the strength of the Governor General’s
• Under the new Act, there was greater elasticity in the size of the
Council, while the number of Indians on it was raised from two to
Bicameralism The legislature at the Centre was bicameral, consisting of
the Legislative Assembly, the lower house, and the Council of State, the
• Elections to the lower house were direct, the principle of communal
or separate representation was recognised, while industry, commerce
and land-holders were given special representation.
• The Legislative Assembly was to have 145 members, although its
strength could be increased, if necessary. At least five-sevenths of its
total membership was elected, while one-third of the remainder were
to be non-officials.
• The representation of communities and special interests were broadly
on similar lines to those followed for the provincial legislatures.
• Except in special constituencies, elected members of both houses
were returned through territorial constituencies on the basis of a high
property franchise–qualifications in respect of the upper house being
set much higher than those for the lower house.
Legislative Procedure As in the provincial legislatures, normal procedure
laid down that all legislative measures as well as the annual budget relating to
the Centre, should be passed by the central legislature.
• But insofar as the Governor General’s ultimate responsibility was to
the Parliament–and not to the central legislature–he was, in his
individual capacity, empowered to certify bills and restore grants that
had not been approved. He was also empowered to issue ordinances.
• In the legislative field, the powers of the Council of State were
coordinate with those of the Assembly. Since the government could
always depend upon a majority of the Council to support its measures,
the popular majority in the Assembly could not enforce its will
against it in any legislative matter.
• In the budget, a number of items were non-votable, with the result