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Federal Executive Council.

62. There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General275 in the Government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as the Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

CANADA.—There shall be a Council to aid and advise in the Government of Canada, to be styled the Queen's Privy Council for Canada; and the persons who are to be members of that Council shall be from time to time chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn in as Privy Councillors, and Members thereof may be from time to time removed by the Governor-General.—B.N.A. Act, 1867, sec. 11.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—The clause in the Commonwealth Bill of 1891, which was adopted verbatim at Adelaide in 1897, only differed verbally from the section as it now stands. At Adelaide Mr. Glynn suggested that the Executive Council should consist only of Cabinet Ministers; but he moved no amendment. (Conv. Deb., Adel., p. 915–6.)

At Sydney, Sir Richard C. Baker proposed to add “of six” after “Executive Council.” This he intended as a test question between Responsible Government and Elective Ministers, and he proposed to follow it up, if it were carried, with a provision that three Ministers should be chosen by the Senate and three by the House of Representatives at the commencement of each Parliament, to hold office for three years unless a joint sitting of both Houses should otherwise determine. He thought Cabinet Government inconsistent with federation, because the one meant responsibility to one predominant House, and the essence of the other was two co-ordinate and approximately co-equal Houses. Dr. Cockburn supported the amendment; Mr. Higgins and Mr. Carruthers opposed it. It was negatived without division. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1897, pp. 782–92.)

At Melbourne, drafting amendments were made before the first report and after the fourth report. (Conv. Deb., Melb., p. 2453.)

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