§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the greatly extended naval and military requirements of the Empire on the Pacific involved by the acquisition of Wei-hai-Wei and the extension of the Colony of Hongkong, the Government have given to the Dominion of Canada and the Australasian Colonies the opportunity of making some material contribution to the protection of Imperial interests in the Pacific, and of giving effect to the desire which their Governments have so frequently expressed, to be allowed to share the burdens as well as to enjoy the advantages of the Imperial connection; and whether, if no such opportunity has yet been given to the Governments of the countries referred to, they will be invited by Her Majesty's Government to contribute in some way most convenient 582 to themselves to the naval or military defence of Wei-hai-Wei and Hong-kong?
§ GENERAL LAURIE
Before the right honourable Gentleman answers this Question may I ask him whether he is aware that the Dominion of Canada has expended upwards of 120 millions of dollars in railway construction—making a great Imperial highway between the Atlantic and Pacific, enabling the Imperial Government to place reinforcements on the shores of the Pacific within a fortnight from their embarkation here, and also whether Canadians, individually and through their Government, have placed their services at the disposal of the Imperial Government in certain eventualities in the Pacific, constituting reinforcements available in three or four days?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.)
, who did not happen to be in his place at the moment the Question was put, said: I regret to have to ask my honourable and gallant Friend to repeat his Question.
§ MR. SPEAKER
Considering the terms and length of the Question, I think notice had better be put on the Paper.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
In reply to the honourable Member for West Belfast I have to say that this Question touches a matter greatly exceeding in importance that of Kau-lung and Wei-hai-Wei. The subject of Colonial contributions must be examined as a whole, and cannot be confined to one or two localities.