Memorandum from R.G. Robertson [The next steps on “patriation” of the constitution] to Mr. Carter (29 November 1975)

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Date: 1975-11-27
By: R.G. Robertson
Citation: Memorandum from R.G. Robertson to Mr. Carter (29 November 1975).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).


November 29th, 1975.

Mrs. Reed
Mr. Joduin
Mr. Hurley


The next steps on “patriation” of the

Thank you for your memorandum of November 27th, commenting on my draft memorandum of the same date for the Prime Minister. In the light of your comments and those that I received from Jim Hurley in a manorandum the same day, I have considerably revised my memorandum. A copy of it as I have now sent it forward is attached. As you will see, it is more specific about advising Mr. Bourassa about the fall back position; it suggests holding the door open a small crack on limited changes and it includes the possibility of some kind of commitment or undertaking about consideration of amendment after patriation has been achieved.

Mr. Basford came to see me on Friday afternoon to talk about the “patriation” exercise. I outlined to him exactly what had happened so far. He will not be a supporter of any revision in the amending formula so far as the western provinces are concerned. He says that he agreed fully with Mr. Bennett about the change that was made in the preparations for Victoria. As you will see from my revised memorandum, he is a bit concerned about this matter being discussed in the Quebec Cabinet, with the possibility of leaks, before it has been discussed at all in the federal Cabinet. He is going to be talking to Don Thorson about the full implications of article 38. He realizes the importance of it.


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