HC Deb 14 March 1889 vol 333 c1646

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the objects of the Bill which has passed a Second Reading in Western Australia; whether it was introduced and promoted by the representatives of the British Government in that Crown Colony; and whether the Secretary of State proposes to ask the assent of the Legislative Council of Western Australia to a Bill for giving responsible government to the Colony, and transferring to the Colony the control of the lands of the temperate zone, before he consults the British Parliament in the matter?


The objects of the Bill, which has passed a Second Reading in Australia, are to provide the Colony with Parliamentary or "responsible" government in place of its present Constitution, which is not that of a Crown Colony, inasmuch as two-thirds of its Legislative Council are elected Members entirely independent of the Government. In accordance with the precedents in other Colonies, the Bill was introduced by the Colonial Secretary, and supported by the officers of the Government in the Legislative Council. The ordinary and constitutional course has been followed by legislation in the Colony in the first instance, and reserving to the Imperial Parliament the power of amending or rejecting the Colonial legislation.


I beg to give notice that in consequence of the answer just given, I shall propose in the Vote on Account to strike out that portion of the Vote which provides for the salary of the Colonial Secretary.