HC Deb 30 April 1868 vol 191 c1576

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether any Report has yet been received from the Governor of Victoria on the case of George Millar, a prisoner at Melbourne under a sentence which is alleged to be illegal; if such Report has been received, what is the nature of it, and whether there is any objection to lay it upon the Table; and, if no Report has yet been received, when it may be expected?


said, in reply, that a Report on the subject of Millar's sentence had been received in this country, in the May of last year. It stated that the Attorney General of the Colony of Victoria had consulted the Judges before whom Millar was tried, and agreed with them that the sentence should not be commuted. The Government in this country, thinking the question rather doubtful, referred it to the Law Officers of the Crown, who reported that, though there was doubt on the question, they considered the punishment excessive; the question being whether, on an indictment for fraudulent insolvency, the terms of punishment could be made cumulative on each of the four counts. The punishment awarded by the Statute was fifteen years' transportation or three years' imprisonment, whereas the sentence was six years' imprisonment. The Government had therefore referred to the Governor and Judges of Victoria for the purpose of taking the best course in the circumstances, and to remit any excess in the length of the sentence.