Opinion No. 234
WHETHER COMMONWEALTH IS PROPER CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION FOR DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATIONS RELATING TO ACTIONS OF STATE GOVERNMENT
CONSTITUTION, s. 51 (xxix)
15 February 1906
The Prime Minister
These papers are transmitted for information with a despatch dated 7 December 1905 from the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
The facts as now stated by Mr Lyttleton differ materially from the facts as stated in previous despatches, on which I advised(1)
It then appeared that the subject of correspondence was a petition of right addressed by American subjects to the King, and presented through the American Embassy.
It now appears that the document purporting to be a petition and referred to in the correspondence as a petition, was not forwarded through diplomatic channels as a petition, but merely as embodying a statement of facts in connection with a diplomatic representation; and that the subject of the correspondence was therefore a diplomatic representation from a foreign Government.
Mr Lyttleton states that the only question now at issue is whether the present case falls under the principles laid down in the Vondel(2) case; but that the matter has for the time being ceased to be of practical importance, as the present case appears to have been closed satisfactorily.
On the facts as now presented, I am disposed to agree with Mr Lyttleton that the correspondence did relate to external affairs; but under the circumstances a considered opinion appears unnecessary.
[Vol. 5, p. 174]
(1) Opinion No.224.
(2) See Opinion No.107.