§ MR. HOGAN
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies,—(1) whether the Government of New South Wales has been requested to assume the 1489 direct control and administration of the affairs of Norfolk Island; and, (2) if so, whether he has any objection to state the grounds on which it is sought to deprive the inhabitants of that island of the large measure of local self-government they have hitherto enjoyed?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN) Birmingham, W.
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As to the second, I have to state that, up to the present moment, the administration of justice, which is in the hands of a magistrate elected by the community, has been partial and unsatisfactory, crime is rarely punished, and debts are not recoverable; and that these circumstances, coupled with the fact that the public buildings have been allowed to fall into a ruinous condition, and that no effort has been made to develop the resources of the island, the condition of which is thus rapidly deteriorating, have, in the opinion of of Her Majesty Government, afforded sufficient grounds for effecting a change in the administration of its affairs.