New Speakers Elected
Manitoba: Honourable Harry Edward Graham, MLA Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly of Manitoba. (Elected Speaker at a special session of the Legislative
Assembly on November 24, 1977)
Member for Birtle-Russell. Born 1921 at
Foxwarren, Man. S. of George Malcolm Graham and Margaret Leckie, both Scottish.
Ed. at Foxwarren Consolidated School 525 and Univ. of Man. Married 1951 to
Velma Louise Murdoch of Binscarth, Man. Five children. A farmer. Past Pres.
Marquette P.C. Assn. ViceChairman Russell Dist. Hospital. Mem. P.D.D.G.M.
Binscarth Lodge 101 A.F. & A.M. and Toastmasters International . First
elected to Man. Legis. at by-election, 1969; Re-elected g.e. 1969, 1973 and
1977. Party pol.: R.C. Rel: United Church. Address: Binscarth. Man. ROJ OGO
British Columbia: Honorable Harvey Wilfred Schroeder MLA Speaker of
the British Columbia Legislative Assembly (Elected Speaker on March 30, 1978)
Member for Chilliwack. Social Credit Party.
Former Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. First elected to Legislature
1972. Born 1933 . Married, three children. Graduated in Theology in
Saskatchewan, 1958. Cost accounting with Canada Packers; Retail merchandising;
established Palm Interiors of Chilliwack, 1954; Television and Stage
production; public relations. Interests/ Recreations: Sports, cultural arts and
Honorary Life Memberships
At a general assembly of the Canadian Branch
of CPA, April 11, four very long-standing members of its Executive received an
Honorary Life Membership to acknowledge their valued services to CPA and to
Parliament. Three of them are retiring this year: from the Senate, Hon. Alan A.
Macnaughton; and from the House of Commons, Messrs. T.C. Douglas and Heath
Macquarrie. The other Honorary Life Member was Senator, the Hon. Allister
Senator The Honourable Alan A. Macnaughton,
PC, QC Member of the CPA since 1949. Speaker of the House of Commons (1963-65).
During his term in office, gave tremendous support to Parliamentary
Associations; responsible for the setting up of Parliament's Parliamentary
Mr. T.C. Douglas, M.P. Member of the CPA
Branch since 1935. Premier of Saskatchewan (1944-61). Federal Leader of the
NDP, (1962-71) Active member of Canadian Parliamentary Caribbean Committee.
Mr. Douglas was unable to attend the
Assembly due to illness and the award was presented in his name to Mr. Stanley
Knowles by Dr. Maurice Foster, Chairman, CPA Branch.
Mr. Heath Macquarrie, M.P.
Active member of the Branch since 1957 ;
chairman of the Branch in the 1960's. Chairman of the Canadian Parliamentary
Caribbean Committee since 1970.
Senator The Honourable Allister Grosart
Vice-Chairman (1965-70) Chairman (1970-73) Canadian Branch; Canadian Regional
Councillor and financial and constitutional adviser, international executive of
CPA. Finance chairman, 23rd CPA Conference.
The Canadian Regional Council will be
missing a familiar face and a good friend who has been active in the
Association for the past 8 years. Cecil A. Miller was the dean of the
Council and will be remembered by many of his CPA colleagues in Canada who
attended the very successful 17th CPA Regional Conference in Charlottetown, in
Ms Elizabeth (Bettie) M. Duff was appointed Clerk of the Newfoundland House of
Assembly on October 13, 1977, to replace Mr. Hugh F. Coady.
Native of St. John's, Newfoundland; daughter
of William and Mary Duff (dec .) ; graduate of The College of Our Lady of
Mercy, St . John' s entered the Public Service in 1950, served in various
posts; member of the St. John' s Roman Catholic School Board.
Mr. Hugh F. Coady, BA, LL.B.
Born 1932 at St. John' s, Nfld . Ed .
Universities of St. Francis Xavier and Dalhousie (Halifax) Married. A lawyer.
Sec. Cdn. Prov. delegations, CPA, Nassau, 1968, St. John's, 1969. Founding
member Assoc. of Clerks-at-the Table, 1969. Apptd. Clerk Asst. 1967; Clerk of
House of Assembly, 1968-77 .
On April 20, 1978, the Prime Minister's
Office announced the appointment of Major-General M. Gaston Cloutier, Cmm,
Cd, O.St.J., as Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons to replace
retiring Lieutenant-Colonel D.V. Currie.
Born 1935, Drummondville, Que. Ed. Mount
Allison Un. (BA), Un. of Ottawa and of Liège. Enlisted in RCAF, 1952. Appointed
Chief of Protocol, CAF Europe, Executive Assistant to Commander, Air Div.,
Europe, 1966. Graduated from Canadian Forces Staff College, Toronto, 1968.
Co-ordinator NATO Ministerial Conference, Ottawa, 1970. 1970 to 1978, Executive
Assistant to last 5 Ministers of National Defence. Officer of the Order of St.
John (1977); Commander, Order of Military Merit (CMM, 1977). Promoted to rank
of Major-General, 1975, Married, two children.
Lieutenant -Colonel D V . Currie, VC
Born 1912, Sutherland, Sask. Married, one
son. Won the Victoria Cross in 1944 while serving as a major with the 29th Canadian
Armoured Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) at St. Lambert sur Dives. His
citation said his 11 gallant conduct and contempt for danger set a magnificent
example to all ranks under his command". Sergeant-at-Arms, 1960-78.
The Honorable John E. Stokes Speaker of the
Ontario Legislature, has announced the appointment of PROFESSOR R.B. LAND, 50,
to the newly created position of Director of the Legislative Library, Research
and information services. Professor Land, who will be appointed by
Order-in-Council and report to the Speaker, is a former Dean of the Faculty of
Library Science at the University of Toronto where he now serves as a Senior
professor. Professor Land's appointment reflects the decision of the
Legislature to implement a major reorganisation of the Library based on
recommendations made by the Ontario Commission on the Legislature including the
formation of a Research department and improved reference services to more
clearly orient library services to members. Professor Land, who holds graduate
degrees from the University of Toronto in Library science, political science
and public administration, has held various senior administrative posts at the
University, and is a former President of the Canadian Library Association. He is
the author of over 40 articles and books. Professor Land will take up his
appointment on September 1.
The First Atlantic Parliamentary
Conference: St. John's, Newfoundland:
The House of Assembly of the Province of
Newfoundland and Labrador will be host to the First Atlantic Parliamentary
Conference which will take place in St. John' on June 20, 21 and 22, 1978. Each
of the four Canadian Atlantic Provincial Legislatures will send five of its
elected Members and one Table Officer to attend the conference. The discussions
will centre mostly on the development of parliamentary procedure and internal
organisational questions in the parliaments of the four Atlantic Provinces .
The Hon. Renaude Lapointe, Speaker of the
Senate, has been invited to open the First Atlantic Parliamentary Conference.
Sir Robin Vanderfelt, KBE, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association, will also attend the conference.
"It seems that the idea of a regional
seminar of the Atlantic Provinces first developed at the 1976 Canadian Regional
Seminar in Ottawa, mostly from views expressed by a number of Members to the
effect that opportunities to meet and discuss matters of parliamentary interest
were insufficient and many members could well serve up to three terms without ever
having the opportunity to participate in any serious form of parliamentary
discussion. Besides, within a geographically large region such as Canada, with
a number of branches, the concept of having seminars on a subregional basis
should be fully explored."
"After further discussion, the four
Atlantic Speakers decided in October 1977, to have a conference with a basic
agenda dealing with the Development of Parliamentary government and
institutions in the four Atlantic provinces where, in terms of North American
experience, it appeared quite early". (Excerpt from a presentation by the
Speaker of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland at the Canadian Regional
Council Meeting, February 1978.)
Quebec City Conference on The British
Parliamentary System (Under the auspices of CPA)
A conference based mainly on the evaluation
of the British Parliamentary System is being organised by the Quebec Branch of
the CPA. It will take place in Quebec City, October 18, 19 and 20 next. It is
believed that besides parliamentarians from all Canadian provinces, other
participants such as political science experts -and academics in Canada and
outside the country, will be invited to take part in the proceedings.
The proposal to hold such a conference was
first put forward by the Speaker of the Quebec National Assembly, at the annual
meeting of the Canadian Regional Council, last February in Ottawa, and adopted
by the council as a whole.
Focus on Alberta
Reprinted from Alberta's Legislative
Building, Government of Alberta Publication
The CPA Branch of Alberta will be
host, this year, to the Eighteenth Canadian Regional Conference of the CPA,
August 13 to 19. Some eighty parliamentarians from the various Canadian
Branches of the CPA are expected to attend.
Alberta How it all started
In 1882, the Provisional District of Alberta
was created by Order-in-Council of the Northwest Territories . The District
obtained provincial status in 1905. The Marquis of Lome was Governor General of
Canada at the time the District was formed. His wife, daughter of Queen
Victoria, was Princess Louise Caroline Alberta; the Province was named in her
On March 15th, 1906, the first Alberta
Legislature was convened in the old Thistle Rink in Edmonton. The new
government had the difficult task of selecting a capital city for the province.
The debate was heated, with several communities being considered, but
eventually Edmonton was chosen by a vote of 16 to 8.
Once Edmonton was selected, the Legislators
had little difficulty deciding on the actual site for the new government
building. The location on the bank of the North Saskatchewan River combined
physical prominence and historical significance. This was the site of Fort
Edmonton, a fur trading post established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1830.
The building was placed on the spot formerly occupied by the "Big
House", the official residence of the Fort's Chief Factor. Some parts of
the Fort, including the palisades and bastions, remained below the new
Legislative Building until 1915, when they were removed to make room for a
Alberta's Legislative Building was designed
by A.M. Jeffers, architect. His creation was a building that Albertans have
been able to point to with pride. Excavation began in 1907, but work proceeded
slowly because of problems with quicksand. Despite the delay, construction was
well underway by 1909 and in that year, the cornerstone was laid by Canada's
Governor General Earl Grey. The building was officially opened on September
3rd, 1912 by the Duke of Connaught, then Governor General of Canada.
Although the Legislative Building was not
complete until 1912, the first session of a Legislature was held in the
building in November 1911.
The appearance of the building is enhanced
by the impressive grounds surrounding it. There are 32 acres of lawn and flower
beds. The Legislative grounds are not only attractive, but are also used by
thousands of people every year. Two particular features encourage wide use. The
bowling greens, constructed in 1923 and 1932, are available to various lawn
bowling clubs. The bandshell is used for public ceremonies and concerts.
The greenhouse, situated immediately south
of the Legislative Grounds, is another attraction for visitors. All of the
flowers for the grounds, plus those used in Government buildings, are grown
The Alberta Flag bears the Arms of Alberta
on a royal ultramarine blue background. It became the official flag in 1968,
when the Flag Act was proclaimed. The floral emblem of Alberta is the wild rose
(Rosa Acicularis) This f lower grows profusely in all parts of the province,
and was chosen in the Floral Emblem Act of 1930. The provincial mace is the
traditional symbol of the Legislative Assembly's authority. The history and
culture of Alberta are reflected in the design of the mace. It features the
crown, the wild rose, sheaves of wheat, buffalo heads and armorial arms. Gems
(Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli, Beryl, Emerald, Ruby, Topaz, and Aquamarine-) surround
The 11th Commonwealth Games will take place
in Edmonton, August 3-12. Although five new sports facilities have been built,
including the spectacular 42, 500-seat Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton' s claim
to the 1978 Games was strengthened by the many facilities it had on hand,
including a self-contained village for the athletes in the University of
Edmonton's Lister Hall. By May 5, 43 full members of the Commonwealth,
dependencies and associated states of member nations had indicated they would
be sending athletes to Edmonton.
Canada has been host to the Games twice
before: in Hamilton in 1930 and in Vancouver in 1954.
The Agenda for the Eighteenth Regional
Apart from internal regional CPA matters,
the question of the "Expanding Role of the CPA" will be discussed as
well as questions of general interest. These general matters will center on
energy, procedural reform, ministerial accountability & freedom of
information, Parliament & the Ombudsman, and financial control
Focus on Jamaica
Information Supplied by the Jamaican High
Commission in Ottawa and the Statesman Yearbook, 1977-78
This year, the 24th Commonwealth
Parliamentary Conference will take place in Jamaica, September 19 to 30.
Parliamentarians from some 110 legislative chambers in member nations, their
states and provinces, associated states and dependencies will be invited by the
Parliament of Jamaica
General Facts on Jamaica
Jamaica is situated in the Caribbean Sea
south of Cuba. With an area of 4411 square miles, it is the third largest
island in the Caribbean. The topography consists of coastal plains divided by
the Blue Mountain range in the East with hills and limestone plateau occupying
the central and western areas of the interior.
Temperatures vary from about-270C (800F) to
320C (900F) on the coast to as low as 40C (400F) on the highest mountains. The
main rainy season occurs between August and November.
Kingston is the largest city and the capital
of Jamaica. The population of the amalgamated parishes of Kingston and St.
Andrew (the "Corporate area") was estimated at 614,000 in December
1975. Other cities are Montego Bay, the leading tourist resort; and Spanish
Town, a former capital of the country.
The total population of Jamaica in December
1976 was 2,085, 200 . The principal ethnic groups inhabiting Jamaica include
African, European, East Indian, Chinese, with the majority of African origin.
English is the official language of Jamaica.
However, most of the population speak an English-based creole language
(Jamaican Creole) or a hybrid of the creole language and English (Jamaican
The majority of the population are
Christian, but there are also Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Bahai communities.
There are numerous Pentecostal, Christian and Christian Brethren minority
churches. There are also a significant number of Rastafarians an indigenous
sect that asserts the divinity of Haile Selassie I, the late Emperor of
History in Brief
Arawak (Taino) Indians from South America
arrive and settle in Jamaica.
Christopher Columbus lands at Dry Harbour.
First Spanish settlement established ;
Arawaks enslaved by Spaniards.
African slaves imported for first time, to
replace Arawak population decimated by earlier attacks by Carib Indians, now
by overwork by Spaniards and introduction of European diseases.
Sugar introduced as a crop .
English forces wrest Jamaica from Spanish;
fleeing Spaniards let slaves loose to harry English; freed slaves later to win
fame as freedom-fighting Maroons.
Jamaica given constitution based on
English model with a Governor, nominated Council and elected House of
Assembly; capital sited in Spanish Town.
Treaty of Madrid confirms England's
ownership of Jamaica.
First Census - population 17,'f72.
Treaty ends war between Maroons and
British; considerable measure of self-government won by Maroons.
Slavery abolished; apprenticeship system introduced;
Jamaica Police Force established.
Apprenticeship system ends.
First contingent of indentured labourers
arrive from India; Jamaica Railway formed.
Jamaica deprived of self rule;
Crown-colony government introduced.
Marcus Garvey (now National Hero) returns
to Jamaica from U.S.A. to develop black consciousness.
Emergence of modern trade unionism and
political movement; foundation of the People's National Party; emergence of
Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley (now National Heroes).
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) founded.
New Constitution; first elections under
universal adult suffrage.
University College of the West Indies
National Workers Union (NWU) founded;
Internal self-government introduced with a
Parliament based on Westminster model.
West Indies Federation established with
Jamaica a member.
Referendum; Jamaica votes to withdraw from
Independence (August 6); Jamaica becomes
member of United Nations and UN specialised agencies and Commonwealth of
Jamaica joins Caribbean Free Trade Association
(CARIFTA); joins Organisation of American States (OAS)
Jamaica signs the Guyana Accord which
creates the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).
National Minimum Wage introduced.
Equal pay for men and women introduced;
Status of Children Act abolishes status of "illegitimacy"
On August 6, 1962, Jamaica became an independent,
unitary, monarchical state with a structure of government similar to that of
other monarchical states of the Commonwealth. The Prime Minister is Michael
Norman MANLEY, (son of late Norman W. Manley, Q.C. Prime Minister of Jamaica
1955-62). Born 1923; journalist and Trade Unionist.
All citizens 18 years old and over are
entitled to vote. The People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour
Party (JLP) consistently dominate Jamaican politics at both central and local
government levels. At a general election on December 15, 1976, the PNP won 47
seats and the JLP the remaining 13.
Parliament, the supreme authority in the
land, comprises Her Majesty the Queen, represented by the Governor-General, the
House of Representatives (elected "lower" House) and the Senate
(appointed 11 upper" House).
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) was
established in 1962. It consists of a Regular and a Reserve Force. The Air Wing
of the Jamaica Defence Force was formed in 1963, trained successively by the British
Army Air Corps and Canadian Air Force personnel .
A person is entitled to be a citizen if born
in Jamaica; born outside Jamaica of a Jamaican father; married to a Jamaican
citizen; or if a former citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies naturalised
or registered in Jamaica.
Parliament has supreme power over the
granting of citizenship if it is not automatic by birth.
Jamaica's legal and judicial systems are
based on English common law.
Historically, the economy of Jamaica has
been mainly agricultural with dependence on the production of a few staple
export crops, particularly sugar and bananas. New economic development began
with ' bauxite mining after 1952. Jamaica has become the world's second largest
producer of bauxite which is used in the production of aluminium. The deposits
are worked by one Canadian and five American companies.
The tourism industry is an important factor
in the economy of the country.
Significant increases in output (or export)
of bananas, pimento, ginger, eggs and vegetables occurred in 1976, whereas
large declines in output were recorded for cocoa, coffee, rum, copra and root
crops. The relatively poor performance of the agriculture sector in 1976 is
largely attributable to severe drought conditions during the year.
The recent international and domestic
recession has resulted in increasing the average unemployment rate to 22.4 per
cent in 1976 from 20.4 per cent in 1975.
In September 1973, the Government's
free-education policy came into effect. Under this policy,
no tuition fees are charged in any
government grant-aided high school or technical school .
The Government also pays for tuition and
boarding on campus for all Jamaicans at the University of the West Indies
(UWI), the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) and the Jamaica
School of Agriculture.
An adult literacy campaign, the JAMAL
programme, started in 1972, aims at eradicating illiteracy in the population,
which then stood at approximately 400, 000, or about 40 per cent of the adult
population. By August 1977 the programme had made some 16 0, 000 functionally
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission
(formerly the Jamaica Festival Commission), established in 1963, supervises the
cultural activities of the entire country through annual competitions in art
and craft, dance, speech and drama, music, writing, photography and culinary
arts . Displays and exhibitions of all these arts and crafts form part of the
annual independence celebrations. The Commission also promotes short-term training
courses among the thousands of Festival participants each year.
Jamaica has won many Olympic gold, silver
and bronze medals. It will participate in the 1978 Commonwealth Games in
Edmonton by sending a team of over 60 athletes for at least four disciplines:
track and field, swimming, cycling and shooting.
The national bird is the "doctor
bird" or swallowtail humming bird" which lives only in Jamaica and is
one of the most outstanding of the 320 species of humming birds. The national
flower is the flower of the lignum vitae tree ( wood of life") ; it is
believed to have medicinal properties. The national fruit is the ackee an
edible fruit originally imported from West Africa. The national tree is the
blue mahoe one of Jamaica's primary economic timbers.
The Commonwealth Today: Department of
External Affairs, Reference Paper 95 (1976)
The Commonwealth evolved from the British
Empire through a gradual process that began in the 19th century. Many important
developments first occurred in relation to what is now Canada. One of the key
recommendations in Lord Durham's Report was that full self-government should be
granted- to the governments in the Canadian colonies in all matters of concern
to them. Thus, authority was reserved to the Imperial Government only in those
fields considered necessary to maintain imperial unity such as foreign
relations, commerce, determination of the constitution and disposal of public
lands. All other powers and functions, including the expenditure of public
funds, were transferred to the colonial governments, to be exercised by
executive councils responsible to elected legislative assemblies, and exercised
only so long as they retained the support of the majorities in these
In 1867, Canada became the first self-governing
dominion; Australia achieved dominion status in 1901, New Zealand in 1907 and
South Africa in 1909.
After the First World War, Canada, supported
on occasion by the other dominions, succeeded in asserting its independence
from the imperial power by a series of agreements and precedents that in turn
became the basis for further political developments. Beginning with Versailles
in 1919, the dominions successfully asserted their claim to separate
representation at international conference. This new relationship was set out
in a communiqué from the Imperial Conference of 1926. It defined Britain and
the dominions as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal
in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic
and external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and
freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations". The
Statute of Westminster of 1931 gave legal effect to the substance of the
decisions reached in 1926 and established the legislative equality of the
dominion parliaments with the British Parliament.
As the colonies within the British Empire
assumed self-government and independence, similarities of language, habits,
institutional traditions and working methods convinced many national leaders of
the value of maintaining some form of association in its place. The fruit of
that belief is the modern Commonwealth. The Commonwealth (or Commonwealth of
Nations, as it is also called) is a voluntary association of 36 independent
countries from six continents and five oceans. (see map overleaf).
The essential functions of the Commonwealth
can be put in two words: consultation and co-operation. Members have, however,
complete freedom to belong to any grouping, association or alliance, or, of
course, to remain non-aligned.
The Commonwealth, it should be remembered,
is an international association and not, like the United Nations or the
Organisation of American States, an international organisation. It has changed
slowly in response to individual stimuli and initiatives and has, at the
request of member governments, undertaken a variety of activities and programs
in many areas c' its operations.
In its widest sense, the Commonwealth is
understood to include member states and self-governing states associated with a
Commonwealth member for the purpose of foreign policy and defence; protected
states; trust territories administered by a member on behalf of the United
Nations; and territories still dependent on a member. Including dependencies,
the Commonwealth embraces well over 860 million people .
Associated States Within the Commonwealth
The term "associated state" means
a country that has attained full internal self-government while Britain retains
ultimate responsibility for its external affairs and defence. The association
is a free and voluntary one; an associated state may choose independence at any
New Zealand Self-Governing Territories
British Protected State:
Cook Islands - Niue
Brunei (North-west coast of Borneo)
Nevis & Anguilla
British Self-Governing Territories
(Pacific Ocean) :
Gilbert Islands - Solomon Islands
In Commonwealth terminology, the phrase
"dependent territories" designates some 25 remaining colonies and
trust territories exercising self-government to a greater or lesser degree.
Most of these are dependencies of Australia and New Zealand. New members are
drawn from associated states and dependencies that may on independence apply to
heads of Commonwealth member governments for full membership in the
Ascension (South Atlantic)
Falkland Islands (South Atlantic)
Belize (Central America-formally
Gibraltar (South-west coast of
Turks and Caicos Islands
Hong Kong (South-east coast of China)
Tuvalu (Central Pacific Ocean)
(Dependencies of Australia
Bermuda (Western Atlantic Ocean)
Montserrat (Eastern Caribbean Sea)
Australian Antarctic Territory Christmas
Island (Indian Ocean) Cocos Islands (Indian Ocean) Norfolk Islands
(South Pacific Ocean)
(Dependencies of New Zealand)
Ross Dependency (Antarctic) Tokelau
(Central Pacific Ocean)
(Western Pacific Ocean)
British Antarctic Territory
Pitcairn (South Pacific Ocean)
British Indian Ocean Territory
St. Helena (South Atlantic Ocean)
British Virgin Islands
Tristan Da Cunha
(South Atlantic Ocean):
In 1976, Commonwealth governments agreed
that, from 1977, the second Monday in March would be observed as Commonwealth Day
in all member countries. Commonwealth Day is not a statutory holiday; rather it
is intended as an educational event. This year, across Canada, schools, public
libraries and Royal Commonwealth Society Branches were provided with
Commonwealth Day posters and information material to assist in planning special
events to mark Commonwealth Day.
The Commonwealth has become an increasingly
useful vehicle for inter -governmental consultation at all levels. At the
topmost level are the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, now held at
two-year intervals, which rotate among the capitals of member countries. The
last such meeting was in London, June 8 to 16, 1977
At the ministerial level, there are a number
of Commonwealth meetings held on a regular basis. Finance ministers, for
example, confer every year, immediately before the meeting of the World Bank,
in order to review and discuss recent developments in the international
economy. In addition, there are regular meetings of ministers of law, health
and education, as well as meetings of other ministers when circumstances
In 1965, Commonwealth heads of government
decided to establish the Commonwealth Secretariat to facilitate communication
between member governments and to administer programs of co-operation. Since
its establishment, it has become the centre for multilateral communication
between Commonwealth governments. The Secretariat also serves as the
focal-point and link for many of the Commonwealth's functional institutions.
The first Secretary-General of the
Commonwealth was Arnold Smith, a Canadian diplomat who relinquished this post
in July 1975 after ten years' service. His successor, Shridath S . Ramphal, who
was formerly Foreign Minister and Justice Minister of Guyana, has already shown
his dedication to an outward looking, active Commonwealth. The Secretariat is
staffed by Officers from 20 Commonwealth countries.
The Commonwealth Secretariat one of the
senior "official" government-funded institutions along with that of the
Commonwealth Foundation. Like the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth
Foundation's establishment was approved in 1965 by the Commonwealth heads of
governments to administer a fund for fostering and increasing exchanges between
professional organisations and societies in Commonwealth countries. Among the
many other government-funded institutions, let us list the following:
Commonwealth Advisory Aeronautical Research
Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux
Commonwealth Air Transport Council
Commonwealth Defence Science Organisation
Commonwealth Forestry Institute
Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation
Commonwealth Legal Advisory Service
Commonwealth Committee on Mineral Processing
Commonwealth Committee on Resources and
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
Commonwealth Scientific Council
Commonwealth Telecommunications Council
Commonwealth Youth Program
More recently, the Commonwealth Foundation
has directed its attention to encouraging the development of non-governmental
associations in a number of professional fields through financial assistance.
There are more than 200 such organizations active in the fields of
architecture, arts, chambers of commerce, education, engineering, the
handicapped, law, libraries literature and language studies, medicine, news
media, students, war veterans, and many other groupings of the people of the
Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is among this category
Solomon Islands Soon to Become
In 1974, the estimated population was
184,500, made up of Melanesians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Europeans, Chinese
and others. The official language is English, but each tribe has its own
language and there are numerous dialects.
The Capita, Honiara is located on
Guadalcanal Island) . The territory consists of a double row of mountainous
islands. The total land area is approximately 11,500 square miles. -The highest
named mountain is Mount Makarakombou on Guadalcanal Island. There are no
navigable rivers. The climate is equatorial with small seasonal variations
defined by the trade winds. The mean annual temperature at the capital is about
The Solomon Islands were so named by the
Spanish navigator Alvaro de Mendana following his discovery of the archipelago
in 1568. Tasman discovered Ontong Java in 1643 but it was not until 1767 that
European explorers sailed through the Solomon Islands with increasing
frequency. The European explorers had, however, still made no impression on the
lives of the indigenous inhabitants. In 1942 there came invasion and occupation
by the Japanese, counterattack and battle, air-raids and finally occupation by
United States and Allied forces, mainly in the Central and Western Districts.
Many islanders joined the Defence Force that took part in active battle, where
they were employed as guides or patrolling behind enemy lines.
Under the Solomon Islands (Amendment) Order
1975, the Solomon Islands received Internal Self-Government on 2nd January
1976. The Order provided for the Chief Minister to be President of the Council
of Ministers, in place of the Governor, who is bound henceforth to act in
accordance with advice given to him by the Council of Ministers in most
internal matters. The Governor, however, retains responsibility for defence,
external affairs, internal security and the Public Service, and enjoys certain
discretionary powers . The British Government and Solomon Islands' ministers
had discussions in May 1975, which produced a program for the Solomon Islands
to attain its independence in 1978.
The main crop of the Solomon Islands is
copra. Rice is being grown successfully on the Guadalcanal Plains. After copra,
the main product is timber and there is a small local production of consumer
goods such as biscuits and mineral waters .