HC Deb 20 July 1871 vol 208 cc49-50

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether in reference to the rumoured disturbances in Jamaica he will lay upon the Table a Copy of the Judges' notes taken at three trials lately held at St. Ann's Bay and Port Maria, Jamaica, in the Queen v. Thompson, the Queen v. Phillips, and Cane v. Bravo.


Sir, I have already told the hon. Baronet that the rumour of disturbances in Jamaica which has appeared in the newspapers came from New York, and related to certain squatters who, having established themselves upon lands to which they had no title, were said to be determined to resist eviction and to rise against the Government. I have also stated that we had no information which leads us to anticipate any such disturbances. But the trials to which the hon. Baronet alludes have no connection whatever with these "rumoured disturbances," and indeed occurred at a different part of the island altogether. One was the trial of a negro for stealing a cane; the man was acquitted and brought an action against the prosecutor for false imprisonment and recovered damages. Another was the trial of a white man for an assault upon a black, of which he was convicted and fined. The third case related to the reported trial of a magistrate for a criminal offence, and his being still allowed to continue in the commission of the peace. Of that we have no information, but the Governor will be asked to report upon it. The Judge who tried the first two of these cases happens to be in England at this moment, and no doubt his notes could be obtained; but inasmuch as the trials were really of no especial public interest, and have nothing to do with the "rumoured disturbances" in Jamaica, I really think it would serve no useful purpose to present these notes to Parliament.