HC Deb 12 June 1913 vol 53 cc1769-70

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he is aware that the Government, of Ceylon on 7th May refused when requested to forward to the Secretary of State for the Colonies a formal protest lodged by the Colombo Total Abstinence Central Union against the new Government order prohibiting headmen from belonging to temperance societies; and what steps he proposes to take to insure that in future such representations of Colonial opinion on important matters of public interest are not withheld from him?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)

I am not aware of the facts of the matter to which my hon. Friend refers. The regulations for His Majesty's Colonial Service lay down that any communication from individuals in a Colony addressed to the Secretary of State through the Governor are to be forwarded by the Governor with all reasonable despatch, together with such report as their contents may seem to require. I have no reason to suppose that any steps are required to ensure that this rule is carried out by the Government of Ceylon.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Governor refused to pass on this representation?


I do not know the facts yet; but I have no reason to think that there was any refusal before a representation had been made in the ordinary course.


asked whether the Secretary of State for the Colonies is aware that the Excise authorities of Kandy (Ceylon) have recently placed an arrack tavern within thirty yards of the Roman Catholic cathedral and two doors from a girls' school, against the almost unanimous written protests of the resident occupiers of the neighbourhood; and, seeing that the Report of the two Excise Commissioners on which the new Excise Ordinance is framed recommended that taverns should not be too near any place of religious worship, or public market, or any school, or court house, or similar institution, whether he will either close the tavern or order its removal to a less unsuitable site?


I have no information with regard to the matter, but I will make inquiry of the officer administering the Government.