Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act, 1934

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Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act, 1934
enacted by the Parliament of South Africa
as amended
Act No. 70 of 1934. First published on 22 August 1934 in Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 2217. Came into force on 3 December 1934, in terms of Governor-General's Proclamation No. 232 of 1934. Amended on 25 June 1954 by the Royal Seals Amendment Act, 1954. Repealed on 31 May 1961 by the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, 1961.

This is the text as originally enacted and does not incorporate the 1954 amendment. A version incorporating that amendment is also available on Wikisource.

Act

To provide for the King’s Acts as Head of the Executive of the Union, the use of Royal Seals in connection therewith and the vesting of certain functions in Union officials and bodies.



(Assented to by His Majesty the King on the 22nd June, 1934.)
(Signed by the Governor-General in English.)


Be it enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows:―


Royal Great Seal and Signet.

1. (1) There shall be a Royal Great Seal of the Union hereinafter referred to as the Great Seal, which shall show on the obverse the effigy of the Sovereign, with his full titles as circumscription and on the reverse the coat of arms of the Union with supporters and the inscription “Unie van Suid-Afrika” and “Union of South Africa”.

(2) There shall be a Royal Signet (hereinafter referred to as the Signet) showing the reverse of the Great Seal with the Tudor Crown for crest and the King’s full title in Latin on the outer rim and the words “Unie van Suid-Afrika—Union of South Africa” on the inner rim.

(3) The Great Seal and Signet shall be of a design and size approved of by the King and the Great Seal shall show the effigy of the Sovereign in such manner and of such design as His Majesty may be pleased to approve.


On demise of Sovereign existing Seals to be used temporarily.

2. In the case of a change in the person of the Sovereign the then existing Seals shall be used until such time as new Seals have been struck and put into use.


Prime Minister to be Keeper of the Royal Seals.

3. The Prime Minister of the Union or, in his absence, his deputy shall be the Keeper of the Great Seal and the Signet.


Executive acts of the King and their confirmation.

4. (1) The King’s will and pleasure as Head of the Executive Government of the Union shall be expressed in writing under his sign manual, and every such instrument shall be countersigned by one of the King’s Ministers for the Union.

(2) The King’s sign manual shall furthermore be confirmed by the Great Seal on all royal proclamations and he may, by proclamation, prescribe from time to time which other public instruments bearing his sign manual shall pass either the Great Seal or the Signet.

(3) The Keeper of the Seals shall affix either the Great Seal or the Signet, as the case may be, to any instrument bearing the King’s sign manual and the countersignature of one of His Majesty’s Ministers of State for the Union and required to pass either the Great Seal or the Signet.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not affect the exercise of the powers under sections twelve, fourteen, twenty and forty-five of the South Africa Act, 1909, by the King or the Governor-General.


Making and use of wafer seals representing Great Seal.

5. (1) The Governor-General-in-Council may by regulation provide for the making of wafer seals, representing the Great Seal, of such material as he may deem suitable and prescribe the size of the cast to be used for that purpose.

(2) The wafer seals made in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be kept by the Keeper of the Great Seal and may be used by him for sealing instruments which are required to pass the Great Seal, and instruments to which such wafer seals have been affixed shall be deemed to be sufficiently sealed in terms of this Act.


Governor-General to act for King in certain cases.

6. (1) Whenever for any reason the King’s signature to any instrument requiring the King’s sign manual cannot be obtained or whenever the delay involved in obtaining the King’s signature to any such instrument in the ordinary course would, in the opinion of the Governor-General-in-Council, either frustrate the object thereof, or unduly retard the despatch of public business, the Governor-General shall, subject to such instructions as may, from time to time, in that behalf, be given by the King on the advice of His Ministers of State for the Union, execute and sign such instrument on behalf of His Majesty and an instrument so executed and signed by the Governor-General and countersigned by one of the King’s Ministers of the Union shall be of the same force and effect as an instrument signed by the King.

(2) The Governor-General’s signature on such an instrument shall be confirmed by his Great Seal of the Union and a resolution of the Governor-General-in-Council shall be the necessary authority for affixing the same.


Vesting of powers of the King-in-Council under Statutes of United Kingdom Parliament in Governor-General-in-Council.

7. In the absence of any Act of the Parliament of the Union providing otherwise, the powers of the King to be exercised by His Majesty in Council or by Order-in-Council, under Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed prior to the commencement of the Statute of Westminster, 1931, and extending to the Union as part of the law of the Union shall, in respect of the Union, after the commencement of this Act, be exercised respectively by the Governor-General-in-Council or by him by Proclamation in the Gazette unless the Governor-General-in-Council decide that the exigencies of the case require that the procedure prescribed by such Acts be followed: Provided that the King-in-Council shall in the latter case act or purport to act in respect of the Union only at the request of the Prime Minister of the Union duly conveyed and it be expressly declared in the instrument containing the King’s pleasure that the Union has requested and consented to the King-in-Council so acting in respect of the Union.

Vesting of functions of British functionaries under Statutes of United Kingdom Parliament in Union functionaries.

8. The powers vested in, or duties imposed on, the Lord Chancellor, a Secretary of State, a Commissioner of the Treasury, the Treasury, the Admiralty, the Board of Trade, or any other functionary or authority of the United Kingdom under any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom referred to in section seven, or under any rule, order or regulation framed thereunder shall after the commencement of this Act, in respect of the Union, be vested in or performed by such Minister, Department of State, functionary or authority in the Union as the Governor-General-in-Council may by proclamation in the Gazette designate.


Sections 7 and 8 not applicable to section 106 of South Africa Act.

9. Sections seven and eight shall not apply to appeals to the King-in-Council under the provisions of section one hundred and six of the South Africa Act, 1909.


Short title and commencement of Act.

10. This Act shall be known as the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act, 1934, and shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the Governor-General by proclamation in the Gazette.

This work is in the public domain because it was created and first published in South Africa and it is an official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or an official translation of such a text.

According to the Copyright Act, 1978, § 12 (8) (a), "No copyright shall subsist in official texts of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or in official translations of such texts."