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The State and the Crown.

The appointment of State Governors will for the present, and until altered by the Crown itself or by Imperial or State Statute, remain with the Crown. It may be determined to revert to the old custom, whereby the Governor-General was also Governor of each of the Colonies; but this is a matter which lies quite outside the Commonwealth Constitution. In the Colonies, the Crown was the supreme executive and legislative head, and, as has been seen, personified the colony. The same is true of the State. Even as to Canada, where there is much greater dependence of the Provinces of the Dominion, and where the Lieutenant-Governors are appointed by the Governor-General as an act of internal administration, it has been held by the Judicial Committee, that “the relation between the Crown and the provinces is the same as that which subsists between the Crown and Dominion in respect of such powers, executive and legislative, as are vested in them respectively.”note Accordingly, though the Governor-General is by the Constitution declared to be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth, this must in no way be taken to deprive the State of those prerogatives of the Crown applicable to the matters which remain to the State.

Not only does the Crown remain a part of the State Government, but the State Government retains direct relations with the Imperial Government. One of the great objects to be attained by federation was, no doubt, that Australia should speak to the Home Government with a single voice. In pursuance of this policy, the Bill of 1891 contained a


  ― 288 ―
clause, by which all references and communications from a State Governor to the Queen, or from the Queen to a State Governor, were to be through the Governor-General. This clause was not adopted by the Convention of 1897-8. The object of unanimity in representation has been deemed to be sufficiently accomplished by the delegation to the Commonwealth Government of those matters, which appeared to be of common concern. Obviously, there remain many matters which affect directly the Home Government and a State Government, but only remotely or not at all the other States and the Commonwealth. This is notably the case in regard to the legislation of the States, which it must be remembered, in the absence of Commonwealth legislation, covers a field hardly less extensive than before federation. The Home Government therefore, on the establishment of the Commonwealth, repeated the old instructions to Colonial Governors.note (See e.g. Government Gazette (Victoria), Jan. 2, 1901).

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