HC Deb 28 June 1905 vol 148 cc364-5
MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies if his attention has been called to the fact that, according to the Treasury accounts of the Transvaal Government for the year ending June 30th, 1904, the expenses of the establishments of the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor amounted to a sum of £63,860, in addition to £30,000 set aside for buying a house for the Governor and £40,000 for the-building of a house for the Lieutenant-Governor, and that these expenses included such items as £1,535 8s. 8d. for a dance given at the Wanderers Hall, Johannesburg; and whether, having regard to the fact that the establishment of the late President Kruger only involved an annual cost of £7,700, he will call for greater economy in the Transvaal administration until the obligation of the £30,000,000 war contribution has been discharged.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Lyttelton.) I must remind the hon. Member that His Majesty's Government has elected to treat the new colonies as self-governing colonies in all matters in which Imperial interests are not directly concerned. The items of expenditure referred to clearly fall within the scope of this principle, and the Appropriation Ordinances which provide for them have been duly passed by the local Legislature. I may add that I am unable to follow all the hon. Member's figures and the comparison which he makes requires considerable qualification, because the expenses of the Governor's establishment (part of which is borne by Orange River Colony funds) and of the l Lieutenant-Governor's cover some items like clerical assistance and cables which appear separately in the Estimates of the South African Republic. In the case of †See (4) Debates, cxlvii., 1350. the Governor's house, the sum set aside for its purchase would remove a charge of £1,900 per annum for rent. I feel sure that Lord Selborne may be relied upon to practise all reasonable-economy in these matters, and I may say that considerable retrenchments have been made by the Administration within the last year. It must be remembered, in dealing with the expenditure referred to, that the cost of land, building, and living, which enormously increased during and after the war, still remains very high.