§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention had been drawn to the report of the Commission, appointed by His Excellency the Governor to inquire into municipalities in the Straits Settlements, which was laid before the legislative council last autumn; whether he was aware that the Commission reported that grave irregularities in the assessment of houses and the collection of rates existed in Singapore and elsewhere, and stated that very great blame lay with the chief officers in the secretariat of the municipality; that the public health administration was lax and the work of the health officer was inadequately supported by the public authorities; that in matters of public contract the highest officials were in receipt of commissions from contractors, that on account of the high positions they held they could not be attacked, and that there was evidence that corruption was general; and whether, in view of the nature of this report, the Colonial Office was insisting upon steps being taken to remedy the abuses?
Yes, Sir, my attention has been drawn to the report. The Governor of the Straits Settlements has informed me that a complete revision of the Municipal Ordinance is now in hand and will be laid before the Legislature at an early date. The Colonial Government may be trusted to take the steps which are necessary to place municipal administration on a satisfactory footing.