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Signification of Queen's pleasure on Bills reserved.

60. A proposed law reserved for the Queen's pleasure shall not have any force unless and until within two years from the day on which it was presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent the Governor-General makes known, by speech or message to each of the Houses of the Parliament, or by Proclamation, that it has received the Queen's assent.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—Clause 59, Chap. I., of the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 was to the same effect, and follows the usual provisions in colonial Constitutions. See for


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instance the Act for the Government of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, 1842 (5 and 6 Vic. c. 76, sec. 33). The Bill of 1891 also contained a further provision:—“An entry of every such speech, message, or proclamation shall be made in the journal of each House, and a duplicate thereof duly attested shall be delivered to the proper officer, to be kept among the records of the Parliament.”

At the Adelaide session, 1897, the draft of 1891 was substantially followed. In Committee, Mr. Reid moved to substitute “one year” for “two years,” on the ground that two years was too long to keep the Commonwealth in suspense. It was pointed out, however, that to limit the time might limit the opportunities for securing the assent; and the amendment was negatived by 17 to 16. (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp. 833–4.) At a later stage Dr. Cockburn suggested the omission of the clause, but it was carried. (Ib. pp. 1200–1.)

At the Sydney session, a suggestion by the Legislative Assembly of South Australia, that a reserved bill should come into force unless disallowed by the Queen within one year, was supported by Dr. Cockburn, on the ground that “the veto, if exercised, should be expressly exercised, and not simply brought into effect by silence.” Mr. Isaacs pointed out that this would mean that a law should take effect without the Queen's assent. The amendment was negatived. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1897, pp. 779–82.) At the Melbourne session, drafting amendments were made before the first report and after the fourth report.

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