§ SIR T. ESMONDE (Dublin Co., S.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that considerable friction exists, and has existed for the past six months, between the unofficial members of the Legislative Council of British Honduras and the Governor of that Colony on a question of taxation; that these unofficial members have resigned their seats in a body, and that the Governor is unable to procure any colonist of standing to fill these vacancies; whether the demand of the colonists for representative government has been embodied in a Petition to the Colonial Office; and whether the Government intend to take action in the matter?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Baron H. DE WORMS,) Liverpool, East Toxteth
The first part of the question correctly describes the condition of political affairs in the colony; but as to the concluding words, I may observe that although it is true that the gentlemen to whom the Governor applied have declined to act, it may be hoped that the new Governor may be able to fill up the places. A Petition for a change in the constitution, giving unofficial members a majority in the Legislature, has been received. Her Majesty's Government have replied that in a colony on the mainland of America, having relation with neighbouring foreign States for which the Crown is responsible, and containing only about 400 inhabitants of European descent out of a total population of 30,000, it is impossible for Her Majesty's Government to surrender its control over legislation and finance.