UK, House of Commons, “Canada—Case of Mr. Viger”, vol 50, col 452 (20 August 1839)

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Date: 1839-08-20
By: UK (House of Commons)
Citation: UK, HC, “Canada—Case of Mr. Viger“, vol 50 (1839), col 452.
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Mr. Hume wished again to draw the attention of the Under Secretary for the Colonies to the case of Mr. Viger, who had been confined in the gaol of Montreal, Lowe Canada, for two years, without having been brought to trial. It would be in the recollection of the House, that some time since he had asked a question on this subject—but he had this day seen an individual who had just arrived in this country from Montreal, and who stated that Mr. Viger was still detained in the gaol of that city, and that his family were denied all access to him. Such treatment as this he considered exceedingly cruel towards a gentleman seventy-five years of age, and who had for a long period occupied the high situation of a Member of the Assembly of the colony. It was cruel that he should be compelled to linger out another winter in prison, suffering such severe privations. He had asked to be brought to trial, either before the ordinary tribunals, or before a court-martial, he did not care which: but it was a cruel case that he should be detained in prison at his time of life, and made to undergo these privations.

Mr. Labouchere said, he had answered the question of the hon. Gentleman some time ago, and he could only now reply in the same terms that he had on that occasion; but he thought that the House would be of opinion, that under the circumstances of the case, Sir John Colborne could not have acted otherwise than he had acted. He could not state exactly the manner in which Mr. Viger had been treated; but he thought it was unlikely that he was subjected to any hardships which were not necessary for his safe custody.

Mr. Hume wished to know why any British subject should be confined for two years without being brought to trial? It was most cruel and most unjust.

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