HC Deb 06 March 1906 vol 153 cc292-3

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been directed to the correspondence between Sir Frederick Darley, Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales, and His Eminence Cardinal Moran, the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, in which Sir Frederick Darley admits and reiterates a statement attributed to him, to which the Cardinal directed his attention, that the Home Rule movement in Australia was for an object which he looked on not only as disloyal, but also as one that causes unrest and works untold misery to Ireland; and whether, having regard to the position of Sir Frederick Darley as Lieutenant-Governor or Acting Governor of New South Wales, and as such the representative of the Crown, holding that position by appointment of the Imperial Government, expressions of partisan feeling on questions of Party politics are consonant with the dignity of his office or in accordance with the practice observed by Imperial Officers in the Colonies of refraining from participation in the arena of Party warfare; and whether any, and, if so, what intimation of the impropriety of his language will be conveyed to Sir Frederick Darley from the Imperial Government.


My attention has been drawn to the correspondence to which the hon. Member refers. It appears that the statement made by Sir Frederick Darley on the subject of Home Rule was originally made in a private letter. The Secretary of State is not possessed of sufficient information as to the circumstances in which this letter was made public to enable him to form an opinion, upon the incident as a whole. It is generally recognised to be undesirable that Officers of State representing the Crown should associate themselves publicly with controversial statements upon matters of Party politics.