Part V: The Independence Constitution

  1. iii) NATIONAL CONVENTION Comprising members of the Legislature and Senate. To meet half yearly for a grand ‘state of nation’ debate on the basis of Declarations of the National Court of Policy (see below).
  1. iv) THE EXECUTIVE The Executive will be drawn from the Legislature except for the chairman of the National Court of Policy who will be President of the Senate. It may be organised around a policy making body, the National Court of Policy, and two administrative nuclei, a Consulate of Domestic Administration and a Consulate of Foreign Affairs. The crucial figures will be the two Consuls.
  1. iv) a) The Consulate of Domestic Administration may comprise :
  • Consul of Domestic Administration Minister of Local Government
  • Minister of Development and Planning Minister of Finance
  • Minister of Works and Hydraulics
  • Minister of Agriculture (including Agricultural marketing) Minister of Labour
  • Minister of Health
  • Minister of Education
  • Minister or Housing and Social Welfare
  • Minister of Communications and Transport Minister of Industry
  • Attorney General
  • Minister of Home Affairs
  1. iv) b) The Consulate of Foreign Affairs may comprise:
  • Consul of Foreign Affairs
  • Leader of the Legislature (without portfolio)
  • Minister of Defence
  • Minister of External Trade
  1. iv) c) The National Court of Policy may comprise:
  • Leader of the Senate as Chairman (casting vote only)
  • Consul of Foreign Affairs
  • Consul of Domestic Administration Minister of Defence
  • Minister of External Trade
  • Leader of the Legislature
  • Minister of Development and Planning
  • Minister of Finance
  • Minister of Local Government

The decisive body in the Executive will be the National Court of Policy. It is akin to the present Council of Ministers and would clearly be the inner decision-making unit. It is a new instrument mainly in name and that is because it is desirable that it should retain the essential function of the present Council of Ministers while forgetting the traditions of that body so as to permit caution and an experimental approach. A fresh attitude is required because the unit has to incorporate two co-ordinate Consuls – a condition promising conflict. As a cushion the Chairmanship is designed for a respectable and reasonable semi-political President of the Senate (from ‘outside’) with casting vote only. An agreed programme is also a cushion; it will indeed be the main prop of the system.

The Court will meet in the same way as the Council of Ministers does now but at half yearly intervals will have to produce a ‘state of the nation’ paper to be read by the President of the Senate its Chairman, to the Notional Convention.

The Consulates will really be instruments of co-ordination and execution. The demarcation of duty between them (domestic and foreign) is functionally feasible while making internal consistency imperative. The programme to be set out below will demonstrate the need for the two administrative sectors to work hand in hand (Part VI)

  1. iv) d) Head of State

There is to be no Head of State in the autocratic conception of that role. Functionally the Foreign Consul will receive ambassadors, etc., at home the Domestic Consul will function as formal head. Together the two Consuls will be the real heads and everybody will know. Headship is then a question of popular acclaim and political choice and not an ascriptive role based on kinship or some other irrelevancy. Where a neutral tenant of the role is required as a means of institutionalising non-political Headship then the President of the Senate, who is also Chairman of the Court of Policy, can act.

  1. v) THE JUDICIARY

To be set up along lines to be worked out elsewhere with the cooperation of the Legal Profession.

  1. vi) THE PUBLIC SERVICE

The imperial rulers had little conception of how the Public Service should be organised in a small, democratic and underdeveloped country. Therefore:

The Public Service Commission must be designed to be a promoter of reform and not just an Appointments’ Committee. The Head should be a sophisticated person with the status of a Judge and should have a carefully selected Secretariat with suitable technical as well as political orientation.

Co-ordinating Councils should be institutionalized to integrate the big public sector envisaged. For example:

  • Economic Planning Commission (Technicians and politicians)
  • National Development Council (Private and public sector rep­resentatives)
  • Permanent Secretaries Committee (Heads of Civil Service Branches)
  • Financial and Monetary Council (Heads of various financial in­stitutions)
  1. This suggested Constitution is specific to the needs of the moment. (See Part VIII). This may give it immediate strength but as a corollary it may also invest it with long-run weaknesses. Thus, the Constitution should be regarded as Interim and experimental. Perhaps a ten-year trial will be required, in which case provision for the establishment of a National Assembly to sit after the seventh year or so should be made from the start.Experience will suggest what the future demands while sanity and stability will have been bought in the interim. Posterity may well cite Guyana as an outstanding example of a case where the constitutional framework evolves out of the necessities inherent in a mixed society.