HC Deb 28 May 1858 vol 150 cc1062-3

said, he rose to ask the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies a question relating to the newspaper press in Sierra Leone. Sometime since a newspaper called the New Era was established in that colony, which chose to criticise the conduct of the Governor in a manner that was not altogether pleasing to the latter. There was no representative body in Sierra Leone, and consequently the Governor in Council had alone the power to make laws. The Governor in Council thought he would control the press, and accordingly issued an Ordinance, in which he required that every newspaper should find a certain number of gentlemen as securities fur its good conduct. The proprietors of the New Era were called on to give in the names of their sureties. They did so, but every surety named by them was rejected, and the consequence was, that that paper was put down. He wished to ask the noble Lord whether his attention had been called to this matter; if so, whether the Government had done anything regarding it, and what; and whether, in consequence, they had considered the propriety of recalling the Governor?


, in reply said, an Ordinance had been issued last year calling on all publishers of newspapers in the colony of Sierra Leone to find securities in the same manner as was done in England. His attention had been called to the Ordinance, and also to the circumstances to which the hon. and learned Member had referred; and it was the opinion of the Government that, considering the peculiar state of society in so small a colony, and the difficulty which persons might have in finding proper securities, the Ordinance could not be satisfactorily worked, and that it would be better, therefore, to repeal it. With regard to the other question of the hon. and learned Gentleman, he had to inform him that there was no intention of recalling the Governor.

On the Motion that the House, at its rising, adjourn till Monday.