HC Deb 06 August 1883 vol 282 cc1639-41

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, If his attention has been drawn to the following letter addressed to three magistrates, Messrs. Dalton, Casey, and Burke, by the Colonial Secretary at Sydney:— Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney, March 8, 1883. Sir,—My attention having been attracted by a statement in the newspapers, that you, while holding Her Majesty's Commission of the Peace, did sign and present to Mr. Redmond, on the occasion of his recent visit to Orange, an Address' in which you characterised Her Majesty's High Court of Parliament of the United Kingdom as a 'Foreign Senate,' and express your 'admiration of resolute resistance' to what you designate as 'its oppressive proceedings,' I desire to invite you to make any explanation you may have to offer of expressions which otherwise appear inconsistent with the commission you hold. I have, &c., ALEX. STUART. Whether, on the irreplies being deemed unsatisfactory, the Governor ordered their removal from the Commission of the Peace; whether the Government approve of the Governor's action; whether the Correspondence can be presented to the House; and, whether the Governor's salary is paid out of Imperial taxation, and if it has yet been voted?


The facts stated in the first part of the hon. Member's Question are quite accurate, with the exception of the impression conveyed in the second part, that the Governor ordered their removal from the Commission of the Peace. It is true that the Governor, as head of the Executive, acted in the usual way, but on the responsibility and initiative of the loyal Government of Sydney, which recommended to him the course which he should adopt. As to the third Question, whether the Government approved of the Governor's action, I hardly think that it is a question for the Home Government to express either approval or disapproval of an act done by the Government of Australia with regard to their internal affairs. But the Secretary of State, I may inform the hon. Member, in acknowledging the receipt of the despatch forwarding these statements, while expressing regret at the circumstances which occurred, expressed, also, his satisfaction that the Government of New South Wales had not hesitated to require that the magistrates should set an example of proper respect for lawful authority. The whole Correspondence has been laid before the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, and there will be no objection to lay it on the Table of this House. The Governor's salary is not paid out of Imperial taxation, but out of Colonial funds.


May I ask the hon. Gentleman what he means by "the loyal Government of Sydney?" Is there one Government loyal and another disloyal?


I mean what I said.


I wish to ask the hon. Gentleman whether the "loyal Government" which he describes is the Government nominated by the Crown; and whether he wishes to draw any distinction between the Government of the Colony in question nominated by the Crown and the elected Representatives of the people?


No, Sir. New South Wales is self-governed, and the Government depends upon the majority in the Legislative Assembly.


I wish to ask the hon. Gentleman whether he means by "the loyal Government" the Government that is refusing to accept the consignment of Irish informers?


I beg to give Notice that I shall ask the hon. Gentleman how many convicts are in the Legislature of Sydney; and whether any convicts—pickpockets and so forth — exported from this country have found their way into the Government of New South Wales?