Letters Patent

Passed under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, constituting the Office of Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Island of Newfoundland and its Dependencies.

[Dated January 30th, 1934]

GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India: To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:

WHEREAS, by certain Letters Patent under the Great Seal bearing date at Westminster the Twenty-eight day of March, 1876, Her Majesty Queen Victoria did constitute the Office of Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over Our Island of Newfoundland and its Dependencies;

And Whereas, by further Letters Patent bearing date at Westminster the Seventeenth day of July, 1905, His Late Majesty King Edward the Seventh did amend the aforesaid Letters Patent;

And Whereas We have received an Address from the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of the said Island praying that We may be graciously pleased to suspend the aforesaid Letters Patent and to issue new Letters Patent which would provide for the administration of the said Island, until such time as it may become self-supporting again, on the basis of the recommendations which are contained in the Report of the Royal Commission appointed by Us on the Seventeenth day of February, 1933, and of which a summary is set out in the annex to the said Address;

And Whereas by an Act of the Parliament of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland entitled the Newfoundland Act, 1933, it was provided that it should be lawful for Us by any Letters Patent under the Great Seal to make provision for the suspension of the operation of the aforesaid Letters Patent of the Twenty-eight March, 1876, and the Seventeenth July, 1905, and to make provision for the administration of Newfoundland during the period whilst the operation of the aforesaid Letters Patent is suspended;

Now know ye that We do hereby declare Our will and pleasure to be that as from the coming into effect of these Our Letters Patent, the operation of the aforesaid Letters Patent of the Twenty-eight March, 1876,, and the Seventeenth July, 1905, shall be suspended pending the further declaration of Our pleasure, without prejudice to anything lawfully done thereunder: and We do further ordain that during the period whilst the operation of the aforesaid Letters Patent is suspended, the following provisions shall be made for the administration of Our Island of Newfoundland and its Dependencies:--

I. We do by these presents order and declare that there shall be a Governor and Commander in Chief (hereinafter called Our said Governor) in and over Our Island of Newfoundland; and the Islands adjacent; and all the Coast of Labrador from a line drawn due North from the eastern boundary of the bay or harbour of Anse Sablon on the said Coast to the Fifty-second Degree of North Latitude, and from thence westward along that parallel until it reaches the Romaine River and then northward along the left or east bank of that river and its headwaters to their source and from thence due north to the crest of the watershed or height of land there and from thence westward and northward along the crest of the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean until it reaches Cape Chidley; and all the islands adjacent to that said part of the Coast of Labrador; and also of all Forts and Garrisons erected and established, or which shall be erected or established; within or on the Islands and Coast aforesaid (which said Islands and Coast, together with the Island of Newfoundland, are hereinafter referred to as Our said Island), and that the person who shall fill the said Office of Governor shall be, from time to time, appointed by Commission under Our Sign Manual and Signet. And We do hereby authorise and command Our said Governor to do and execute in due manner all things that shall belong to his said Command, and to the trust We have reposed in him, according to the several Powers and Authorities granted or appointed by virtue of these Present Letters Patent, or any Letters Patent amending the same, and of such Commission as may be or may have been issued to him under Our Sign Manual and Signet, and according to such Instructions as may from time to time be given to him under Our Sign Manual and Signet, or by Us through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, and according to such Laws and Ordinances as are or shall hereafter be in force in Our Said Island.

II. And We do hereby declare Our pleasure to be that there shall be a Commission of Government for Our said Island (hereinafter called the said Commission) and that the said Commission shall consist of six persons ordinarily resident in Our said Island and three shall be persons ordinarily resident without Our said Island. Every such person shall hold his place in the Commission during Our pleasure.

III. Whenever any Member of the said Commission shall by writing under his hand resign his place in the said Commission or shall die or be suspended from the exercise of his functions as a Member of the said Commission or be absent from Our said Island or be declared by the Governor to be incapable of exercising his functions as a Member of the said Commission, the Governor may, by an Instrument under the Public Seal, appoint some person to be provisionally a Member of the said Commission, in the place of the Member so resigning or dying or being suspended or being absent or declared incapable. Such person shall forthwith cease to be a Member of the said Commission if his appointment if disallowed by Us or if the Member in whose place he was appointed shall be release from suspension or, as the case may be, shall return to Our said Island or shall be declared by the Governor capable of again discharging his functions in the said Commission. The Governor shall without delay report to Us, for Our confirmation or disallowance, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, every provisional appointment of any person as a Member of the said Commission during Our pleasure and the Governor may, by an Instrument under the Public Seal, revoke any such appointment.

IV. And We do hereby direct and enjoin that the said Commission of Government shall not proceed to the despatch of business unless duly summoned by authority of Our said Governor, and unless three Members at the least (exclusive of himself or the Member presiding) be present and assisting throughout the whole of the meetings at which any such business shall be despatched.

V. And We do further direct and enjoin that Our said Governor do attend and preside at the meetings of the said Commission of Government, unless when prevented by some necessary or reasonable cause; and that in his absence such Member as may be elected to be Vice-Chairman by the said Commission from among the Members of the said Commission who are persons ordinarily resident in Our said Island shall preside at all such meetings.

VI. And We do further direct and enjoin that a full and exact Journal or Minutes be kept of all the deliberations, acts, proceedings, votes and resolutions of the said Commission and that at each meeting of the said Commission the Minutes of the last meeting be read over, confirmed, or amended, as the case may require, before proceeding to the despatch of any other business. And We do further direct that twice in each year a full transcript of all the Minutes of the said Commission for the preceding half year be transmitted to Us through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State.

VII. And We do further authorize and empower Our said Governor, with the advice and consent of the said Commission, to make laws for the peace, welfare and good government of Our said Island, and any such Law may amend, add to, alter or repeal any law passed by the Legislature heretofore subsisting in Our said Island.

VIII. And We do further direct and enjoin that the style of such laws shall be by "the Governor, by and with the advice of the Commission of Government" and no other.

IX. And We do further direct and enjoin that no Bill. Vote, Resolution or Address for the appropriation of any part of the public revenue or for imposing any tax or impost shall be passed or adopted by the said Commission unless such Bill, Vote, Resolution or Address have first been recommended by Our said Governor.

X. And We do further direct and enjoin that all laws shall be enacted and all other matters coming before the said Commission shall be decided by unanimity or, if on any matter there be not unanimity, by a majority of the votes given, and in the latter event Our said Governor and each Member of the Commission actually present shall each exercise one vote.

XI. And We do further direct and enjoin that no law made by Our said Governor with the advice and consent of the said Commission shall take effect until Our said Governor shall have assented thereto in Our name and shall have signed the same in token of such assent.

XII. It shall be lawful for Us, Our heirs and successors, by Order of Our or Their Privy Council laws to disallow any law within one year from the date of the Governor's assent thereto and such disallowance, on being made known by the Governor by Proclamation in the Gazette, shall annul the law from the day when the disallowance is so made known.

XIII. And We do further authorize and empower Our said Governor to keep and use the Public Seal of Our said Island for sealing all things whatsoever that shall pass the said Public Seal.

XIV. And We do further authorize and empower Our said Governor, in Our name and on Our behalf, to make and execute, under the said Seal, grants and dispositions of any lands which may be lawfully granted or disposed of by Us within Our said Island.

XV. And We do further authorize and empower Our said Governor to constitute and appoint all such Judges, Justices of the Peace, and other necessary Officers in Our said Island as may be lawfully constituted or appointed by Us.

XVI. And We do further authorize and empower Our said Governor, as he shall see occasion in Our name and on Our behalf, when any crime has been committed within Our said Island, or for which the offender may be tried therein, to grant a pardon to any accomplice, not being the actual perpetrator of such crime, who shall give such information and evidence as shall lead to the apprehension and conviction of the principal offender; and further, to grant to any offender convicted of any crime in any Court, or before any Judge, Justice, or Magistrate, within Our said Island, a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions, or any respite of the execution of the sentence of any such offender, for such period as to Our said Governor may seem fit, and to remit any fines, penalties, or forfeitures, which may become due and payable to Us. Provided always that Our said Governor shall in no case make it a condition of any pardon or remission of sentence that the offender shall be banished from, or absent himself from Our said Island.

XVII. And We do further authorize and empower Our said Governor, so far as We lawfully may, to remove from his office, or to suspend from the exercise of the same, any person exercising any such office of place within Our said Island, under or by virtue of any Commission or Warrant granted, or which may be granted, by Us in Our name, or under Our authority.

XVIII. If the Governor shall be unable to administer the Government of Our said Island by reason of any of the following causes, namely, death, incapacity, removal or departure from the Island, Our Lieutenant-Governor or if there shall be no such Officer in Our said Island or if such Officer shall be unable to administer the Government of the Island by reason of any of the causes aforesaid, then such person or persons as We may appoint, under Our Sign Manual and Signet, shall, during Our pleasure, administer the Government of the Island, with all the powers and authorities vested in Our said Governor by these Our Letters Patent according to the tenour of these Our Letters Patent and according to Our Instructions as aforesaid and the laws of Our said Island.

XIX. In the event of Our said Governor having occasion to be temporarily absent for a short period from the seat of Government, or from Our said Island for the purpose of visiting Our Dominion of Canada on public business, he may in every such case by an Instrument under the Public Seal of Our said Island, constitute and appoint Our Lieutenant-Governor, or if there be no such Officer, or if such Officer be absent or unable to act, then any other person, to be his Deputy during such temporary absence, and in that capacity to exercise, perform, and execute for and on his behalf during such absence, but no longer, all such powers and authorities vested in Our said Governor, by these Our Letters Patent, as shall in and by such Instrument be specified and limited, but no others.

Every such Deputy shall conform to and observe all such instructions as Our said Governor shall from time to time address to him for his guidance.

Provided, nevertheless, that by the appointment of a Deputy as aforesaid, the power and authority of Our said Governor shall not be abridged, altered, or in any way affected, otherwise than We may at any time hereafter think proper to direct.

Provided further that if any such Deputy shall have been duly appointed it shall not be necessary during the continuance in office of such Deputy for any person to assume the Government of Our said Island as Administrator thereof.

XX. And We do hereby require and command all Our Officers, Civil and Military, and all other inhabitants of Our said Island, to be obedient, aiding, and assisting unto Our said Governor, or in the event of his death, incapacity, or absence, to such person or persons as may from time to time, under the provisions of these Our Letters Patent, administer the Government of Our said Island.

XXI. In the construction of these Our Letters Patent the term "Governor" shall, unless inconsistent with the context, include every person for the time being administering the Government of Our said Island.

XXII. And We do hereby reserve to Ourselves, Our heirs and successors, full power and authority from time to time to revoke, alter, or amend these Our Letters Patent as to Us or Them shall seem meet.

XXIII. And We do further direct and enjoin that these Our Letters Patent shall be read and proclaimed at such place or places as Our said Governor shall think fit within Our said Island of Newfoundland, and shall come into operation on a day fixed by Our said Governor by Proclamation in the Official Gazette.

In Witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at Wesminster, the Thirtieth day of January in the Twenty-fourth year of Our Reign.

By Warrant under the King's Sign Manual.

SCHUSTER.

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