MR. JOHN MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the time during which the West Australian Delegates have already been detained in this country, ho will name an early day for the next stage of the West Australian Constitution Bill?
§ MR. WATT
I also beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Government are prepared to accept the Report of the Select Committee on the Western Australian Constitution Bill; and whether he can state when they propose to proceed with the Bill?
§ * MR. W. H. SMITH
In answer to the question of the right hon. Member for Newcastle, and of the hon. Member for Glasgow, I have to say that we are anxious to proceed rapidly with the Western Australia Constitution Bill, but looking to the other business of a pressing character before the House, I am not able to name a day. In reply to the question whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to accept the Report of the Select Committee, I have to state that we will not seek to re-introduce Clause 4, by which the Northern territory was reserved. We undertook that the question should be thoroughly threshed out by a Select Committee. A strong-Committee was therefore appointed, and after hearing evidence it was agreed, without a Division, that the Clause should be omitted. As to Clause 8, which provides that any Bill imposing restrictions on emigration of British subjects must be reserved for signification of Her Majesty's pleasure, Her 461 Majesty's Government, looking to the fact that the omission of the clause was only carried in the Committee by a majority of two, think it would be well, in deference to a feeling which has been strongly expressed here, that this clause should be re-introduced. At the same time, they do not believe that the Colonial Legislature will seek to impose any restriction upon emigration from this country.