HC Deb 17 May 1898 vol 57 cc1550-1
MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has now received a Report of the presentation of an address by the Orange body in Dunedin to the Earl of Ranfurly, the Governor of New Zealand, and his Excellency's reply, in which the Orangemen are congratulated on having carried their old traditions to New Zealand and other Colonies; and whether, having regard to the constitutional obligations of Governors of Colonies with responsible Governments to abstain, as the Representatives of the Queen, from participating in party politics, the Colonial Office will require an explanation from Lord Ranfurly with reference to this departure from established practice?

MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

Before the right honourable Gentleman answers that Question, may I ask if it is not the fact that Her Majesty the Queen, on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee—


Order, order! The Question is very specific, and has no relation to anything said or done by Her Majesty.


I have informed the Secretary for the Colonies that I wish to ask a Question in connection with an address to the Queen, and also to her Viceroy in New Zealand, by arrangement—


I must interrupt the honourable Member. A question asked about a specific act of a certain Colonial Governor does not legitimately give rise to a question of the kind the honourable Gentleman wishes to ask.


I have not received any Report on the subject, but the honourable Member has been good enough to refer me to a New Zealand newspaper containing a report of the reception of Lord Ranfurly at Dunedin, and the presentation on that occasion of an address by the Orangemen of that city and the Governor's reply. If that report is correct, I find nothing in it which appears to me to call for explanation, or to furnish any ground for the suggestion that Lord Ranfurly, in the remarks with which he received the loyal address, participated in party politics, or identified himself with a political party.