HC Deb 03 June 1824 vol 11 cc1079-80

Dr. Lushington moved the order of the day for resuming the adjourned debate on the case of Mr. Smith, for the purpose of postponing it. His reason for postponing the discussion was, that many members who wished to take part in it had made arrangements to leave town for the holydays, from which it would be very inconvenient for them to depart.

Sir R. Wilson

took that opportunity of asking the secretary for the colonies, first, whether the minutes laid on the table of the House were the only official copy of the trial which the government had received; and secondly, whether the hon. gentleman was prepared to admit or deny the authenticity of the copy of evidence published by the Missionary Society? If there had been any suppression of evidence, it would be a great aggravation of the charge which had been made against the authorities of Demerara.

Mr. W. Horton

, in answer to the first question, said, that the minutes received by government had been printed without the omission or alteration of a single word. With respect to the second question, he could neither affirm nor deny the authenticity of the copy of the trial published by the Missionary Society. There were discrepancies between that and the official Copy, with respect to which he would leave gentlemen to draw their own conclusions.

Mr. Buxton

said, that as some doubt existed as to whether the court had received hearsay evidence, he begged to state, that Mr. Elliott, a missionary, who was present at the trial, was now in London.

Mr. Lockhart

asked, whether the authorities in Demerara had issued a proclamation revoking martial law?

Mr. W. Horton

replied, that there could be no doubt that martial law had been repealed.

Mr. Brotigham

said, he had at first intended to propose the resumption of the debate to-morrow; but for the reasons stated by his learned friend, he consented to the postponement.

The order of the day for resuming the debate was then fixed for the 11th instant.