HC Deb 19 July 1867 vol 188 cc1723-4

said, he would beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, When he will lay upon the Table of the House the Instructions which he informed the House would be sent to the Colonial Governors for their guidance in case of insurrection; and, if not able to do so at once, whether he would object to state the purport of such Instructions?


said, that the Instructions to which the Question referred were not yet completed. They had been sent out in the form of a confidential draft to the Colonial Governors, and it was thought in the Office that some modification would be necessary in the phraseology of the instructions, which were not in the sense of peremptory regulations, but of advice and caution in case of insurrection. The general purport of those Instructions would be that no place should be proclaimed in a state of insurrection unless there was an armed resistance to the law beyond the ordinary power of suppression; that the proclamation was not to extend further than necessary; that such proclamation should be published by all possible means throughout the proclaimed district; and that the Government should give notice to the civil magistrates that they were thereby given no extraordinary powers; that the military officer should take the whole command, and that troops should only be employed in case of urgent necessity; that non-combatants and women and children should be carefully protected from all violence; that no prisoner should be tried without a court martial, composed of at least three officers; that every facility should be given to prisoners for their defence; and that in no instance should a prisoner be sentenced to death unless that sentence was approved by two-thirds of the court martial by whom he was tried.