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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57

Sir Henry Holland, M.P.:*

Sir Henry Holland, M.P.:*

I hope the amendment will not be pressed. This is only a conference. I do not understand the learned gentleman to deny that "in order to secure the permanent unity of the Empire some form of Federation is desirable." I myself would prefer the stronger word indispensable. However, I do not understand the learned gentleman to deny the proposition. Do not let us go into the question whether the Colonies should bear any part of the Imperial responsibilities. There will be plenty of difficulties when we enter that stage or case, and I earnestly hope the amendment will be withdrawn. Only one word more. With reference to procedure, I venture most respectfully to suggest that the Society should, if possible, keep clear of Royal Commissions, or Committees, and all sorts of Colonial Office inquiries. (Hear, hear.) I speak as an old hand at the Colonial Office. (Laughter.) We are a society composed of all classes of politics in this country and the Colonies, and I think we should, if possible, keep clear of these official or, semi-official inquiries. (Hear, hear.) The Society, as Lord Rosebery has said, is one of great influence—quite sufficient influence with the Colonies and the statesmen of the Colonies to get their opinions thoroughly before us without resorting to official inquiries. (Hear, hear.)

* Conservative Member for Midhurst. Assistant Under Secretary for the Colonies, 1870 to 1871. Member of the Imperial Defence Commission.