§ Mr. O'Connell
rose to move for certain documents with a view to shew that certain individuals had been punished twice for the same offence. These individuals were first tried for a conspiracy to forge, and then for the crime of forgery. If it were true that these individuals were tried before a competent tribunal, and were about to be tried for the same offence before another tribunal, that would be a violation of justice, according as it was administered here, which ought not to be allowed, and which called for explanation. It was to obtain correct information on the subject, that he should then move "That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, praying that he will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House a copy of the record of proceeding before the Magistrates in the Colony of Van Diemen's Land, and of the judgment and sentence whereby Joseph B. Clark, James Cox, Thomas Bird, William Frazer, and Charles Browne, or any of them, were convicted and sentenced to corporal punishment for 788 the crime of forgery or conspiracy to forge, and also of the record and proceedings in the Supreme Court of the said Colony, in the year 1824, and of the punishment and sentence, whereby the said several persons, or any of them, were convicted of the crime of forgery, and whether they were punished or pardoned for the same; and also such information as may shew whether the offence in that case before the Magistrates was the same or different from that before the Supreme Court."
§ Mr. Hume
said, in seconding the Motion, he must express his satisfaction that his hon. and learned friend had taken it out of his hands, for he was well able to point out what was right or wrong in any legal question. He was further anxious to state that when the Secretary for the Colonies, the right hon. and gallant General opposite (Sir G. Murray) received the first application on this subject, he evinced the greatest readiness to inquire fully into it; in fact, he wrote at once to the Colony for information, requiring at the same time that justice should be done to these persons. From the feelings by which that right hon. Gentleman was then governed, he was persuaded that the sentence of punishment, if it were wrong, and the second sentence for the same offence, would not be carried into execution.
§ Sir George Murray
said, he meant to make no opposition to the Motion. He had already given the hon. Member for Montrose all the information he then possessed, and he could assure him that on all similar occasions he should feel it his duty to pursue the same course. The moment it was ascertained at the Colonial Office that an irregularity had been committed, orders were immediately sent out to put an end to the punishment. He wished to inform the House that the first proceeding occurred before the present regular court of justice was established in the Colony, and that such irregularities were not likely again to occur.
§ Mr. O'Connell
said, he concurred in the opinion of his hon. friend, the Member for Montrose, and with permission of the House he would withdraw his Motion.
§ Motion withdrawn.