chapter  XXII
16 Pages


I T is necessary to give close consideration to the question of the general constitutional status of the Australian States and the Canadian Provinces. As we have noted, references to his earlier writings show that Keith at first made no attempt to distinguish between the relative constitutional status of the States or Provinces and that of the central Governments in the two Federated Dominions. About 1926, however, his opinion seems to have altered. In 1933 he went to pains to point out that the declaration of equality of status contained in the 1926 declaration of the Imperial Conference 'has no application to the Governors of the States or Lieutenant-Governors of the Provinces'.1 At the same time he asserts that the Governor in the Australian States 'still acts as an agent of the Imperial Government in addition to his normal function as constitutional head of the State'.2 And he elaborates this view later, saying:

of Keith's former treatment of the problem of Dominion status. In addition to references given elsewhere, it may be noted that in a work of 1918 Keith discussed the status of the Dominions and regarded the position of 'the Governor'

202 THE CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS OF THE not only as indistinguishable from, but as including that of Governor-General. Thus he said that

And he proceeded to illustrate important aspects of the problems of constitutional practice by referring indifferently to the dispute which arose in 1914 between the Governor of Tasmania and his Ministers (involving the position of a State),2 and to that in relation to the double dissolution granted by Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson in 1914 (involving the position of the Commonwealth).3