§ MR. J. HENDERSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of the facts that the ex-Governor of Ceylon commenced the negotiations for a lease of the Ceylon pearl fisheries, that a lease was granted to a syndicate, of which the ex-Governor was a member, and by the syndicate sold to a company of which the ex-Governor is a shareholder and director, he will grant a full inquiry by Commission or otherwise into the whole circumstances, correspondence, and documents leading up to these transactions, by which the Ceylon Government have transferred to a private company a valuable property of the Colony for inadequate consideration.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,) Stirling Burghs
In his dispatch of 9th May, which has been laid before the House, the Secretary of State, who is cognisant of the circumstances connected with the leasing of the fishery, has recorded the opinion that the lease appears to him to have been drafted with a sincere desire to safeguard to the utmost, the property and interests of the Colony. It has also been stated in the House that a careful study of the Papers shows that Sir West Ridge way acted throughout in good faith and with integrity. I therefore see no grounds for granting a special inquiry.