Discussion with Premiers re: “Patriation” of Constitution – Newfoundland – Premier Moores

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Newfoundland – Premier Moores – June 11, 1975

Meeting – 3:15 p.m. — Premier Moores, Jim Channing, Cy Abery, Frank Carter, RGR.

Presentation – Explained P.M.’s objective — dinner of April 9 and letter of April 19. Told of sequence with other provinces and positions taken by Messrs. Schreyer, Lougheed, Davis and Bourassa.

Discussion – (a) Mr. Moores said Nfld. had no problems with the proposal for “patriation” on the basis of the Victoria amendment formula.

(b) Re Mr. Lougheed’s two points:

(i) The change re “Western provinces” would be for them to decide. He would expect a good deal of pressure on Mr. Barrett by the other three western Premiers.

(ii) He would favour inclusion of the Supreme Court proposals. He commented that there had never been a Supreme Court judge from Nfld.

(c) Re Mr. Bourassa’s “constitutional guarantees”, Mr. Moores said Nfld. would have no difficulty in principle. They had much sympathy for Quebec’s feeling about its culture. They would want to look at what guarantees might be proposed, but they “would be sympathetic”.

(d) Completion by the summer of 1976 would be quite feasible for Nfld. They would have no difficulty in their legislature. I told Mr. Moores, in reply to a question by him, that Mr. Bourassa “did not exclude” action in 1976 but felt that this matter would be of such importance that there might have to be “some kind of popular ratification”, whether by referendum or in an election. This could affect timing.

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