§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether he is now in possession of the facts of the case of Mr. C. J. M'Leod, Barrister-at-Law, who was, on the 4th May, committed to the Kingstown Prison, in the Island of St. Vincent, for 14 days, without the option of a fine, for contempt of court, by Mr. Geoffrey St. Aubyn, sitting as acting Chief Justice; (2) whether he can inform the House of what the alleged contempt of court consisted; and (3) whether, supposing the allegation itself to be true, the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown has been taken on the legality of the procedure and sentence?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
In answer to the first Question of the hon. Baronet, I have to say Yes. In answer to the second Question, I have to say that Mr. M 'Leod, who acts as agent in St. Vincent for a Grenada newspaper called the Federalist, published in St. Vincent, by delivering a copy to the librarian of the public library, a number of the papers containing a scandalous attack upon the administration of Justice in the latter colony; he was, on refusing to make an apology to the satisfaction of the Court, committed to prison for 14 days as a first-class misdemeanant; in answer to the third Question, I have to say that I have not thought it necessary to consult the Law Officers of the Crown on this subject.