Executive Council

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Rhodesia – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th May 1949.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Skinnard Mr Frederick Skinnard , Harrow East 12:00 am, 11th May 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what changes in the powers of unofficial members of the Executive Council in Northern Rhodesia will follow his recent pronouncement on the subject.

Mr. Creech Jones:

The constitutional status of the Executive Council has not been changed. The position is that where the four unofficial members of the Executive Council which includes a representative of African interests, tender unanimous advice to the Governor, he will accept it, except in those instances where he would feel called upon to use his reserve powers.

For the information of hon. Members, I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a copy of the statement issued after my discussions in Lusaka.

Following is the statement:

The Secretary of State has agreed, in consultation with His Excellency the Governor and the unofficial members of the Legislative Council of Northern Rhodesia, that the conclusion reached in the London discussions last July that the views of the unofficial members of the Executive Council will carry the same weight in the Executive Council as they do in the Legislative Council, subject to the Governor's reserve powers, should be understood to mean that without prejudice to the constitutional position of the Executive Council, the Governor will accept the advice of the unofficial members of the Executive Council when the four unofficial members are unanimous, except in cases where he would feel it necessary to use his reserve powers.

At least one of the unofficial members of the Executive Council must always be a representative of African interests.

In matters where the Governor is doubtful whether the unanimous opinion of the unofficial members of the Executive Council is supported by the unofficial members of the Legislative Council, the views of the unofficial members of the Legislative Council would be sounded by way of a motion in the Legislative Council or by discussion at an informal meeting of all Members of the Legislative Council.