§ Mr. C. Buller
presented a petition from 5,000 inhabitants of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, praying that representative assemblies might be granted to those colonies. His hon. Friend, the Under Secretary for the Colonial Department, had announced on a former day that it was the intention of Government to bring in a bill for the permanent settlement of the constitutions of both those colonies. The questions which he wished to put to his hon Friend were, first, whether the Government had made up its mind as to the principles of the bills which they would introduce for that purpose; and secondly, whether their plan was one which would include the granting of representative assemblies to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.
§ Sir G. Grey
could not enter at that moment into any detailed explanation of the plan intended to be introduced by her Majesty's Government. He would only say, that it was the peculiar circumstances of those colonies that constituted the difficulties which stood in the way of granting them representative Assemblies, and that those circumstances did not exist in any other of our foreign settlements. The plan which the Government intended to introduce would only be provisional, as the vast influx of emigrants, to which those colonies owed so much of their prosperity and resources, would render any other arrangement at present unsatisfactory.
§ Petition laid on the table.