§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether it is true that the Colony of Queensland has refused to contribute its share towards the cost of building the cruisers for the Australian Squadron; whether this refusal of one of the Australian Colonies to be a party to the agreement relieves the other Colonies from their obligations; whether these other Colonies have agreed to contribute in spite of the refusal of Queensland; and whether the share of the contribution of Queensland will fall upon the Imperial Government?
§ BARON H. DE WORMS
The Colony of Queensland has not yet passed the necessary Act for securing its contribution towards the cost of the building of 1664 the cruisers for the Australian Squadron, but it is confidently anticipated that before the first payment becomes due she will have joined the other Colonies. As to the second and third paragraphs of the right hon. Gentleman's Question, all the Colonies with the exception of Queensland have already bound themselves to carry out the agreement by passing the necessary Acts, and I may add that the greater number of them have specially urged Her Majesty's Government to proceed with the construction of the ships, notwithstanding the fact that Queensland has not yet signified her adherence. As regards the last paragraph of the question, as already stated, it is not anticipated that this question will arise. It would, therefore, be premature to express any opinion on the subject at present.