National Convention Act, 1946

AN ACT RELATING TO A NATIONAL CONVENTION

S.N. 1946, No. 16

[21st May, 1946]

WHEREAS it has been decided that provision should be made for enabling the people of Newfoundland to examine the future of the Island and express their considered views as to suitable forms of government for the Island, having regard to the financial and economic conditions prevailing therein, and that this provision could most appropriately be the holding of an elected National Convention of Newfoundlanders;

AND WHEREAS it has been decided that the said Convention should have the duty and function hereinafter in this Act set forth;

AND WHEREAS it is necessary to provide for the constitution of the said Convention and the election of representatives thereto and the regulation of their proceedings;

Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, by and with the advice of the Commission of Government, as follows:

1. [Interpretation.]

2. There shall be a National Convention, hereinafter called "the Convention", of Newfoundlanders consisting of forty-five representatives elected in accordance with the provisions of this Act together with a judge of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland, appointed by the Governor in Commission, who shall preside over the Convention as Chairman, but who shall not be entitled to vote in the Convention: Provided that the failure of electors in any electoral district or district to elect a representative or representatives, or the death or resignation of any representative or his or their absence or inability to attend the Convention, shall not, subject to any rules made under Section 4 of this Act, affect the constitution or duty or function of the Convention.

3. It shall be the duty and function of the Convention to consider and discuss among themselves as elected representatives of the people of Newfoundland the changes that have taken place in the financial and economic situation of the Island since 1934, and, bearing in mind the extent to which the high revenues of recent years have been due to wartime conditions, to examine the position of the country and to make recommendations to His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom as to possible forms of future government to be put before the people at a national referendum.

4. The Convention may establish rules for their government and the attendance of members and the conduct of business and may alter, amend and repeal the same provided that no such rule shall be altered, amended or repealed, except with the assent of two-thirds of all the members of the Convention.

5. The Governor in Commission may provide for the Convention the services of such advisers, officers and servants as may be deemed necessary to aid and assist them in the conduct of their business and the discharge of their functions and may provide for the remuneration of any such advisers, officers and servants.

6. The members of the Convention shall be paid such amounts in respect of allowances and expenses as the Governor in Commission may determine.

7. The Governor in Commission shall, by Proclamation, summon the first meeting of the Convention and thereafter the Convention shall meet at such times and at such place as the Convention shall decide.

8. For the purpose of the election of representatives to the Convention, Newfoundland shall be divided into thirty-eight electoral districts with names and boundaries as set forth in the First Schedule to this Act.

9. Each of the said electoral districts shall be entitled to return one representative to the Convention, except Harbour Main, Grand Falls and Humber, which shall each return two, and St. John's City (East) and St. John's City (West) which shall each return three.

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20.--(1) Except as in this Act otherwise provided, a person who would be entitled to vote in an electoral district on the day of nomination in such district if a poll were being held on that day may be a candidate for election to the Convention in that district.

(2) Except as in this Act otherwise provided, a person entitled to vote in an electoral district may be a candidate in another electoral district if he has, within the period of two years immediately preceding the day of nomination, been ordinarily and bona fide resident in such other district for the continuous period of one year.

(3) A person who, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) or (2) of this section may be a candidate in the electoral district of St. John's City (East) or in the electoral district of St. John's City (West), shall be eligible to be a candidate in either of the said electoral districts.

(4) A person who has been nominated as a candidate for one electoral district shall not be eligible to be a candidate in another electoral district.

21. The respective persons hereunder mentioned shall not be eligible to be elected to the Convention or to sit or vote in the Convention--

(a) Members of the Commission of Government during their tenure of office.

(b) Persons in full time employment in the public service of the Crown.

(c) Every person accepting or holding any office or employment from or under the Government of Newfoundland or any corporation, board or body operating or having the management of any service on behalf of the said Government to which any salary, fee, wages, allowance, emolument or profit of any kind (except service pay of any person referred to in the proviso of Section 46 of this Act) is attached, during the time he is holding such office or employment unless such person has obtained leave from the Government or from such corporation, board or body: Provided that no salary, fee, wages, allowance, emolument or profit shall be paid or given in respect of any such period of leave and provided further that this paragraph shall not apply in respect of any member of any such corporation, board or body who does not give his full time to the business of the same.

(d) Every person who fails to comply with the provisions of this Act for the nomination of candidates.

(e) Persons not qualified to vote at an election under this Act.

22. The election of any person who is not eligible under this Act to be elected to the Convention shall be void, and any such person receives a number of votes which would entitle him validly to be declared elected if he were so eligible, such votes shall be disregarded in determining the proper representative or representatives for the electoral district concerned.

23. The Governor shall, by Proclamation, fix the day and place of nomination and the day of polling in each of the electoral districts and may, by the same Proclamation or by different Proclamations, fix they same day or different days for the different electoral districts, and not less than thirty days shall intervene between the day of publication of the Proclamation and the day of polling in any district and the day of polling shall in all cases be the twenty-first day next after the expiration of the day of nomination.

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46. Except as in this Act otherwise provided, every person who--

(a) is a British subject;

(b) is of the full age of twenty-one years on the day of polling; and

(c) has, for the period of two years immediately preceding the day of polling, been ordinarily and bona fide resident in Newfoundland

shall be entitled to vote in the electoral district in which he is ordinarily and bona fide resident on the day of polling or, in the case of a person who has in the course of his employment, trade, business, or profession, been continuously resident, for a period of two months immediately preceding the day of polling, in an electoral district other than that in which he is ordinarily and bona fide resident, shall be entitled to vote in the electoral district in which he has been so resident in the course of such employment, trade, business, or profession: Provided that any person who has served in the naval, military, or air forces or the mercantile marine of Newfoundland or of the United Kingdom or any of her allies or in the Newfoundland Forestry Unit in consequence of the 1939-1945 war shall be deemed to have been ordinarily and bona fide resident during the period of such service in the electoral district in which he has resided immediately prior to such period of service.

47. The respective persons hereunder mentioned shall not be qualified to vote at an election under this Act:

(a) returning officers and election clerks: Provided that the returning officer may vote in the case of an equality of votes between candidates as hereinafter provided.

(b) Persons held in custody under warrant of commitment in any penitentiary, prison or gaol.

(c) Patients in the Hospital for Mental and Nervous Diseases.

(d) Inmates of the Home for Aged and Infirm.

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