Aubished h gitlhority.
VOL. 73.] SAINT GEORGE'S, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1954. [No. 72
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT ON CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM IN THE COLONIES OF
GRENADA, ST. LUCIA AND ST. VINCENT.
1. The Secretary of State for the Colonies has approved in principle proposals for new constitutions
in the Colonies of Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. The proposals which follow are now published
for information and comment before they are submitted for final approval to the Secretary of State.
Thereafter, the Legislative Councils will be invited to approve in principle the financial provision
needed to give effect to these changes. It is proposed to introduce the Ministerial system as soon as
practicable but this of course cannot be done until drafts of the new Constitutional Instruments have
been prepared and have been submitted to and approved by Her M ije-rty in Council, and until satisfac-
tory arrangements for staff and accommodation have been made.
2. The proposals follow the lines of the Constitutions already in force in Barbados, Jamaica, and
Trinidad, and be summarised as follows:-
(1) The Executive Council will be recognized as the principal instrument of policy", and
the Governor or Administrator will normally accept the advice of the Council unless
he deems it expedient to do otherwise in the interest of public faith, public order or
good government. (In a grant-aided territory "good government" must inevitably
involve close financial control by Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom-as
indicated in paragraph 3 (a) below. The Governor or Administrator will in future be
required to obtain the prior approval of the Secretary of State to act contrary to the
advice of the Executive Council, except in cases of urgent necessity; and in any such
cases his action will forthwith be reported to the Secretary of State.
(2) The Executive Council will include, as at present, the Governor or Administrator
(as President), the Attorney General or the Crown Attorney, the Colonial Treasurer
or thM Financial Secretary, one nominated member of the Legislative Council, to be
I appointed by the Governor, and in future four Elected Members of the Legislative
Council to be elected by the Unofficial Members of the Legislative Council. When the
Governor is presiding the Administrator will remain a member of the Executive Council,
but he will have n: vote. The President (whether it is the Governor or the Adminis-
trator) will have a casting vote only, The Governor-in-Council may appoint an
additional Official Member to the Executive Council, provided that such Member will
have no vote. Elected Members will thus have a voting majority on Executive Council.
(3) There will be three Ministers who will be appointed by the Governor-in-Ccuncil.
(4) A Minister shall cease to hold office if, by a majority vote of all its. members, the Legis.
lative Council pray for his removal. If he is an Elected Member of the Executive
Council he will then cease to be a member of the Executive Council
(5) In addition, the Governor-in-Council will be empowered fo remove a Minister trom
office and from Executive Council.
3 R -79
534 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, DECEMBER 29, 1954.-(No. 72).
(6) Responsibilities will, for the time being, be allocated as fdllows:-
In addition to being Pre--ident of the Executive Council in the absence of the Governor
the Administrator will be responsible for the following:-
Defence, Security and Police Development (applicable to St. Lucia only)
Establishment and Personnel, External Affairs,.including Immigration
The Attorney General or the Crown Attorney.
The Attorney General or the Crown Attorney will continue to exercise his normal
functions in regard to legal matters and will be responsible for the presentation in
Executive Council of such matters. He will, ia at pr-sent, act in his discretion
in regard to prosecutions and Court matters.
The Colonial Treasurer or the Financial Secretary.
Finance and Fiscal Policy
Minister for Trade and Production.
Agriculture and Veterinary?
Commerce and Industry
Fisheries and Forest
Research (other than Social Science Research)
(Membership cf Regional Economic Committee).
Minister for Communications and Works.
Public Utility-Telephones, Electricity, Water.
Shipping and Harbour
Minister for Social Services.
(7) The Governor-in-Council will have the power to vary the allocation o responsibilities
as between the three Ministers.
'(8) As each of the Ministers will be concerned with the work of more than one Department
and as it is essential to avoid the expense of the establishment of separate
Ministries, the Ministers will working a central Secretariat, which will take the place
of the Administrator's Office. Ministers will deal with departmental work only
through the Heads of Departments concerned; mnd formal directions to Heads of
Departments will, be sent only through the appropriate Administrative Secretary in the
(9) Each Minister will be responsible for the subjects dealt with in the Departments with
which he is concerned; but Ministers will accept the principle of collective response
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, DECEMBER 29, 1954.-(No. 72). 535
ability for all decisions of the Executive Council, and they will be obliged to abide by
policy decisions (.f the Executive Council in all matters, or to resign from Executive
(10) If a Head of Department disagrees with his Minister on any question relating to the
administration of the Department, the Head of Department, may submit to the
Minister in writing a statement of' his reasons for disagreeing, and of his own recom-
mendations on the question. The Minister concerned will then be cbliged to put
copies of this statement before the Executive Council, as well as his own views. The
Governor-in-Council will consider the statement or statements and decide the question
3. The approval in principle of the above proposals has been given by the Seeretary of State on
the following conditions :-
(a) That it is clearly understood and accepted that, in a territory in receipt of a
grant in-aid of administration, full responsibility for financial matters will remain
with the Governor through the Colonial Treasurer or the Financial Secretary.
So long as Her Majesty's Government has to bear the financial responsibility
of maintaining the administration they must retain on behalf of Parliament
effective control over the amounts and the expenditure of necessary grants.
Her Majesty's Government will continue therefore to exercise the procedures of
control at present in force or other procedures which may be considered necessary
to maintain Parliamentary control. Grants-in-aid as heretofore will continue to
be in aid of essential administration and will not provide funds for development
for which Parliament has provided, or may provide in future, separate funds, e.g.
under Colonial Development and Welfare Acts;
(b) That the appointment, retirement, dismissal, promotion and discipline of all mem-
bers of the Civil Service will be the sole responsibility of the Administrator and
Governor (who will be advised in respect of relevant appointments and promotions
by a Public Service Commission to be established in each Colony, the membership
of which will be entirely non-political) ;
(c) That provision will be made by the Legislature for the creation of such new posts
as are necessary to give administrative effect to these constitutional changes;
(d) That, as in other British territories with similar constitutions, the Governor's
reserve legislative powers will be retained.
4. Subject to the concurrence of the Legislatures the Ministers will receive renumeration at the rate
-of 1,000 per annum. Ministers will be expected to give priority to their work as Ministers but may
undertake other work if it does not conflict with their responsibilities as Ministers; and on this basis
they will receive no remuneration from public funds in respect of their service on Boards or Committees,
'as Secretary or otherwise, even when existing legislation provides for payment of such services.
5. In the case of Dominica, however, the Secretary of State has agreed with the unanimous
advice of the Executive Council that these proposals should not take effect in that Colony for the time
being. This advice was given on the understanding that it would in no way prejudice acceptance of
the proposals at any future date. The Secretary of State has agreed that the proposals may be
:applied to Dominica when a request for this is made, provided that the circumstances obtaining at the
time are favourable to such a step; he will in any case review the matter towards the end of the life
of the present Legislature. In the meanwhile, subject to the approval of the Legislature, steps will be
taken immediately to initiate a system of government under which the three elected members of the
Executive Council will take a greater part in the day-to-day administration of the Island. This will
be effected under the present constitution.
Vd'IiTED L:.Y T'lJlK cVEBINlMl T Pi\T TER AT THE GOVENMENT I'L,! TING OFFICE