§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (MR. SYDNEY BUXTON, Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
in moving the Second Reading of the above Bill, said it was originally introduced in the House of Lords, but as the Bill had relation to the question of the imposition of Customs Duties that had been found to be a breach of the privileges of the House of Commons, and the Bill was therefore withdrawn from the Upper Chamber. It was a simple Bill, of only one Clause. At the Ottawa Conference last year the different representatives of the Australian Colonies desired that the restriction on their freedom to make Customs arrangements between themselves and other Colonies should be removed; and that they should have the same liberty in that respect as was enjoyed by the Canadian Colonies. The object of the Bill was to remove those restrictions. The Bill did not affect Free Trade or Imperial Customs or Tariffs, and every proposal made under the Bill by any Colony would eventually have to come before the Secretary of State for the Colonies for his assent or veto if it were thought that Imperial interests were imperilled or injured. He therefore hoped the House would allow the Second Reading.
§ COLONEL HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
did not oppose the Second Reading of the Bill, but was sorry his hon. Friend had not introduced it at a time when some discussion could take place on the general question of Colonial trade. He hoped the Government would soon make some definite statement as to the removal of the Treaties which prevented the Australian Colonies from giving the Mother Country preferential terms in trade tariffs.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
asked whether there was any clause in the Bill to prevent the sale in Melbourne of goods made in prison in Adelaide and vice versa?
§ The Bill was then read 2°