HC Deb 08 July 1856 vol 143 cc508-9

said, he would beg to ask the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Colonies when the geological survey, now understood to be making, of the West India islands, would probably commence in Jamaica?


said, in reply, that some time ago, on the application of the colonists, Government agreed to pay the salary of a scientific person to survey and ascertain the mineral resources of those colonies, on the understanding that the colonies were to pay all the other expenses of the survey, and that the colonies were to have the services of the surveyor in the order in which they applied for those services. Under that arrangement, an eminent scientific person had been appointed by Sir Roderick Murchison, at the request of the Government. The two islands which had made applications were Trinidad and Jamaica, and under the arrangement agreed to the survey of Trinidad had been commenced and was now in progress. He had given instructions that the survey should not be a complete one for scientific purposes, but only such a one as would ascertain in a general way the mineral resources of those islands, and therefore there was a hope that in a short time the survey of Jamaica would be commenced. If, however, the Government and Legislatures of that island were desirous of an immediate survey, the Government would have no objection to appoint another surveyor on the advice of Sir Roderick Murchison, but in that case the colony must pay both salary and expenses.