§ LORD KNUTSFORD
I desire to ask the noble Marquess opposite a question of which I have given him private notice —that is, whether the report published in the newspapers is correct that the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia has, at the request of Her Majesty's Government, been sent to Jamaica to investigate certain serious charges made against the Judiciary in that Island, and whether he can give the House any information with regard to those charges? As the course adopted of sending a Judge from the Dominion of Canada is somewhat unusual, I should be glad if the noble Marquess will explain the reasons for it.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (The Marquess of RIPON)
My Lords, the statement quoted by my noble Friend from the newspapers is not correct in one important particular. No charges have been made against the Judiciary of Jamaica properly so-called. Charges, however, have been brought by the Crown Solicitor against the Attorney General in a letter addressed to the authorities. The Attorney General, who indignantly denies the truth of the charges, has prayed that they may be investigated by some independent persons. I thought that the request of the Attorney General was perfectly reasonable, and I requested two legal authorities in neighbouring colonies—British Guiana and Nova Scotia—to be good enough to examine into those charges. It was necessary that they should be looked into (being charges against the Attorney General in discharge of his duties as a Law Officer) by legal persons; and as the two Chief Justices have been kind enough to undertake the duty, they will proceed to make the investigation at once.