|House of Councillors of the Empire of Cygnia|
Coat of arms of Cygnia
|Type||Upper house of the Imperial Congress of Cygnia|
|President||Edward Thurlow, Federalist, 1783–92 (first)|
Theo Nicholls, Labour, 1946–1948 (last)
|Established||12 September 1783|
|Disbanded||5 November 1948|
|Succeeded by||Cygnian Senate|
|Members||60 (at disbandment)|
|House of Councillors Chamber|
Federation Hall, Northam, TS
Unlike the elected House of Representatives, members of the House of Councillors were appointed by the Sovereign. These appointments were generally made on the advice of the Chancellor. Councillors served until their death or their resignation. They could not be expelled from the House by the government, and could only be removed by a vote in the House of Councillors itself.
Like the Senate that succeeded it, four Councillors were appointed to represent each state. Cygnian Dominions, colonies and territories did not have representation in the House of Councillors. The House of Councillors scrutinised bills that were approved by the House of Representatives, and had the power to deny the passage of these Bills. In this capacity, the Councillors acted as a check on the Representatives independent from the electoral process. Members of the House of Councillors could also take on roles as government ministers.
After World War III, Cygnia's economy was in tatters, and the country itself in ruins. The rapidly accelerating collapse of Cygnia's colonial empire soured public opinion and confidence in the existing governmental institutions of the country. As a result, a constitutional convention was called by the Chifley Government in 1947 to draft a new constitution for the Realm. With the rise of republicans in Cygnia following the war, and a large number of republicans or republican sympathisers elected to the Convention, monarchists reached a compromise: the monarchy would be preserved, but a democratisation of the government would see the unelected House of Councillors abolished and replaced with an elected Senate.
On 5 November 1948, ahead of the 1948 federal elections, the 39th Congress was dissolved, and the House of Councillors rose for the last time. On 3 January 1949, the 40th Congress was opened by King George IV, with the first Senators in attendance. Today, the Senate performs all functions that were once the responsibilities of the House of Councillors.