HC Deb 07 May 1908 vol 188 c415
MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it was by arrangement with the Home Government that His Majesty's High Commissioner has been excluded from the Inter-Colonial Conference on Customs and Railways now meeting at Pretoria; and whether he will lay any correspondence which has passed with reference to this subject upon the Table of the House.

MR. ADKINS (Lancashire, Middleton)

asked whether it was not the fact that this conference was exclusively one of self-governing colonies, and that, therefore, it was not in accordance with precedent for the High Commissioner to be present.


In reply to the supplementary question I have to say that that is the case. No suggestion has been made by his Majesty's Government that the High Commissioner should preside. The matter has been regarded as one for the Ministries of the four colonies to arrange. During the time that the Transvaal and Orange River Colony were under Crown Colony Government the High Commissioner has been accustomed to preside at such conferences, but the circumstances are clearly altered now that all the four large South African Colonies possess responsible Government. It is not intended to lay any correspondence.