HC Deb 20 December 1888 vol 332 cc867-8
MR. W. A. M'ARTHUR (Cornwall Mid, St. Austell)

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he has yet received information that three natives—W. T. G. Caulker T. C. Caulker, and Lahai—were tried in the Colony of Sierra Leone for murder, convicted, recommended to mercy by the jury, and, notwithstanding that recommendation and much local feeling, and a petition in course of preparation in their favour, hanged at Shaingay on the 6th of June; whether the murder charged was the death of a man in fight in the course of a war by one Native Chief upon another; whether two of the unfortunate men executed were acting in the war in obedience to the commands of their natural Chief, T. C. Caulker; and, whether the Government have directed that similar cases shall be reported to them before the death penalty is inflicted?


As was stated in answer to a Question on the 22nd of June, three natives so named were tried in Sierra Leone for murder and convicted, and were executed at Shaingay on the 6th of June. They were recommended to mercy by the jury; but the Secretary of State has not been informed that there was much local feeling, or that a Petition was in course of preparation. No such Petition was presented, although 37 days elapsed between the sentence and execution. The recommendation of the jury was carefully considered by the late Governor and his Executive Council. The murder was committed in a raid made upon Shaingay, a place in British territory, by the direction of the two Caulkers, the circumstances of which are set forth in Despatches presented to Parliament in September, 1887. The Caulkers were members of a Chiefs family, but were not Chiefs, nor were they acting in obedience to their Chief; the third man executed was acting under the direction of the other two. All of them were British subjects. In answer to the last paragraph of the Question, I have to say that the Government have not so directed.