§ Mr. Goulburn
rose to move for leave to bring in a Bill to amend an Act of the 22d of the King, which went to provide that no office in 340 any of the colonies of the united Kingdom should be entrusted to any person who had not resided for a specified length of time in the settlement. The provisions of these Acts were very important; yet it had unfortunately happened, that certain abuses had crept in, which rendered these salutary provisions altogether nugatory. One of the chief defects which operated against these Acts was, that the governors and councils of colonies were empowered to grant leave of absence to persons, without limitation of time or other restriction. The object of the Bill which he wished to introduce was, to remedy this and the other defects, by which the provisions of the former Acts were eluded. It was his intention to propose certain restrictions on governors in granting licences to persons holding colonial offices who absented themselves from our colonial possessions; and also to limit the time to which the leave which could be granted by such licences should extend. He also intended that it should be enacted, that annual lists should be laid upon the table of the House, containing the names of those officers of colonies who were absent from the establishments to which they were by their offices attached.
expressed his satisfaction at the measure proposed by the hon. gentleman; but wished to know whether, or not, Gibraltar and Malta were to be within the scope of the Bill.
§ Mr. Goulburn
replied, that Gibraltar would; and Malta if it should become a cession to the crown.
Leave was then given; and Mr. Goulburn brought in a Bill to amend an Act of the 22d year of his present Majesty, intituted, "An Act to prevent the granting, in future, any patent office, to be exercised in any colony on plantation now or at any time hereafter belonging to, the crown of Great Britain for any longer term than during such time as the grantee thereof, or person appointed thereto, shall discharge the duty thereof in person, and behave well therein;" and the same was read the first time, and ordered to be read a second time upon Monday next.