§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether he will inform the House how the Crown Agents for the Colonies are paid; (2) whether Crown Colonics are in any degree compelled to have resort to their services, and who supervises their expenditure; (3) whether it would be possible to lay an annual Report of their work before Parliament; and (4) whether it continues to be the case that they are subject to the general direction and control of the Secretary of State for the Colonies?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES
(1) The remuneration of the Crown Agents is fixed by the Secretary of State, and is charged on a fund derived from payments made by Colonial Governments for business transacted by them for such Governments on scales approved by him. (2) It is the rule that Crown Colonies should employ the Crown Agents for all business transactions in England; their expenditure is regulated by Estimates, approved by the Secretary of State, and the account of their office expenditure is rendered to the Controller and Auditor General, the account of their expenditure for each Colony to the Government of such Colony. (3) If there were any general demand for it, an annual Report might 197 be given to Parliament; but it is not customary to give detailed accounts of Colonial expenditure to Parliament, except in cases where Parliamentary assistance is given, or any special occasion has arisen for giving such information, (1) They are, as they have always been, subject to the general direction and control of the Secretary of State.