British Empire
The end of the British empire - the Dominions
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Report from the South African Cape Times newspaper on the Statute of Westminster, 1931
(Catalogue ref: DO 119/1019)
Source 4a

THE STATUTE OF WESTMINSTER

Considerable discussion has been roused by General Hertzog's motion in the House of Assembly which asks the House to approve a statute, to be passed by the British Parliament, to remove survivals of the authority of the British Parliament over the Dominions. The statute is to be known as the Statute of Westminster. It embodies the results of Dominion status. In a number of matters Great Britain still has technical authority over the Dominions. These are relics of a past day and the Imperial Conference of last year, following up the declaration of the Imperial Conference of 1926, recommended that they should be formally abolished by means of legislation passed by the British Parliament, after it had been approved by the Parliaments of the Dominions. General Hertzog's motion asks the House of Assembly to give such approval. A schedule attached to the motion sets out the "lines" on which this Statute of Westminster is to be framed. One of the sub-sections (clause 2, (2)) of this schedule provides that

Source 4b
No law or provision of any law made after the commencement of this Act by the Parliament of a Dominion shall be void or inoperative on the ground that is it repugnant to the law of England or to the provisions of any existing or future Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, or to any order, rule or regulation made under such Act, and the powers of the Parliament of a Dominion shall include the power to repeal or amend any such Act, order, rule or regulation, in so far as the same is part of law of the Dominion.
In other words, the old provision that a Colonial law in conflict with a British law was ipso facto invalid is to prevail no longer and the Parliament of any Dominion is to have power to repeal or amend any British Act which is part of the law of that Dominion.
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