HC Deb 19 July 1861 vol 164 cc1244-5

said, he would take that occasion to call the attention of the House to the case of Lieutenant Allen, who had been tried by court-martial in India for the murder of his native servant, and who had been convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to four years' imprisonment without hard labour. The proceedings of the court-martial in the case had been confirmed by Lord Clyde in April, 1859, and Lieutenant Allen was send to Agra. The place, however, having been ascertained to be unhealthy, he was, on the grounds of humanity, removed to England. He had arrived in this country in June, 1860, and was transferred to Milbank, but the Governor having complained of the transfer, on the ground that the institution was available only for persons condemned to hard labour, he was, on the authority of the Secretary for the Home Department, sent to Weedon, afterwards to Newgate; but, the Commander-in-Chief not deeming that to be a proper place of confinement for him, he was eventually placed in the Queen's Prison. The result was that he brought an action against the governor of the prison at Weedon, and recovered £50 on the ground of false imprisonment. Not satisfied with that, he had the other day brought an action against the Commander-in-Chief, and had recovered an additional sum of £200. There were, besides, he believed, eight other actions, one of them against the Secretary for the Home Department, and under those circumstances he could not help thinking some explanation ought to be given on the subject. He would, therefore, ask the Judge-Advocate whether he had been consulted with reference to sending Lieutenant Allen from India to this country to undergo the punishment to which he was sentenced here, and, if so, on what section of the Mutiny Act his decision in the matter was based?


, having observed that he believed the facts of the case had been correctly stated by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, said, the documents containing the proceedings of the courts-martial had been forwarded to his office, that he had examined them, and had come to the conclusion that the sentence was right. On a subsequent occasion he had, in answer to a letter—he did not exactly know whether it was of an official character—which had been addressed to him, given it as his opinion that Lieutenant Allen might be transferred to this country under a written order from Lord Clyde. Lieutenant Allen was, however, he believed, despatched from India before the reply could have reached that country, but at all events no written order had been issued by Lord Clyde, and hence arose the illegality of the imprisonment here, which had taken place without his knowledge. His attention had, in consequence of the circumstances of the case, been directed to providing against the recurrence of a similar state of things, and he had, in conjunction with the War Department, introduced an alteration into the Mutiny Act of the year, which would effect the object.

Question put, and agreed to.

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