7 MARCH 1896, Page 3

A remarkable debate took place yesterday week on Mr. Labonchere's

proposal to reduce the supplementary vote of 217,000 for sundry colonial services by £15,000 wanted for the West India island of Dominica, which Mr. Labouchere supposed to be a first instalment of Mr. Chamberlain's policy of making certain grants for the profitable development of some of our Crown Colonies. Mr. Chamberlain did not shrink from saying tbat he quite hopes to pursue this policy in cases in which it seems likely to be a profitable investment of public money, and he even held that there is an opening in Dominica for such developing of the resources of one of the richest of our West India islands. But this grant of 215,000 was not intended as a profitable investment ; it was com- pensation for depriving Dominica of the proceeds of a sale of Crown land just after oar conquest of the island, about the year 1780, which proceeds ought to have been credited to the Colony, but were, as a matter of fact, paid into the English Treasury. The sum so lost to Dominica was said to be between 2200,000 and 2300,000, the interest on which ought to have been available for the administration of Dominica The sum of £10,000 was greatly needed to clear off a per- manent deficit, and 25,000 to repair the hospital, the jetty, and the lighthouse, and to repair roads essential to the com- munications of the island. Mr. Labouchere was defeated by a majority of 178 (250 to 72), Mr. Buxton supporting the Government. Mr.. Labouchere evidently does not command any considerable following.