HC Deb 23 December 1830 vol 2 cc88-90
Mr. Hume

also moved for a Return of all Pensions granted in the Colonies. He would take that opportunity of saving, that he hoped that his Majesty's Government would direct its attention to the important colony of New South Wales. He believed that that colony was at present in a very dissatisfied state. He understood that the Government there had instituted eleven prosecutions against one individual; and that, since the introduction of Jury trials in that colony, that that individual had obtained seven convictions against the Government Gazette, for libels on his character. He wished to know whether it was a fact, that the Governor of that colony had suspended the Judge who had so fairly and properly exercised his functions in the instance of those trials? If the Governor of New South Wales had acted so, that was in itself prima facie proof that things were not as they ought to be in that colony. He hoped that the noble Lord opposite would be able to state that there would be some change made in the government there. He trusted, that before the House met again, the Government would have come to such a determination; for if not, he should feel it his duty after the recess to bring forward a motion on the subject. He must express a hope, that his Majesty's Government would interfere in the case of Mr. Hall. That gentleman had been imprisoned for three years; and there had been eleven government prosecutions against him, though he had obtained seven convictions against the Government Gazette, which fact was a tolerable proof of his innocence. He wished to know whether it was a fact, that in the instance of every one of the verdicts against the Editor of the Government Gazette, with the exception of one against Archdeacon Scott, the fines had been paid out of the public money? The hon. Member concluded by submitting his Motion to the House.

Lord Howick

observed, that the hon. Member must be aware that there was a great degree of excitement and party spirit in the colony of New South Wales. The circumstances of that colony were very different from those of others, and what might be conclusive as to the misconduct of a Governor of another colony should not be considered conclusive, or any such thing as conclusive, proof with regard to misconduct on the part of the Governor of New South Wales. With respect to the charges preferred by Mr. Hall against Governor Darling, the noble Lord at the head of the Colonial Department would only discharge his duty properly by receiving them with great caution and suspicion. As a proof that the charges made by Mr. Hall should be received with great caution, he instanced the charge preferred against the Governor in reference to the bush-ranger. In that instance, the Governor was charged with conniving at murder. Now, the real fact was, that this bush-ranger had been found guilty of murder, and that, in attempting to make his escape, he had been shot. The charge in question became the subject of an investigation afterwards, and the counsel for Mr. Hall, in that instance, acknowledged that his case had broken down.

Mr. H. Twiss

remarked, that, from his experience, his testimony would bear out the noble Lord who had last spoken, with respect to receiving, with great caution, charges brought against individuals holding official situations in the colonies. He contended that, although it could not be said that the Sydney Gazette was altogether blameless in the transaction, still, were a balance to be struck between it and the Sydney Monitor, it would be found greatly against Mr. Hall, who was the editor of the latter, and who had published libels calculated to bring the Government into contempt, and to injure the Governor of the colony. The hon. Member who had brought forward the present Motion had, in one respect, been misinformed. He had urged the necessity of the appointment of a council at the colony of New South Wales, in order to assist the Governor by their deliberations. He begged to inform the hon. Member, that, in the year 1828, a bill was introduced into that House, by which a council was appointed: and, in conformity to the provisions of that bill, proper persons were selected to fill those responsible offices, without any regard to partiality in their choice.

Mr. Warburton

was of opinion, that a great deal of oppression had been manifested in the case of Mr. Hall, who had been imprisoned very unnecessarily for a great length of time.

Mr. Hume

hoped, that the noble Lord would take all the other cases with which Mr. Hall had been connected, as well as the one he had mentioned, into his serious consideration.

Lord Howick

said, that all he had stated with regard to the case of the bush-ranger had been verified by the report of Mr. Justice Dowling, who presided at the trial of Captain Wright.

The returns were ordered.

Back to