§ MR. CRUM-EWING
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he is aware that at the opening of the Legislative Council of Barbadoes, on the 19th of January, the Governor of the Colony is alleged to have addressed the Council as follows:—The prompt recognition of the claims of the mission of the United Brethren to the sympathy and support of the Legislature has given proof of your desire to admit all religious bodies existing in the Island to a share in those advantages which it has been the policy of the Local Government, from its earliest formation, to extend to the principal and primitive church of the inhabitants. You will be in a position during the present Session to extend your aid in like manner to the Wesleyan Methodists, and thus to satisfy, as far as this Island is concerned, the policy and desire of Her Majesty's Government to establish religious equality throughout the British Possessions in the West Indies;whether the Government has correctly described the policy of Her Majesty's Government in regard to the mode in which it proposes to establish religious equality in the West Indies; and, whether the Government will lay before Parliament any Despatch in which such policy is described, for the guidance of the Governor of Barbadoes, or of any other Governor of the British Possessions in the West Indies?
§ MR. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN
Sir, the Governor of Barbadoes has correctly described the policy of Her Majesty's Government in stating that they wish to establish religious equality in the West Indies. This may be effected either by impartial disendowment or concurrent endowment upon equal terms. The choice of the alternative to be adopted must in every case depend upon the special condition and the feelings 890 of the particular Colony with which we are dealing, and Her Majesty's Government will always endeavour to consult, as far as possible, the wishes of the colonists. There is no objection to the production of Papers, if the hon. Gentleman thinks it desirable to move for them.