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torate, called “Sphere of influence," meaning that within given limits a certain European power would not be interfered with by such other European powers as agreed to recognize it. In connection with these spheres of influence and with the African protectorates in their earlier stages the foreign jurisdiction act played a great part.

“VIII. When British subjects went abroad in the Middle Ages and formed groups or communities in foreign countries they were not uncommonly given permission by the rulers of the countries to make their own rules and laws within their own circle, and they were empowered by their own King to do so. This was especially the case later on with the great chartered companies in non-Christian countries, as, l. 9., with the Levant company in Turkey. In the nineteenth century the British Government began to take upon itself the charge of ensuring law and order among British subjects in these semi-civilized foreign countries, and it did so by passing the foreign jurisdiction act of 1843, which started with the recital that “by treaty, capitulation, grant, usage, sufferance, and other lawful means Her Majesty hath power and jurisdiction within divers countries and places out of Her Majesty's Dominions. It was an enactment to get over the dificulty of British subjects who were outside British rule and British jurisdiction, and yet not in whole or part inside the jurisdiction of the country in which they were living.

“IX. The foreign jurisdiction act was reenacted in 1890, and it was laid down that where a foreign country is not subject to any Government from whom Her Majesty the Queen might obtain jurisdiction in the manner recited by this act, Her Majesty shall by virtue of this act have jurisdiction over Her Majesty's subjects for the time being residing in or resorting to that country. This was machinery for keeping order among British subjects in purely barbarous countries. But you can not keep order among them without keeping order in the countries themselves and among the natives. Hence it in fact provided the authority for governing the countries, although they were not British soil. (See a very interesting note by Mr. Albert Gray, K. C., C. B., president of the Hakluyt Society, in Early Voyages and Travels in the Levant, Hakluyt Society's Publications, 1893, p. xliii.)”



All the territories subject to the sovereignty of Great Britain are collectively spoken of as constituting the British Empire. There is, however, no definite and integrated machinery of imperial govern

ment that bears to the constituent local governments, including that of the United Kingdom, the relation which, say, the general government of a federation bears to the governments of the confederated States.

Thus the British Parliament acts both as a national and an imperial legislative body. Some of the British dependencies, however, are immediately under the jurisdiction of the Crown rather than of Parliament.

All varieties of dependency and autonomy are exemplified in the British possessions. Roughly speaking, however, as regards their relation to the Government of Great Britain, they fall into three classes: (1) British India and its dependencies, which are under the secretary of state for India; (2) certain areas which are within the jurisdiction of the secretary of state for foreign affairs, and (3) the colonies proper which are under the control of the Colonial Office. Linked to the Colonial Office are the periodical imperial conferences and the committee of imperial defence, whose functions as organs of imperial government are yet in the making.

The main groups of the British dependencies are:

"1. The self-governing dominions which have been entrusted with full self-government, namely, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the United South Africa, New Zealand, and Newfoundland.

“ 2. Those colonies which have not complete self-government, and in which the executive power is vested in the governor, acting with a nominated or elected legislative assembly or council, or with a legislative assembly or council which is partly nominated and partly elected, such as the West Indies, Mauritius, Malta, the Falkland Islands, etc.

“ 3. Those colonies in which the legislative and executive power is vested in the governor alone; for instance, Gibraltar, St. Helena, and Labuan.

“4. Those countries and places which come under the British Settlements acts of 1887 and the foreign jurisdiction act of 1890, and which either enjoy a British protectorate, or have no European civilization, and which by treaty, capitulation, or otherwise have surrendered jurisdiction over British subjects to the courts established by the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.

“5. Those countries which are British possessions, but which do not strictly come under the category of colonies, such as British India, the Channel Isles, the Isle of Man, and the territories of chartered companies within the sphere of British influence, such as the Imperial British East Africa Company.” (Quoted from the Oxford Survey of the British Empire, Vol. VI, p. 110.)

AUTONOMY AND SELF-GOVERNMENT DISTINGUISHED. A colony or dependency is “autonomous" to the extent to which its local government may exercise discretionary powers; that is, without first obtaining the approval of the home Government, or without likelihood, as a matter of practice, of having its decisions and policies overruled.

A colony or dependency enjoys self-government to the extent to which its inhabitants exercise a control over the policies of their local government.

Thus a colony may be highly autonomous without enjoying selfgovernment. And it may have self-government in various forms and to varying degrees. When its government is of the English parliamentary or cabinet type, it is said to have responsible government.

Leaving aside the Indian Empire, which has a status of its own and stands apart from the other British dependencies, the British Colonies were, until recently, divided into three classes as regards the amount of self-government enjoyed by them; namely, (1) Crown colonies, (2) colonies with representative institutions but not responsible governments, and (3) colonies with responsible governments. At the present time, however, the usual and more technically correct classification is into two classes—those without and those with responsible government. The first of these classes corresponds very nearly, but not exactly, to what are known as Crown colonies. To the second class, namely, those that possess responsible government, the present practice is not to term them colonies at all, but to speak of them as dominions. So autonomous has become their status that in effect, if not in juristic strictness, they have a standing that closely approximates that of the members of a real union.

The following general description of the status and governments of the Crown colonies is from the Oxford survey of the British Empire (Vol. VI, pp. 65-67):

The ordinary and traditional constitution of a Crown colony consists of the governor, an executive council, and a nominated legislative council, as in the Straits Settlements, for instance, or the Gold Coast or Trinidad; but there are some Crown colonies which have no legislative council whatever–Gibraltar is one of them, and here all power, both executive and legislative, is vested in the governor.

As they differ in constitutions, so the Crown colonies differ in kind. Some are of the nature of military outposts and garrisons, and eren they differ widely among themselves. Gibraltar, Malta, and Bermuda all have soldier governors nominated by the war office. At Gibraltar, a fortress pure and simple, it has been seen that the governor is absolute. Malta, on the other hand, which came into British keeping by the free will of its inhabitants, has been the scene of repeated constitutional changes, and Bermuda has its old constitution. Others of the Crown colonies are at once fortresses and great trading centers, notably Singapore and Hongkong, the volume of trade passing through the

port of Hongkong being greater than that of almost any other port in the Empire. Others are homes of tropical production, such as the sugar colonies, including the West Indies, Mauritius, and Fiji, or the West African colonies and protectorates with their palm oil and rubber; or Ceylon, with its varied resources, including tea and cocoanuts. Mineral products, too, are in evidence, from tin in the Malay Peninsula to asphalt in Trinidad.

Equally varied is the tenure by which England holds these dependencies. As has been pointed out already, some are colonies and some are protectorates; and the protectorates are of varying degrees and kinds, including, in one instance at least, a joint protectorate with a foreign power; for the Pacific Island group of the New Hebrides is under an Anglo-French condominium, somewhat parallel to which in appearance, though not in fact, is the AngloEgyptian control of the Sudan. Cyprus is occupied and administered by Great Britain under the terms of a treaty with Turkey, Wei-hai-wei and part of the mainland territory of Hongkong are held on lease from China. The high commissioner for the Western Pacific has in his charge Pitcairn Island, which the mutiny of the Bounty made in effect a kind of British colony, though for more than a hundred years it was not in any sense under the British Government; while on the other hand, in the South Atlantic, midway between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, Tristan da Cunha was annexed as far back as 1816, when Napoleon was at St. Helena; but though a British possession, it is no more than a derelict island where a handful of British subjects are occasionally visited and live in a kind of peaceful anarchy.

The Crown colonies, then, resemble one another in not being fully selfgoverning or in not being self-governing at all. Otherwise, they are far from homogeneous; they differ in kind, in tenure, in form of government. In all, the central figure is the governor, who is not only, as in the self-governing dominions, the nominal head of the Government and the authorized channel of communication with the Colonial Office, but is in fact as well as in name the chief executive officer and whose power, except in the few cases where there is an elected majority in the legislature, is paramount, and who in turn is subject to the paramount power of the secretary of state for the colonies on this side the water. Only some of the Crown colonies, the Eastern colonies, with the example of India before them and rich enough to pay for an administration modelled on the lines of India, are officered by fully developed civil services recruited on the competitive system. Elsewhere the administrative staff is, as a general rule, supplied in the lower grades by local appointment, in the upper grades by nomination of the secretary of state. For all these dependencies the Colonial Office is not merely the domicile of ultimate control. It is the great connecting link which gives to diverse elements and scattered units the continuity and outline of uniformity without which the fabric could not be held together.

The diversity which marks the whole British Empire marks also the constitutions of the Crown colonies. We have taken the normal constitution of a Crown colony as including a legislative council, all the members of which are nominated, not elected, and in which there is an official majority. Such is the constitution of the Straits Settlements, but two of the unofficial members are nominated by the Chambers of Commerce of Singapore and Penang. In Ceylon there is a further modification; four of the unofficial members are elected by the European urban residents, the European residents in the

country districts, the burghers or Eurasians, and the educated Ceylonese other than the burgers or Europeans. Of the unofficial members who are nominated by the governor, two represent the Low Country Singhalese, one the Kandyans, two the Tamils, and one the Mohammedans. In Hongkong, among the unofficial members of the nominated legislative council, two are, as a rule, Chinese, and the justices of the peace and the chamber of commerce, respectively, nominate a member. In this colony the executive council, which advises the governor, is not composed wholly of officials, but includes two unofficial members. In British Honduras, while, on the one hand, there are no elected members in the legislative council, all being nominated, on the other hand, the unofficials outnumber the officials, and the colony is therefore hardly a Crown colony. Here again the executive council contains an unofficial element. In various colonies there is no legislative council at all. At Gibraltar the goverror is the sole fountain alike of government and of legislation. In St. Helena there is an executive council, but no legislative council; the governor makes the laws. The high commissioner for South Africa legislates for the Crown colony of Basutoland. His laws take the form of proclamations.


[Quoted from Lucas, C. P., The British Empire, p. 188.]

“In the great majority of the British colonies,' tó quote Sir Courtenay Ilbert, “the common law is that of England, either brought by the colonists at the time of settlement or introduced by subsequent legislation. But, as he shows, there is French common law, more or less, in colonies which once were French, such as the Province of Quebec; Roman Dutch common law, more or less, in colonies which once were Dutch, such as the Cape. Statute law varies, and there is infinite variety of legislation and legislative methods in dealing with native questions and native customs. In India, Hindu and Mohammedan law holds good for the Hindus and Mohammedans, respectively, in domestic matters, such as inheritance. In Cyprus, Mohammedan religious courts have been maintained for trying Mohammedan religious questions, and the basis of the land law in the island is Ottoman law. In Nigeria natives keep as between themselves native law and custom, so far as it is not repugnant to natural justice or to special statutes. In Fiji regulations for the well-being and good government of Fijians are passed by a native regulation board, subject to approval by the legislative council. Instances might be indefinitely multiplied to show that the aim of the British Government, in regard to law and justice, has been and is to establish

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