Nickle Resolution

From Academic Kids

The Nickle Resolution, passed by the Canadian House of Commons in 1919, established the policy of not granting knighthoods and peerages to Canadians, and set the precedent for later policies forbidding Canadians from accepting or holding titles of honour from foreign countries. These policies were reaffirmed in 1968 when Lester B. Pearson's government published "Regulations respecting the acceptance and wearing by Canadians of Commonwealth and foreign orders, decorations and medals"; and again in 1988 when the government of Brian Mulroney published "Policy Respecting the Awarding of an Order, Decoration or Medal by a Commonwealth or Foreign Government".

The Nickle Resolution was not a law or act of Parliament; it was a motion (brought forward by Conservative MP William Folger Nickle) that an address be made to the King, requesting that he not grant "any title of honour or titular distinction ... save such appellations as are of a professional or vocational character or which appertain to an office", and that all hereditary titles held by Canadians become extinct upon the death of the incumbent. Although the resolution was passed by the Commons, the address to the King was never actually sent. Nevertheless, grants to Canadians ceased until they were revived by Richard Bedford Bennett during his term as prime minister, 1930 to 1935. Bennett's government allowed several prominent Canadians to receive knighthoods, including Chief Justices Francis Alexander Anglin, Lyman Poore Duff, RCMP commissioner James Howden MacBrien, and Frederick Banting, the discoverer of insulin.

When William Lyon Mackenzie King returned to power in 1935, he reinstated the former policy, which has been in effect ever since.

The best known modern applications of the Nickle Resolution occurred when Prime Minister Jean Chrétien used it to prevent Canadian publishing mogul Conrad Black from becoming a British life peer. Black took the Prime Minister to court, which upheld the government's interpretation of the Resolution. Black eventually gave up his Canadian citizenship and was created Lord Black of Crossharbour in 2001.

Other Commonwealth Realms that do not allow British titles are Australia and New Zealand. Other countries such as Jamaica and Papua New Guinea still allow the practice.

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