§ MR. SEALE-HAYNE (Devon, Ashburton)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has received a copy of the Report of Colonel Sir Arthur Mackworth, of the Royal Engineers, appointed by the Governor of the Leeward Islands to inquire into and to report upon the public works in the Island of Dominica, which Report was laid before the Island Road Board, and officially condemns the public works upon which one-third of the loan has been already expended; if the said public loan of £20,000 was raised upon the security of the revenues of the island, and the Governor of the Colony, in disregard of the protests of the members of the Road Board and the unofficial members of the Local Assembly, 491 continued with the public works now condemned by the Royal Engineer; and if he will state to the House in what way he intends to hold the Governor of the Colony responsible for this expenditure, as stated by the Under Secretary of State in answer to a question upon this subject on 4th November, 1888?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Baron H. de WORMS,) Liverpool, East Toxteth
The Secretary of State has received from the Governor of the Leeward Islands a copy of a Report made by Sir Arthur Mack-worth, at his request, on certain bridges which had been commenced in Dominica, as part of a scheme for the improvement of the roads in that island, the cost of which is provided by a public loan. The Report was unfavourable as to some of the works. It is not known whether the Report has been laid before the Road Board, or what proportion of the loan has been spent on the works condemned by Sir A. Mackworth. The loan was raised on the security of the revenues of the island. The works were designed by, and their execution was commenced under, the direction of an experienced engineer, specially engaged for the work. Objections were made to them by members of the Road Board and of the Assembly. The Governor did not at first accede to their objections; but, after a time, he put a stop to the works and called in the assistance of Sir A. Mackworth. The Governor is responsible for the application of the loan to the purposes for which it was raised, but the Secretary of State does not hold him responsible for engineering mistakes.
§ * MR. SEALE-HAYNE
Arising out of that answer, may I ask if the right hon. Gentleman is aware that on the 26th of June last, the Governor of the Colony used his casting vote for the purpose of overruling the opinion of the Legislative Assembly, with respect to the expenditure of a further sum of £10,000 upon these works, and whether, in his opinion, it is proper that the Governor should override the opinion of the elected Members of the Assembly on questions involving taxation?
§ BARON H. DE WORMS
I have received no information upon that point. The hon. Member had better put down a question.
§ MR. SEALE-HAYNE
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has received from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Roseau (Colony of Leeward Islands) a complaint touching the treatment of Roman Catholic patients by the Medical Officer of Institutions in the public poors house in Dominica; if he is aware of the fact that in 1888 the Legislative Assembly in Dominica passed a resolution calling upon the Governor of the Colony—To remove the Medical Officer of Public Institutions from the anomalous position of being Chairman of the Poor Law Board and Medical Officer to Public Institutions;and further, that since 1888 the Members of Assembly have several times asked the Governor to carry said resolution into effect; if he has received a copy of the inquiry by the Poor Law Board into the conduct of the medical officer, and of a resolution passed by the said Board on 21st March, 1890, praying the Secretary of State to put a stop to the practice of making the Medical Officer of Institutions an ex officio member of the Board; and if he will instruct the Governor of the Colony to remove the said medical officer from the Board of Management, and thus give effect to the resolutions of these two important Public Bodies?
§ BARON H. DE WORMS
The Secretary of State has received through the Governor of the Leeward Islands a complaint from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Roseau against the action of the Medical Officer of the Public Institutions with respect to a Roman Catholic inmate of the poor house; but after being furnished with the Governor's explanation of the circumstances, he saw no reason to blame the officer. In 1889 the Legislative Assembly of Dominica passed a resolution to the effect stated in the question, but the Secretary of State does not know whether the members of the Assembly have subsequently asked the Governor to carry it into effect. The Secretary of State has received a Report of an inquiry by the Poor Law Board, and a resolution recommending the repeal of the Statute under which the medical officer is ex officio a member of the Board. The Secretary of State has considered the question, but does not propose to instruct the Governor to give effect to these resolutions.
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
If the Government disputes the accuracy of the Report, is there any objection to lay on the Table the Report of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Roseau?