§ MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON (Shropshire, Oswestry)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give the House any information with reference to the difficulties which have arisen in British Honduras; whether the report is true that the unofficial Members of the Legislative Council have resigned in a body, and that their places have been filled by gentlemen holding office under the Government; whether the Supreme Court of the Colony has pronounced a Council so constituted to be unconstitutional, and the taxation levied under their authority to be illegal; and whether, in view of somewhat similar incidents having occurred in other Crown Colonies, the Government will assent to the appointment of a Select Committee or a Royal Commission to inquire into the relations between the Colonial Office and the Crown Colonies?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Baron H. de WORMS,) Liverpool, East Toxteth
No difficulties have arisen in British Honduras, except in connection with the resignation of the unofficial Members of the Legislative Council, the grounds for which could not be stated within the limits of an answer. Their places have been provisionally filled by the appointment of gentlemen holding office in order that the Legislative Council may be duly constituted for the despatch of business. Her Majesty's Government were advised that this course was necessary and legal. As regards the third paragraph-of the question, it has been reported by telegraph that the Supreme Court has given such a decision; but the terms of, and reasons for, that decision have not yet been received. It is hoped that the differences between the late unofficial Members and the Government will be satisfactorily arranged; and Her Majesty's Government have no intention of holding any such inquiry as is suggested.