HL Deb 18 April 1856 vol 141 cc1144-5

begged to call the attention of the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) to a matter connected with a subject now under the consideration of the Government. It appeared among the intelligence from India which had readied town that morning that there had been a case of conviction for torturing a Native in Bengal, which had been dealt with very satisfactorily; for the authorities of Bengal had taken a different view of the matter from that commonly taken by the authorities of Madras, and had directed the punishment of the person convicted should be, instead of a fine of two rupees, and a short imprisonment if it was not paid, imprisonment in irons, with hard labour, for a period of five years. He would request the noble Duke to take measures to have a letter written to the authorities in India, desiring that a full report of the circumstances of the case might be transmitted to this country without delay.


said, he had not seen the account to which his noble Friend had referred. He rejoiced at the severity of the punishment which had been inflicted, because we could never be considered free from blame in this matter unless the persons convicted of these offences were effectually punished. He would take care that a full report of the case should be obtained from the Indian Government, and laid on the table.


said, perhaps he might mention the manner in which his Friend, Sir Charles Napier, dealt with a case, not of torture, but one of great enormity. Slavery having been abolished in Scinde, while Sir Charles Napier was marching through the country a man complained to him that, notwithstanding the abolition of slavery, his master kept him as a slave. Upon which Sir Charles put the master in irons, and carried him through the country, showing him to the people. This effectually put an end to slavery.

Back to