the federal legislature to legislate on a subject included in the
provincial list; (ii) or when the Governor General, through a
proclamation of emergency, authorised the federal legislature to
legislate on provincial subjects.
• The provincial legislature could also make laws on subjects listed in
the concurrent list so long as such legislation did not conflict with any
federal law. Even when such a conflict existed, it was stipulated that,
should the Governor General give his assent to the provincial law, it
would prevail over the federal law.
Implementation of the Act
The Act foresaw that some time was bound to elapse before negotiations for
the establishment of the Federation could be completed. It therefore, required
that provisions in respect of provincial autonomy were to come into force
immediately, as well as those in respect of the Federal Court, the Federal
Public Service Commission and the Federal Railway Authority. In the case of
other matters relating to the center, the provisions of the Act of 1919 were to
continue in force until such time as the federation was established.
• Between 1937 and 1939, i.e., during the working of the Act of 1935,
Indian political leaders for the first time, had the opportunity to form
governments based upon joint responsibility.
• The terms Prime Minister and Council of Ministers also came to be
used in India for the first time.
• Minority representation did not figure as a major problem,
necessitating either the intervention of the Governor or hampering the
smooth functioning of the Cabinet.
• None of the Governors had an occasion to dismiss any ministry; nor
did the latter, as a result of fundamental differences, submit its
• Distribution of work and its allocation among different ministers was
done mainly on the discretion of the ministers, rather than of the
• Parliamentary secretaries to ministers were appointed so as to train
potential leadership in the government.