HC Deb 22 February 1886 vol 302 cc891-2

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is true that Her Majesty's Government have appointed Mr. Clifford Lloyd to be Lieutenant Governor and Colonial Secretary of the Mauritius, a colony where the Roman Catholics number 108,000 and the Protestants 8,000 of the general population; whether it is true that Her Majesty's Government have nominated three additional officials, all Protestants, to the Legislative Council of the Mauritius, although the eight officials already on the Council consisted of six Protestants and only two Roman Catholics, whilst the list of electors under the new Constitution contain three thousand three hundred Roman Catholics as against less than eight hundred Protestants, Mussulmans, Hindoos, Chinese, &c.; whether Mr. Henry Adams, a Member of the Legislative Council, has protested against the division of the ecclesiastical grants in the Mauritius, by which the Roman Catholics receive only one shilling and sixpence per head, whilst the Protestants receive eleven shillings and sixpence per head; and, why Her Majesty's Government have always appointed Englishmen to be Roman Catholic Bishops of the Mauritius instead of Prelates of the French Church?


said, the late Government appointed Mr. Clifford Lloyd to be Lieutenant Governor and Colonial Secretary of the Mauritius. He believed the population of the Island amounted to 360,000, of which about 108,000 were Roman Catholics and 8,000 Protestants; and he was informed it had not been the practice to recognize any religious disability in the Colony. The late Government nominated three Civil officers to the Legislative Council, who, it appeared, were Protestants; he was informed that the officers so nominated were selected by them on account of their personal fitness and in consideration of the offices which they held. Mr. Henry Adams, a Member of the Council, had given Notice of a Motion in favour of a redistribution of ecclesiastical grants in the Mauritius, but withdrew it; he, however, declared his intention of bringing it forward again if he was elected a Member of the new Council. The Roman Catholic Bishops of Mauritius were appointed by the Pope, and not by Her Majesty's Government; but it had always been understood that in a British Colony a Bishop receiving pay from the State should be a British subject.

In reply to Sir GEORGE CAMPBELL,


said, that the Indian population of Mauritius constituted more than two-thirds of the whole. The Registrar General of the Colony had given the following classification of the registered electors:—3,300 Roman Catholics, 450 Protestants, 295 Mahomedans and Hindoos, and 15 Chinese.


gave Notice that he would take the earliest opportunity of calling attention to the injustice done to the Indian population of the Mauritius, numbering two-thirds of the whole population of the Island, under the arrangement by which they had only 1–15th of the representation.


asked whether His Excellency Sir John Pope Hennessy was consulted in reference to the appointment of Mr. Clifford Lloyd as his Lieutenant Governor?


I must ask the hon. Member to give me Notice of that Question.


Perhaps I ought to say, on behalf of the late Government, that Sir John Hennessy was not consulted.