HC Deb 02 August 1899 vol 75 cc1152-99

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 6, to leave out the words 'the Colonies,' and insert the words 'Barbados and St. Vincent.'"—(Captain Sinclair.)

Question again proposed, "That the words 'the Colonies' stand part of the clause."


I am in hopes that the hon. Gentleman will now withdraw his Amendment.


The character of the discussion is entirely altered by the statement which the right hon. Gentleman made to the Committee yesterday to the effect that this is an emergency Bill indemnifying certain Governments in regard to certain steps taken by the Crown agents. I do not, therefore, propose to press the Amendment. I may, however, be allowed to say that the right hon. Gentleman cannot hold the House responsible for the step the Government has taken.


I am quite ready to accept all responsibility.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 7, after 'Act,' to insert 'over the finances of which the Secretary of State for the Colonies, as representing Her Majesty's Government, has complete control.'"—(Captain Sinclair.)

MR. BUCHANAN (Aberdeenshire, E.)

These words were in the other Bill, but on the principle of this Bill I would rather object to them, for they might affect the growing revenues of these colonists. I may add that in one of the Papers issued to us Sir David Barbour, speaking of the Home Government giving some aid to Jamaica, said that the Secretary of State should obtain a greater control over the finances of Jamaica than he possesses.


I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman, but it is unnecessary to put these words into what has become an emergency Bill. But as a matter of fact, the Government have control over the Colonies specified in the Bill.

Amendment negatived.

MR. J. H. ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

I should be out of order in making any remarks as to the policy of granting these loans. But taking that for granted, it is very necessary that we should discuss the conditions under which the loans should be granted. The principal ground on which I ask the Committee to agree with the Amendment I now rise to move is, that it is necessary in the interest of the British taxpayer. No one will deny that in regard to these loans there is a greater element of risk than if the loans were made on home securities. First of all, there is the fact that the very position of the countries for which these loans are to be made is such that they are far more liable to changes in their financial condition than England. My second point is that, so far as I can understand, no real searching inquiry has been made into the position of, at all events, a number of the investments proposed in the Bill. If a similar loan were proposed to a local authority in England, the Local Government Board would inquire very carefully as to the exact conditions under which the loan would be made. No one in this House is more willing than I am to admit the exceptional business capacity of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary; but it is not a question of his personal capacity, it is a question of principle. In the interests of financial security, the rate of interest should be higher than 2¾ per cent. The security cannot be so good as in a case where money is advanced on the security of local rates in England; the nature of the undertaking prevents it; and, moreover, there is no practical security outside the undertaking itself. Take the case of the loan to the Gold Coast. In the year 1896–7 there was a deficit in the revenue of £45,000. It is true that, according to the statement distributed yesterday, the revenue for 1898 had gone up from £237,000 to £267,000, but there was no information given as to the expenditure, so that it is impossible to see whether that increase is any proof of enhanced security. In the case of Jamaica, it is proposed to advance a sum of £150,000. Since 1891 up to the present time, with the exception of the years 1894 and 1895, there has been a very large annual deficit, which, last year, amounted to the huge sum of £154,000. Under these circumstances, how can it be said that it is a sound transaction financially to advance this sum at such a low rate of interest? It is proposed to advance to the railway £88,000 for arrears in debenture interest, and £110,000 for the further construction of the railway. The Government of the colony is involved in an annual charge amounting to something like£35,000 in respect of that railway. Again I ask, how can this proposal be defended on financial grounds? Then it must be remembered that these loans do not form a first charge upon these undertakings. In Clause 2 it is provided that these loans should have priority over subsequent charges, but everyone knows that the security for a loan of this kind depends, not upon subsequent charges, but upon what comes before. I have tried to measure the element of risk involved, and now comes the question whether the minimum rate of interest which I propose is too high. In reference to loans made upon the security of local rates in this country, the scale of the Public Works Loans Board, under the Education Act and the Public Health Act, was, for loans to be repaid in thirty-five years, 3½ per cent.; forty years, 3¾ per cent.; fifty years, 4 per cent. That was prior to 1897, in which year the rate of interest was altered in the case of a thirty years' loan to 2¾ per cent.; forty years, 3 per cent.; fifty years, 3¼ per cent. That brings it to within ¼ per cent. of the minimum rate which I propose. The nature of the securities upon which we propose to advance money to the colonies, and the position of the colonies themselves, make it necessary to provide a reserve against loss; and, taking the average rate of interest as being 3 per cent., I do not think that ½ per cent, is too large a percentage for that purpose. Another reason why this rate of interest should be higher is in the interests of justice to the field of home investments. It seems to me that there are a great many classes of investments in this country upon which money of this kind could be lent, and it is rather unjust to our own people to go out of our way to lend it at a low rate of interest outside the country, unless you base the whole of the policy upon the necessity of doing something by way of relief to these colonies. From the purely business standpoint, my case is a very strong one. With regard to the Malay Straits, is is proposed to advance half a million upon a railway. That railway has been constructed for 175 miles at a cost of £850,000, and has paid on an average 8 per cent. upon the cost. It is surely unnecessary for Parliament to sanction a loan of British public money to an undertaking in that position. I submit that if the security upon which these loans are to be made is a good one, there ought to be no difficulty in getting money through the ordinary channels of investment. On the other hand, if the security is a bad one, or not in every way a sound one, the money should not be lent without providing a certain margin to correspond with that greater element of risk. I hope the right hon. Gentleman, if he cannot agree to the full Amendment I propose, will, at all events, make the minimum rate of interest something above 2¾per cent., as it now stands in the Bill.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 15, to leave out the words 'two and three quarters,' and insert the words 'three and one-half.' "—(Mr. J. H. Roberts.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."


The acceptance of the Amendment would unnecessarily fetter the discretion of the Treasury, and I hope, after the explanation I made earlier in the discussion, the Amendment will not be pressed. We are not now attempting to lay down the principles of any great scheme of loans to colonies, but are dealing with an emergency Bill. The hon. Member in his concluding observations said, if the security by the colonies was good, he could see no reason why they should ask for Government assistance. That the security is good is proved by the fact that the colonies have been enabled to contract similar loans at 3 per cent., but the market would only take a certain amount of stock in a given period, and owing to the delay, to which frequent reference has been made, the amount the Crown agents have to place is very much above the average, and these able officials have found it impossible to place it all. It is for this reason, and for this reason alone, that we ask the House to provide the means, and I sincerely hope I shall never have to come again for such assistance, for though there are advantages on both sides, seeing the objections raised, it would probably not be worth while to raise the question again. The hon. Member says that 2¾per cent, is too low a rate, but that is the limit at present of the Public Works Loan Commissioners, and the practice is to vary the interest according to the terms of the loan, a practice that will be followed under the Bill. It is not to be assumed that the minimum will be the actual rate in all cases. Two colonies have been mentioned by way of illustration, and it may interest the Committee and tend to shorten discussion if, in anticipation of the discussion on the schedule, where these points may more properly arise, I refer to these cases. Taking first the Gold Coast, I find that colony in a most prosperous condition. True, it has a debt, and that may seem inconsistent with my last statement, but the debt arises from the deficits created by the Ashanti war and expenditure in the northern parts of the territory, separate items unconnected with the ordinary balance of accounts, for the territory may be considered as a separate colony, though for convenience the accounts have been mixed up with the administration of the southern portion. It is the intention of the Government to introduce a separate administration for the northern territory, when the accounts will be kept separate. But for the deficits arising from the Ashanti war, and expenditure in connection with the French proceedings in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, there would have been a large surplus. In 1897 the revenue was £287,000, and in 1898 it was £267,000; while in the first half of the present year it was £169,000, and it is estimated for the year at £338,000, an increase of something like 40 per cent. On the other hand, the expenditure for the first half of 1899 was £142,000, or for the year £284,000, and if this continues there will probably be a surplus of £54,000 on the year as between revenue and expenditure. The loan which is required is for a railway, which there is every reason to believe will be an extremely profitable undertaking. My opinion is based on the report of an expert who has made an exhaustive examination as to the probable cost of construction of the line and its returns. So that, quite independently of the fact that the colony is in a good financial condition, there is every reason to believe that the expenditure now contemplated will add to the revenue. The security will be the whole of the assets, the whole of the revenue of the colony; any surplus from the railway will go to the assets, and thus become answerable for the whole of the loan. In my opinion this is the best security that could be found, and I have not the slightest doubt that the money could be obtained in the market at 3 per cent., and I hope when the emergency is overcome by what I hope will be the decision of the House it will be unnecessary to come to Parliament again. Then the hon. Member went on to speak of the case of Jamaica. Jamaica is a typical case of a colony at present in great financial stress and needing help. There can be no doubt whatever in the mind of anyone who has read Sir D. Barbour's Report that Jamaica will be able to pay its own way in time, though for a year or two the colony will be in considerable straits. I have given a great deal of anxious attention to the condition of things in the colony, due probably to insufficient control on the part of the home Government. But it must be borne in mind that a constitution was deliberately conferred on Jamaica the defect of which was to give to the elected members control of finances, and I cannot help saying they have made an "awful mess of it," and the time will soon come when it will be necessary for the home Government to have larger control, especially if they are to have responsibility. Prosperous times, with large surpluses, are followed by bad times, and instead of decreasing expenditure and increasing taxation the local Govern- ment relied on its surplus, and having spent that began to create a deficit, which after several years has accumulated to the amount of£150,000. The bad state of affairs arose from the falling off in revenue due to general depression of trade in the West Indies, and more especially in the sugar industry. But at present things are better, trade with the United States is prosperous, and so long as this continues Jamaica will not only be able to make ends meet, but probably in a short time will arrive at a surplus. The local Government has been impressed with the necessity for economising expenditure and increasing taxation, and next year it is hoped the returns will show an equilibrium between revenue and expenditure. In the more prosperous times the elected members have made a somewhat improvident bargain in regard to a railway. Some American speculators issued debentures for the construction of the line, and the local Government gave a guarantee that if interest on the debentures failed they would take over the responsibility and give the debenture holders 3½per cent. stock of the colony. I have nothing to say as to this bargain; it was disapproved of at the Colonial Office, but my predecessor felt that, in the circumstances, a constitution having been granted to the colony, it was not his duty to do more than point out the objections, without putting a veto on the proposal. I do not in the least dispute the accuracy of the decision at which my predecessor arrived, though personally I regret it did not prevent the bargain being concluded. Ultimately no doubt the local Government will take over the railway, and that will for a time involve an annual deficit. The line has got into great disorganisation, the rolling stock is insufficient, and the expert sent out, having advised what should be done, thinks that in course of time, with proper management, the line can be made to pay. Meantime Jamaica will be put to additional expenditure to provide the deficit between cost of working and receipts, and will be called upon to pay the arrears of interest, £88,000, and to find £100,000 odd for the equipment of the railway. Jamaica is in the position that, if not assisted, it must become bankrupt. Does anybody in the House contemplate that, in the case of a Crown colony over which this country has a large measure of control—a control we should have to increase and probably will increase by an addition to the number of official members on the local Government—does anybody contemplate our allowing such a colony to become bankrupt? I have made inquiry into this subject, for I am anxious to distinguish between the responsibility of the home Government and that of the colony, and I find that practically no distinction exists, except that under the present system we pay a higher rate of interest than we need. The actual state of affairs is this. Whether we do or do not guarantee a loan, we assume responsibility. We pay a higher rate in the market because we will not give in terms a guarantee which really in practice we have to maintain. No one can contemplate our allowing one of our colonies to repudiate its obligations, and that is a justification in my mind for the Bill. If the loan were not made, then I should have to ask the House to make a grant in aid, as in the case of smaller colonies in a bankrupt condition. I believe that if the loan were given at a reasonable rate of interest, in the course of two or three years, with the savings made and the reforms to be made, and the greater control the Colonial Office would be able to exercise, we should be able to bring this colony round without ultimate cost to the British Exchequer. I would suggest that the Amendment should be withdrawn, and that it should be left to the discretion of the Treasury what the rate of interest for a particular loan should be.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

We cannot allow a Crown colony to go bankrupt, and, whether we give a specific guarantee or not, if a Crown colony does not pay we shall have to pay. If the railroad paid they would derive the benefit of it; if it did not pay then the colony is to take it over. The Colonial Office was against that arrangement, and yet, if this doctrine be a true one, every Crown colony might enter into some sort of bargain of that kind and expend its credit in this reckless manner; and although the Colonial Office may protest against it we must make the loan. In Jamaica the Budget is voted by the elected Members, and they have spent money in the most reckless manner, and we are making ourselves liable for all their faults, and will have to pay if they cannot. The right hon. Gentleman says that this Bill is an emergency Bill, and that it does not lay down any general principle of colonial loans. The colonies have been advised that a Bill was going to be brought in by which we would give our direct security for the loans, and they have not in consequence gone to borrow money in the open market, although, assuming that their security is as good as the Colonial Secretary suggests it is, the colonies could probably borrow for the next six months from banks and other sources at a cheaper rate than the Government could borrow on its own security. We are told that this is an emergency Bill and must be carried this session. I do not see the force of that contention, and I would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman as a compromise, having regard to the small number of Members now in the House, the majority having left because they understood that no contentious Bills would be taken at this period of the session, that in the interests of peace and harmony, he should provide for any loan that may be urgent, and that this Bill should be left until another time. We would agree to that course. This Bill does require great discussion, and I do not think that it should be forced through the House in this manner at this period. I trust that the Colonial Secretary will see his way to enter into some amicable arrangement such as I suggest.

MR. MONK (Gloucestershire)

When I saw the schedule I must admit I stood aghast at the amount that was required for these loans, and the lack of information respecting them. We have now had some information, but, agreeing as I do with a great deal which fell from the hon. mover of this Amendment, I think the Committee are entitled to further information than they have received with regard to which of these loans will be made at 2¾per cent., and which will be made at the higher rate. No doubt some of these eleemosynary loans will be a total loss to this country. A portion of them will be really gifts, and not loans at all.


I think not. On the contrary, there will be no loss at all. The eleemosynary loan made to Barbados has been repaid.


Of course, we are a wealthy country, and we ought to support our colonies in times of stress; but I do not see why so low a price should be charged for these loans. If the hon. Member had moved that the minimum rate should be 2 per cent. I should have gone into the Lobby with him. My reason for rising is to ask, first of all, what amount of these loans will be made at 2¾per cent. and what amount will be made at the higher rate. If we can get that information now, or when we come to the schedule, it will greatly facilitate the matter we are discussing.


I shall be happy to give the House any information in my power. I would remind the Committee that in introducing the Bill I stated that we should not make loans to the colonies under the Bill on better terms than to local authorities in the United Kingdom, and in certain cases I should think it right to require higher terms. In regard to Barbados and St. Vincent it is intended that the hurricane loan should be at 2¾per cent., repayable in twenty-three years. These are less favourable terms than are given to local bodies in England who repay in thirty years, and do not compare unfavourably, so far as the Treasury is concerned, with the Government guarantee of 3 per cent. given some years ago to the Mauritius under circumstances similar to those on which these loans are to be made to Barbados and St. Vincent. The loan to the Mauritius, I might remind the Committee, has never cost the United Kingdom a penny. With regard to the other cases, I think their governing principle will be that which I have already stated. I do not wish to make any undue profit out of these loans. It would be absurd to attempt to do so, and it would be grossly unfair to the colonies. But in each case I shall have to consider the position of the colony, the security offered, and, particularly, the length of time for which the loan may be desired. If a colony, owing to the nature of the work, desires that the repayment of the loan shall be extended over as long a period as fifty years, then we shall have to charge a higher rate of interest, just as we do in the United Kingdom. In each case the Treasury and the Colonial Office will carefully examine into all the circumstances, with the view of fixing the interest and the repayment of principal on the basis I have indicated to the Committee.


The explanation of the right hon. Gentleman meets in a measure the object which my hon. friend had in view. As I understand, the loans to Barbados and St. Vincent are given for twenty-three years. In regard to the Local Loans Act, the Treasury drew up a sliding scale, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this Bill appears to have started on the same lines, and I should like to ascertain from him that in the future he will continue to work on similar lines. There is just one other thing I should like to say. In the beginning of his statement, the Colonial Secretary told us that he hoped this Bill would be a final one, and would not be followed by similar Bills in coming years. But these loans, I take it, will occupy the same position as the loans made to the colonies by the Treasury under the old Act. I think the discussion would be greatly facilitated if we had an assurance from him that, so far as he was concerned, this Bill will not be followed by similar Bills in coming sessions.

Question put, and agreed to.


The Amendment which I now wish to propose is to insure that the rate of interest for the loans shall be fixed by the Treasury alone. In cases of this sort, the Colonial Secretary is in the position of borrower; he makes a complete statement of what he believes to be the goodness of the security offered, and under those circumstances I think the Treasury alone should fix the rate at which the money is to be advanced. I anticipate that I shall get the support of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, having regard to the remarks he made just now, in which he implied that it was the work of the Treasury to fix the amount, and that they should accept the responsibility of so doing.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 16, to leave out the words 'and the Secretary of State.'"—(Mr. Buchanan.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'and the Secretary of State' stand part of the clause."


I am afraid I cannot agree with my hon. friend in this. It would not be fair that the Treasury alone should settle the matter. The colony will have to pay, and the Secretary for the Colonies is responsible for the colonies. I therefore do not think it right that he should be omitted from all voice and control in the matter.


I see from the clause that these loans are to be regarded as local loans within the meaning of the Local Loans Act. In that Act alone the Treasury is responsible for fixing the interest. In this case there will be, of course, communication between the two offices, and the Treasury would be

Aird, John Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.
Arnold, Alfred Finch, George H. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Arrol, Sir William Finlay, Sir R. Bannatyne Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fisher, William Hayes Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverpool)
Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy Fison, Frederick William Lowe, Francis William
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manchr Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Flannery, Sir Fortescue Macdona, John Cumming
Balfour, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Clackm. Flower, Ernest MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Banbury, Frederick George Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Maclure, Sir John William
Barnes, Frederick Gorell Fry, Lewis M'Crae, George
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Galloway, William Johnson Monk, Charles James
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj. Gedge, Sydney Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist. Gibbons, J. Lloyd Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Giles, Charles Tyrrell More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Bigwood, James Goldsworthy, Major-General Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gordon, Hon. John Edward Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Bond, Edward Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Moss, Samuel
Boulnois, Edmund Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J (St George's Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley Newdigate, F. Alexander
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Greville, Hon. Ronald Nicholson, William Graham
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Griffith, Ellis J. Nicol, Donald Ninian
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. Wm. Oldroyd, Mark
Chamberlain, Ht. Hon J (Birm.) Harwood, George Parkes, Ebenezer
Chamberlain, J. A. (Wor'cr.) Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Perks, Robert William
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Pierpoint, Robert
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Coghill, Douglas Harry Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow) Purvis, Robert
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Howard, Joseph Rentoul, James Alexander
Curzon, Viscount Johnston, William (Belfast) Richards, Henry Charles
Dalkeith, Earl of Kenyon, James Ridley, Rt. Hon Sir Matthew W
Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P. Knowles, Lees Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Donkin, Richard Sim Lafone, Alfred Sharpe, William Edward T.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lawrence, Sir E Durning-(Corn. Sidebottom, William (Derbsh.
Doxford, William Theodore Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)

advised as to the opinion of the Colonial Office, and under the circumstances I do not think the Colonial Secretary should have any voice as to the interest to be paid.


Under the Local Loans Act the Treasury lays down certain rates of interest, that is all. The application of those rates of interest to particular cases does not depend upon them at all, but upon an entirely different body.

MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)

The rates would vary according to the credit of the colony, and if the colony has not an advocate in the shape of the Colonial Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer might fix a rate of interest which would be unjust to the colony, whilst at the same time this Bill precludes the colony from borrowing in the open market.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 124; Noes, 27 (Division List, No. 329).

Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Ure, Alexander Wylie, Alexander
Stone, Sir Benjamin Valentia, Viscount Wyndham, George
Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf. Univ. Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther
Thornton, Percy M. Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.) Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther
Tomlinson, Wm. Ed. Murray Wodehouse. Rt. Hn. E. R.. (Bath
Tritton, Charles Ernest Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Holland, Wm. H. (York, W.R. Pirie, Duncan V.
Billson, Alfred Horniman, Frederick John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Blake, Edward Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire) Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Broadhurst, Henry Labouchere, Henry Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Caldwell, James Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Williams, John Carvell (Notts.
Channing, Francis Allston Macaleese, Daniel Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) M' Leod, John Yoxall, James Henry
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Maddison, Fred TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Buchanan and Captain Sinclair.
Donelan, Captain A. Maden, John Henry
Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) Moore, Arthur (Londonderry)

I now move to insert the words "together with the annual interest accruing thereon." I will ask the right hon. Gentleman whether they are necessary having regard to the last words of the sub-section, for it is clear that in a considerable number of cases the colony will not be expected to pay the annual interest on the loan from the beginning.

Amendment proposed:— In page 1, line 18, after 'and,' to insert 'together with the annual interest accruing thereon.'"—(Mr. Buchanan.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said the words were not necessary.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I have now to move an Amendment limiting the period for the repayment of loans to thirty years. I do not think that that term should be exceeded except under very exceptional circumstances. In this case the security is very inferior to the security given by our own local authorities for loans, the repayment of which is spread over longer periods, and I therefore trust the Government will make some concession, otherwise I shall be compelled reluctantly to divide the committee.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 19, to leave out 'fifty' and insert 'thirty' "—(Mr. J. H. Roberts.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'fifty' stand part of the clause."


I am afraid we cannot accept this Amendment. I may, however, point out that the Colonies may be induced to borrow for shorter periods by the fact that in such cases a lower rate of interest is charged.


Although I feel strongly on this point, I am aware it is quite hopeless to press the Amendment, and I therefore ask leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question proposed, "That Clause I stand part of the Bill."


I think we have reason to complain of the course which has been pursued by the Government in regard to this Bill. They have delayed giving us the necessary explanations of its provisions, and certainly that is not a way calculated to commend this legislation to the favour of the House. It is incumbent on us to protest against the introduction of an important measure like this at the fag end of the session, and without adequate explanation, and I therefore think we should divide against this clause as a whole.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that this is an emergency Bill, and that the Government did not anticipate a large extension of the loans. But £3,300,000 is a very large extension indeed. The right hon. Gentleman also said that we should have a full explanation of all the different items. Most unquestionably we have not had that, or any explanation of any sort or kind. As to the Bill being an emergency Bill, it is not an emergency Bill in the sense in which that word is generally applied, because the colonies could get on very well by borrowing the money until next year, and we could then discuss whether or not we should give them a guarantee. The colonies would not be in any sort of way damnified by the Bill being carried over. In view of the fact that we had no explanation on the Second Reading, we are bound to do our utmost at this late period of the session to protest against everything in connection with this Bill. The minority in the last Division was not what I would call large, but that was because a great many Members on this side of the House have gone away, leaving us to keep watch and ward over the public expenditure. We therefore represent not only ourselves and our constituents, but also the vast mass of Members who confided their interests to us, and under these circumstances I think my hon. friend ought to go to a Division.


The Party of which the hon. Member is a distinguished member does not appear any more united on this question than on most others. A full explanation has been given to the House of the proposals of this Bill.




In the Paper which has been circulated among hon. Members. Some hon. Members appear to think that the sum of £3,300,000 is enormous, but it compares favourably with the loans to local authorities which have been sanctioned by Parliament, and which this year have reached a total of £7,000,000.


I am sure the House is ready to extend every consideration to the Government for carrying on the business of the country. The Secretary of State for the Colonies has told us that the finances of Jamaica are very intricate. The Blue Book containing Sir David Barbour's Report was only issued to us on Monday, and in debating these intricate proposals we are placed at a very considerable disadvantage by not having had the necessary information supplied to us. Though the Secretary of State for the Colonies has declared that this Bill is an emergency Bill, yet long after these debates are forgotten the Act will remain on the Statute Book, and it will open the door to consequences which none of us are able to foresee or prevent. The hon. Member for Lincoln pointed out that this Bill practically closed the old method of borrowing for the Crown Colonies, and last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed to the possibility of consolidating the debts of all the Crown Colonies. These are two very large consequences flowing from this measure, and I think we are justified in the interests of the one man who seems to be forgotten in this Debate, namely the taxpayer of this country, in making a very strong protest against this proposal being brought before the House at so late a period of the session.

SIR H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

I quite appreciated the objection raised on the Second Reading of the Bill with reference to the non-presentation of information in respect to the loans in the schedule, and I think the House generally concurred in the view suggested by the Leader of the Opposition yesterday, that the Committee stage should not be undertaken until the document prepared for the Secretary of State for the Colonies was in the hands of the Members. We all know the delay which has occurred is not the fault of the Colonial Office or of the Government, but of the printers of the House. ("No, no.") Well, I am speaking from my own experience. What I want to say, without expressing any opinion on the items, is that this Bill was fully discussed on the Second Reading, and that the House of Commons assented to and approved its principle. The Amendment now before us to leave out Clause I is really a proposal to reverse the previous decision of the House. I claim myself to be as strong an advocate of economy and of strict supervision of public expenditure as any man in the House, but I have come to the conclusion, which I think it is my duty to state, that this is a very desirable change in our fiscal system. I am not going into the question of the Colonial Funds Bill, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has withdrawn, but I hope he will bring it in again next year. I think it will be an improvement so far as the colonies are concerned, and also so far as our general fiscal system is concerned. But, at all events, that stands over, and the question now before us is whether we will or will not pass what appears to me to be an administrative Bill in order to enable the colonies to carry out their more or less pressing obligations. The present motion before the Committee is whether or not we are going to reject the Bill altogether, because if this Amendment is carried there is an end to the whole measure. I am not prepared to reject the Bill. I think there are a great many loans in this schedule which ought to be made, but that is a question of detail, and I appeal to my right hon. friends not to ask the Committee to again decide what has been already decided by the House on the Second Reading.


I am sorry I cannot respond to the appeal of my right hon. friend. One of his statements

Aird, John Dalkeith, Earl of Johnston, William (Belfast)
Arnold, Alfred Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kenyon, James
Arrol, Sir William Donkin, Richard Sim Knowles, Lees
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lafone, Alfred
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Doxford, William Theodore Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn
Balfour. Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Finch, George H. Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Balfour, Rt. Hn. J Blair (Clackm Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a
Banbury, Frederick George Fisher, William Hayes Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Fison, Frederick William Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverp'l)
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lowe, Francis William
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Flannery, Sir Fortescue Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Flower, Ernest Macdona, John Cumming
Bigwood, James Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Billson, Alfred Fry, Lewis Maclure, Sir John William
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gedge, Sydney M'Crae, George
Bond, Edward Gibbons, J. Lloyd Monk, Charles James
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Giles, Charles Tyrrell Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Boulnois, Edmund Goldsworthy, Major-General Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Gordon, Hon. John Edward More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford
Caldwell, James Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J (St Ge'rg's) Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Causton, Richard Knight Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Greville, Hon. Ronald Nicholson, William Graham
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert W. Nieol, Donald Ninian
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Harwood, George Oldroyd, Mark
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Parkes, Ebenezer
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- Perks, Robert William
Coghill, Douglas Harry Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow) Pierpoint, Robert
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Holland, W. H. (York, W.R.) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Curzon, Viscount Howard, Joseph Purvis, Robert

astonishes me. He said that the principle of the Bill had been fully discussed on the Second Reading. But the discussion only lasted an hour and a half, and the speeches of the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. Member for Poplar occupied a third of that time.


The hon. Member cannot review the Debate on the Second Reading.


I have no desire to review the Debate, but I maintain that the principle of the Bill was not discussed on the Second Reading, and that we are justified in opposing the details on the ground that the Bill was introduced at the end of the session, and was not fully explained, as was promised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. On these grounds, and in defence of the interests of the British Treasury and of good legislation, I shall most certainly divide the Committee.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 123; Noes, 30. (Division List, No. 330.)

Rentoul, James Alexander Stanley, Edw. J. (Somerset) Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Richards, Henry Charles Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)
Robson, William Snowdon Stone, Sir Benjamin Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Runciman, Walter Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wylie, Alexander
Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Thornton, Percy M. Wyndham, George
Sharpe, William Edward T. Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.) Tritton, Charles Ernest TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Simeon, Sir Barrington Ure, Alexander
Spencer, Ernest Valentia, Viscount
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. Moss, Samuel
Blake, Edward Horniman, Frederick John Pirie, Duncan V.
Broadhurst, Henry Joicey, Sir James Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Channing, Francis Allston Jones, William (Carn'rvonshire Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Crilly, Daniel Labouchere, Henry Wallace, Robert
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'l'nd Williams, John Carvell (Notts.
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lewis, John Herbert Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Donelan, Captain A. Macaleese, Daniel Yoxall, James Henry
Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton M' Leod, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Buchanan and Captain Sinclair.
Griffith, Ellis J. Maddison, Fred.
Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth Maden, John Henry

Clause 2:—


The object of the Amendment I now move is to prevent the legislative authority from passing any Act diminishing the security. The words of the Statute could not be too precise, and my Amendment, I think, will infuse more precision into the somewhat vague words of the clause.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 25, to leave out from 'made' to end of line 26, and insert, 'has passed an Act or Ordinance which provides.' "—(Mr. Buchanan.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."


I do not quite understand the meaning which the hon. Member has in his mind. The words in the Bill are very plain, requiring that the loan should be provided for in a legal way; and the colonial authority cannot do that except by an Act, Ordinance, or something corresponding to an Act or Ordinance. I do not think the words are necessary.


The words in Sub-section 2 are very definite indeed, and I thought there was probably some reason for that.


That is obvious, because there you have to refer to an Act or Ordinance.

Amendment negatived.


My object in moving this Amendment is, if possible, to increase the security to the Treasury in advancing the money. In cases in which the loans are to be made for the construction of reproductive works, such as a railway, I think the money advanced from the British Treasury ought to be so advanced not only on the security of the Colony itself, but on a first charge on the works themselves, and the revenue from them. I think in 1885, in the case of a Cape Act, a loan for the construction of the railway to Kimberley was made, not only on the security of the Colony, but on that of the revenue of the railway itself.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 27, at end to insert '(b) for securing the loan as a first charge upon any works which may be created out of the proceeds of the said loan, and for applying the surplus revenues of such works in repayment of the loans.' "—(Mr. Buchanan.)

Question proposed, "That these words be there inserted."


I think I answered this by anticipation earlier in the day. As a matter of fact, any such surplus or profit will go to the general revenue, and the whole of the general revenue and the whole of the assets of the colony will be pledged. Therefore, it is quite unnecessary to put in these words. I may point out as an analogous case that the security of the assets of a corporation or local authority is considered sufficient for loans under the Public Works Loans Act.


I had an Amendment of this kind on the Colonial Loans Fund Bill, which was withdrawn. I think the Amendment is a very reasonable one. Supposing the Government advances money to make a railway, the loan ought to be made a first charge on the railway, in order to secure the money to the State. It is obvious that what is intended by the clause is that there should be priority at the time of the advance, but there could not be any priority, because if the colony had no assets they could not pay anything, and the priority would go. I think the Amendment is a reasonable one, and I trust the right hon. Gentleman will accept it.

Amendment negatived.


in moving to substitute "Parliament" for "the Treasury and the Secretary of State," said his object was to secure that, in the

Aird, John Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Lafone, Alfred
Allsopp, Hon. George Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Lawrence, Sir E Durning-(Corn)
Arnold, Alfred Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Arrol, Sir William Donkin, Richard Sim Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Swan.
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Doxford, William Theodore Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manc'r Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Finch, George H. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (L'pool)
Banbury, Frederick George Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lowe, Francis William
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Fisher, William Hayes Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Fison, Frederick William Macdona, John Cumming
Beach, Rt Hn Sir M. H. (Bristol Flannery, Sir Fortescue Maclure, Sir John William
Bigwood, James Flower, Ernest Manners, Lord Edw. Wm. J.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fry, Lewis Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Bond, Edward Gedge, Sydney Monk, Charles James
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Gibbons, J. Lloyd Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Giles, Charles Tyrrell Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Goldsworthy, Major-General More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)
Carlile, William Walter Gordon, Hon. John Edward Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Greville, Hon. Ronald Nicholson, William Graham
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W. Nicol, Donald Ninian
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Oldroyd, Mark
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampst'd) Parkes, Ebenezer
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow) Perks, Robert William
Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Holland, Wm. H. (York, W. R.) Pierpoint, Robert
Cox, Irwin E. Bainbridge Johnston, William (Belfast) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Curzon, Viscount Knowles, Lees Purvis, Robert

event of any alteration in the conditions of the security, the matter should first come before Parliament.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 17, to leave out the words 'the Treasury and the Secretary of State,' and insert the word 'Parliament'—(Mr. Herbert Roberts)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words 'the Treasury and the Secretary of State' stand part of the Clause."


said that he could not accept the Amendment. It would be an absolutely unconstitutional and novel procedure for Parliament to have anything to say as to the voiding of the Ordinances of Colonial Legislatures. That power was vested in the Secretary of State. The Treasury was added in order to safeguard the matter from a financial point of view.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 116; Noes, 47. (Division List, No. 331.)

Rentoul, James Alexander Stone, Sir Benjamin Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenh'm) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wylie, Alexander
Russell. T. W. (Tyrone) Thornton, Percy M. Wyndham, George
Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard Tollemache, Henry James Wyndham-Quin, Maj. W. H.
Sharpe, William Edward T. Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray Wyvill, Marmaduke d'Arcy
Sidebottom, W. (Derbyshire) Tritton, Charles Ernest Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Simeon, Sir Barrington Ure, Alexander
Spencer, Ernest Valentia, Viscount TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset) Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Harwood, George Moore, Arthur (Londonderry)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Clackm. Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Moss, Samuel
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hazell, Walter Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Billson, Alfred Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) Robson, William Snowdon
Birrell, Augustine Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H. Runciman, Walter
Broadhurst, Henry Horniman, Frederick John Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Joicey, Sir James Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Caldwell, James Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Souttar, Robinson
Cameron, Sir Chas. (Glasgow) Kay-Shuttle worth, Rt Hn Sir U Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Causton, Richard Knight Langley, Batty Tennant, Harold John
Cawley, Frederick Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Wallace, Robert
Channing, Francis Allston Lewis, John Herbert Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Macaleese, Daniel Yoxall, James Henry
Dilke. Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Crae, George
Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton M' Leod, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Herbert Roberts and Mr. Labouchere.
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Maddison, Fred
Griffith, Ellis J. Maden, John Henry

Clause agreed to.



in moving the omission of the Gold Coast as one of the colonies entitled to participate in the loans both in respect of its railways and the Accra harbour works, said the right hon. Gentleman had inferred that the finances of that colony were in a flourishing condition, and that we should be repaid every penny of the loan, and that the security offered was in fact A 1 security. In his opinion the published Returns of 1897 hardly bore out the view of the Colonial Secretary as to the peculiarly excellent financial position of this colony. In 1887 there was a deficit of£17,000, in 1888,£35,000, in 1889,£19,000, in 1894,£8,000, in 1895,£35,000, and in 1896,£44,000. The total revenue was£237,000. Customs produced£199,000, and the spirits imported paid in Customs duties£132,108. Their object was, as far as they could, to prevent spirits from being imported, and if the revenue from spirits was taken away there was an enormous deficit. Really they ought to look a little into what some of those colonies were. The official population of the Gold Coast was 160, of whom last year six died and 31 were invalided; the non-official white population was 362, of whom 34 died and47 were invalided. The fact was, there were hardly any Europeans who would go there, because they would not risk the climate, and it was hardly a place that was likely to be converted into a wealthy colony. At all events, he saw no reason why this country should step in and find the money for making a railway there, because there was no probability that it would pay or extend the trade of the country. The Secretary for the Colonies was a good business man, but he had a fad in his head; he wanted to develop the colonies. This was a rotten place to develop. It was not worth while to expend£500,000 on the security of the revenues of this colony, which were not sufficient to meet the present expenditure. In these circumstances he begged to move his Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 6, to leave out the words from the word 'Gold' to '£98,000,' both inclusive,"—(Mr Labouchere.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the schedule."


said the hon. Gentleman, who rather regarded himself as [...] of advanced views, was, on the [...] occasion, nothing but a fossil. [...] views were the views which were held by his predecessors in the early sixties, and had been altogether altered and changed, so far as the majority of the people were concerned, by subsequent experience. It was perfectly true that there were few Europeans in this particular colony, and he did not suppose there ever would be a large European colonisation of tropical Africa; but if the hon. Gentleman inferred from that that tropical Africa was of no advantage to Europeans because there was no trade worth having, he was entirely mistaken. So far from the Gold Coast being a bankrupt colony, the trade, imports and exports, is at the rate of£2,400,000 per annum. For a long series of years it had surpluses, and it was only in 1894 that the deficits began; and how did they begin? The colony, having procured surpluses amounting in the total to £139,000, began to feel itself justified in embarking upon large expenditure on public works, and, above all, sanitary improvements. For some time the amount so expended did not swallow up the surpluses; but then came the Ashanti war, and the deficit mounted up to £168,000. That left a debt which—although he was convinced it was a good debt—the Treasury would probably have to allow to run for a year or two until they gained back a period of surpluses, when they would pay it off as rapidly as possible. Why was this place called the Gold Coast? Because, as had been perfectly well known for centuries and centuries back, it was a great place for gold; the gold of our early days always being derived from the washings of the rivers. But now, with modern machinery and the advantage of modern science, we were able to deal with the places from which the gold comes from the quartz in the rocks, and many persons who had gone into the interior prospecting had returned very sanguine as to the investment of their money. The public took a similar view, because, in regard to some of these companies, although subsidiary companies were not issued, so well did the investing public look upon the undertakings, that the shares had gone up 1,500 and 2,000 per cent. That showed that in the belief of those who were well-informed there was a splendid opportunity for gold mining over this large area. Ten years ago the export of gold from the Transvaal was £80,000, and who could say that ten years hence the gold from West Africa might not bear a similar proportion to the growth of the gold export from the Transvaal? The reason why the export up to the present was so small was that they had not got up the heavy machinery required for modern gold mining, owing to the primitive method of transport which prevailed in those tropical climates. The Colonial Office had taken the best advice, and had good authority for assuming that the proposed investment would be an admirable one for the colony, and a perfectly sound one for this country to guarantee. As regards the harbour at Accra, it was a misfortune that there was no good harbour there, the bar constituting a difficulty. In the opinion of the great engineers who had been consulted, great improvements might be made by deepening the harbour. A moderate sum was asked for that, and here again the expenditure was fully justified by the condition of the colony. He recognised that the hon. Gentleman had the power of causing a great deal of unnecessary trouble to a good number of hon. Members. He implored him, as he was strong, to be merciful. Their advisers, the Crown Agents, who, he thought, were entitled to speak with authority on the subject, told them that they would be placed in a most serious and embarrassing position if the Bill were not passed. Therefore the Government were obliged to press the Bill, and no good would be gained by delaying its progress, so far as regarded any alteration of its terms. Hon. Gentlemen had expressed themselves aggrieved by what they regarded as arbitrary conduct on the part of the Government; but he appealed to the Committee whether there was any ground for a punitive expedition on the present occasion. The Government had yielded to the Opposition. They understood it would materially promote the rapid progress of this Bill if they abandoned the Colonial Loans Bill. They had withdrawn the latter Bill, and, as he had said, there was no prospect of its re-introduction; at least, he did not favour such a course. Again, yesterday, in deference to the Leader of the Opposition, who also assured them they would materially promote the conduct of public business by yielding to his request, they agreed to postpone the discussion on this Bill, in order that hon. Members might have an opportunity of studying the information they had provided. They had in every way endeavoured to meet the Opposition. He quite recognised that hon. Members like the hon. Members for East Aberdeenshire and Forfar might desire to make a solemn protest against the principle of the Bill. He hoped they had a distinguished career before them, and, if they had, he ventured to think that they would regret the course they had taken to-day, and that they would find themselves some day or other in a position in which they would have to take a totally different line. But perhaps that was too far off to look forward to. In any case, granted the perfect right of those hon. Members to make their protest, he appealed to them whether they had not now made a sufficient protest. As to the hon. Member for Northampton, he would say, let him by all means take a Division upon the Amendment he had moved, which would be a typical Division. If there was any other colony as to which he had any particular Amendment to move, it would be perfectly reasonable he should take a Division upon it, but he hoped the hon. Gentleman would not put the Committee to the trouble of walking through the Lobbies indefinitely with no practical result, especially in view of the conciliatory attitude which it must be allowed the Government had adopted.


The right hon. Gentleman says he has adopted every plan to meet our objections, but there is one plan he has not tried—that of withdrawing the Bill.


I cannot.


I have already shown how it can be done. These colonies can carry over; they have borrowed at a little under the bank rate, and can go on till next year. Our primary complaint is that the Bill is brought in at a time when we are left here to carry on the discussion without those Gentlemen who have gone away supposing there were no controversial matters to come forward. The right hon. Gentleman asked me to make this a test Division, and only to divide upon any loan to which I particularly objected. But what am I to do if I particularly object to all of them?


[...] as a sample.


I have gone diverse and special reasons to submit against each. It is suggested that I should take a Division against the items altogether. That appears reasonable at first sight, but, while there are excellent reasons against all, there are stronger arguments against some than, against others, and therefore, in regard to particular items, I should get a better Division, and accentuate my views more by dividing upon the different items. But, after all, the right hon. Gentleman will get away on Wednesday; there is nothing else to do to-day. We are not obstructing; we are simply carrying out what we believe to be our duty.


I wish to assist the hon. Gentleman in his desire to get through the business as quickly as his conscience will allow him. I therefore suggest to the hon. Member that he should take a Division against the schedule as a whole, and then anyone who objects to any particular item will vote against the schedule, and in that way he will get a bigger Division than he could get under any other circumstances.


After the speech of the right hon. Gentleman it is a most invidious task for anyone to stand here to make any remarks upon this Bill, but I submit that the responsibility rests with the right hon. Gentleman himself. I would challenge him to find any previous instance of such a measure as this, involving such a large financial burden on the country, being given so short a time for its discussion. Certainly no suggestion of obstruction can be justified. If, however, the House shows any decided feeling in favour of terminating the Debate I shall not stand in the way, but I am entitled to make a few observations upon the Amendment which has been moved, and the reply which has been made. The question we have discussed is whether this railway should be made. The proposal can be divided distinctly into two parts. One half is a railway which has already been begun, and which the Colonial Office have approved, and the other half is an undertaking which the. Colonial Office have not approved, and which has in no sense been accepted as a wise investment or undertaking. The basis of profits in regard to this railway is practically the gold mines. The right hon. Gentleman submitted that it was a very good investment, and that there would be no difficulty in getting that loan taken up in the open market. That obviously calls forth the retort that it is a pity it was not left to the open market to take up. Development is going on in all parts of the world, and it is only natural that the Colonial Secretary should wish to develop as quickly as possible those parts with which he is specially concerned. But we are going too fast. If we are to dash in at once wherever there is a prospect of a remunerative investment in any part of the world, we shall be landed in very large undertakings, which at a future time it may be very difficult to fulfil. Another aspect of the question is that the revenue of this colony depends very largely on spirits, from 60 per cent. to 70 per cent. of the revenue being derived from that source. If we raise this loan and make the colony liable for it, we shall be practically riveting upon the colony the present methods of raising the revenue, and it will be very difficult to free them from this liquor traffic, or to proceed in the direction in which the right hon. Gentleman wishes to proceed, viz., of the restriction of the importation and sale of spirits. I am not one who would wish to restrict the expenditure on the colonies, but I certainly think, on the grounds I have put forward, there is some reason for hesitating to confirm, at any rate, the latter part of this proposal. I should also like to ask how it is proposed to construct these railways, and by what labour the existing portion has been constructed.


The right hon. Gentleman himself told us that the time for discussing this Bill was on the schedule. We have now just reached the schedule, and we are endeavouring to extract some information with regard to the different loans. The proposals under this first item are of two kinds. First, to complete and go on with railways already in course of construction. That railway is to go to the gold mines, and if the gold mines are successful the railway will be successful; if there is not paying gold there the railway will fail. That means that this railway is part of a gold mining speculation. Why should the Government with the aid of the Imperial Treasury step in to assist individuals who, no doubt, with a view to their own interests have gone into a gold mining speculation on the Gold Coast of Africa? The portion of this undertaking which has been sanctioned by the Colonial Office stands on an entirely different foundation from the other. In regard to the latter there is no emergency, and the right hon. Gentleman ought not to endeavour to get upwards of half a million of money when he has only a fair claim to about half that sum. We should also like to have some information as to what form of labour is being used in the construction of this railway, and is to be used on future railways. There is an Ordinance in the Gold Coast Colony which enables forced labour to be used. What security have we, if Imperial money is advanced for this purpose, that these railways will be constructed under conditions which will give no encouragement, either direct or indirect, to the employment of forced labour or any form of slavery?

MR. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)

The latest Returns that we have appear to contradict the statement which has been made with regard to the decrease in the trade in spirits. In the year 1896 833,000 gallons of rum were imported, in 1897 878,000, showing an increase of 44,000 gallons, while there was a total increase in the importation of liquor of nearly 50,000 gallons. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to imply that the revenue from liquor did not form a large proportion of the total revenue of the country, but a reference to figures shows that while the total Customs receipts amounted to £193,000, the receipts in respect of spirits amounted to £132,000. It is, therefore, obvious that as far as its revenue is concerned the colony is now practically on a basis of liquor. The present proposals tend to perpetuate that, just as the large revenues derived by India from the opium trade have tended to perpetuate that trade, with all its baneful effects. The official Return with regard to the revenues shows that the security is not a good one for the amount which is being advanced. It is also perfectly true that a large portion of the money may not be required at all, as the construction of certain lines has not yet been decided upon. Is it not therefore reasonable that we should wait before we vote this amount in order to ascertain whether these undertakings will be proceeded with or not? The whole question is of such a speculative character that I

Aird, John Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute
Allsopp, Hon. George Fisher, William Hayes Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Arnold, Alfred Fison, Frederick William Newdigate, F. Alexander
Arrol, Sir William Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Nicholson, William Graham
Asher, Alexander Flannery, Sir Fortescue Nicol, Donald Ninian
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Flower, Ernest Oldroyd, Mark
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Fowler. Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Parkes, Ebenezer
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Fry, Lewis Perks, Robert William
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Gibbons, J. Lloyd Pierpoint, Robert
Balfour. Rt. Hon. J. B. (Clackm. Giles, Charles Tyrrell Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Banbury, Frederick George Gilliat, John Saunders Purvis, Robert
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Goldsworthy, Major-General Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Gordon, Hon. John Edward Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Goschen, Rt. Hn G J (St. George's Russell. Gen. F. S. (Chelt'nh'm)
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants.) Goulding, Edward Alfred Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Bigwood, James Greville, Hon. Ronald Sharpe, William Edward T.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W. Sidebottom, William (Derbysh.
Bond, Edward Harwood, George Simeon, Sir Barrington
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Smith, James P. ((Lanarks.)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Brookfield, A. Montagu Hoare, Edw. B. (Hampstead) Spencer, Ernest
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Houlds worth, Sir Wm. Henry Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Carlile, William Walter Howard, Joseph Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W. Johnston, William (Belfast) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.) Kay-Shuttle worth, Rt. Hn Sir U Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worcester) Knowles, Lees Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf. Univ.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Lafone, Alfred Thornton, Percy M.
Cochrane, Hn. T. H. A. E. Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn Tollemache, Henry James
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead Tomlinson, W. E. Murray
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Ure, Alexander
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans.) Valentia, Viscount
Colomb, Sir John Charles R. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverp'l) Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge Lowe, Francis William Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm
Curzon, Viscount Macartney, W. G. Ellison Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Macdona, John Cumming Wodehouse. Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath
Dalkeith, Earl of Maclure, Sir John William Wylie, Alexander
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Manners, Lord Edward W. J. Wyndham, George
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Donkin, Richard Sim Monk, Charles James Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Doxford, William Theodore Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. More, Rbt. Jasper (Shropshire) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edwd. Morrell, George Herbert
Finch, George H. Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Dillon, John M'Crae, George
Billson, Alfred Evans, Sir F. H. (Southampton) M' Ewan, William
Birrell, Augustine Fenwick, Charles M' Leod, John
Broadhurst, Henry Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) Maddison, Fred.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. Maden, John Henry
Caldwell, James Holland, Wm. H. (York, W. R.) Mappin, Sir Fred. Thorpe
Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow) Horniman, Frederick John Molloy. Bernard Charles
Cawley, Frederick Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr)
Channing, Francis Allston Langley, Batty Moss, Samuel
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb.) Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Dalziel, James Henry Macaleese, Daniel Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durh'm

think we are justified in making a reason able protest against the proposal.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 140; Noes, 43. (Division List, No. 332.)

Pirie, Duncan V. Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Robson, William Snowdon Tennant, Harold John TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Labouchere and Mr. Herbert Lewis
Runciman, Walter Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.
Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfars.) Williams, J. Carvell (Notts)
Steadman, William Charles Yoxall, James Henry

I move to omit "Niger Coast Protectorate Harbour Works, £43,500." The arguments are to a considerable extent the same as on the previous item. There is no reason if you make railways on the Gold Coast why you should make harbours at Accra and Calabar. The right hon. Gentleman has given up the point that these places are in any way fit for habitation by Europeans. The white population, exclusive, I presume, of officials is stated to be 200, and the revenue is£153,000, of which£116,730 is derived from spirits. The right hon. Gentleman said that it was his desire that the liquor traffic should be reduced. But most unquestionably it has not been reduced in those parts, because the amount of liquor sold in 1897–98 was a little over£23,000 more than was sold in 1896–97. We do not profit ourselves by this huge liquor traffic; it is the Germans who send liquor from Hamburg that profit, £63,861 worth of gin being introduced by other countries as against £1,331 worth by us. I will put the matter on a practical basis. Is a colony with a population of two hundred Europeans, with the revenue dependent on the duty charged on liquor, good security for the expenditure of money in that particular colony?

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 8, to leave out the words from the word 'Niger,' to '£43,500,' inclusive."—(Mr. Labouchere.)

Aird, John Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Coghill, Douglas Harry
Allsopp, Hon. George Bigwood, James Cohen, Benjamin Louis
Arnold, Alfred Blundell, Colonel Henry Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse
Arrol, Sir William Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Colomb, Sir J. Charles Ready
Asher, Alexander Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Brookfield, A. Montagu Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Curzon, Viscount
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Burdett-Coutts, W. Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Caldwell, James Dalkeith, Earl of
Balfour, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Clackm. Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)
Banbury, Frederick George Carlile, William Walter Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Cayzer, Sir Charles William Donkin, Richard Sim
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J (Birm. Doxford, William Theodore
Beach. Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.
Beach, W. W. B. (Hants.) Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E. Dunn, Sir William

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule."


I cannot say much in answer to the right hon. Gentleman, because it will only be a repetition of what I have said already. The Niger Coast Protectorate is a promising colony, and there is no reason to believe that there will be any deficit. These works are eminently necessary, some of them were commenced before I had any control over the Protectorate, and I am not answerable for them in that sense, although I thoroughly approve of them. They are necessary works, they will be remunerative, and I think there is ample security.


The right hon. Gentleman has said that these works will be remunerative, but there is no note to that effect in the statement which has been issued. Will there be any income to justify the British taxpayer in paying this money?


I hope so. I take exception to the words "British taxpayer" because he is not asked to spend anything, and I do not think he will be called upon to do so.

Question put.

Committee divided: Ayes, 148; Noes, 39. (Division List, No. 333.)

Evans, Sir F. H. (Southton) Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Sidebottom, William (Derbysh.
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans'a Simeon, Sir Barrington
Finch, George H. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverpool) Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Fisher, William Hayes Lowe, Francis William Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Fison, Frederick William Macartney, W. G. Ellison Spencer, Ernest
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Macdona, John Cumming Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Maclure, Sir John William Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Flower, Ernest Manners, Lord Edward W. J. Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Fry, Lewis Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Gibbons, J. Lloyd Monk, Charles James Talbot. Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Uni.
Giles, Charles Tyrell Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Thornton, Percy M.
Gilliat, John Saunders Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Tollemache, Henry James
Goldsworthy, Major-General More, R. Jasper (Shropshire) Tomlinson, Wm Edw. Murray
Gordon, Hon. John Edward Morrell, George Herbert Ure, Alexander
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Valentia, Viscount
Goschen, Rt. Hn. G J (St. George's Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)
Greville, Hon. Ronald Newdigate, Francis Alexander Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Nicholson, William Graham Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Harwood, George Nicol, Donald Ninian Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Oldroyd, Mark Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Parkes, Ebenezer Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead) Perks, Robert William Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Houlds worth, Sir Wm. Henry Pierpoint, Robert Wylie, Alexander
Howard, Joseph Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Wyndham, George
Hozier, Hon. James H. Cecil Purvis, Robert Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. Lawies Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W. Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Johnston, William (Belfast) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Kay-Shuttle worth, Rt Hn Sir U Robson, William Snowdon
Knowles, Lees Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Lafone, Alfred Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Atherley-Jones, L. Horniman, Frederick John O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Billson, Alfred Joicey, Sir James Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)
Birrell, Augustine Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Pirie, Duncan V.
Broadhurst, Henry Langley, Batty Runciman, Walter
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.
Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow) Macaleese, Daniel Steadman, William Charles
Channing, Francis Allston M'Crae, George Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) M' Ewan, William Tennant, Harold John
Dalziel, James Henry M' Leod, John Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Dillon, John Maddison, Fred. Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Fenwick, Charles Maden, John Henry Yoxall, James Henry
Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) Mappin, Sir Fred. Thorpe TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Labouchere and Mr. Herbert Lewis.
Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H. Morgan, W Pritchard (Merthyr
Holland, W. H. (York, W R.) Moss, Samuel

I propose to leave out the various loans in the schedule with reference to Jamaica. This is one of the largest items, and includes sums for public works, aid to revenue, the completion and equipment of the railway, interest on railway debentures and water works. Whenever it has been desired to advance money to certain of the West Indian Colonies after hurricanes and other exceptional circumstances, it has been done by a Vote on the Estimates, and full particulars have been laid before us. I believe this is the first occasion on which we have been asked to lend an individual colony money in aid of its annual revenue. With reference to the amount for public works, this loan has already been expended, and therefore it will come to a certain degree within the emergency category mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman explained in an earlier part of the Debate that the Colonial Office considered itself under an obligation to relieve the colony from the speculative company which contracted for the construction of its railway; but if a colony with its eyes open enters into an arrangement of that sort, it ought to bear the consequences, and the Treasury ought not to be asked at the last moment to step in and indemnify it. Then there is an advance for rolling stock, which appears a very curious purpose to which to devote a portion of this loan. We had laid before us on Monday night Sir David Barbour's Report on the financial condition of Jamaica. It is a very interesting document and shows, what we have been endeavouring to urge, that Jamaica, like many of the other colonies, has had its ups and down. Sir David Barbour points out that, although its financial condition at the present moment is very bad, still it had in the past a great many ups as well as a great many downs. I have an Amendment down to the effect that we should only advance these sums if the Colonial Office obtained control of the finances of the colony. This is one of the essential recommendations of Sir David Barbour's Report, and the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary has not yet told us whether he intends to adopt it. For my part, I should certainly be prepared to urge that the necessity of the Colonial Office getting greater control over the Colonies than it at present possesses is a very essential objection to this Bill, because I believe the proper Colonial policy to be to encourage as much as possible Colonial independence—even in the Crown Colonies—with a view to making them capable of managing their own financial and domestic affairs. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what further security he hopes to be able to offer for this advance to Jamaica, which constitutes one of the most objectionable features of this Bill?

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 9, to leave out the words from the word 'Jamaica,' to '£40,000,' in line 13, both inclusive."—(Mr. Buchanan.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the schedule."


The hon. Member for East Aberdeenshire seems to think that a change in the Constitution of Jamaica is necessary in order to give the Colonial Office control over the expenditure of the money raised on the guarantee afforded by the Bill. This is not the case. The Colonial Office has the right to appoint a majority of the members of the Council, and I would not hesitate to exercise that power if necessary.


Was that not attempted last year and dropped?


In connection with the Tariff Bill I did appoint some official Members. The elective Members took objection to that course, but they finally agreed to pass the Tariff Bill, so my object was attained, and there was no reason for continuing the appointments. I should, however, reappoint them at once if I deemed it necessary. I must say that I differ entirely from the view of the hon. Member that what he calls constitutional rights should be extended to the West Indies. I think, on the contrary, that we have already gone too far in that direction. As is shown by the very small number of persons who take part in the elections, it is evident that the people who constitute the electorate do not care for the privilege, and the consequence is that these so-called liberal constitutions are really nothing more nor less than oligarchies. Under all these circumstances, I am convinced that a Crown Government which pays attention to such public opinion as exists in the colony is the best form of government possible.


I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his views with regard to constitutional government. We complain here of the House of Lords, but in Jamaica, under the auspices of the right hon. Gentleman, the people are infinitely worse off, as if they do not act as he directs, he says he will introduce into their Assembly four or five nominated members in order to create a majority. I only hope this action will be confined to Jamaica, and that the right hon. Gentleman will not seek to introduce it into this country. We are carrying out his wishes now by taking all these grants to Jamaica in a lump sum, instead of dividing on each of the five items. But let us see what is the position of this remarkable Colony. It already owes £1,740,000; its finances show a perpetual deficit, and yet we are asked to advance it more money! And for what? In the first place we are invited to guarantee the interest on a loan for sewering and street re-construction in Kingston. What would be said if the London County Council came and asked us to guarantee a loan for such works in London?


Many towns in England, including, I think, the borough of Northampton, have obtained loans for a similar purpose.


Yes, and that is exactly my point. I do not object to spending the money in this country; what I do object to is to guarantee the interest on a loan to such a colony as Jamaica, with its stupid and ridiculous financial system. I would not lend money to that colony at 10 per cent. The next item is a grant in aid of the revenue. The right hon. Gentleman seems to be under the impression that Sir David Barbour takes a favourable view of the future finances of Jamaica, and that he thinks an equilibrium will be established in a short time. But it seems to me that Sir David is the reverse of sanguine on that point, and he suggests that we should come to the aid of the colony. There seems to be every prospect that if we guarantee this loan we shall have to pay it ourselves. Then I come to the item for railroads. The thing is perfectly monstrous. Jamaica entered into an arrangement with some speculative Americans by which the latter were to keep the railway if it succeeded, but by which Jamaica was to become responsible, if the railway failed, to pay 3½ per cent. on a million and a half of capital. As Sir David Barbour points out, this adds largely to the obligations of the country without in any way benefiting it. This railroad has not been able to pay its way or even to pay the interest on its debentures. Sir David Barbour does not suggest that it will pay, and as I understand it the arrangement is that we are to advance this money to a railway with this first charge of 3½ per cent which it cannot pay. Under those circumstances the Colonial Secretary threw up the sponge as far as the contention that this was a business matter was concerned, and he now appeals to us in formâ pauperis for Jamaica. I entirely disagree with the Colonial Secretary that we are bound to come to the rescue of these reckless colonies who make bargains with American companies, and get into financial difficulties through their own bad management and speculation. I think the best thing would be to hang one of them up as an example to the others, and if Jamaica were allowed to incur the odium of bankruptcy it would be an object lesson to the other colonies. If you lay down the principle that whether these colonies do well or ill we will pay their debts, you will have them perpetually outrunning the constable and making faults and errors of finance.


The right hon. Gentleman has made a very important statement. He has taken an opportunity of indicating his policy with regard to these Crown colonies—that is, direct control on the part of the Colonial Office. Of course the provision of funds will, rightly or wrongly, put it in the power of the right hon. Gentleman and his successors in office to exercise a more direct and potent influence over the Governments of these colonies. The circumstances in Jamaica are different in nearly every respect from the circumstances in other colonies. It is not a case of a Governor and a nominated council, but of a legislative assembly and local institutions throughout the colony; and it seems to me to be a very important matter for consideration as to what the future of Jamaica is to be. We have had no opportunity of discussing the West Indies on the Estimates this year, and I do not know if the right hon. Gentleman can on this occasion give us any further indication of what he proposes to do regarding the report of Sir David Barbour.


I desire to sever myself from the financial policy with regard to our colonies which has been laid down by the hon. Member for Northampton. He said that it would be better to have a colony end in disaster in order that it should serve as an object lesson to other British colonies. Is that a policy likely to commend itself to the commercial common-sense of this country? I venture to say a more fatal policy could hardly be conceived. It endangers the whole position which this country holds by the enterprise of its merchants and traders in various parts of the world. We must not hesitate to lend the credit of this country—especially when we get good sound security—to those of our British colonies which may be emerging, not perhaps always from depression, but from the consequences of unsuccessful commercial adventures. I observe that the hon. Gentleman referred to the loan for Kings- ton, but he omitted to state that the rates from the town of Kingston are sufficient to cover the charge of this loan. We are told that these loans ought not to be granted, but the same system is applied to many large municipalities in this country, some of which have been notoriously on the verge of financial difficulties, and surely there can be no reasonable objection to extending the same indulgence to an old British colony. What would be the effect of driving these colonies into bankruptcy? They would have to go to the lending agencies of the world—some British, some French, some German, and some, possibly, American, and raise loans at exorbitant rates of interest. That policy would redound against this country, because how are the colonies going to raise the revenue to pay for these loans? Partly by local taxation and partly by increased import duties. Who would have to bear the burden of the latter? The manufacturers of Manchester, Sheffield, and other large towns, who are already complaining of the heavy import duties in some of these Crown colonies. But the colonies could turn round on us and say, "We have had to raise heavy loans at big rates of interest, as you refused to lend us your credit, and therefore we require these heavy import duties. I have

Aird, John Cayzer, Sir Charles William Gedge, Sydney
Allsopp, Hon. George Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Gibbons, J. Lloyd
Arnold, Alfred Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Giles, Charles Tyrrell
Arrol, Sir William Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r Gilliat, John Saunders
Asher, Alexander Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbt. John
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Goldsworthy, Major-General
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Filz Roy Coghill, Douglas Harry Gordon, Hon. John Edward
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldom
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds) Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Goschen, Rt. Hn. G J (St George's
Balfour, Rt Hn J. Blair (Clackm. Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Goulding, Edward Alfred
Banbury, Frederick George Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Curzon, Viscount Greville, Hon. Ronald
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Dalkeith, Earl of Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.
Beach. Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Harwood. George
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-
Bigwood, James Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hazell, Walter
Billson, Alfred Doxford, William Theodore Heaton, John Henniker
Birrell, Augustine Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hill, Arthur (Down, West)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dunn, Sir William Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)
Bond, Edward Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Houlds worth, Sir Wm. Henry
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Fenwick, Charles Howard, Joseph
Boulnois, Edmund Finch, George H. Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Johnston, William (Belfast)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Fisher, William Hayes Knowles, Lees
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Fison, Frederick William Langley, Batty
Burdett-Coutts, W. Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Caldwell, James Flannery, Sir Fortescue Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'nsea
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Flower, Ernest Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)
Carlile, William Walter Fry, Lewis Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverp'l)

not a penny invested in Jamaica, and none of my friends have, as far as I am aware. The colony no doubt made a huge blunder in connection with the railway. An enormous sum was expended on it. I observe, however, that the gross revenue amounts in some years to £90,000 or £100,000 a year, but the extraordinary part of it is that four-fifths of this revenue is absorbed in working expenses, showing bad management somewhere. If this loan is granted, and if the Colonial Secretary exercises commercial control, as we know he will, and if he sees that effective conditions are imposed to secure the working of the railway on reasonable rates, it does not seem to me to be taken for granted that the security is of such a character as has been represented. I rose mainly for the purpose of absolutely disassociating myself from the policy laid down by the hon. Member for Northampton, viz., that this great, ancient colony should be allowed to drift into bankruptcy and hopeless financial confusion, just to hold it up as an object lesson to British colonies in every part of the world.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 158 Noes, 38. (Division List No. 334.)

Lowe, Francis William Perks, Robert William Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Pierpoint, Robert Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Macdona, John Cumming Pirie, Duncan V. Thornton, Percy M.
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Tollemache, Henry James
Maclure, Sir John William Purvis, Robert Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
M'Crae, George Ridley, Rt Hon Sir Matthew W. Valentia, Viscount
Maden, John Henry Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Manners, Lord Edward W. J. Runciman, Walter Walton, Jn. Lawson (Leeds, S.
Martin, Richard Biddulph Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Sharpe, William Edward T. Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Monk, Charles James Sidebottom, William (Derbysh. Williams, J. Powell-(Birm.)
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Simeon, Sir Barrington Wilson-Todd, W. H. Yorks.)
Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire Smith, James Parker (Lanarks. Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Morgan, W Pritchard (Merthyr Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wylie, Alexander
Morrell, George Herbert Spencer, Ernest Wyndham, George
Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Spicer, Albert Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Newdigate, Francis Alexander Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)
Nicholson, William Graham Stone, Sir Benjamin TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Nicol, Donald Ninian Strauss, Arthur
Parkes, Ebenezer Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Atherley-Jones, L. Hedderwick, Thomas C. H. Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Horniman, Frederick John O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Joicey, Sir James Oldroyd, Mark
Broadhurst, Henry Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)
Cameron, Sir Chas. (Glasgow) Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Robson, William Snowdon
Channing, Francis Allston Lewis, John Herbert Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.
Crilly, Daniel Macaleese, Daniel Steadman, William Charles
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) M' Ewan, William Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Dalziel, James Henry M' Leod, John Tennant, Harrold John
Dillon, John Maddison, Fred. Yoxall, James Henry
Donelan, Captain A. Mappin, Sir Fred. Thorpe
Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton Molloy, Bernard Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Labouchere.
Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis Moss, Samuel
Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) Moulton, John Fletcher

I wish to ask whether the House would agree to the proposal that we now take a Division against the remainder of the Schedule, instead of dividing against each separate item of it. We have now done our best, and the discussion cannot be prolonged with benefit.


I am glad my hon. friend has made this proposal, which, I think, has not come at all too soon. My hon. friends have, in the exercise not only of their rights but of their intelligent judgment, exhibited a very great interest in the subject, and a great deal of knowledge upon it—much of it recently acquired, thanks to the assistance of the right. hon. Gentleman opposite. But so far as I have observed—I had not the advantage of being present during the whole of the Debate, which enables me to speak with all impartiality, for if I had been here my mind might have been warped—but I think enough has now been said and done, I will not say for glory, but to vindicate the right of the House of Commons to discuss such important details as are contained in this Bill and Schedule. I said yesterday, in regard to the question of the hurried manner in which the Bill has been introduced, and the lack of information, that that ground of complaint was removed by the action of the Secretary of State for the Colonies; but, of course, there still is the right and duty of examining closely all these particular loans. Now, I appeal to anyone who has heard even as much as I have, if there is not a great deal to be said on the subject of these loans—I do not mean of an obstructive character, because I do not believe there has been any obstruction or waste of time, but in the way of serious and deliberate discussion of these very important matters. Having, however, gone so far, and having found the sense of the House so uniformly expressed in favour of these items in the Schedule, I think the proposal of my hon. friend is a wise one, that we should regard the rest of the Schedule as having one head, and make one final effort to have that head cut off. I think that even the stern sense of public duty which always animates the hon. Member for Northampton will discern some reason for what I am saying. I daresay he is conning the Bill, and looking with a longing eye on items still to come on; but I think he will consult, not only the convenience of the House, but the general opinion of the House, if he will forego the pleasures of further detailed criticism, and confine himself to the one opportunity which my hon. friend offers him.


I recognise the friendly character of the interposition of the right hon. Gentleman, and I hope it will commend itself to other Gentlemen in the House. I have had the advantage, which the right hon. Gentleman has not enjoyed, of being present during the whole of this Debate, and I desire to bear my testimony to the assiduity with which some of the followers of the right hon. Gentleman have carried out his suggestion that they should examine carefully all the details of the Bill. I am quite sure their loyalty to the right hon. Gentleman has been shown by the extremely emphatic nature of the protest they have thought it their duty to make. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that a great deal is to be said on this subject, and that a great deal has been said, but I feel sure now that hon. Members will be satisfied, and may feel that they can go home having done their duty and shown their great objection to the principle as well as to the details of the Bill. I believe they will agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite that

Aird, John Boulnois, Edmund Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh
Allsopp, Hon. George Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Dalkeith. Earl of
Arnold, Alfred Brookfield, A. Montagu Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)
Arrol, Sir William Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P
Asher, Alexander Burdett-Coutts, W. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Caldwell, James Doxford, William Theodore
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin) Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.
Bagot, Capt. J. Fitzroy Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Dunn, Sir William
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Carlile, William Walter Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Cayzer, Sir Charles William Finch, George H.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Clackm. Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Banbury, Frederick George Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm) Fisher, William Hayes
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Fison, Frederick William
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj. Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Flannery, Sir Fortescue
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Coghill, Douglas Harry Flower, Ernest
Bigwood, James Cohen, Benjamin Louis Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Billson, Alfred Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Fry, Lewis
Birrell, Augustine Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Gedge, Sydneyd
Blundell, Colonel Henry Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge Gibbons, J Lloyd
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Curzon, Viscount Giles, Charles Tyrrell

nothing can be gained by any further detailed criticism, which must necessarily follow the lines of what has already taken place.


I feel we can go home with a good conscience. We have done our duty. There are several items yet, and, as the Leader of the Opposition said, we ought, by rights, to discuss every one of those items. But, when he made those suggestions, the Leader of the Opposition ought to be here to help us. The right hon. Gentleman has been kept away, leaving the hard work to us. I gather from the Leader of the Opposition that his conscience will allow him to go away, and that he does not wish himself to discuss these items. For my own part, I am against every one of the items, but, so far from being an obstructive, I should be very happy to vote against the whole of the items en bloc. In conclusion, I will only say that a more monstrous, a more wicked, and more scandalous Bill was never brought into the House. In local matters we ought to run ourselves, and the colonies ought to run themselves.

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 14, to leave out the words from the word 'Lagos,' inclusive, to the end of the Schedule."—(Mr. Labonchere.)

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 151; Noes, 38. (Division List, No. 335.)

Gilliat, John Saunders MacIver, David (Liverpool) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Goldsworthy, Major-General Maclure, Sir John William Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Gordon, Hon John Edward M'Crae, George Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Manners, Lord Edw. Wm. J. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St Geo's.) Martin, Richard Biddulph Spencer, Ernest
Goulding, Edward Alfred Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Spicer, Albert
Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset.)
Greville, Hon. Ronald Monk, Charles James Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)
Halsey, Thomas Frederick Moon, William Robert Pacy Strauss, Arthur
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. Wm. Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Harwood, George More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Talbot, Rt. Hn J. G. (Ox. Univ.)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- Morgan, W Pritchard (Merthyr) Thornton, Percy M.
Hazell, Walter Morrell, George Herbert Tollemache, Henry James
Heaton, John Henniker Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Valentia, Viscount
Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead) Newdigate, Francis Alexander Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H.
Houlds worth, Sir Win. Henry Nicholson, William Graham Walton, J. L. (Leeds, S.)
Howard, Joseph Nicol, Donald Ninian Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Hozier, Hon. James Hy. Cecil Oldroyd, Mark Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Johnston, William (Belfast) Parkes, Ebenezer Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)
Joicey, Sir James Perks, Robert William Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Pierpoint, Robert Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath.
Knowles, Lees Pirie, Duncan V. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Wylie, Alexander
Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Swan.) Purvis, Robert Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W. Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (L'pool.) Robson, William Snowdon TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Lowe, Francis William Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Macdona, John Cumming Sidebottom, W. (Derbyshire)
Atherley-Jones, L. Fenwick, Charles Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H. Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham
Broadhurst, Henry Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Lewis, John Herbert Steadman, William Charles
Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow) Macaleese, Daniel Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Channing, Francis Allston M' wan, William Tennant, Harold John
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) M' Leod, John Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Maddison, Fred. Yoxall, James Henry
Dalziel, James Henry Maden, John Henry
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Labouchere and Captain Sinclair.
Donelan, Captain A. Molloy, Bernard Charles
Evans, Sir F. H. (S'thampton) Moss, Samuel

Schedule agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; read the third time, and passed.