HL Deb 21 March 1861 vol 162 c153

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, its principal object was to remove some doubts that existed as to the power and authority which the Legislative Council of Queensland possessed. The territory of Queensland was separated from the colony of New South Wales by letters patent in June, 1859, and erected into a separate colony; and by an Order in Council of the same date it was intended to confer on the new colony the same constitution as was then possessed by the colony of new South Wales from which it was then severed. But in 1858 a local Act was passed by the Legislature of New South Wales altering their constitution to a considerable extent This local Act was received in this country in the beginning of 1859, but it escaped the attention of the Government at the time when the Order in Council was drawn up. The attention of the principal Judge of Queensland had been drawn to the fact, and he was of opinion that the powers and acts of the Legislative Council of Queensland were invalid by reason of the want of resemblance between the two constitutions, and could only be remedied in the manner now proposed; and his opinion was confirmed by the law officers of the Crown in this country. The object of this Bill was, therefore, to remedy the defect, and to declare all the acts of the Legislative Council valid, as though the letters patent had been in all respects free from doubt. As there were circumstances which frequently rendered it undesirable that a new colony should possess the same form of Constitution as that from which it separated, a clause dealing with that branch of the subject bad been introduced. The Bill likewise disposed of the tract of land lying between the 129th and the 132nd degrees, which hitherto had remained practically unappropriated, and annexed it to the province of South Australia, of which it was highly desirable that it should form part.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House Tomorrow.

Home adjourned at half-past Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.