HC Deb 15 November 1933 vol 281 cc913-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether ho is aware that evidence has been produced before the sub-committee investigating in the north of Ceylon the question of child adoption and recruitment of servants to the effect that children are being sold openly in the market place; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?


The subcommittee referred to is one which has been appointed by the Executive Committee for Home Affairs of the State Council, and it will report to that body. I have not yet seen the evidence given to the sub-committee and it will be for the Board of Ministers to consider in the first instance what action is desirable on the report.

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

Are not such problems as these inevitable where self-government is prematurely established?


I think that problems of this kind are almost inevitable everywhere.


will the right hon. Gentleman exercise his influence to see that this blot is removed?


I think it would be premature for me to make any statement on this matter until I receive a report from the Governor, and have had an opportunity of considering it.

32. Mr. T. WILLIAMS (for Mr. T. SMITH)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what reports he has received recently regarding the working of the constitution of Ceylon; whether His Majesty's Government have under consideration proposals for its alteration; and whether he can make any statement in the matter?


I have not received any formal report on this subject. I ought to add that when it was recently suggested that I should receive a deputation from the State Council, I informed the Acting Governor that I should wish to make it clear that I should not be willing at this date to entertain any proposals for the reduction or material modification of the powers conferred on the Governor and the Secretary of State by the Order-in-Council in relation to matters declared to be of paramount importance or in regard to the maintenance of the efficiency of the public service.

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