HC Deb 20 February 1907 vol 169 cc828-9
*MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Government has arrived at any conclusion regarding the Municipal Corporations Act of Natal, whereby British Indian citizens are deprived of a right of which they are already possessed; and whether the Government will consider the propriety of suggesting to the Government of Natal that the fact that British subjects of an Oriental Empire, in which representative Parliamentary institutions are unknown, are necessarily without such Parliamentary franchise in such Empire, is of itself no sufficient reason why such persons, when otherwise worthy of the municipal franchise, should be deprived of such franchise in a British Colony.

The UNDER-SECRETARY for the COLONIES (Mr. Churchill, Manchester, N.W.)

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply returned yesterday to a question by the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne, regarding this Bill.†His Majesty's Government are quite aware of the objections which may fairly be †See Col. 706. urged against it, and are in communication with the Natal Government on the provision referred to.