HC Deb 04 July 1867 vol 188 c988

said, he would beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the attention of Government has been called to the discontent at present prevailing in Ceylon on account of the unfavourable contrast presented by the constitution and operation of the existing Government in Ceylon as compared with those of Jamaica and Trinidad, and of the West Indian Colonies generally; and to the fact that several of the most eminent non-official European residents and influential natives have formed a "League" with a view of still further pressing for some alterations in the constitution and powers of the Legislative Council by increasing the number of un-official Members and making their office elective, and by giving to the Council so constituted that freedom of control and appropriation of the public Revenue drawn alone from the Colony which has before been promised but never granted; and, whether any Memorials from the Colony or other Papers will be laid before the House?


said, that a memorial had been received, signed by certain native Cingalese, requesting that Ceylon might be changed to a Crown colony, with representative institutions. The answer given to that memorial was that the request was wholly inadmissible. Ceylon was so much more Indian than colonial that the House would be unanimously of opinion that such a request could not be acceded to. He believed that a "league" had been formed in the colony in order to obtain a control over the appropriation of the revenue, by which they might spend the public money in improvements, and leave English taxpayers to pay the whole expense of the military defence of Ceylon. He had no objection to lay the memorial on the table.