§ BARON HENRY DE WORMS
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is true that a ship called the "Florence," supposed to contain arms, was seized at Jamaica under the Imperial Foreign Enlistment Act; that the owners in consequence brought an action against the Governor of Jamaica, and gained it; that, on appeal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council upheld the decision; that the Governor of Jamaica, acting on the precedent of the Lahave case, asked to be indemnified for his act by the Imperial Government; that the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in reply to his application, informed him that the sum must be voted by the Jamaica Council; whether it is a fact that two of the official Members of the Jamaica Council resigned their seats on this account; whether, in consequence of their resigning, the Secretary of State for the Colonies addressed an official Despatch to the Governor 393 ordering him so to fill up these two vacancies as to insure the passing of this Vote, and suggesting the name of one gentleman and leaving it to the Governor to name the other; whether it is true that, owing to this action on the part of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the sum of money having been voted by the Government majority in Council, the whole of the unofficial Members of the Council have resigned, as stated in a recent telegram; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will lay all the Papers relating to this transaction, together with the Despatch, upon the Table of the House? The hon. Member said that he wished to explain the first paragraph of the Question, otherwise it would not be perfectly clear. The following letter had been addressed by His Excellency Sir Anthony Musgrave, the Governor of Jamaica, to Mr. Thomas Capper, Chief Inspector of Schools in the Island—(Private.)—Flamstead, August 5.—My dear Sir,—I have been directed by the Secretary of State to ascertain, confidentially whether you will accept one of the seats in the Legislative Council rendered vacant by the resignation of Messrs. Mackglashan and Burke, with the essential condition that you will be prepared to support the proposals of Government, not only in the question of the Florence damages, but always when called upon. I shall be obliged if you can favour me with an early reply.—Very faithfully yours, A. MUSGRAVE.—Mr. T. Capper.To this Mr. Capper replied—Sir,—I have to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency's private letter of the 5th inst. Should I have the honour of being offered a seat in the Legislative Council, I should have no objection in accepting it subject to the conditions stated by Your Excellency.—I am, &c, THOS. CAPPER.
§ MR. EVELYN ASHLEY
The most convenient way to answer the hon. Member's string of Questions is by laying the Papers on the Table of the House, which I will do. I would point out, however, an important error in his Question. It was not under an Imperial, but under a local Act that the Florence was seized; nor was there any decision given by the Judicial Committee on the merits, but only on an interlocutory appeal about the pleadings. Lastly, only half of the cost incurred was demanded by the Imperial Government to be paid by the Colony, as the Imperial Government was anxious only to call upon the Colony to bear the minimum of charge consistent 394 with a reasonable view of the Colony's responsibility in the matter.