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Imperial Politics.

THE PROPOSED POLITICAL CONFERENCE. United Press Association - P.y Flleotric Telegraph —Copyright Received Jane 7, 7.26 a.m. London June 6 The Duke of Devonshire initiated a debate m the House of Lords, with a view to clearing up the confusion regarding the Government's policy on fiscal relations between the Motherland and the colonies. He stated that the Colonial Conference was unable to meet automatically without the Government summoning it. Nothing could be more prejudicial to Imperial unity than dragging the Colonial Conference into j party affairs, which waß contrary to the spirit, if not to the tetter of Mr Balfour's assurances. Lord Lansdowne replied that the Hon A. Lyttleton m his communication* to the colonies, assumed that the resolution of 1902 would lead to a reassembly of the Colonial Conference, but no arrangements had been made relative to the subjects of discussion if the Conference mot m 1906. "If the Government," he said, "is returned after the elections, and only then, we shall invite the colonies and other parta of the Empire to a special Conference to discuss colonial prefwrence. Its conclusions will be submitted to the country at the second general election. If the colonies specially desired a Conference for any particular reason iv 1906, the Government would certainly think twice before discouraging the idea. By June, 1906, the country will be within measureable distance of a general elect-on, and the Government is unlikely ac such a time to press the colonies to send representatiAG3 Homo, and the colonies are unlikely to care to da so. When the Government appeal to the countvy, they will put m the forefront °of tbeir programme first, a policy of retaliation, and next, a policy of calling a free, unfettered, Colonial Conference." Lord Rosebery said he hoped the Conference would not be transformed into a caucus for use at the general election. It would be a great disaster if the co'enies felt they were being U3ed as pawns m the game of party politics.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6589, 7 June 1905

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Imperial Politics. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6589, 7 June 1905