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136. EDWARD VII: STATUTES

(A) Trade Disputes Act (1906)

An act to provide for the regulation of trades unions and trade disputes. Be it enacted ... as follows: —

The following paragraph shall be added as a new paragraph after the first paragraph of section three of the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875: "An act done in pursuance of an agreement or combination by two or more persons shall, if done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute, not be actionable unless the act, if done without any such agreement or combination, would be actionable."

It shall be lawful for one or more persons, acting on their own behalf or on behalf of a trade union or of an individual employer or firm in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute, to attend at or near a house or place where a person resides or works or carries on business or happens to be, if they so attend merely for the purpose of peacefully obtaining or communicating information or of peacefully persuading any person to work or abstain from working....

An act done by a person in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute shall not be actionable on the ground only that it induces some other person to break a contract of employment or that it is an interference with the trade, business, or employment of some other person, or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or his labour as he wills.

An action against a trade union, whether of workmen or masters or against any members or officials thereof on behalf of themselves and all other members of the trade union in respect of any tortious act alleged to have been committed by or on behalf of the trade union, shall not be entertained by any court....

Ibid., XLIV, 246 f.: 6 Edward VII, c. 47.

(B) Union of South Africa Act (1909)

An act to constitute the union of South Africa. Whereas it is desirable for the welfare and future progress of South Africa that the several British colonies therein should be united under one government in a legislative union under the crown of Great Britain and Ireland; and whereas it is expedient to make provision for the union of the colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony on terms and conditions to which they have agreed by resolution of their respective parliaments ...: be it therefore enacted ... as follows: —

I. Preliminary.... In this act, unless it is otherwise expressed or implied, the words "the union" shall be taken to mean the union of South Africa as constituted under this act; and the words "houses of parliament," "house of parliament," or "parliament" shall be taken to mean the parliament of the union....

II. The Union. It shall be lawful for the king, with the advice of the privy council, to declare by proclamation that, on and after a day therein appointed, not being later than one year after the passing of this act, the colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony, hereinafter called the colonies, shall be united in a legislative union under one government under the name of the union of South Africa. On and after the day appointed by such proclamation, the government and parliament of the union shall have full power and authority within the limits of the colonies, but the king may at any time after the proclamation appoint a governor general for the union.... The colonies mentioned ... shall become original provinces of the union.... Upon any colony entering the union ... , every ... act applying to any of the colonies as being self-governing colonies or colonies with responsible government shall cease to apply to that colony; but, as from the date when this act takes effect, every such act of parliament shall apply to the union.

III. Executive Government. The executive government of the union is vested in the king and shall be administered by his majesty in person or by a governor general as his representative....

There shall be an executive council to advise the governor general in the government of the union, and the members of the council shall be chosen and summoned by the governor general and sworn as executive councillors and shall hold office during his pleasure.... The governor general may appoint officers, not exceeding ten in number, to administer such departments of state of the union as the governor general in council may establish. Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor general. They shall be members of the executive council and shall be the king's ministers of state for the union. After the first general election of members of the house of assembly ... , no minister shall hold office for a longer period than three months unless he is or becomes a member of either house of parliament.

The appointment and removal of all officers of the public service of the union shall be vested in the governor general in council, unless the appointment is delegated by the governor general in council, or by this act or by a law of parliament, to some other authority. All powers, authorities, and functions which at the establishment of the union are in any of the colonies vested in the governor, or in the governor in council, or in any authority of the colony, shall ... be vested in the governor general, or in the governor general in council, or in the authority exercising similar powers under the union ... , except such powers and functions as are by this act or may by a law of parliament be vested in some other authority. The command-in-chief of the naval and military forces within the union is vested in the king or in the governor general as his representative....

IV. Parliament. The legislative power of the union shall be vested in the parliament of the union ... , which shall consist of the king, a senate, and a house of assembly. The governor general may appoint such times for holding the sessions of parliament as he thinks fit, and may also from time to time ... prorogue parliament, and may ... dissolve the senate and the house of assembly.... There shall be a session of parliament once at least in every year....

For ten years after the establishment of the union, the constitution of the senate shall ... be as follows....[1] Parliament may provide for the manner in which the senate shall be constituted after the expiration of ten years....

The qualifications of a senator shall be as follows: he must be not less than thirty years of age; be qualified to be registered as a voter for the election of members of the house of assembly in one of the provinces; have resided for five years within the limits of the union ...; be a British subject of European descent; in the case of an elected senator, be the registered owner of immovable property within the union of the value of not less than 500 over and above any special mortgages thereon....

The house of assembly shall be composed of members directly chosen by the voters of the union in electoral divisions delimited as hereinafter provided....[2] Parliament may by law prescribe the qualifications which shall be necessary to entitle persons to vote at the election of members of the house of assembly.... No person who, at the passing of any such law, is registered as a voter in any province shall be removed from the register by reason only of any disqualification based on race or colour.... Between the date of the passing of this act and the date fixed for the establishment of the union, the governor in council of each of the colonies shall nominate a judge ... , and the judges so nominated shall ... form a joint commission ... for the purpose of the first division of the provinces into electoral divisions.... The commission shall divide each province into electoral divisions, each returning one member.... As soon as may be after every quinquennial census, the governor general in council shall appoint a commission consisting of three judges of the supreme court of South Africa to carry out any redivision which may have become necessary....

The qualifications of a member of the house of assembly shall be as follows: he must be qualified to be registered as a voter for the election of members of the house of assembly in one of the provinces; have resided for five years within the limits of the union ...; be a British subject of European descent....

Parliament shall have full power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the union. Bills appropriating revenue or moneys or imposing taxation shall originate only in the house of assembly.... The senate may not amend any bills so far as they impose taxation or appropriate revenue or moneys for the services of the government. The senate may not amend any bill so as to increase any proposed charges or burdens on the people....

When a bill is presented to the governor general for the king's assent,[3] he shall declare according to his discretion ... that he assents in the king's name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the bill for the signification of the king's pleasure.... The king may disallow any law within one year after it has been assented to by the governor general.... A bill reserved for the king's pleasure shall not have any force unless and until, within one year from the day on which it was presented to the governor general for the king's assent, the governor general makes known ... that it has received the king's assent....

V. The Provinces. In each province there shall be a chief executive officer appointed by the governor general in council, who shall be styled the administrator of the province, and in whose name all executive acts relating to provincial affairs therein shall be done.... There shall be a provincial council in each province, consisting of the same number of members as are elected in the province for the house of assembly.... The members of the provincial council shall be elected by the persons qualified to vote for the election of members of the house of assembly.... Each provincial council shall continue for three years from the date of its first meeting and shall not be subject to dissolution....

Subject to the provisions of this act and the assent of the governor general in council ... , the provincial council may make ordinances in relation to matters coming within the following classes of subjects: that is to say, (1) direct taxation within the province in order to raise a revenue for provincial purposes; (2) the borrowing of money on the sole credit of the province ...; (3) education other than higher education ...; (4) agriculture to the extent and subject to the conditions to be defined by parliament; (5) the establishment, maintenance, and management of hospitals and charitable institutions; (6) municipal institutions ... and other local institutions of a similar nature ...; (7) local works and undertakings within the province other than railways and harbours and other than such works as extend beyond the borders of the province ...; (8) roads ... and bridges ...; (9) markets and pounds; (10) fish and game preservation; (11) the imposition of punishment ... for enforcing any law or any ordinance of the province ...; (12) generally all matters which, in the opinion of the governor general in council, are of a merely local or private nature in the province; (13) all other subjects in respect of which parliament shall by any law delegate the power of making ordinances to the provincial council....

VI. The Supreme Court of South Africa. There shall be a supreme court of South Africa, consisting of a chief justice of South Africa, the ordinary judges of appeal, and the other judges of the several divisions of the supreme court of South Africa in the provinces. There shall be an appellate division of the supreme court consisting of the chief justice of South Africa, two ordinary judges of appeal, and two additional judges of appeal.... The several supreme courts of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, and the Transvaal and the high court of the Orange River Colony shall, on the establishment of the union, become provincial divisions of the supreme court of South Africa.... The chief justice of South Africa, the ordinary judges of appeal, and all other judges of the supreme court of South Africa ... shall be appointed by the governor general in council.... The chief justice of South Africa and other judges of the supreme court of South Africa shall not be removed from office except by the governor general in council on an address from both houses of parliament in the same session praying for such removal on the ground of misbehaviour or incapacity....

In every case, civil or criminal, in which at the establishment of the union an appeal might have been made ... to a superior court in any of the colonies, the appeal shall be made to the corresponding division of the supreme court of South Africa; but there shall be no further appeal against any judgment given on appeal by such division except to the appellate division, and then only if the appellate division shall have given special leave to appeal. There shall be no appeal from the supreme court of South Africa or from any division thereof to the king in council; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to impair any right which the king in council may be pleased to exercise to grant special leave to appeal from the appellate division to the king in council. Parliament may make laws limiting the matters in respect of which such special leave may be asked....

IX. New Provinces and Territories. Parliament may alter the boundaries of any province ... on the petition of the provincial council of every province whose boundaries are affected thereby. The king, with the advice of the privy council, may, on addresses from the houses of parliament of the union, admit into the union the territories administered by the British South Africa Company....

X. Amendment of Act. Parliament may by law repeal or alter any of the provisions of this act, provided that no provision thereof for the operation of which a definite period of time is prescribed shall during such period be repealed or altered....

Ibid., XLVII, 42 f.: 9 Edward VII, c. 9.


[1] Eight senators are to be nominated by the governor general in council and eight are to be elected by each colonial legislature.

[2] The representation of a province is roughly proportioned to the number of European male adults there resident. Provision is made for a reallotment of seats on the basis of a new census every five years.

[3] Normally bills have to receive a majority in both houses; but in case of a prolonged deadlock on any measure, it may be passed by the two houses in joint session called by the governor general.


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