§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Order in Council restoring to the Colony of Jamaica a representative legislature, passed on the 19th May, 1884, was accompanied with a despatch to the Governor of the Colony, Sir H. Norman, from Lord Derby, the Colonial Secretary, stating that Her Majesty's Government thought it undesirable that the Legislative Council should be so constituted as to place the elected members in a majority and the nominated members in a minority, and trusting that it would be rarely if ever necessary for the Governor to exercise the power of overruling the votes of the elected members; is he aware that, from 1884 till 1899, the extreme power vested in the Governor, of raising the number of nominated members of the Council to the maximum, was never exercised; whether, in 1899, the Governor of Jamaica, with the sanction of the Colonial Secretary, appointed the full number of nominated members on the Legislative Council in order to carry measures of taxation, the finances having become, owing to bad seasons, temporarily embarrassed; whether a petition to the Queen, numerously signed by representative men of the island of Jamaica, by Mr. Adrian A. Robinson, President of the Jamaica Association and Mayor of Kingston, protesting against the action of the Governor and the Colonial Secretary as ultra vires and unconstitutional, has been received; and will he explain what justification the Governor offered for so acting.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
The circumstances referred to in the hon. Member's question are explained in Papers relating to the finances of Jamaica (9,177, February, 1899, 9,412, July, 1899, 9,413, July, 1899), which have already been laid before the House, and in further correspondence which will be shortly laid.
§ [No answer was given.]