HC Deb 29 November 1906 vol 166 cc280-1

To ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that on the 3rd September last a petition was received by the Clerk of the Privy Council praying the disallowance of an Act of the Natal Parliament called The Indemnity Act, 1906, and a reference of the petition, for hearing proof and report, to the Judicial Committee, pursuant to Section 4 of 3 and 4 William 4, c. 41; that on the 9th October, 1906, a reply was made by the Council that no petition on the subject lies to His Majesty in Council, as it is for the Secretary of State for the Colonies to advise His Majesty with regard to the exercise of his power of disallowance of Acts of a Colonial Legislature assented to by the Governor, while in answer to a supplemental petition of the 12th October 1906, setting forth' additional facts and repeating the prayer of the former petition, the Council replied that any representation in the matter should be addressed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and whether, seeing that on the 16th October 1906 the Secretary of State for the Colonies in turn received the before-mentioned petitions, he will say if he offered any, and, if so, what advice to His Majesty in the matter; and whether any reply has been made to the petitioners.

(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The Answer to the hon. Member's Question is that His Majesty will not be advised by the Secretary of State to disallow the Natal Indemnity Act, and the petitioners are being informed in the same sense. They have already been informed on the 23rd instant, that Lord Elgin could not advise His Majesty to refer the petition to His Council, as the matter was one on which it is clearly the duty of the Secretary of State for the Colonies to tender advice.