|Nashwauk - Open Courts of Enquiry
Two Courts of Enquiry are to be held in relation to the loss of the Nashwauk and the treatment of the emigrants during the voyage ; the former by the Trinity Board, and the latter by the Immigration Board, both sitting with open doors. The abandonment of the secret system, hitherto adopted in such cases, is an important and most judicious concession to public opinion. Secret enquiries are seldom calculated to secure the ends of justice, and are scarcely ever satisfactory. Emigrant vessels, chartered at the public expense, become for the time public property ; and the public his a right to know precisely upon whom the blame rests, when the lives and properties of those on board are lost or endangered. Still more has the public a right to know how far the health and morals of those who have been placed under its temporary charge have been duly regarded.
In these respects emigrant vessels stand in precisely the same position as those in the Royal Navy, the captains of which, in case of shipwreck or complaint, are publicly tried by courts-martial. The present Acting Lieutenant-Governor has earned universal approbation for the manner in which, during nearly half a year, he has exercised his high command ; and for nothing will he more strongly merit the thanks of the community than for what may probably be the closing act of his administration. He has struck, we hope, a final blow at secret tribunals in South Australia.- S. A. Register, May 24.
SG & SGTL Vol 12 ; Page 125 ; 11 Jun 1855
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