chapter  II
3 Pages

THE RESERVE POWER IN RELATION TO THE DOCTRINE OF RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT

T HE term 'Responsible Government' is frequently used to describe the method of government in which executive powers are required by custom to be exercised upon the advice of Ministers controlling a majority in the popularly elected House of Parliament. The term has been applied, in the main, to the British Dominions. But there are several aspects of the matter which should be distinguished. First of all, it may be that certain powers and prerogatives have not been committed to the Dominions at all, because reserved for Imperial control under certain conditions. SecOhdly, the problem may be that of determining in the Dominion how a power, admittedly within the competence of some local authority, ought to be exercised, e.g. whether the GovernorGeneral or Governor retains a sufficient reserve of discretionary authority either to act against, or to refrain from acting upon, the advice of Ministers in office. It is with the second of these two aspects of Dominion Responsible Government that we are, in the main, concerned. Each element directly affects the well-being of the Dominion, but the distinction, which may be loosely described as that between Self-government and Responsible Government, has to be kept in mind.