HC Deb 19 March 1891 vol 351 c1439

I wish to ask a question of the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in his capacity as Chairman of the Colonization Committee. I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has observed that in the Times newspaper yesterday there was published at great length what purported to be the official Report of the Colonization Committee; whether it was in fact the Report of the Committee, which only ceased its labours on the previous day; how the right hon. Gentleman accounts for the fact that a confidential document is published in a newspaper before it is in the hands of Members of the House; and what steps the right hon. Gentleman proposes to take in the matter?


I was myself surprised to see the publication to which the right hon. Gentleman refers. The Report is not absolutely correct in regard to several paragraphs, which were only added at the last minute. I have no knowledge how it was furnished, and it is a breach of order on the part of any one to furnish the Report in such circumstances to a newspaper. I do not think that any Member of the Committee would do that. Perhaps it is hardly a matter to which serious attention need be called, but I am glad the right hon. Gentleman has addressed this question to me.