§ MR. HOGAN
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it has been brought to his notice by recent despatches from the Governor of Western Australia that a strong and widespread agitation has arisen in the goldfields section of the colony for admission to the Australian Commonwealth as a distinct and separate State, the Government of Western Australia having failed to follow the example of the other colonies concerned and to submit the Commonwealth Bill to a referendum; whether he is aware that a petition to Her Majesty embodying this request has already received 25,000 signatures; and whether the prayer of the memorialists will receive his favourable consideration when preparing the Australian Federal Enabling Bill to be submitted this session.* Speech of Lord Charles Beresford at a banquet given by the London Chamber of Commerce, 9th January, 1900.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
The answer to the first question is in the negative. As to the second, I have no official information. In reply to the third. I have to say that I will carefully consider with the delegates from the other colonics whether any steps can he taken to facilitate the admission of Western Australia as an original State of the Commonwealth.