chapter  4
16 Pages

A constitutional recognition of God

ByLuke Beck

The Convention began its task of drafting a constitution with a working draft largely modelled on the Constitution Bill drafted by the earlier 1891 Constitutional Convention, which had been sitting idle since then due to a lack of political will by colonial governments to pursue Federation. The process for drafting the Constitution required that the draft Constitution Bill, as it stood following the Adelaide session of the Convention, be considered by the colonial parliaments. The idea was to allow the colonial parliaments to recommend changes for subsequent consideration by the Convention. The churches' campaign for constitutional recognition of God around the country took the form of further petitions, public meetings and direct lobbying of colonial politicians. In Western Australia on 24 August 1897, the Legislative Council considered a motion to propose that the words 'Acknowledging Almighty God as the Supreme Ruler of the Universe' be inserted in the preamble of the Constitution Bill.