§ MR. DE LISLE (Leicestershire, Mid)
asked the Secretary of State for the 72 Colonies, Whether any replies have been received from the Governors or Administrators of Crown Colonies to any official invitation they may have received to take part in the Colonial Conference to assemble next Monday; and, whether the Government of the Straits Settlements is to be represented; and, if not, whether the Conference will take into consideration the strategic importance of Singapore?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir HENRY HOLLAND) (Hampstead)
On the 25th of November last a Circular Despatch was written to the Crown Colonies inviting the Governors to recommend to the Secretary of State the names of gentlemen likely to be in England at the time of the Conference who could be present on behalf of their Colonies. Replies have been received from about 19 of them; and I have, in accordance with the original intention, sent out invitations, paying attention, as far as practicable, to the suggestions of the Governors. It has been considered desirable to select, as far as possible, unofficial gentlemen, rather than members of the Colonial Civil Service. Accordingly, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Paul Tidman, and Sir Andrew Clarke have been asked to be good enough to attend on April 4. Mr. Anderson is a member of the Straits Legislative Council; and it is hoped will arrive in time. Mr. Paul Tidman's name was suggested by the Straits Settlements Association, which was asked to propose a suitable candidate; and Sir Andrew Clarke is a former Governor of the Colony, and late Inspector General of Fortifications, and in that capacity was Chairman of the Colonial Defence Committee. The strategic importance of Singapore is fully recognized by the scheme of defence provided for it, which is being carried out at the joint expense of the Colonial and Imperial Governments.