Memorandum from R.G. Robertson [Further action on “patriation” of the constitution] to Mr. Hurley (29 October 1975)

Document Information

Date: 1975-10-27
By: James Ross Hurley
Citation: Memorandum from R.G. Robertson to Mr. Hurley (29 October 1975).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).


October 27th, 1975.

c.c.: Mr. Pitfield
Mr. Carter
Mr. Jodouin
Mrs. Reed


Further action on “patriation”
of the constitution

Attached is the original of my memorandum
of October 23rd to the Prime Minister about “next
steps on the “patriation” of the constitution” as
well as the original of a memorandum of October 27th
from Mary Macdonald with the Prime Minister’s
comments. There are several things now necessary:

A. A memorandum to the Prime Minister dealing
with the various questions that he has raised.
With regard to them:

Article 5 – Possibly you and Mrs. Reed
could consider whether this
should be extended to
include mention of the preamble,
and proclamation as the Prime
Minister as suggested.

Article 16(2)- I am dubious whether the
records will disclose
why a period of six
months was set. It is
possible that Barry Strayer
was present at the meeting
in Victoria where this was
worked out and may have the

Article 37 – Perhaps you and Mrs. Reed
could take a look at this
in the light of the Prime
Minister’s comment on page 3
of my memorandum. The matter
does not, of course, have to
be settled at this time but


it would be useful to know
what we can say in whatever
we send to the Prime Minister.

B. A new typing of the proclamation with a new
enumeration pursuant to the inclusion of Article
28A plus the addition to Article 39 of the
reference to “social policy”. Conceivably there
may also have to be a change in Article 5 depending
on the result of the assessment of the Prime
Minister’s comment. So far as I know, there are
no other changes involved in the proclamation at
this stage.

C. A letter from me to Chouinard sending to him the
copies of the proclamation and covering the
points that have to be made with him. I think
the best plan might be for me to arrange for you
to go to Quebec with the letter and the copies
of the proclamation in order to get them into
Chouinard’s hands. I would telephone him in
advance to make that arrangement and I would
also use that occasion to convey more than I
would want to put in a letter about the fact
that this is as far as the Prime Minister is
prepared to go and also about the points that
the Prime Minister makes on page 5 of my memorandum.

Could you please take the above things in
hand just as soon as possible. I would like to get
the memorandum back to the Prime Minister tomorrow
if possible or Wednesday at the latest. I would
like to be able to talk to Chouinard on Wednesday
or Thursday and conceivably you could go to Quebec
on Friday if a convenient time could be found.

I shall be speaking to Arthur Tremblay
tomorrow on another matter and I shall try to find out
then when Mr. Bourassa is returning to Quebec in
order to know when the Prime Minister can speak to

The other thing that is now necessary
is the preparation of a memorandrq for the Cabinet.
I do not think it has to be very full or detailed
although it clearly has to give the essentials of the
discussion process we have gone through and the


result at which we have arrived. I think it should
end up by asking for approval of the draft proclamation
as the basis for discussion with the other provinces
if agreement on it is reached with Quebec. Would
you please take a draft of such a memorandum in
hand as soon as the items referred to above are


Leave a Reply