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Foreword by the Hon. Sir Walter Campbell AC QC
[Former Governor and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland]

 I am delighted to pen a brief Foreword to this book which, as the title page indicates, is a "Defence of the Crown in the Westminster System". It is rather daunting to be asked to say something relevant about such a well-researched and thoughtful work, but at the outset, may I say that I am most impressed not only with its structure and contents, but also with the industry and sagacity which the author has displayed.

 

Dr Greenwood admits in his introduction that he is a confirmed constitutional monarchist, and one finds it difficult to accept, in the light of the persuasive arguments, that any diligent and thoughtful reader of this text would not be led to adopt a similar point of view. This book is the product of a great deal of solid research into the problems of government, but it is far from being merely a dull legal tome, or a textbook on political science.

 

Later in this year, Australians will face up to a referendum as to whether they consider this nation should become a republic rather than remain a constitutional monarchy. I am convinced that all who advocate changes to the Australian Constitution in favour of a Republican system of government should read long and hard each chapter in this publication. Dr Greenwood sets out exhaustively the considerations which militate both for and against any constitutional change for this purpose. His analysis of the systems of parliamentary government is erudite, and he does not avoid giving adequate explanations of the several reasons motivating those who wish to do away with our present Monarchial system.

 

It would be unfortunate if some persons, upon perusing the title, take the view that this volume is based on a particular conservative foundation or political philosophy, and that it shows prejudice or bias. This is simply not so, because all types of view are frankly and openly discussed. Although his approach is primarily an historical one, the whole work is methodical, and he writes in plain language which is easy to understand. Those who fancy calling themselves "Republicans" should read this book. It constitutes a real challenge to them, and may I say that they should be persuaded to show great caution in their seeking answers to many salutary points raised by the author. In short, what is said in these chapters demands answers.

 

Much has been written on this topic of Republicanism over the last decade, but these chapters do not constitute just a repetition of views expressed by the several protagonists of one form of government or another; they are based on sound historical research and are a keen analysis of the many governmental structures in society, both at the present time and in the past.

 

The reader is made to reflect on such concepts or principles as ministerial responsibility, the independence of the public service, the necessity of the retention of reserve powers of the Crown by the Head of State, be he or she Monarch or President, and so on. He or she is taken through much of the writings of great thinkers on governmental structure, such as Voltaire, Plato, John Stuart Mill and others, not omitting that eminent statesman, diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli. Indeed, so vast and thoughtful is this publication, that it would be idle for me to endeavour to highlight any particular issues, or to analyse and dissect any of the points which are made. Suffice it for me to say it is a most persuasive work.

 

The book is well footnoted, and has a good bibliography.

 

I commend this book wholeheartedly to all concerned Australians.

 

W.B. Campbell

1st July 1999.


Book Reviews:

"Probably the most important book to be published on the topic to date... Read the book? I've dog-eared every page of it!

"I'm convinced that the true debate has not yet begun in depth, [it] probably will after the Referendum and those who are going to have an effective voice in it are going to have to read what's in this book."

Clive James, expatriate Australian writer and critic.

(at the London launch, 19th October 1999).



"A scholarly work, very widely researched but expressed with both wit and an obvious devotion to fundamental values. Closely reasoned but highly readable, not always easy partners. It should be read by everyone who feels a need to understand the background to our current constitutional debate."

The Hon. P.D. Connolly CBE QC,

Former President, Australian Bar Association; former President, Law Council of Australia; former Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland and President of the Court of Appeal, Solomon Islands.

 

Kramer Review

The Australian, 7th October 1999, p.4.