1	          October 1993
     3	                        King-Byng Affair
     4	          William Lyon Mackenzie King's Position on the
     5	          Constitutional Authority of the Prime
     6	          Minister
     8	                              ...edited by Marijan Salopek
    10	                  =============================
    12	Letter from William Lyon Mackenzie King to Governor General Byng,
    13	28 June 1926
    15	     Your Excellency having declined to accept my advice to place
    16	your signature to the Order-in-Council with reference to a
    17	dissolution of parliament, which I have placed before you to-day,
    18	I hereby tender to Your Excellency my resignation as Prime
    19	Minister of Canada.
    20	     Your Excellency will recall that in our recent conversations
    21	relative to dissolution I have on each occasion suggested to Your
    22	Excellency, as I have again urged this morning, that having
    23	regard to the possible very serious consequences of a refusal of
    24	the advice of your First Minister to dissolve parliament you
    25	should, before definitely deciding on this step, cable the
    26	Secretary of State for the Dominions asking the British
    27	Government, from whom you have come to Canada under instructions,
    28	what, in the opinion of the Secretary of State for the Dominions,
    29	your course should be in the event of the Prime Minister
    30	presenting you with an Order-in-Council having reference to
    31	dissolution.
    32	     As a refusal by a Governor-General to accept the advice of a
    33	Prime Minister is a serious step at any time, and most serious
    34	under existing conditions in all parts of the British Empire to-
    35	day, there will be raised, I fear, by the refusal on Your
    36	Excellency's part to accept the advice tendered a grave
    37	constitutional question without precedent in the history of Great
    38	Britain for a century, and in the history of Canada since
    39	Confederation.
    40	     If there is anything which, having regard to my
    41	responsibilities as Prime Minister, I can even yet do to avert
    42	such a deplorable and, possibly, far-reaching crisis, I shall be
    43	glad to do so, and shall be pleased to have my resignation
    44	withheld at Your Excellency's request pending the time it may be
    45	necessary for Your Excellency to communicate with the Secretary
    46	of State for the Dominions.
    48	Source:
    49	     Public Archives of Canada, King Papers, Letter from William
    50	Lyon Mackenzie King to Governor General Byng, 28 June 1926.
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