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The primary aim I have had in view in writing this book has been to tract from the reported decisions on the British North America Act all that is to be found therein of general application upon the law governing the distribution of legislative power between the Dominion parliament and the various provincial legislatures of Canada, to formulate the results so arrived at in general Propositions, and to point out in the notes thereto the authorities upon which these Propositions respectively rest, all decisions and dicta which illustrate them, and any which are, or appear to be, at variance with them. I have, however, freely resorted also to reports of Ministers of Justice, and other State documents, the verbatim reports of arguments before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and all other sources from which can be derived suggestion or illustration upon the subject dealt with. In this way I have endeavoured to set forth, in ordered form, and as concisely as possible without sacrificing completeness, the whole of the law of legislative power in Canada in its present stage of development, and in connection therewith the relation of the Crown to the Canadian legislatures. This method of arrangement under general Propositions is, I think, better suited to the complete and systematic treatment and study of this branch of the law, than any arrangement under the various sections of the British North America Act can possibly be, while, by numerous tables, and a complete general index, I have endeavoured to make the contents of these pages thoroughly accessible for purposes of reference.

In an introductory chapter I have endeavoured to prove that, Professor Dicey notwithstanding, the preamble of the British North America Act states the truth in asserting that Canada is federally united with a Constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom, and have compared the distribution of legislative power between Congress and the States under the United States Constitution, with that between the Dominion parliament and the provincial legislatures, with a view to showing how much, or, as it results, how little help we may hope to derive in the solution of our own problems from the American decisions.

In regard to the order of the general Propositions, it will be found that those have been placed first which relate to the British North America Act as a whole, then come those relating to the Crown, then those relating alike to the Dominion parliament and the provincial legislatures, then those relating especially to the Dominion parliament, and, lastly, those relating especially to the provincial legislatures.

Practical necessities have required the printing off of small sections of this book as the same were completed and placed in type. The printing, however, was stopped at the point where it was foreseen that the judgment of the Privy Council on the Liquor Prohibition Appeal, 1895, would have an important bearing, and not continued until after that judgment had been given, so that its contents might be fully embodied in the text. For the rest the Privy Council decisions given during the period occupied in passing through the press—the Virgo case, the Indian Claims' case, the Brewers' and Maltsters' Association case, and Fielding v. Thomas—have appeared at periods most convenient for their inclusion in this work; and, generally, it may be said that the current of judicial decision during the period of printing has in no way materially affected the text. However, a table of Addenda will be found which gives some supplemental citations, but the main object of which is more thoroughly to collate all portions of the text.

1 See infra p. 393, n. 1.

I would add here that this book, such as it is, would almost certainly never have been written had it not been for the four volumes of Mr. Cartwright's collection of cases under the British North America Act, published by arrangement between the Dominion and Ontario Governments. Such collections enable a man of small means to have in his own library at little cost a great part, perhaps the bulk, of the material with which he has to deal, and to pursue his labours uninterruptedly in the evenings, when alone, it may well be, the exigencies of the practical work of the profession, especially under our system, will allow him to do so ; and if it is desired to encourage the production of Canadian text-books on various branches of the law, probably no better means can be adopted than for public bodies to follow the example of the Dominion and Ontario Governments, and undertake the publication of such collections of the authorities.

1 The only exception to this statement is the somewhat unimportant one referred to al p. 41, n. 1.

In conclusion, I may perhaps express the hope that the contents of these pages may be found of some use and interest, not only to those who have to assist in the practical administration of the law with which it deals, but to those who are, or may hereafter be, concerned in devising Constitutions for confederations of our sister colonies in Australia and South Africa, and, indeed, to students of political science generally, since the problem how best to distribute legislative power between central national legislatures and local law-making bodies is one of general interest and growing importance. And if I may be considered to have contributed something, however trifling, to a more

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