§ MR. ARTHUR MILLS
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the New Zealand Legislature has passed an Act authorizing a Loan of Three Millions sterling for Colonial purposes; and whether there is any foundation for the rumour that such Loan is to be guaranteed by the Imperial Government; and whether any recent Correspondence respecting the War in New 1188 Zealand will shortly be laid before Parlialiament?
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
said, in reply, that last year the Home Government agreed to make application to Parliament to guarantee a Loan of £500,000 on condition that a certain portion—£200,000, he believed—should be applied to liquidate a debt due by the Colonial to the Home Government. However, the gentleman who was then acting for the New Zealand Government in this country, objected to the amount claimed by the Imperial Government, and the arrangement for the time came to an end, and the Bill which had been introduced was withdrawn. Since that time, the Governor of New Zealand had informed the Home Government, that his Ministers would be prepared to make the payment claimed by the Imperial Government out of such a Loan. A rumour had reached the Colonial Office in the shape of a debate in the New Zealand Parliament, that the Colonial Legislature had passed, or were about to pass, a Bill to negotiate a Loan for £3,000,000, and that they would probably apply to the Home Government for a guarantee for such a Loan. However, no such application had yet been received, and the subject could not therefore be considered. With respect to the papers alluded to by the hon. Member, they would shortly be laid on the table.