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§ 277. “Officers to Administer such Departments.”

The Governor-General may appoint officers to administer such Federal departments as may be established. This refers to the appointment of Federal Ministers for the time being. Their appointment is a prerogative act, vested in the Governor-General. The appointment, however, must be distinguished from the choice. In actual practice the choice of the Crown is limited to the selection of the Prime Minister, and even in that choice its discretion is restricted; often it has no choice at all, since it must choose one who is the official leader of the party commanding a majority in the National Chamber.


  ― 709 ―
Even in the choice of a first minister, which has been termed the only personal act the King of England has to perform, that choice is practically influenced by the necessity for its being confirmed by the approbation of Parliament. (Todd's Parl. Gov. in Col. 2nd ed. p. 17.) The other members in the Ministry are selected by the Prime Minister and by him recommended to and appointed by the Crown. The tenure of office of ministers is said to be during the pleasure of the Governor-General, which signifies that they will remain in power so long as they can carry on the Queen's Government.

It is assumed in this section that the Governor-General in Council can establish departments of state for the Commonwealth. The authority of the Governor-General in Council in that respect is restricted to the organization of such departments as may be transferred from the States to the Commonwealth, and such others as may be necessary for the maintenance of the Constitution and the execution of Federal laws.

The first Executive Act of the Governor-General will be the appointment of an Executive Council under Section 62. This appointment will no doubt be made on the day on which the Commonwealth is established. The Executive Council so appointed will be convened and presided over by the Governor-General. One of the first Executive Acts of the Governor-General in Council will be to determine and establish Departments of State under Section 64. This will be done by an order in Council. Thereupon the Governor-General will appoint, from the Executive Council, officers to administer such Departments.

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