§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W.R., Elland)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has received a petition or petitions from public meetings held in Newfoundland, to protest against a Bill passed by the Colonial Legislature on June 12th last, to approve and confirm an agreement dated January 12th, 1905, between the Government of Newfoundland and the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited; and whether he will advise His Majesty to withhold his assent to the Bill until an opportunity shall have been afforded to the electors of Newfoundland to express their opinion upon it at a general election.
§ The following Questions also appeared on the Paper on the same subject—
§ MR. WHITLEY
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that the contract entered into by the Government of Newfoundland on January 12th last, 1351 with the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited, contains provisions which are in contravention of the provisions of the Crown Lands Act of 1903, he will advise His Majesty to withhold his assent to the Bill for confirming the said contract until full inquiry shall have been made into the circumstances under which the contract was entered into.
§ MR. LEVY (Leicestershire, Loughborough)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, seeing that the Government of Newfoundland has entered into an agreement with a limited company, called the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited, to lease to the said company for a term of ninety-nine years, with a right of continuous renewal, an area of 3,000 square miles of land in the colony, including the inland waters and full mineral and quarry rights throughout the leased area, and that the paid agent of the said company spoke and voted in the Legislative Council on the Bill for approving and confirming the said contract, he proposes to take any, and, if any, what steps in the matter.
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to a contract entered into by the Government of Newfoundland of the one part and the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited, of the other part on the 12th of January last, and now printed in the schedule to a Bill lately passed by the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of Newfoundland; and whether, having regard to the unusual provisions of the said contract, he will cause a copy of the contract and of the Bill to confirm the same to be printed for the information of the House.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to Section 11 of an indenture made and entered into at St. John's, in the Colony of Newfoundland, between His Excellency the Governor of Newfoundland and the Anglo-Newfoundland Develop- 1352 ment Company, Limited, which section gives to a limited liability company the right of compulsory expropriation of lands held by citizens of the colony within a very large area of the colony; and whether he will advise His Majesty to withhold his assent to the Bill confirming the said indenture until clauses shall have been inserted in the indenture for the more effectual safeguarding of the rights of the Crown and of the citizens of the colony in the lands affected.
§ MR. BLAKE
Will the right hon. Gentleman also state whether this measure has received the assent of the representative of the Crown in the Colonies, and has so become an Act, and whether he proposes to follow or depart in any way from the principles of action stated by his predecessors in the case of the Newfoundland Railway Act?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. LYTTELTON, Warwick and Leamington)
Until I receive the Act as finally passed by the Newfoundland Legislature on the subject of the concession to the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company, Limited, I am not in a position to decide what action I shall take in the matter, but in the meantime I would refer the hon. Members to Mr. Chamberlain's despatch of December 5th, 1898 to the Governor of Newfoundland, published in Command Paper 9137, as laying down the general principles which have guided my predecessors in considering the question of advising His Majesty in regard to the disallowance of the Acts of Colonies possessing responsible government.
MR. CATHCARTWASON (Orkney and Shetland)
Has the Act received the assent of the Governor of the colony, or is it reserved for His Majesty's decision?
§ MR. WHITLEY
Is it correct that this Act was passed in a very hurried manner through all its stages by the suspension of the Standing Orders, that as soon as it was known to have been passed great indignation was shown in the colony, 1353 and that public meetings were held and petitions drawn up, and will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to reserve the consideration of the matter until the public of the colony have had an opportunity of representing their view of the case?
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member should give notice of that Question. It introduces fresh matter not mentioned on the Paper.
§ MR. WHITLEY
I think it will be found in another Question upon the Paper relating to the same matter.