§ SIR W. WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Secretary of State for the Colonies has received a Petition from Indian-British subjects in the Colony of Natal, protesting against the Franchise Law Amendment Bill, just passed in the Natal Parliament; whether the effect of that Bill is to exclude Indians from the franchise; whether it is the fact, as alleged in the Debate, that the Asiatic communities have never exercised the privilege of the franchise; and whether the Secretary of State will disallow the Bill, on the ground that it is retrograde in character and based upon race disqualification?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. S. BUXTON, Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
(1) Such a Petition has been received, and it is understood that it is to be followed by another. (2.) The effect is as stated by the hon. Member, except in the case of Indians already properly on the voters' rolls. (3.) As regards 3, we have no information. (4.) The Act has only just come under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, and I cannot, therefore, make any statement on the subject at present.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
Is it the case that the Indian population in Natal is equal in number to the European population?