice of the Prime Minister), but should be re-worded on the lines of
Article 84 of the Constitution of the Federation of Nigeria.
30. Appointment of Ministers
The provision in Article 62 (1) of the existing Constitution should be retained. The provision
in Article 62 (2) of the existing constitution (i.e. that at least two Ministers should be members
of the Senate) should be omitted.
31. Tenure of office of Prime Minister
The Governor-General should revoke the appointment of the Prime Minister if the House of
Representatives, by a resolution which has received the affirmative votes of a majority of all the
members, resolves that the appointment ought to be revoked; but before so revoking the Prime
Minister's appointment the Governor-General should consult the Prime Minister and if the Prime
Minister so requests should dissolve the Federal Legislature instead of revoking the appointment.
The provision in Article 63 (c) of the existing Constitution should be replaced by a provision
that the office of the Prime Minister shall become vacant when, after any dissolution of the House
of Representatives, the Prime Minister is informed by the Governor-General that the Governor-
General is about to re-appoint him as Prime Minister or to appoint another person as Prime Minister.
20 Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961
32. Performance of functions of Prime Minister
The provision in Article 65 of the existing Constitution, empowering the Governor-General to
appoint another Minister to perform the functions of the Prime Minister if the latter is ill or absent
from the Federation, should be retained subject to the modification that, in exercising this power,
the Governor-General should act on the advice of the Prime Minister or, if that is impracticable,
without that advice.
33. Summoning of Cabinet and Proceedings therein
The Cabinet should only be summoned and presided over by the Prime Minister or such
Minister as he might appoint.
34. Parliamentary Secretaries
No limit should be placed on the number of Parliamentary Secretaries which may be
35. Exercise of Executive Authority of the Federation
The provision in Article 55 of the existing Constitution should be retained.
36. Qualifications for Federal Judges
The provision in Article 74 (2) (b) of the existing Constitution should be amended to provide
that a minimum period of ten years' practice as an advocate would qualify a person for appoint-
ment as a Judge of the Federal Supreme Court.
37. Abolition of Office of a Federal Judge
Provision should be made prohibiting the abolition of the office of a Judge of the Federal
Supreme Court without his consent.
38. Quorum for Determination of Constitutional Questions
Questions as to the interpretation of the Federal Constitution coming before the Federal Supreme
Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction should be decided by three Judges whether they
arise directly before the Court or are referred to it by other Courts.
39. Power of Federation to confer Appellate Jurisdiction on the Federal Supreme Court
The proviso to Article 83 (1) of the existing Constitution should be retained.
40. Postal Revenues
The provision in Article 97 of the existing Constitution should be omitted.
41. Currency Payments
The new Constitution should be so drafted as to ensure that the Federal Government would
be entitled to currency profits.
42. Functions of Auditor General
The provision in Article 101 D of the existing Constitution should be remodelled to make it
clear that the Auditor General could be given functions in connection with any Federal institution,
and also in connection with Unit institutions with the consent of the Unit Government.
43. Duties of Cabinet Secretary
The provision in paragraph (2) of Article 105 F of the existing Constitution should be omitted.
44. Power of Pardon
The power of pardon should be exercised by the Governor-General on the advice of a Minister
designated by the Governor-General in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. Provision
should be made for an Advisory Committee whose advice the designated Minister should obtain
but need not necessarily accept.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 21
ALTERATIONS IN THE EXCLUSIVE AND CONCURRENT LEGISLATIVE LISTS
(i) The Conference agreed that the following items should be placed on the Exclusive List:-
(i) central banking;
(ii) currency, coinage and legal tender.
(ii) The Conference agreed that the following items should be placed on the Concurrent List:--
(i) commercial banking;
(ii) banking (other than commercial and central banking); other banks (except Agricul-
tural Loan Banks and Government Savings Banks); other deposit taking institutions
which can extend credit;
(iii) dealing in securities;
(iv) hire purchase.
subject to the condition that Federal Law on the subjects at (ii)-(iv) above should not have force
in the Territories except with the agreement of the Territorial Government concerned.
(iii) Population Census
The Conference agreed that the subject of Population Census should be added to the Exclusive
The Conference agreed that the Subject of Quarantine should be transferred from the Con-
current to the Exclusive List.
(v) Copyright, patents, trade marks
The Conference agreed that the subject of copyright, patents, trade marks should be transferred
from the Concurrent to the Exclusive List.
(vi) Regulation of trade and commerce with countries outside the Federation and between
The Conference agreed that the subject of regulation of trade and commerce with countries
outside the Federation and between territories should be transferred from the Concurrent to the
(vii) Weights and Measures
The Conference agreed that the subject of weights and measures should be transferred from the
Concurrent to the Exclusive List.
(viii) Postal Services
The Conference agreed that the subject of Postal Services should be transferred from the Con-
current to the Exclusive List, on the clear understanding that before any transfer of responsibilities
in respect of Postal Services actually took place, there would be a Conference of the Federal and
Territorial Governments to consider the practical arrangements attendant on such transfer and the
assumption of responsibility for the administration of Postal Services by the Federal Government.
The Conference also agreed that the transfer of Postal Services to the Exclusive List should
be subject to the retention of provisions corresponding to those in Article 43 (2) of the present
The Conference also agreed to the deletion of present Article 97.
(ix) Astronomy and Meteorology
The Conference agreed that the subject of Astronomy and Meteorology should be transferred
from the Concurrent to the Exclusive List.
(x) Substitution of "Import Duties of Customs" for "Customs and Excise Duties"
The Conference also agreed that the item "Import Duties of Customs" should be substituted
for "Customs and Excise Duties" in the present Concurrent List and that the items "Excise Duties
and Export Duties" and "Price Control" should be left as residual subjects.
(xi) "Nuclear energy" instead of "Atomic energy"
The Conference agreed that the terms "Nuclear energy" should be used instead of "Atomic
energy" in the Concurrent List.
22 Ryfprp. ojf the West Indies Constitutional Conference, -19O1
(xii) Civil Aviation and ancillary services including ancillary transport services and safety of
The Conference agreed that this subject should remain on -the Concurrent Legislative List
subject to the following provisions for the saving and protection of Territorial rights:-
(a) Unit Governments are to have the right to own, develop and control aerodromes
established by them in their respective territories-the circumstances in which
the Federal Government should assume responsibility for aerodromes to be specified
with precision in the Constitution (if necessary in an Appendix).
:(b) The control of any intra-Territorial aviation service is to be vested in the Territorial
(c) Unit Governments are to have the right to operate inter-Territorial services subject to
any Federal requirements in respect of licensing and other such matters.
(d) In respect of an aviation service between the Federation and any place outside the
Federation, any Unit Government is to have the right to apply to the Federal Gov-
ernment to have a carrier of its own designated a National Carrier.
(xiii) Regulation and provision of. Wireless Telegraphy between the Units and with the outside
Regulation of Television and Radio Broadcasting between the Units and with the outside
SThe Conference agreed as follows:-
(i) Telecommunications other than Broadcasting Television and Territorial Telephone
Services would be exclusively a Federal matter.
(ii) The Federal Government would have the exclusive right to allocate frequencies and
such related matters as are necessary to meet international obligations.
(iii) Each Unit Territory to have the right to set up, operate and control a Government
(iv) Each Unit Territory to have the right to continue, renew from time to time and
abrogate any existing licence already granted to any commercial station.
(v) The licensing of any new Commercial station to be under the control of the Federal
Government (subject to the approval of the licensee by the Unit Government con-
(vi) Television to be on the Concurrent Legislative List subject to the right of a Unit Terri-
tory to- set up, operate and control a Government Television station.
(vii) The power to prescribe overall standards to be placed on the Concurrent Legislative
-. (viii) Territorial. Telephone services (wired and wireless) to be a residual subject.
(xiv) Citizenship and matters ancillary to the naturalization or registration of persons as citizens
of The West Indies
The Conference agreed that the above subject should be placed on the Exclusive Legislative
(xv) Social Security
The Conference agreed that this subject should be placed on the Concurrent Legislative List.
(xvi) Labour Legislation
The Conference agreed that this subject should be added to the Concurrent Legislative List.
(xvii) Co-operatives (including Credit Unions)
The Conference agreed that this subject should be added to the Concurrent Legislative List.
The Conference agreed that this subject should be added to the Concurrent Legislative List.
Report of the West Indies Constitutional Conference, 1961 23
PROVISIONS AMENDABLE BY THE ORDINARY
LEGISLATIVE PROCESSES OF THE
List of matters in respect of which the Constitutional provisions should be amendable by Act of
the Federal Legislature:-
1. The oaths to be taken by the Governor-General and the discharge of his functions during
a vacancy, &c.
2. Qualifications, disqualifications (not including disqualification by reason of membership
of a Territorial Legislature) and tenure of office of members of the Legislature, and
the determination of questions respecting membership.
3. The President and the Speaker (method of election, tenure of office, &c.) and the Clerks
to the Houses of the Legislature.
4. The oaths to be taken by members of the Legislature.
5. The quorum in either House of the Legislature, its voting procedure and also who
6. Unqualified persons who sit or vote.
7. Restrictions on the initiation of money bills.
8. The oaths to be taken by Ministers, and the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries.
9. The constitution of offices for the Federation, and the appointment of Permanent
10. The delegation of the executive authority of the Federation.
11. The exercise by the Governor-General of the prerogative of mercy.
12. The jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court otherwise than in respect of-
(a) the interpretation of the Federal or a Territorial Constitution; or
(b) appeals from the Supreme Courts of the Territories.
13. The establishment of courts (other than the Federal Supreme Court) and the oaths to
be taken by judges.
14. The authorisation of expenditure in advance of appropriation, and the establishment
of a Contingencies Fund.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, TRINIDAD, W.I.-1961
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