§ SIR WILLIAM MOLESWORTH
said, he begged to put to the right hon. Secretary of State for the Colonies a question with reference to the very important petition which had been presented last Session by the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland from the Legislative Council of the Colony of New South Wales. In that petition the Legislative Council of New South Wales repeated the solemn protest and declaration of their predecessors, the Legislative Council of the whole Colony, now divided into New South Wales and Victoria. That solemn declaration was to the effect—1. That the Imperial Parliament ought not to appropriate any of the moneys levied by the authority of the Colonial Legislature, as Parliament had done by the schedules to the Imperial Act 13 &14 Vic. c. 59. 2. That the revenue arising from public lands should be subject only to the control and appropriation of the Colonial Legislature. 3. That the Customs, and all other departments, should be subject to the direct supervision and control of the Colonial Legislature. 4. That the whole patronage of the Colony should be vested in the Governor and Executive Council, unfettered by instructions from the Secretary of State for the Colonies. 5. That no Bills should be reserved for the signification of the pleasure of the Crown, unless they affected the prerogatives of the Crown, or the general interests of the Empire. The Legislative Council had also declared, that if these grievances were redressed, they would provide for the whole cost of their internal government, civil and military, and would grant to Her Majesty an adequate Civil List, instead of the sums appropriated in the schedules to the Imperial Act of the 13 & 14 Vic. c. 59. They therefore prayed that this House would adopt measures for the early redress of those grievances. As he (Sir W. Moles-worth) had presumed to propose such measures, when new constitutions were given to the Australian Colonies in 1850, he 1214 would now ask whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to take any steps to comply with the prayer of this most important petition?
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, the hon. Baronet might recollect that when the important petition to which he referred was presented to the House last Session, he (Sir J. Pakington) had given a pledge that during the then ensuing recess he would closely and carefully analyse the prayer of that petition. This pledge he had redeemed; he had carefully investigated every portion of the petition, and, with his Colleagues, had taken into consideration the very important statements it contained, with a full and anxious sense of the growing importance of the Australian Colonies, and of the extraordinary circumstances in which those colonies were now placed. The Government, after mature deliberation, had decided upon the extent to which they thought concession to that petition ought to be made, and upon the policy which they thought ought to be adopted towards those colonies; the hon. Baronet, however, would admit the impossibility, in answer to a question of this kind, of entering into an explanation of the views and intentions of Government on so large and complicated a subject. On an early day after the recess he hoped to be in a position to give to the House a full statement on the subject.