British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

connection with a Council, over a Legislative Council alone, consists mainly in this; that the members of a Council1 are too elevated in society, too far removed from the habits of humble trade and domestic manufactures, to be at all familiar with the unphilosophical data and ignoble details without which, however, local laws will not only be impracticable in their operation, but absurd in their nature. Upon great questions of national jurisprudence, a Council of real statesmen is doubtless desirable; but in the British colonies, the jurisprudence of England being established, a minute acquaintance with the habits and circumstances of the operative classes of the people is all that is required in the framers of Colonial Regulations, and such knowledge can only be brought into action for the public weal by an elective Assembly. . . .


50
N.S.W.: INSTRUCTIONS TO GOVERNOR RALPH DARLING, 17 July 18252

. . . 2nd. Whereas We have thought fit that there should be an Executive Council for assisting you, Our Governor, or the person administering the Government of Our said territory for the time being, We do by these presents nominate and appoint the undermentioned persons to be of the Executive Council of Our said territory, that is to say the Lieutenant Governor for the time being of Our said territory of New South Wales and its dependencies, the Chief Justice for the time being of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the Venerable the Archdeacon of New South Wales for the time being, and the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales for the time being. . . .

[Normally the Governor is to act with the advice and concurrence of the Council except in cases of urgency.]

Provided also that nothing herein contained shall prevent your exercising the several powers and authorities aforesaid or any of them without the advice and concurrence of Our said Council, in any case or upon any occasion which may not appear to you to be sufficiently important to require their assistance and advice, or which may be of

____________________
1
New South Wales had been granted a Legislative Council by an Act of 1823; but no additional instructions were issued to Brisbane relative to any modification of his executive powers.
2

H.R.A., Series I, vol. xii (1919), pp. 108-11. General (Sir) Ralph Darling had served in the West Indies, India, and Spain. He had commanded the troops in Mauritius from 1818 to 1823 and had acted for a period as Governor in Farquhar's absence. In 1825 he was appointed to succeed Brisbane as Governor of New South Wales. The clauses of these Instructions which follow the standard pattern have been here omitted; see Instructions to Lord Charles Somerset and to Sir Benjamin D'Urban, pp. 111-14, 115-19 above.

-164-

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