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3-244 (Raw)

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addressee,male author,male,Cardwell,un
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Clark, 1975
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3-244-raw.txt — 4 KB

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You say, "Whatever course, in the exercise of your judgment, you may see fit to advise Her Majesty to adopt, it is impossible that the relations between the petitioners and myself can, in the face of this conspiracy, be such as ought to subsist between the Governor and gentlemen holding the Commission of an Executive Councillor, whether occupying or not occupying responsible office; and it is at least to be hoped that the future course of events may never designate any of them for the position of a confidential adviser to the Crown, since it is impossible their advice could be received with any other feelings than those of doubt and mistrust".
If I had adopted your views with respect to the conduct of the petitioners, I might,- undoubtedly, have tendered to Her Majesty the advice which you suggest, but by doing so I should only have deprived those gentlemen of an honorary distinction. It would have been quite beyond my power to obviate the inconvenience to which you point. It would still have remained quite possible that they should again acquire the confidence of a majority of the Assembly, and, therefore, be the persons from whom you would naturally select your Ministers. [418]
It has been my desire to avoid even the appearance of taking part with one side or the other in controversies which ought to be locally decided; to make every possible allowance for the circumstances in which you have been placed; and to lighten, as far as I could, the painful consequences to you of the answer which I was compelled to return to the Address of the Legislative Council. It is your own act now which leaves me no alternative; you force me to decide between yourself and the petitioners. You place me in the position of having to determine whether you can continue to represent the Queen in a colony in which you have avowed that none of these gentlemen can ever be received by you as confidential advisers with any other feelings but those of doubt and distrust. It is one of the first duties of the Queen's Representative to keep himself as far as possible aloof from, and above, all personal conflicts. He should always so conduct himself as not to be precluded from acting freely with those whom the course of Parliamentary proceedings might present to him as his confidential advisers. While, on the one hand, it is his duty to afford to his actual advisers all fair and just support, consistently with the observance of the law, he ought, on the other hand, to be perfectly free to give the same support to any other Ministers whom it may be necessary for him at any future time to call to his counsels, The colony is entitled to know that the Governor gives this support to his Ministers for the time being, and that he is able and willing, if the occasion shall arise, to give the same support to others. I regret to say that in the present instance you have rendered this impossible. It must be evident to yourself that you occupy a position of personal antagonism towards almost all those whose antecedents point them out as most likely to be available to you in the event of any change of Ministry. This has resulted, as I think, entirely from your own acts, your adoption of a course of conduct which cannot be justified in law, and your strong denunciation, in which I am wholly unable to concur, of those who have objected to that course. It is impossible, I much regret to say, that, after this, you can with advantage continue to conduct the Government of the colony.
Looking to your long services, and sincerely desirous to make every allowance for the difficulties of your position, I have been most reluctant to arrive at the decision which, nevertheless, I have been obliged to adopt. I am compelled to advise Her Majesty that you should be relieved of your duties, and the Government of the colony be placed in other hands.
As soon, therefore, as your convenience will admit of your leaving the colony, I should wish you to place the Government in the hands of General Carey, whose duty it will be to administer it until your successor shall be appointed. I trust that no occasion will arise in which it will be clear to his judgment that the advice of his Ministers for the time being would involve a violation of the law. In such a case it would doubtless be his duty to refuse compliance, and to endeavour to obtain the aid of other Ministers. [419]
Her Majesty's Government have no wish to interfere in any questions of purely colonial policy, and only desire that the colony shall be governed in conformity with the principles of responsible and constitutional Government, subject always to the paramount authority of the law.