HL Deb 08 September 1887 vol 320 cc1637-8



asked Her Majesty's Government, Whether it was convenient to give further information with regard to the suggestions of the Maltese people on the subject of Constitutional changes in the Local Government; whether they would be favourably considered; and what course Her Majesty's Government proposed to take in respect of them?


, in reply, said, the Government had received the draft of a project for the formation of a Constitution, drawn up by a Committee appointed by an assembly of citizens in Malta. In forwarding the draft scheme, the Governor desired to inform the Secretary of State of the spirit of moderation which had been exhibited by the gentleman who had had a conference with him, and the spirit so evinced enabled the Governor to believe that a scheme for the government of the island might be satisfactory to the inhabitants. In reply to this despatch, the Secretary of State informed the Governor that he approved his action, in the matter, and was gratified by the conciliatory tone in which the communications between himself and the Committee had been conducted. The Secretary of State added that he desired to arrive at a conclusion to meet the wishes of the people of Malta, and that the present proposals would have his most careful consideration. At present the Lieutenant Governor was engaged in taking an active part in the measures to arrest the spread of the infection of cholera which unfortunately prevailed in the island, and, under the circumstances, the Government had not thought is advisable to ask him to come to this country to confer with them upon the subject of the proposed Constitutional changes; but it was hoped that in a little time, probably next month, or at all events by the middle of November, cholera would so far abate as to enable the Lieutenant Governor to leave, and come home to confer with the Government as to the draft Constitution. Speaking generally, he might say that the suggestions appeared to be such as the Government might be able to accept, and would receive consideration in the Recess. The views of the Government would be published in Malta in time for an expression of opinion to be given before the next Elections took place about next December.