HC Deb 20 December 1906 vol 167 cc1683-4
MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid)

To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any protests have been received from the Australian Colonies against the exclusion from the Colonial Conference of representatives of the individual states of the Commonwealth; whether his attention has been drawn to the statement of the Premier of New South Wales that any resolutions arrived at by the Conference concerning State matters would be ignored as worthless if passed behind the backs of the representatives of the Australian States; and whether the scheme of representation at the Conference has been finally deter- mined so as to exclude the separate states in the Commonwealth.

(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The Secretary of State desires me to say that representations have been made by the Governments of the Australian States to the effect that their Premiers should be invited to the forthcoming Colonial Conference; but His Majesty's Government have been unable to reconsider their decision that the next Conference must be constituted in the same way as the Conference of 1902, at which the Australian States were not represented, and that it will rest with the Conference itself to consider whether any such change as is proposed is desirable. As regards the statement of the Premier of New South Wales, referred to by the hon. Member, there is no likelihood that the Conference will pass resolutions on subjects appertaining to the State Governments.