§ MR. O. V. MORGAN (Battersea)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, How many Colonial Governments will be represented at the Conference summoned by the Government to meet in London in April; whether any distinction has been made between self-governing and Crown Colonies; who will be the Representatives of the Imperial Government at the Conference; where the Conference will take place, and how long it is expected to continue; and, whether the House can be informed what are the subjects to be put forward for discussion?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir HENRY HOLLAND) (Hampstead)
All the Colonies under responsible Government—i.e., Canada, the Australasian Colonies, the Cape, and Newfoundland, and also the Colony of Natal—will be represented. About 24 or 25 Representatives are expected. The Crown Colonies will not be specially represented, unless in any case a question should arise in reference to which any person from the Colony happening to be in England could give useful information. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, or, in his absence, the Parliamentary Under Secretary, will preside at its sittings. Other Members of Her Majesty's Government or Departmental Officers will attend if the subject under discussion renders their attendance desirable. The sittings of the Conference will be held at the Colonial Office. Most of the Colonial Representatives must return at an early date for the Sessions of their Parliaments, so that the Conference cannot continue for more than a very few weeks. The subjects proposed for consideration in Mr. Stanhope's Despatch inviting the Conference are—(1) Defence, (2) postal and telegraphic communications, (3) any other important question which, in the general opinion of the Colonial Governments, may properly and usefully be brought under consideration. Political federation is expressly excluded from discussion at the Conference.