MR. W. P. AULD.
It is much to be regretted that the friends of the above-named gentleman did not dissuade him from applying to Parliament for reimburse- ment, or compensation, with reference to his
trial for shooting a native at Adam Bay. It was in the highest degree improbable that such an application would be successful, under all the circumstances of the case; and it ought to have been foreseen that if the application were un- successful, the re-agitation of die question would be dam?ging to the applicant. Our readers are well acquainted with the circumstances of this exceedingly painful case, and we have no desire whatever to probe old wounds by again enter ing into particulars and details. But the question has been forced upon public at tention by Mr. Auld's petition for com pensation, and by the subsequent action taken in the House on the basis of the peti tion, so that we are not accountable for the revival of a painful topic, and one xrluch. we are surprised should have been resuscitated by a gentleman who would have been well advised to let it sleep. But although we thus question the propriety and the policy of Mr. Auld's appeal to Parlia- ment, we certainly think that the Hon. Mr. Strangways was unnecessarily severe in his comments upon the case. Our report of the discussion gives the substance of the hon. member's remarks; and we cannot help saying that we think the case was repre- sented in the very worst light in which it could possibly have been placed. So far from being Mr. Auld's apologists, we think
his conduct—even on the mildest view of it— highly improper; but some allowance should be made for the alleged fact that he was sent out under orders from his superior officer to pursue a certain course. Whether he exceeded bis orders has never been eleariy shown, and whether he was in duty bound to carry out instructions such as it is alleged were given is a debateable point. Some people go so far as to say that Mr. Auld ought never to have been put upon his trial at all; with this opinion, however, we cannot go. It has been stated that the native he was charged with shooting was seen alive afterwards. Still, even this does not dispose of the charge of shooting with intent to murder; and we have always thought that the case was a proper one for1 judicial investigation. But from various causes it was found impossible, legally, to proceed with the trial; and it is not right to affirm, aa Mr. Strangways does, that if the trial had gone forward Mr. Auld would have been capitally con- victed. It is, if not a breath of Parliamentary privilege, an enormous stretch of that privilege to affirm that a man who has not been tried is positively guilty and deserves hanging. Mr. Stxangways was altogether too harsh; but Mr. Auld ought to form a more accurate opinion of public feeling on the subject of his late trial than to suppose that the Parliament would compensate him for his escape from the appre- hended consequences of his very critical posi- tion. — Express.