HC Deb 09 April 1877 vol 233 c769

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether a Memorial was received at the Colonial Office during the past year from the inhabitants of Jamaica, complaining of certain grievances under the new form of government instituted in 1865, and its defective administration, especially of the great increase of taxation and public expenditure, of public works undertaken beyond the means and requirements of the Colony, and of mismanagement in certain public departments; whether any instructions have been given, or anything done, to remedy the evils complained of; and, whether, now that a new Governor is about to proceed to Jamaica, Her Majesty's Government will amend the new form of government by introducing a certain proportion of members elected by the different districts, or by increasing the number of non-official members to be taken as far as possible from the different districts of the island, so as to afford an independent representation of the public opinion of the country?


Sir, a Memorial has been received (to the effect mentioned in the first part of the hon. and learned Gentleman's Question), purporting to emanate from the inhabitants of the island of Jamaica, though bearing the signatures of only a very limited proportion of the population. The Memorial has been retained in order that the Secretary of State may confer with the new Governor, Sir Anthony Musgrave, who has recently arrived in England, upon the questions of alleged defective administration which are raised by the memorialists, and upon other matters of importance which have been brought to Lord Carnarvon's notice by gentlemen interested in the Colony. Her Majesty's Government have no intention at present of effecting any change in the Constitution of the Colony, and information to that effect has already been conveyed to the memorialists.