§ MR. W. A. M'ARTHUR (Cornwall, Mid, St. Austell)
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether his attention has been drawn to a Draft Ordinance brought in in the Legislative Council of Ceylon by the Government of Ceylon, dealing with Buddhist temporalities, as stated in The Daily News of December 18; whether this provides, among other objects, for the maintenance of Buddhist services, rites, processions, and buildings; whether the said temporalities are to be vested in certain Trust Bodies, who will be compelled to keep their accounts subject to the direction and under the control of Commissioners appointed by and 964 responsible to Her Majesty's District Judges; whether it is true, as reported in The Ceylon Observer, that the Governor has publicly intimated that the Draft Ordinance has been already approved by the Secretary of State; and, whether there is any special reason for this course being taken?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)
A Draft Ordinance has been brought in by the Government of Ceylon in the Legislative Council dealing with Buddhist temporalities, which provides, among other objects, for the maintenance out of the property belonging to the Buddhist temples of Buddhist services, rites, processions, and buildings. The Draft Ordinance proposes to vest the temporalities in Trustees, whose accounts will be audited by persons appointed by the District Courts; and the District Courts will be empowered to prescribe the form in which such accounts are to be kept. The policy of this Ordinance was referred to at great length by Sir Arthur Gordon in his speech opening the Legislative Council on the 31st of October. He explained that the measure is an attempt to carry out the principles laid down by his predecessor, Sir J. Longden, and by Lords Kimberley and Derby; and stated that the draft had received the approval of Her Majesty's Government. It is not unusual for the Governor of a Crown Colony to obtain the approval of the Secretary of State before introducing an important Draft Ordinance, and to inform the Legislative Council of the fact.