§ MR. J. F. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he can give any indication of the proposed future form of government in Norfolk Island; is the island to be regarded as territorially annexed to New South Wales, and as entitled to a representative in the Parliament of that Colony, or is it to be ruled by a Government resident acting under the direct authority of the New South. Wales Government; is he aware that when the inhabitants of Pitcairn Island were transferred to Norfolk Island, in 1856, at the expense of the Imperial Government, they were guaranteed the continuance of their self-governing rights and privileges; and whether any opportunity will be afforded for an expression of local opinion before the contemplated changes in the government of the island are carried into effect?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
The government of Norfolk Island is now the subject of communications with New South Wales, and I am not in a position to make any statement on the subject at present. On. reference to the Papers, and especially the Order in Council of June 24, 1856, laid before Parliament in that year, the hon. Member will see that the power of legislating for Norfolk Island was conferred on the Governor of New South Wales, who was instructed to preserve, as far as possible, the laws and usages to which the community had been accustomed. As the hon. Member has already been informed, the administration, of the affairs of the island has been most unsatisfactory, and cannot be allowed to continue; and, under the circumstances, it does not appear to Her Majesty's Government that there would be any advantage in calling for an expression of local opinion on the subject.