HC Deb 16 March 1865 vol 177 cc1823-4

Bill considered in Committee.


expressed his approval of the Bill, which he believed to be the best measure relating to the colonies that had been passed during his Parliamentary experience. The old system of governing the colonies from Downing Street had passed away and a new system had been introduced, which had left the colonies a burden and embarrassment upon the mother country and a source of danger and weakness in time of war. The recent example of the Canadian volunteers showed how excellent a feeling pervaded our colonies, and it was surprising that it should be only now that a Bill should be proposed to give power to the colonies to provide vessels of war, weapons, and volunteers for their own defence. He thought the Bill was one which reflected the highest credit upon the Secretary for the Colonies, and he had no doubt it would prove most beneficial both to this country and to the colonies.


, as a colonist, also expressed his thanks to the right hon. Gentleman for this most valuable measure. He expressed an opinion that the defence of the colonies must depend mainly upon the navy, especially by vessels capable of running into shallow water—such vessels as could well be manned by volunteers.


said, on Clause 6, that the idea of colonies furnishing ships to the mother country might seem extravagant, hut that during the old French war in the time of Louis XVI., the island of Barbadoes placed a frigate at the disposal of the Crown, and the same example might be followed, if needful, hereafter, by the great and rich colonies we now possessed in other parts of the world.


acknowledged the expressions of approval with which this Bill had been received. The object of the measure was to extend to the colonies the benefits of the Royal Naval Reserve, and to enable them to place ships at the disposal of the Crown. It would, he hoped, be the foundation of a naval force maintained by the energy and at the expense of the colonies, constituting a most valuable addition to the Imperial defences.

Bill reported, without Amendment.

House adjourned at One o'clock.