§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state to the House the present position of the federation question in Australia, and detail the further steps that will have to be taken before federation can be brought to completion?
THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (for Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN)
We have no official information except that the recent Conference of Premiers arrived at a satisfactory agreement on the disputed points in the Federation Bill. It appears from Press telegrams that the Premier of New South Wales has decided to summon Parliament shortly to consider a Bill for submitting the amended Measure to a referendum in the Colony, when a simple majority will decide. If the decision of the people of New South Wales is in favour of the Measure, it will then be submitted by referendum to the voters in each of the other Colonies. When it has been accepted by the other Colonies it will be submitted to the Imperial Parliament for enactment. The enabling Acts of the various Colonies 1463 empowered any three of them, to go on with Federation, the Western Australian Act stipulating that New South Wales shall be one.