MR. PIKE PEASE
To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, in reference to his Answer on 31st October last that the Governor-General of the Australian Commonwealth has been instructed to reserve his assent to the Australian Preference Bill, although the Law Officers of the Crown had not up to that time been consulted, whether the views of the Law Officers have now been obtained.
§ (Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The hon. Member is mistaken in supposing that I stated on 31st October last that the Governor-General had been instructed to reserve his assent to the Australian Preference Bill. The Governor-General was merely warned that the provisions of the Bill seemed to be a violation of certain treaties, and, as will be seen from page 6 of Cd. 3339, the Governor-General ultimately reserved his assent on the advice of his Attorney-General and Prime Minister. The whole question of treaty obligations as affecting the Colonies is under the careful consideration of His Majesty's Government, with a view to a full discussion of the subject at the forthcoming conference, and in the 432 meantime His Majesty's Government do not propose to express any opinion upon the matter.