Open Collections

BC Sessional Papers

STATEMENT Read by Mr. Mara, Member for Yale, on March 16th, during the debate on the motion for correspondence… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. 1882

Item Metadata


JSON: bcsessional-1.0061184.json
JSON-LD: bcsessional-1.0061184-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcsessional-1.0061184-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcsessional-1.0061184-rdf.json
Turtle: bcsessional-1.0061184-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcsessional-1.0061184-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcsessional-1.0061184-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 454 Arrest of Hunter Jack. 1882
Read by Mr. Mara, Member for Yale, on March 16th, during the debate on the
motion for correspondence connected with, and expenses incurred in, the arrest
of the Indian Hunter Jack, and the expedition to Chilcotin in the Poole
Murder Case.
Last August, one Hunter Jack, an Indian Chief, was arrested on a charge of being
concerned in the Poole murder. The evidence against him was of the most trumpery kind: but this I pass by. He was taken, chained hand and foot, past the
Justices at Lillooet and Pavilion, and was lodged in gaol at Clinton. Here he was
remanded from week to week and kept heavily ironed. He states that, occasionally,
when Mr. Soues took Mr. Livingstone's duty as Gaoler, Mr. Soues used to release him
from his chains. He also says that although he was cautioned by the J.P. in the usual
way, yet that, subsequently, he was urged by the same J.P. to " make a clean breast of
it."    After several weeks' imprisonment, in irons, Jack was discharged.
The above case—one amongst many others—is instructive, and seems to invite
attention to the following points:—
1. Arrest under warrant of a J.P.:
2. Treatment of prisoners on remand and awaiting trial:
3. The Gaols of the interior.
1. Arrest under warrant of J.P.
1. In most civilized countries arrests are executed with as much regard as is possible for the feelings of the accused. In this Province, a Constable, who is generally an
idler picked up by the J.P. and sworn in for the nonce, goes forth armed with warrant,
revolver, and irons, to work his own sweet will.
2. The accused is not taken, as a matter of course, before the nearest J.P. The
principle of " selection" is sometimes observed. What a door for the admission of
wrong is thus opened !
2. Treatment of prisoners on remand and awaiting trial:
This should be as little onerous as possible, but under the existing order of things
such prisoners are quite at the mercy of the Gaoler; hence, Tom is treated as a felon,
while Dick has a little holiday.
3. The Gaols of the interior:
1. The Gaoler sometimes lives at a hotel, and as he is absent from his Gaol at
night, at his meals, and for a great part of the day on duty and pleasure, it is convenient (!) that prisoners should, for greater security, be kept in irons.
2. There are no visitors appointed.
3. No Journal is kept.
4. There is no enclosed yard for exercise.
5. I invite inquiry as to whether the Gaoler does not make a profit out of the subsistence of prisoners.
6. No record of diet is kept.
It is time to stop this sort of thing I
Eemedies suggested (in brief) :—
On issuing a warrant, and when no regular Constable is at hand to execute it, the
J.P. should use much care in his selection of a " Special," and Justices should be invited
to see that the accused is arrested with every consideration. 1st. For the public service.  2nd. For the feelings of the accused.  Irons can very rarely be necessary.   Hand- 45 Vic. Arrest of Hunter Jack. 455
cuffs, no doubt, must be used in serious cases, but rarely leg-irons. As close vehicles
cannot be provided, prisoners of respectable antecedents should, when practicable, be
conveyed to Gaol at night. In cases where a J.P. is passed by and a prisoner is taken
before a more distant J.P., immediate report should be made to the Attorney-General,
stating fully the circumstances.
If Gaols are secure, as they should be, and if the Gaoler does his duty, it can rarely
be necessary to iron prisoners on remand or awaiting trial. When necessary, a pair of
handcuffs would generally be sufficient. The Gaoler's place of residence should be in
the Gaol. It is intolerable that individuals should be degraded by being kept in chains
before trial merely for " convenience sake,"—i.e., because the Gaoler finds it more comfortable to live at a hotel, or Government does not provide him rooms in his Gaol, &c.
Two Justices of the Peace appointed quarterly or half-yearly, in succession, alphabetically, from the roll of Justices in the District. Visitors should be appointed,
with power to inquire into complaints and redress grievances. A Journal should
be kept by the Gaoler; also a record of diet. It is most important that there
should be a closed yard for exercise. A prisoner must have exercise, and unless
there is a secure yard, he would be forced, as a rule, to have irons put on while
at large. Conceive the cruelty of forcing a man—very possibly an innocent
man—daily to undergo the public gaze, in irons, because it is not " convenient" to
run up a yard with 12 foot palings. Meals, when the Gaol does not include a kitchen,
should be supplied at a fixed rate, and the gaoler should have no interest in the matter,
but should see that the fare is good and wholesome, and should report if otherwise.
J. Martley.
Grange, Pavilion, 25th Dec, 1881.
Statement read by Mr. Saul, Member for Lillooet, during the same debate.
Lillooet, 28th February, 1881.
Mr. John Currie:
Dear Sir,—I have been informed that you have said to Bullard that I knew all
about who murdered Thomas Poole. Now this is a very serious charge as regards you
and myself, and hope you will make the necessary correction at once or make a charge
against me before the proper parties. I cannot think you serious in the matter, but
this loose way of talking does much harm at times like this when there are folks laying
about watching a chance to get a hold of some charge against any one. Poor Budwig
has been made to suffer just in this way by a lot of scoundrels who are working against
any one who will not agree with them. I believe Jerry Woods is one of the principal
parties against Budwig in this last case. I was requested by a man here to assure
Budwig that if he would come forward and make a statement that would supply new
evidence against Scotty in regard to the money that he (Budwig) would not have to go
to New Westminster, but would be permitted to remain at Lillooet,—merely a prisoner
at Lillooet in name,—and that Captain Martley would come down to Lillooet immediately and make the necessary charge. The proposition, and the way it has been
made, is the most wonderful arrangement that ever came to my knowledge. I can
hardly see how the party would do such a thing without orders from Martley, and I
cannot see how a man in Martley's position and of his ability could think of giving
such orders.
Likely you will see Budwig, and he will tell you all. In this affair I promised to
mention no name.
Your's truly,
A. W. Smith.


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items