HC Deb 29 January 1855 vol 136 cc1121-233

Order read, for resuming adjourned Debate on Question— That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the condition of our Army before Sebastopol, and into the conduct of those Departments of the Government whose duty it has been to minister to the wants of that Army.

Question again proposed;

Debate resumed.


said, the claim which he had upon the indulgence of the House upon this occasion was his being able to state things which he himself saw in the neighbourhood of the war, and some of the transactions in which he had borne a part. When he was witnessing those transactions, he little anticipated the strong feeling that evidently existed in England upon this subject; and still less did he imagine that it would come before the House in the shape in which they were now called upon to consider it. The noble Lord the Member for London, in his speech the other night, informed the House that the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton was at this moment, in effect, the War Minister, and if he (Mr. Stafford) did not call him the Minister for the Home Department, it was because he really did not know what office the noble Lord at present filled. The noble Lord the Member for Tiverton, in his reply, did not attempt to contradict that statement of the noble Lord the Member for London, but seemed to say that whatever was the result of the present Motion, the Ministry would proceed to reconstruct itself as quickly as possible. The Colonial Secretary, however, who spoke at a later period of the evening, stated that the Government had no idea of remodelling itself, and challenged the House to come to a decision upon the question at once. Meanwhile the noble Lord the Member for London occupies a Prussian position of neutrality upon this occasion, and refuses to vote at all. The Members of the House of Commons have not to discuss the responsibility of this Minister or that, but they have to discuss the conduct of those who had been appointed to act as Ministers during the progress of this war. It was, therefore, impossible for the secession of the noble Lord at the eleventh hour to relieve him from the responsibility which properly attached to him as a leading Member of this Government. It was no great defence of the Secretary at War to say that the Government had issued a Commission on the spot, of gentlemen not connected with the Government, to inquire fully into the state of affairs at Scutari and at the hospitals of Constantinople. That Commission might be so far satisfactory or otherwise, but its appointment could not absolve the Government from the slightest portion of their responsibility, but would only enrich the world with what was next in value to a successful experiment, namely, the real causes of a most complete and unhappy failure. He trusted that the House would excuse him if, in the statements he was about to address to it, he seemed in a little degree to incur the charge of egotism. He could not avoid frequently referring to himself; but in all that he had done he could assure the House that he was actuated by no party motives whatever. Whoever might be Ministers—whoever might be Minister of War—he (Mr. Stafford) would be willing at any time to wait upon him at his office, or where he chose, for the purpose of giving him the result of his experience, of his observations abroad, and he only asked that that Minister would use the details he would communicate to him in the spirit in which they were given, namely, for the common good. He was delighted to hear that the Government were to open a large hospital at Smyrna. He (Mr. Stafford) had recently gone over the barracks selected for that purpose; and, though they were not so large as those at Scutari, they would be still more valuable for the purposes for which they were intended. He hoped that such orders would be immediately given as would render those barracks available, as all the atmosphere of the coasts between the Archipelago and the Euxine was reckoned by those medical men acquainted with the district, to he very unfavourable to the healing of wounds. While referring to the latter hospital, he might remark that it was very desirable that arrangements should be made by which the invalids under treatment might have the same facilities for sending remittances home to their friends as were enjoyed by seamen and by soldiers with their regiments. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War had, indeed, stated that the subject had engaged the attention of the authorities as long ago as August last; but that statement only filled him (Mr. Stafford) with grim despair, for he had heard of so many paper pellets from the War Office falling unheeded in the East. He trusted, therefore, that the War Office would have some placards printed in large type, and posted up through all the wards of Scutari, Smyrna, and Abydos hospitals, stating distinctly that after a certain time the sick and wounded would be permitted to make remittances to their families. He would now come to the new hospital at Abydos. It was a well-constructed hospital, and, if proper stores were supplied, he believed that it would not turn out a failure; but when he was there, for 400 soldiers there were only two bottles of port wine, and most of those men required a strengthening regimen. Well knowing what the fate of applications made to the authorities would be, he had addressed a letter to the gentleman who had the distribution of the 10,000l. fund under his care, and he thought it due to that gentleman, occupying a most difficult and delicate situation, calculated to give rise to much envy, to say that he had distributed that fund so judiciously, and had so much promoted the comforts of the poor soldiers, whom the authorities had neglected, that he deserved the gratitude not only of those who had subscribed to the fund, but of all those who had received the benefit of his aid in the hospital. The occupation he had undertaken was most invidious, but he had executed it with boldness and decision; officials were often told that if they neglected to furnish this or that requisite, the Times' Fund would be applied to, and it would be got there. By the skilful management of that gentleman, therefore, every pound of money which he had distributed had been made to equal nearly five. He (Mr. Stafford) regretted that the fund was nearly at an end, because it provided comforts for the sick and wounded which he was afraid they would not otherwise obtain. Next he came to the great hospital at Scutari, which, no doubt, had been very greatly improved since public attention had been called to the subject; but there were radical evils at the commencement of the system which never could be cured. It was said that the hospital had become unhealthy; but it had never been anything else, and never could be. On visiting the place he had found that all the corridors and a greater part of the wards were floored with porous unglazed tiles. On these the mattresses were placed, there being no bedsteads, and, in consequence of the absence of vessels of all kinds, the poor creatures were obliged to discharge feculent matter on the tiled floor, which never was washed, and which never could be washed, because it was feared that the quantity of water required to wash it would be so great as to cause an amount of evaporation which would endanger the health of the patients. These details might be disgusting, but the time was come when they must be mentioned. Over and over again the floor had been swept, but the original taint remained; the atmosphere was surcharged with unwholesome gases, and no one entered that hospital, whether chaplain or doctor, but was certain to catch the prevailing disease. The doctors were not entirely to be blamed for the state of the hospital. In the first place, it was necessary to take into consideration the state in which the patients were when they arrived there—whether the original condition of the hospital was such as to be within the reach of the doctor's care, and whether the other departments acted up to their orders? On two occasions he had been himself obliged to offer his own money for the removal of evils the existence of which the doctors had not only acknowledged, but to get rid of which they had thankfully availed themselves of his assistance. He felt convinced that whoever might be Secretary of War would find himself obliged to absolve particular individuals from almost all responsibility, and to impute the blame to the want of proper instructions from home, which could assist them in the difficult circumstances in which they found themselves. He came now, still speaking from his own experience, to the case of a ship filled with "convalescents," as they were called, going across the Black Sea to join the camp at Balaklava; he himself being with them. There were 300 man on board that ship, and finding officialism in a perfect state of collapse, for no official seemed to know from hour to hour what he or anybody else was going to do next, and as they were all willing to accept help from any one, he took upon himself to examine as well as he could those convalescents. Seven of the number having been sent back to Scutari because the captain declared he would not be responsible for their lives during the voyage, he (Mr. Stafford) went among the rest to see what supplies of clothing and what means of warmth they had. He found them most lamentably deficient, and nearly the whole of them without knapsacks. Some of the Fusiliers were on board, and, observing their shoes more than ordinarily ragged, he asked if they had no others? "No," they answered; "the others are in our knapsacks." "Where are the knapsacks?" "There, in that ship," said they, pointing to a vessel moored about a hundred yards' distance. "Why do you not get your knapsacks?" "We should be glad to do so," was the answer; "but we have no boat for the purpose." With the consent of the captain of these draughts, and the captain of the ship, he (Mr. Stafford) obtained a boat, and some of the men went to the vessel for their knapsacks. Of the whole number of knapsacks on board, however, they returned with but two. What was the history of the knapsacks? The Fusiliers, it appeared, when they landed in the Crimea, did so without their knapsacks, and for this, he understood, there were excellent military reasons; but the knapsacks, after having performed one voyage across the Black Sea already, were carried back to Scutari another. There, instead of being placed in store, they were left in the vessel, and performed a third voyage across the Black Sea, as was hoped to the Fusiliers; but they could not be landed near where the Fusiliers lay, and again, for the fourth time, they crossed the Black Sea and entered Scutari! It was on this last occasion of their being at Scutari that the poor convalescents applied for them, and got back two. Of the other knapsacks they certainly did obtain a glimpse, but so overloaded with bales of goods that the captain declared be could not, and would not, unload the whole ship in order to reach them; so, whilst the Fusiliers steered eastward to the Crimea, the knapsacks steered westward over the Sea of Marmora, and, as he understood, to Liverpool. He had stated that seven of the convalescents, as they were called in the playful irony of official language, had been landed because they were not in a fit state to be sent on; some of the others were also taken ill again, and one of them by what was thought to be cholera. The ship's doctor evinced every possible anxiety for the poor man, and, owing to his care, the choleraic symptoms passed away, and when he arrived in the Crimea nothing was left of the incipient disease but some degree of low fever, which, with a little care, the doctor said would soon disappear, and the man be well again. He should have something further to say respecting this man in a future portion of his narrative. He now came to a place which was associated in his mind with two classes of things which were very different; one, a glorious victory achieved by the indomitable valour of our troops—the other, a case of confusion, misery, and death, which perhaps in the same space had no parallel in the history of the world. He came to Balaklava, and visited the hospital there, and found no ventilation, no cleanliness, not a single sheet, not a pillow-case, within its walls. Men who were afflicted with one disease caught another as soon as they entered the hospital, by being wrapped in blankets from which a corpse, dead, perhaps, of a fever, had just been removed. No medical comforts were properly made. Fourteen men in one room, and nine in another, were lying on the bare floor, whilst in the passage which connected the two were excellent bedsteads, that would not have taken more than three minutes to put together. Of course he made some strong remonstrances upon the subject. Next morning he went again to the hospital, and conversed with some of the patients alone, for he found that it was in vain to attempt to ascertain what their real feelings were in the presence of the officials. The orderlies denounced the doctors, and the doctors denounced the orderlies, and between the two the patients were dying fast. He had referred to a soldier who had been seized on board ship with choleraic symptoms, and been landed at Bala- klava with other soldiers among the convalescents. One day he (Mr. Stafford) discovered that soldier sitting on a stone in the street near the hospital. Recognising him, he asked him where he was going? The man replied, that he had nothing to eat, was at the point of starvation, and almost ready to drop. He (Mr. Stafford) led him to the hospital, and asked the doctor what was to be done. The doctor replied that he would "take a note of the case." "Take a note of the case! Why, whilst you do that the man is dying! "He (Mr. Stafford) assisted him into the ward, therefore, and got something for the roan himself. A short time afterwards he found the poor fellow delirious, and in his paroxysms he fancied himself subject to a frightful punishment; in short, that he was being flogged, and very shortly death put a period to his sufferings. He was then buried in the low marshy ground of Balaklava, and was for ever placed beyond the reach of official neglect. A favourite corps (the right hon. Gentleman knew which he meant) was lately raised and sent out to Balaklava, and seeing one of the members of the corps surrounded by two or three of his comrades, he (Mr. Stafford) inquired what was the matter? The man replied that his stomach refused to retain any food except a mixture of sago. He said, "I am allowed a half pint of the mixture once a day, and I asked for it three times a day, but they have refused me. I have money of my own to pay for it, and they will not even allow me to buy it. I am not so ill; I am positively starving." He (Mr. Stafford) proceeded to an orderly, and asked if he might be permitted to get the sago for the poor man? The answer he received was no: that no other dietary could be introduced than that which had been ordered for the men. He then went to the doctor, mentioned the corps, and the circumstance which rendered it desirable that it should not get into disrepute, and asked permission, as he (Mr. Stafford) was going back in a ship with the sick, for this man to go with them too. "No," said the doctor, "he has not been ill long enough, and if we allow the men to go who have not been long ill, we shall empty the whole camp." An hour or two afterwards he saw the man again, and, judging from the rapidity with which he was sinking, he could not doubt that ere this he was far beyond the reach of the doctors of Balaklava. He came next to the embarkation of our sick and wounded soldiers at Balaklava, and here again he spoke of what he saw, and of soldiers whom he himself had personally assisted. One day he had just set off to ride around the camp, when the most horrible sight exhibited itself to his eyes that he had ever seen, and the like of which he hoped he should never see again. A man was lying by the side of the muddy road, evidently in the last stage of diarrhœa, and as he (Mr. Stafford) was passing, the poor creature cried out, "Will anybody take me away or kill me?" He (Mr. Stafford) asked him what was the matter, and he said, "They have been moving me from camp to put me on board ship, but they have left me, and I am now in such pain that my only wish is to die." Removing the man to another part of the road, he discovered four or five others in a still worse state than he; and, looking in the direction of the camp, he saw a procession, the end of which could not be discerned, of wounded English soldiers, who were being brought down on French mules, and in some instances on French ambulances. And he would do the French soldiers the justice of saying that no countrymen could have behaved more kindly to these poor fellows than they did. But no arrangements had been made for the reception of these sick and wounded men at the waterside. No huts were provided for them, but, huddled together on some fascines and heaps of stones, they waited in the rain until the boats came to carry them to the ship. He believed there was no doctor with them, and no means of providing them with medical or other comforts of any kind; and although the distance they had travelled was only five miles, yet the bullocks in the arabas with patients being conveyed to the hospital were so exhausted, that wretched men had been out often exposed to the inclement weather the whole night. In the streets at Balaklava there was a stall at which was sold tea. Nothing remained for him, then, but to get some hot tea and pour a little spirits into it, for these unfortunate people, who had nothing but their greatcoat and a blanket, stained and rotten with ordure. So he found them on board the Avon, lying on the bare boards—no mattresses, no sheets, no bedsteads of course—with nothing to cover them there but the same filthy blanket. One of the most remarkable symptoms, it was well known, of this particular disease, was the extreme chilliness felt by the patients, so that, however filthy the blanket, how- ever swarming with vermin, the last effort of the dying man always was to keep fast hold of it, lest it should be taken from him as his knapsack had been before. He had examined, too, into the kitchen arrangements for this vessel, and he found that, while the sailors of the vessel had split peas served out to them, which manufactured pea soup thick enough for the spoon to stand upright in, the poor sick men's soup was made of hard whole peas, which though they had been boiling all the day long, were as hard as ever, and this soup with the greasy pork swimming at the top and the peas sinking like bullets to the bottom, was the diet served out to these diarrhœic patients. It was the mortality on board the Avon which had attracted the attention of that truly good man Mr. Osborne to the subject, and had produced from him some strong and urgent representations to the Government; but the mortality would have been much greater had it not been that many of the men happened to have a little money with them and were able to buy better provisions from the ship's company. The case of the Candia, too, showed the deficiency of the arrangements. The Candia and the Ripon [...]ame, he believed, from Marseilles, with French troops on board; and here he must say that he never saw a finer illustration of the alliance between this country and France than the landing of the French troops in Kamiesch Bay from these two vessels. The French readily admitted that we beat them in our magnificent transports; and in the case of these two ships the troops of our Allies were landed as ready for conflict, and in as healthy and strong condition as it was possible for troops to be. He must say he never witnessed a sight which gave him more satisfaction than the disembarkation of their 61st Regiment of the line and the Chasseurs de Vincennes from these transports. The Candia, having performed this service, was ordered to go hack with our sick to Scutari. For this purpose she first proceeded from Kamiesch Bay to Balaklava, and having a quantity of medical comforts on board, the captain offered to leave them with the authorities there. The authorities, however, declined; whereupon Captain Field said he would deliver the comforts to any man holding Her Majesty's commission who would give a receipt for them, and by this means he contrived to leave some behind him. Captain Heath, of the Sanspareil, was a good officer, and most anxious to perform the duties of his situation; but were it not that Captain Field had written to the authorities at Balaklava to the effect that no medical stores were on board the Candia, and which application did elicit the supply of a medical chest, the sick would have been aboard that ship without any medicine at all. As it was, and notwithstanding the humanity of Captain Field and his officers, it was still a miserable spectacle to witness the state of the poor men. There were no mattresses of course, because there never were any mattresses, and no sheets or pillows; but every man had his one miserable filthy blanket, which so swarmed a with vermin that he had seen the crew of the merchant vessel take it and throw it overboard into the sea. The sick men lay on deck, their bones protruding through their skin, with six orderlies set to watch over them. He (Mr. Stafford) went round to examine the men, and expressed to Captain Field the horror he felt at finding them in such a state. Captain Field said he had some blankets on board, and although it would not be regular, yet if he (Mr. Stafford) would persuade the doctor to give a certificate that he wanted the blankets, he would issue them on his own responsibility. The result was that the doctor gave an order for ninety-six blankets, the remainder of the sick soldiers being chiefly supplied with those which had belonged to comrades who had died. But what became of the six orderlies of whom he had spoken? The blankets being issued, he next found that the orderlies, as they were called, were two of them seized with fever, two sea-sick, and the other two engaged in preparing the food. Then there was nobody left but him (Mr. Stafford) and his servant to distribute the ninety-six blankets to the poor fellows, and in many cases to spread and tuck up the blankets around them. One great evil of the transport service was, that if they had not orderlies who were used to the sea, those men were taken ill on the voyage, and the unfortunate sick and wounded soldiers were in consequence completely neglected. What ought to have been done at first, then, and what certainly ought to be done now, was to have hospital ships at whatever cost, with orderlies on board accustomed to the sea. Let them pass to and fro on the Euxine, and be dedicated to no other service, and be interfered with by no other branch or department. There was nothing more dreadful, he believed in the whole of their arrangements in that unhappy district than the existing state of the transport service; and in the Bosphorus he remembered that the first intimation he got of the arrival of a transport ship with sick on board, was his seeing dead bodies washed on shore at the foot of the quay at Scutari Hospital. He had visited the French hospital at the other side of the Bosphorus early in the morning—the worst time for viewing such an establishment, because the impurities of the night had not then been removed, and the air was therefore generally foul. He went without any previous notification or introduction, being desirous to ascertain if the evils of our hospital at Scutari were really inevitable or capable of remedy. His visit took place on the 20th of November, and he found such a system, such cleanliness and ventilation, such supplies of beds and blankets, and conveniences for the sick, that he felt deep shame at the contrast thus presented to the condition of the English Hospital. It was, indeed, aptly remarked by a person present with him on the occasion, that it seemed as if the French had been there for ten years, and that the English came only the day before, so different was the state of the hospitals of the two armies. Gloomy as was the picture he was now drawing, he must congratulate the Secretary at War on the sending out of the female nurses last autumn. Success more complete had never attended human effort than that which had resulted from this excellent measure. They could scarcely realise, without personally seeing it, the heartfelt gratitude of the soldiers to these noble ladies, or the amount of misery they had relieved, or the degree of comfort—he might say of joy—they had diffused; and it was impossible to do justice, not only to the kindness of heart, but to the clever judgment, ready intelligence and experience displayed by the distinguished lady to whom this difficult mission had been entrusted. If Scutari was not altogether as we could wish it to be, it was because of the inadequate powers confided to Miss Nightingale; and if the Government did not stand by her and her devoted band, and repel unfounded and ungenerous attacks made upon them—if it did not consult their wishes and yield to their superior judgment in many respects—it would deserve the execration of the public. A French officer, alluding to our Commissariat and other departments, remarked to him that we seemed to follow the system of the middle ages rather than the principles of modern military science, and that his nation regretted our backwardness the more because they saw what noble lives it caused us to sacrifice. This observation was perfectly true, and was made in no hostile spirit. He (Mr. Stafford) was arrested, while in the French camp, for a Russian spy, so many and so unusual were the questions he asked; and when, after being examined, he was set at liberty again, the French officers evinced a desire to afford him every information, and observed that, as the two nations were in such close alliance together, the best thing they could do was learn from and teach each other as much as possible. With regard to our own officers, he must say that, while engaged in writing soldiers' letters in our hospitals, he never heard, much less was he asked to write, a single word of complaint against any officer. Indeed, the men's expressions of gratitude to their officers were highly honourable to the men themselves, and no less so to their officers. One name in particular was mentioned with enthusiasm, admiration and gratitude—he meant that of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, who seemed to possess the happy art, even in the din of battle, of saying a kind word or doing a kind act, which his men would remember to the latest hour of their lives. But how should he describe to the House the loyalty of these brave and suffering fellows towards their Sovereign? or the enthusiastic feeling with which they listened to the autograph letter of the Queen? He was in the hospital at Scutari the whole of the night of its arrival, and whenever he observed a poor fellow restless, or two men talking together, he went and read to them in a low tone of voice those gracious words of sympathy and admiration, and he did not believe there had been spent within those walls so happy a night before. Even in the midst of their sickness and weakness the men wanted to give three cheers for their Queen, and it was with the utmost difficulty they could be restrained. He had no notion what noble qualities these poor fellows possessed till he lived among them. Frequently there broke from them expressions of piety and penitential sorrow, which, because humble, would not the less be received by that Great Being who was ever near. Unceasing pain, increasing weakness, approaching death, all failed to unman those gallant spirits. It was only when they charged him with their last message to those they loved that their voices faltered. And in the letters that were received from fathers, mothers, sisters and cherished ones, there was always advice to go forward and fight for their Queen and country. When it was found that half our army was in battle destroyed by the enemy, it might be borne could it be said that the other half was burning with emulation and bravery, but not so when that other half was found debilitated by weakness and disease; and still more so when the feeling forced itself upon the mind that much of that suffering might have been spared. A brave fellow, who bore the highest character, said to him on his death-bed these dreadful words: "Had I been better treated, I might have gone back to my duty, and then I should have been ready to meet a soldier's death; but England does not care for her wounded." Then he turned his face aside and died, his heart bursting with anguish. These words caused to his (Mr. Stafford's) mind the deepest pain, but he felt convinced that England did care for her soldiers; indeed, from what he had seen of the feeling of this country since his return, he believed that there was comparatively nothing else for which the people of England now cared as much as for the welfare of those who fought their battles; and of this fact assurances would reach them through the medium of that public press which some now denounced. He was not there to vindicate the Government from the statements of one particular journal or one particular correspondent, nor, on the other hand, would he venture to assert that all that the leading newspaper had printed was true, or all its comments on what it discovered wise; but he did say that but for the efforts of that journal the horrors of our army's situation would never have been revealed, and, never being revealed, they would never have been remedied even to the extent that they had been. He must, therefore, express his solemn conviction that that press, on the whole, had faithfully discharged a sacred and imperative duty; and this he said, because he had been asked if the representations of what he had seen at Balaklava and elsewhere were correctly given in the chief organ of the British press. From his own experience he was able to confirm and endorse those representations. It was said that the Emperor of Russia learnt too much from the statements published in the newspapers; but the Emperor could not learn too much if he learnt all. In autocratic Governments diseases afflicting the body politic could not be known until their exposure was hopeless and a remedy impossible. The English plan, on the contrary, was to lay the disease bare to open day—to examine, and discuss, and grapple with it, and thus to conquer it. The Czar knew, not from the British press, but from its deeds at the Alma, at Balaklava and at Inkerman, of what materials a British army was composed. The Czar knew—and let none give their vote that night in forgetfulness of the momentous fact—he knew that we had, and could have, no compulsory conscription, but must depend on the free will of free men to maintain our supremacy in arms by flood and field. And this led him to ask,—did they suppose that the hideous details of the last few months had not reached every cottage in this country? Would not those free men who were waiting to rally round our flag wish to know whether they would have not only to face the attacks of the foe, but to pine and die from the neglect of their country? Did the House think that, with their ignorance of the technical forms of that assembly, those men would regard the issue raised in the present debate as any other than whether the system which had engendered such disasters and misery should be abolished or be suffered to continue? A little while ago Parliament unanimously voted its thanks to our army in the Crimea for its gallant conduct; and when the news of that vote reached the troops they felt the honour awarded them to be great, and the boon invaluable—invaluable, that is, unless the subsequent proceedings of Parliament tended to prove it to have been a mere mockery, and showed that, while it praised the courage our soldiers had exhibited before the enemy, it had not the moral courage which dared to burst the fatal trammels of routine in order to save an army. If, on the other hand, the House pursued the path of straightforward duty that evening—if they would affirm the Motion, as he hoped they would do, they would give young recruits the greatest encouragement to rally round their country—they would pay the best tribute to the memory of those who had gone down to their untimely graves—they would express their earnest sympathy with sorrowing relatives—they would tell the nations in their alliance that the heart of their land was bold and buoyant—they would offer to those unconquerable men who yet survived the best pledge that they would be respected, sustained and comforted by a generous and grateful country; and that when England sent forth other armies to their aid, it would be to imitate them in all but their misfortunes.


Sir, I did not collect from the interesting and panoramic view submitted to the House by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, that he at all intended to include the naval administration, as it is at present constituted, in the obloquy which he has thrown upon various branches of the military service. It has been some consolation to me in the course of this debate to feel that, though this Motion necessarily includes the department with which it is my pride to be connected, no hon. Gentleman, however dissatisfied with the general management of the war, has made any direct charge against that Board over which my right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham) presides with so much credit to himself, and, I believe, satisfaction to the country. Even the discursive and somewhat splenetic Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard), who has recently returned from his "coloneling" in the Crimea, and who is so unsparing and amphibious in his criticisms by land and water that he has detracted from the merits of both generals. and admirals, has not yet ventured to arraign the conduct of the Admiralty. I might be content to rest the vindication of my vote in opposition to the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Roebuck), whose state of health no man deplores more sincerely than I do—I might be content, I say, to rest my vote simply on the ground that the Board with which I am connected had done its duty; but, Sir, I am not content to rest my opposition to the Motion on such narrow and personal ground as that; I cannot reconcile it with my sense of justice to sacrifice one Minister to the faults of a system which has been well defined by an hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House as a system of the middle ages. This system has been sanctioned and confirmed by this House and by former Ministries—sanctioned and confirmed in spite of numerous Motions by the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume), and others, in spite of deliberate reports years ago for a reform of the whole military system. Will any man tell me that our military system, as existing at present, has tended to develope or bring forward military talent or genius? I deny it. Look, Sir, in the first instance, how the staff of the British army is composed. It is all very well for hon. Gentlemen to come down and talk of consolidation of the offices of the Ordnance, the Horse Guards and the Commissariat under one head, and the substitution of one Minister for another; I maintain, whatever may be the inherent vigour of that man, whatever may be his experience, a mere consolidation will not be sufficient—you must entirely reconstruct your whole military system. The time has arrived when you cannot expect an army, besides winning battles in the field, to go through the vicissitudes of a campaign under the present state of things. You must lay an unsparing band on that building adjacent to these premises—you must see whether, in fact, you can find a modern Hercules to turn the Serpentine through the Horse Guards and all the ramifications of the War Office. I have alluded to the appointment of the staff. An hon. Member has said that we must speak out on this occasion. I fully agree with him. Not only must we not object to listen to filthy details, but we must listen also to stern and practical truths. Look, I say, at the constitution of the staff. In France the staff is regarded as the head of the army, and officers only are placed on it who possess a knowledge of military science and display fertility in expedients. Is that the case in the British army? No, it is not. In England every one knows that it is not merit and capacity for which an officer is appointed to the staff, but interest and connection. Let any hon. Gentleman move for a return of the officers employed on the staff in the Crimea, showing how many speak French, how many can trace a common military field plan. I will venture to say not one-third of them can do either the one or tile other. It would of course be invidious to mention names. I attack no individual, I attack the system. I say, you must not be satisfied with the mere consolidation of departments, you must reform the army and the Horse Guards. Why, if anything were to happen to Lord Raglan, will any Gentleman tell me where we are to select a general for the chief command? It has certainly been suggested to borrow one from the French army. How can you possibly have a succession of generals when the first thing you do is to debar any man who has any peculiar talent for command from entering your army unless he can lodge a large sum of money' and purchase every step? The regulation price—and no man gets it for the regulation price—of the commission of a Lieutenant-colonel of cavalry is 6,175l. I have known instances in which 15,000l. have been paid for that step. The regulation price for the commission of a Lieutenant-colonel of infantry is 4,500l. How is it possible, then, that any but a rich man can enter the army. ["Question!"] I think this is speaking to the question—this is going to your system, which I maintain is rotten. I say it is unfair to sacrifice a Minister of War to the faults of your system, which this House has so often sanctioned and confirmed. I know it is not agreeable to hon. Gentlemen to hear these truths; but I think we have arrived at a crisis when these truths ought to be spoken. If we are to have any reform in the British army, with a stern hand you must do away with the practice, and put the whole staff arrangements on a different footing. I have entered on this subject with some demur. I have been told it is not proper for a person in my situation to speak; but, in my mind, the safety of our whole army is at stake. If you constitute another army on the same footing, I do not think it will do any better. It is not enough that they should win battles, they must go through campaigns; and we have seen the lamentable and disgraceful way in which this war has been conducted. I say, in this, I impute no inefficiency to the men. They are the victims of the system, and this House is to blame for having so long submitted to it. We were warned of this long ago. I do not go back to the Walcheren expedition in 1809, I only go back to the Kafir War. We had regiments sent out to the Cape with the clumsy old musket, "Brown Bess," while some of the Kafirs were actually armed with the improved French rifle. We had some heavy Dragoons sent out to conduct a campaign in a country where it was impossible to take horses, and we were told that the Dragoons were supplied with bullets that would not go into the rifles with which they were armed. No remark was made. The old system went on. That war was concluded, and improvements were not made. Improvements are only effected when some terrible calamity occurs near your own doors, and then you set about to condemn a Minister, who is really destroyed by this system. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) who, I regret, has retired from the Government, aluded to the Commission of 1837. We have been upwards of eighteen years talking of the consolidation of these boards. In 1848 and 1849 two direct Motions were made, urging the Government of that day to consolidate those departments. The noble Lord, lately Lord President, was at the head of the Government on those occasions, and the late Duke of Wellington was at the Horse Guards. When a Motion was made, not only for the consolidation of the departments, but for the alteration of staff appointments, we were told that the Duke of Wellington was opposed to any innovation of the military system, and consequently no improvement took place. Recently we have armed our troops with the Minié rifle, but I am informed there are three different sorts of firearms still in possession of the soldiers in the Crimea. The fact is this, that you never will have any reform till you commence with the Horse Guards, and are not satisfied with the mere consolidation of offices. It is very painful to me to make this statement, but I have a superior duty to perform. I represent a constituency. It is not the first time I have made these representations to the House, and I do say now, with the most perfect sincerity, that I feel I am performing a most sacred duty. I cannot resume my seat without alluding to the course taken by the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) on a recent occasion. There is no man in this House who feels greater respect, nay, attachment to the noble Lord fur his past services than myself, and I do deplore his loss to the Government, not on its own account, but as a national loss. I think it is a great European calamity; and, regarding the state of feeling with which it will be received at Vienna and St. Petersburg, I tremble to think of the consequences. [Laughter.] This may be a subject of laughter to hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the house, but I can assure them it is no subject of laughter to the people of this country. I grant that the secession of the noble Lord has destroyed the Government, but what the position of any future Government is to be it is extremely difficult to say. They must be very much in the position of the distracted Roman, who said to his fascinating and capricious partner—Non possum vivere tecum, nec sine te. When I think that Lord Aberdeen is placed in a position in which no Minister was ever placed before, and entertaining, as I do, the most sincere conviction that Lord Aberdeen is not only a good Liberal but a honest and conscientious politician, I for one, humble as I am, will not desert him on this occasion. I thank the House for listening to what I know must be unpalatable to a great portion of it—to those connected with the aristocracy and the army. I have ventured to speak unpalatable truths, and wish to state that I, humble as I am, shall, by my vote, support the Government. I leave the fate of the Motion in your hands.


said, he should have doubted that the hon. Gentleman who had last addressed them was still a member of Her Majesty's Government, if it had not been so stated by himself. The hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Secretary at War seemed to have agreed upon the parts they were respectively to take in the debate before the House. On Friday night, when great fault was found with the mal-administration of the army, the right hon. Secretary of War expatiated at length on the provision which had been made for transporting troops and stores; and now the hon. Secretary for the Admiralty defended the Secretary at War, by impugning the military system of the country. That system, however, existed when the Government took office; and yet the hon. Member for Middlesex would make out that the troops died because the Horse Guards was unchanged, and because the staff of the army was not composed according to his fancy. There was, however, one plain question which they had not answered, though often put—why had not transports been provided in due time to bring necessaries to the army, from the want of which they had perished by thousands? What answer had been given to the complaint—that waggons, and huts, and clothing had not arrived in the Crimea in time? The hon. Gentleman had commenced his speech by sneering at the remarkable statement made by the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Stafford). [Mr. OSBORNE intimated dissent.] Why, did not the hon. Gentleman speak of the "panoramic description of horrors" drawn by his (Mr. Henley's) hon. Friend? He would, however, come to the real question. Had the Government made the best use of the means for carrying on the war at their disposal? Had they not known when they undertook the war, that there was, as the right hon. Secretary at War had described it, only a collection of regiments, like an armed police, and not an army? Did the right hon. Gentleman only just now find that out? At all events, it was strange that he had not given expression to his opinion upon this head until the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield was brought forward. What was the use of the right hon. Gentleman knowing the existence of the evil, since he had taken no means of remedying it. Where were the waggon-trains when they were needed? They all knew they were allowed to go down. But why were they? They might have had, with the means of transport possessed by the Government, any amount of conveyance they thought fit—but the truth was, the Government was so careless of its duty that it sent troops abroad without the commonest necessaries. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Middlesex (Mr. B. Osborne), said there was no staff corps. Then why, he asked, was there not a staff corps? In the Peninsular war, if highly-educated men were wanted who had been trained to particular duty, they could not be had, except in the Engineer corps. It was no such thing now. He asserted there was any number they required of highly educated, competent men—men capable and in the practice of making bridges, &c. ["Hear, hear!"] Yes, they could obtain such men to any requisite amount. The first public despatch of Lord Raglan's, after the landing in the Crimea, stated that means of transport were wanted, and he could. not get horses necessary to draw the tents of the army. That was the first public statement of neglect. The hon. Gentleman took credit for the Admiralty in the matter. Did not this touch the Admiralty? Why were not transports provided? There was no lack of them for hire: as many might have been had as the Government desired. What was the result of this primary neglect? Why, that the army, which brought with it from Varna the seeds of four deadly diseases—cholera, diarrhœa, dysentery, and fever—by which they had been almost decimated at the latter place—were compelled to lie out in the Crimea without cover from fourteen to eighteen days and nights, whereby the seeds of these diseases were developed, and the diseases aggravated. Was not that the fault of the Admiralty? Well, what was the next result of this negligence? The army so weakened was not reinforced, and the line to be secured was so extensive that the men were one night in the trenches and another on duty in the camp, and Lord Raglan had to retire his line from beyond Balaklava. What happened then? Down came the Secretary at War with an array of figures to bear out the Admiralty, and spoke of 260,000 tons carried here and there, to the Baltic and the Crimea. The gossip of private life, however, and the talk of the City, was as to how much the transport service had been mismanaged. He heard it on all hands. The Government had chaunted their own praises for what they had done, just as if these doings were something like the expedition of Xerxes, or the preparations against the Invincible Armada. Why, what went on every day under our very noses? Had not the Government Emigration Commissioners in one year removed 27,000 out of 60,000 emigrants to Australia, a distance of 12,000 or 16,000 miles, without finding any want of transports? And yet Government made a boast of having removed 30,000 or 40,000 men a few hundred miles from Varna to the Crimea, leaving, at the same time, their baggage behind. Then came the Secretary of the Admiralty, who said, "Oh, nobody dares to say anything against the Admiralty; we have done wonders." Then the hon. Gentleman goes out of his way to magnify the Board with which he was connected, when nobody attacked it. The question, however, more immediately before the House, was to inquire into the state of the army in the Crimea, and the causes of the distress that had occurred. He, for one, saw no force in what had been stated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Morpeth (Sir G. Grey) as to the alleged inconvenience to be apprehended from the form of the Motion. He could not understand that there existed any necessity for bringing Lord Raglan home to bear witness to the state of past and existing distress. There could be neither doubt nor difficulty about getting at that fact. It was next said, instead of this Motion, that a vote of want of confidence ought to have been moved. Had the Motion come from his side of the House, there might be something in that objection. But the Motion came from the Government side of the House, and the Motion must be dealt with, whether or not it was brought forward in the most desirable form. He would ask the House to consider first, what would have been the answer of hon. Gentlemen on the Government benches bad a vote of want of confidence been proposed; and next, what was the composition of the House to which such a vote was proposed? The Treasury bench, on the proposition of a vote of want of confidence, wonld have cried out with one voice, "What injustice! you bring forward a charge without specifying the complaint; you give us no time to answer the allegations; we have had no copy of the indictment; and we cannot answer it. You only bring forward this Motion from factious motives." And then the Government side of the House, having agreed to merge all differences for the sake of supporting a Government composed of discordant elements, but supposed matchless talent, would have dealt with the question as one proper to gather the whole party together into one harmonious whole. But as every one did not, like hon. Gentlemen opposite, recognise the amazing ability of the Government—at least that ability did not work well, if they might judge from the present state of the affairs in the Crimea—he, for one, should support the Motion as it stood, because he believed it expressed the general feeling of the country. The universal cry from one end of the country to the other was, "Why are things so mismanaged?" The conversation in railway carriages, on board steam-boats, among high or low, rich or poor, whatever might be their politics, was all in the same strain—one universal shout of mismanagement. Was it any answer to assert that this vote would afford an inconvenient precedent. He agreed, however, with the noble Lord (Lord John Russell)—the only point, by the bye, in which he did agree with the noble Lord—that the House ought not to stoop to evade such an inquiry on the paltry consideration of the form of the Motion. Not one Member of the Government had risen to state that proper and sufficient measures had been taken. Instead of showing where the error was, they rode off from the main question, and set up questions about staff appointments and shortcomings, merely to divert public attention from the real evils. He believed that it was essential for the House and the country to mark their entire disapproval of the existing mode of carrying on affairs. It was perfectly inexplicable how all this misery had occurred to our army. They might call it want of system if they pleased, but that was not all. He did not dispute any of the wisdom or weight to be attached to the military or naval opinion of the hon. Member for Middlesex (Mr. B. Osborne)—he did not dispute the hon. Gentleman's knowledge of both services; but he could not forget that a man quite as great as the hon. Member for Middlesex, and with quite as much military knowledge—he meant the Duke of Wellington—did not take the same view of the matter. The hon. Member for Middlesex might be right, and the Duke of Wellington wrong; but what the hon. Gentleman had stated about the faulty system was not a complete answer to all the mischief and misery that had occurred. The far more natural answer was, that having this system, Government had not made the best use of it; and had not availed themselves fully of the resources of the country. They had undertaken a hostile expedition without having provided the means to carry it through successfully. That was the question before the country, and it was a question which must be answered. He did not think any answer had as yet been attempted to be given. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War stated the evils that existed, and showed them how this or the other branch of service was organised, but he had not told them that the defects had been attempted to be remedied—he did not pretend to say Government had not the means to remedy these defects. Twelve months ago the expedition was contemplated, and Government must have known for weeks or months that the army was to be sent out before it was sent. Why, then, was not proper provision made for moving that army? In this country there could be found plenty of people to tell them what 20,000 or 30,000 men wanted. Whatever was required in the way of carriage by land or sea for the transport of baggage or troops could have been got in this country; the material resources of the country were so great that nothing whatever ought to have been wanted. Government had all the country at their back, and no money that was wanted was denied them. All the country said was, if you go to war carry it on vigorously, and never mind the expense. Government could not allege a want of money—all they could allege was, that the system was bad. Why, then, did they not make the best of a bad system? Why allow these horrors to take place? The troops could not get at the stores—stores were not provided at the proper time, and the excuse was, that no sufficient means were at hand to provide the army with what they required. He would undertake to say he could find 100 men at least who would have been prepared to send out and deliver any quantity of stores to the army, in any given time, and deliver them day by day. The only reason why the army could not get the stores which lay within six miles of them was, because of official dilatoriness and too much self-sufficiency, which refused, or was too proud to ask one of the thousand capable men to have been had, to arrange the affairs for them. To charge the evils on want of order and system in such a country as England was the greatest libel that could be uttered. Look at the vast private commercial system of the country; look at the 10,000 tons sent out day by day from many of our ports—to which the paltry efforts of Government were in comparison as nothing. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War libelled the people of England in his remarks; and though he might desire to throw blame on the staff of the army, yet he could not point out any failure in fighting. The soldiers shot away all their ammunition at the Russians, they then poked them with the bayonet, and then hurled stones at them. This showed, at least, there was no want of resources exhibited, and yet the Secretary at War told the House that the men were so civilised they could not help themselves to anything. It was neither fair nor generous to turn round on the army in that way. The Motion for inquiry, he considered, was a national affair. If carried, it would have the effect of setting the evil to rights, to cause the reconstruction of the Government, and to prevent errors which had been committed from being repeated in future. He must say one word more before he sat down. There was one man in the Government who certainly had not appeared competent to fill the office in which he was placed—it was an unfortunate appointment—and yet this Minister was the most ill-used man in England; he referred to the Duke of Newcastle. There was not, he asserted, a man in England so ill-used as the Duke of Newcastle. It was most unfortunate to put him in the office he filled; it was not kind on the part of his colleagues to let him go there. And yet the greatest piece of unkindness was the not letting him know what was going on in November. Yet his colleagues did go on, and this obliged him to say that the Duke of Newcastle was a most ill-used man. That was the way to destroy a man—to get him in a fix and then to leave him. It was a bad example, and an unfortunate way in which to carry on the public service.


said, he felt it necessary to rise in order to repel the unjust attack which had been made by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley) on the Admiralty, as to the mode of carrying on the war. He would defy the right hon. Member to show any one letter or complaint of want of transport, or want of means that were to be furnished by the Board of Admiralty, since the commencement of the war. The right hon. Gentleman had evidently got out of his depth when he talked about transports and the manner in which the army was moved to Varna, and from thence to the Crimea. Lord Raglan did not complain of the deficiency of transports; he complained there were no baggage mules or horses in the Crimea to carry his army. The right hon. Gentleman said there were no tents. [Mr. HENLEY said, he did not say that.] He begged the hon. Gentleman's pardon if he had misunderstood him. The horses were not there, but the horse transports were filled with horses, soldiers, and artillery; and to show there was no deficiency, part of the French army, which was left behind because there was not sufficient transports to bring them over, our transports went back to assist in carrying them. Sir Edmund Lyons, who had exerted himself throughout in a very energetic and distinguished manner, superintended for the first three weeks the landing of the stores, and everything else which came into the port of Balaklava; but to attempt to feed an army of 30,000 or 40,000 men from such a place as Balaklava would be about as practicable as attempting to feed the whole population of London from St. James's Square. At the port of Balaklava there was only a small beach, at which it was impossible to lay ships in tiers. As one vessel went out, another came in, and they were obliged to lie by the side singly, in order to give ingress and egress. But all the complaint appeared to fall on the Admiralty, as if they had not availed themselves of all the resources of the country, whereas there were letters from Liverpool and other mercantile ports, which stated it was impossible for them to find more transports than the Admiralty had already taken up, and then they had been obliged to go abroad to look for additional ships to carry horses. It was very easy for hon. Gentlemen to state erroneous matters as facts, but he (Admiral Berkeley) believed there was no one service carried out with greater efficiency, with more satisfaction to the army, and in every way worthy of this country, than the transport of that army from this country—first of all to Varna, thence from Varna to the Crimea, and that the communication had been kept up—the stores had been landed. He only referred to the Admiralty service. There had been an abundance, he might say a superabundance, of stores in that small harbour of Balaklava, and they had been obliged in several instances to re-ship them, sooner than they should be spoilt. From the first moment the army landed in the Crimea, it had been pressed upon the Commander in Chief, Admiral Dundas, that their wants should be fully supplied under all circumstances. He would further mention that batteries before Sebastopol were manned by sailors. Let the country inquire in what way it would how the Admiralty had acted, he pledged himself that the Board would come out of any investigation triumphantly.


observed that the hon. Member for Middlesex and the hon. and gallant Admiral who had just sat down had defended the Admiralty, to which department both of them belonged, and had declared that everything there was conducted with order and despatch; but the hon. Member for Middlesex at the same time said he was constrained to admit that at the Horse Guards everything was wrong and rotten to the core. How was it that the hon. Gentleman should have belonged for upwards of two years to an Administration which suffered such rottenness to exist in so important a department of the State, and that, too, under the control of Government? He (Mr. Beresford) did not, however, think it necessary to enter upon a defence of the army in reply to the hon. Gentleman. He thought the conduct of that army spoke sufficiently for itself, and justified itself. As to the statement of the hon. Gentleman that the army of England was rotten from top to bottom, he hoped that England might ever possess an army which, in that hon. Gentleman's estimation, was rotten from top to bottom. He, though he intended to vote for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member, must acknowledge that he did not approve of the first paragraph of that Motion. It was a work of supererogation, for all too well knew already the actual condition of the army before Sebastopol. The noble Lord the Member for London had declared that their condition was "heart-rending." The remainder of the Motion was all right; it demanded, properly and justly, an inquiry to see how and by whom that "heart-rending condition" had been brought about. Now what he required was such an inquiry as would enable them to fix the saddle on the right horse, and in voting for this inquiry he should do it with the more alacrity, because he believed that when all the circumstances of the case were fully investigated, the character and reputation of Lord Raglan, as commander of our forcès, would stand far higher than before, and that the more rigorously the case was scrutinised, the more unsullied as a soldier the conduct of Lord Raglan would appear. He felt that the country owed a deep debt of gratitude to that noble Lord, and what reward, he asked, had he received but bitter calumny and vituperation, the off-spring of petty spite and paltry revenge. For himself, as an Englishman, he was proud of Lord Raglan, and, as an old soldier, he felt for him an affectionate regard; besides which, having had the honour of being joined in duty at the Horse Guards with him, he had had an opportunity of knowing his estimable character and of appreciating his great administrative ability. Look to his antecedents. Lord Raglan was, during the whole of his European career, the chosen and confidential secretary of the immortal Wellington, his constant companion in every battle-field, and in every winter quarter his observant pupil, and one who had proved to the world that his instructions had not been thrown away. Now, what was the character of Lord Raglan? Cool and cautious in counsel, bold and decisive in action, and never calmer than when in the thickest of the fight. Even in the Peninsula he won the approbation of the Duke of Wellington for this quality; moreover he has the kindest and best of hearts—he may be said to have almost created the army which he now commands, and to have mainly officered it during the twenty-five years that he had been military secretary at the Horse Guards, and, therefore, to love it as a parent would; and yet this was the man who has been constantly exposed to vituperation of all kinds; who was said never to show himself to his troops, and to have acted as one who cared nothing for them. There was an old saying, that one witness who gave positive evidence was more valuable than a dozen who gave only negative evidence. He had himself seen letters from officers who entirely contradicted the fact that Lord Raglan was never seen about the camp, notwithstanding it had been so frequently alleged and stated. Now it was possible that many who wrote these unfavourable statements might be detained in other spots by duty, or their own avocations, or "Our Own Correspondent," even, might be disposed to turn away his eyes if he happened to know that Lord Raglan was passing. Let them give their commander facilities of transport and provision, and they would find that, so far from neglecting the soldiers, lie would be but too anxious to provide them with every necessity. They had heard something to-night in answer to his question, which would give them a clue to the reason why Lord Raglan had been so maligned and misrepresented. The reason was explained at the same time, why Sir Charles Trevelyan was so strongly recommended in the Times as the proper person to be sent out as Chief Commissioner to the Crimea, because, forsooth, of his services in the Commissariat Department in the Treasury, where by his reform in that branch he had proved his fitness for others. One great advantage of such an inquiry as the one proposed by this Motion would be, that it would place Lord Raglan's character in its proper position: but he hoped it would go further, and enable them to fix who were the real originators of this expedition at so late a period of the year to take Sebastopol. He believed it was true that that expedition was undertaken against the judgment and contrary to the advice of Lord Raglan, and that with respect to the operation in the Crimea, he had expressed the strongest opinion against it. He listened the other evening, as he was bound, with the greatest attention to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War, and, although the right hon. Gentleman undoubtedly exhibited considerable talent in that lengthened oration, he entirely failed to carry conviction to his (Mr. Beresford's) mind, for the more he argued the more apparent did the necessity for inquiry appear. The Secretary at War made then, in a most philosophical manner, a very critical analysis of the English army, and with all the advantages which his official position afforded him, he came to the conclusion that it contained a number of extremely fine regiments, but that was all its merit, for, otherwise, it was useless and quite incapable of any joint action or combined effort. Moreover, the right hon. Gentleman made a statement that, unless an officer had been in India or in Dublin, he had had no opportunity of knowing anything of brigade duty. Now, on that point, he decidedly denied the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, and the answer he should give to that part of his statement, that brigade service was to be witnessed only in Dublin or in India, was, that in this very City of London there were hitherto during the summer constant brigade field-days, at which an officer could learn something of the combined action of regiments; the same had occurred till last year under General Simpson, at Portsmouth, the same at Plymouth under Sir Harry Smith. Then, again, at Gibraltar there were four regiments who were brigaded together, and the same at Malta. Was it not, he asked, most extraordinary that a Secretary at War should not be aware of such facts? But the ignorance or the oblivion of the right hon. Gentleman was still more extraordinary with respect to the Cape of Good Hope, where he seemed to have totally forgotten that within two years a considerable army had been on active service, having four brigades in the field, and of which two brigadiers were at this moment in command of brigades in the Crimea; and yet the Secretary at War could get up in his place and say there were no commanders, except those who had seen service in India or in Dublin, who knew anything about the action of regiments in brigade. He must say he had no confidence whatever in the head of a War Department who evinced himself so ignorant on such a matter. Now, having disposed of the fact that no other officers but those who had served in India or Dublin knew anything about brigades, he came to the argument which the right hon. Gentleman had adduced, that without frequent practice in brigade movements no lieutenant colonel was fit for the post of brigadier. He quite admitted it would he far better if our regiments were more frequently brigaded together in this country, and nothing had prevented it but a dirty paltry economy; still he did not believe that an officer, having gone through all the junior ranks in his regiment till he attained to the rank of lieutenant colonel, if he was raised to the position of a brigadier general, was not perfectly competent to command a brigade. What was a brigade after all? Why a brigade of infantry was very much like a very large regiment of the line, and at present it was often not so large. Look at the brigades now in the Crimea; not one of them could bring into the field the number of men equal to a good-sized regiment, so reduced had they been by neglect, by sickness, and the sword of the enemy. Positively, the brigade of Guards could not bring into the field 750 men. A battalion of Guards—not a regiment (for a regiment consisted of two battalions)—ought to number over 1,000, and yet the whole brigade was not more than 750 strong. The Secretary at War wishes to persuade him that our officers, unless they have served in India or Dublin, could not command a brigade, but he had been told by old officers that it was an easier thing to command a brigade than a regiment, because there were less of details to attend to, and there were so many good lieutenant colonels to assist the general. But, supposing what was totally incorrect, that the officers who arrived at the rank of brigadier general were deficient from having had no means of seeing the combined action of regiments, how could the right hon. Gentleman possibly connect that deficiency with the present state of the army in the Crimea? Did the right hon. Gentleman expect that brigadier generals and lieutenant colonels were to turn themselves into commissaries and purveyors, and provide food and the means of transport? That was the work of a totally different department, and it was the duty of those who had the control of that department to take care that such means were provided. Brigadier generals did their duty, and lieutenant colonels did their duty, and provided the British army was well fed and properly treated it would face the whole world and conquer. Now the most unfair part of the argument of the Secretary at War lay in this, that he had endeavoured to draw attention away from the real question, by putting forward the pretended inefficiency of brigadiers, while up to this moment there had not been the slightest complaint of them or their conduct, and yet the right hon. Gentleman now tried to throw dust into their eyes, and attempted to conceal the utter inefficiency of the War Department by bringing forward an unfounded charge of inefficiency against the brigadier generals. The right hon. Gentleman seemed perfectly satisfied with everything in the War Department, but he (Mr. Beresford) could not agree with him in that opinion, or that the only merit which could be found in the British army was regimental perfection. No one denied that a most noble army had left our shores and had been sent to the Crimea, and it was equally notorious that the Admiralty had sent out an enormous mass of stores, but the Government had utterly failed in providing the necessary adjuncts, without which not only was our army utterly useless, but liable to be, as it had been, reduced to the greatest distress. No efficient means of transport had been provided, and there had been a most deficient Commissariat. There was our army before Sebastopol, and there, at Balaklava, were immense stores of everything they wanted; but six miles intervened, and no means had been found of surmounting the difficulty. Every Government which in these days undertook the management of the war was bound to be acquainted with what had occurred in previous wars, so that it was really no justification whatever for the Government, when accused of its inefficiency, to turn round and say, "Oh, we have had forty years of peace; we come quite fresh to this sort of work, and how is it possible for us to conduct it satisfactorily at first? "But there were in this country vast stores of information left to us from the very best sources. In 1834 was published, in twelve volumes, a work that ought to be in the hands of every soldier and on the table of every Minister—the Duke of Wellington's despatches. He had lately, during the long winter evenings, been engaged in re-perusing those despatches, and he found that the Duke of Wellington always laid the greatest stress on an army possessing the means of transport in perfection to render it thoroughly efficient. Sir Arthur Wellesley, writing from Deleytosa, to Lord Wellesley, in 1809, says— It is necessary that arrangements shall be adopted to enable the troops to take advantage of our success in offensive operations and even to maintain a defensive position. What those arrangements were he stated immediately afterwards— First, the formation of magazines of provisions; and, secondly, the means of transport to enable them to move forward the same. He then says that— There ought to be attached to the magazines from 3,000 to 4,000 mules, and to go with the divisions of the army in connection with them 1,500 other mules, and 100 carts. Where, he demanded, were those 5,500 mules and 100 carts in the Crimea, and which forty years ago they were advised to provide? On another occasion Sir Arthur Wellesley threatened to leave Spain if the means of transport were not provided. In 1811, when, for his great services, he had been raised to the rank of Lord Wellington, he wrote to Sir C. Stuart, our Minister at Lisbon, from Villa Major, on the 8th of April, saying that when— The supplies were provided, half the business only was done; the other half consisted in providing the means of transport. Now, what was the case here? They had no means whatever of transporting the supplies from Balaklava to Sebastopol, and had taken care to provide none, notwithstanding the lesson so forcibly impressed upon them by their most illustrious general. Again, in 1812, after the failure of the attack on Burgos—the only failure that ever marked the career of the great Duke—having retired to Ciudad Roderigo, he wrote to the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, dated Ciudad Roderigo, 23rd November, 1812, to give an account of the whole campaign; and in that account he came to the conclusion— That there were ample means for the siege of the strongest fortress, but what they were wanting in was the means of transporting the military stores and the ordnance to the position where they would be made use of. Therefore, time after time, the Duke of Wellington had reiterated his opinion that one of the most necessary adjuncts to the success of an army was providing an efficient transport service. He (Mr. Beresford) did not say the Government had taken no means to organise a waggon train, but he saw none. He did not say they had no Commissariat, but it was a most wretched one; and what they had heard that night was enough to convince them all that their medical staff was totally inefficient for the work it had to do. These were facts, and required either inquiry or censure. He was for inquiry; but the Government said, "If you have cause why do not you censure us?" But if they had attempted to censure them, then they would have cried out for a fair hearing. England, from one end to the other, was most anxious about its army, and, therefore, when an inquiry into the causes of its present disastrous condition was proposed in that House, they, as the representatives of the country, were bound to vote for such an inquiry. The noble Lord, the late leader of that House, in making his explanation on Friday, certainly did not speak in high praise of the Duke of Newcastle's administration of the War Department, but he did characterise his determination to un- dertake that responsibility as a laudable ambition, which did not fail to bring to recollection in his mind the tale of the ambition of Phaeton, who was determined to drive the chariot of the Sun, and when he could neither restrain nor guide the steeds of Phœbus, fell miserably and perished deservedly. Under this laudable ambition the War Department had exhibited the singular combination of a lamentable inefficiency, aggravated by a certain degree of self-sufficiency, a practical illustration of the great administrative powers of the section of the Coalition Government, which chose to monopolise to itself the whole conduct of the war.


said, he quite agreed with the last speaker that it would be of great service to the army if its officers should have occasional opportunities during peace of studying military movements in the field; but he must at the same time remind him that the present was the first Administration who attempted to give such practical instruction in staff and brigade duties. It was under the auspices of the present Secretary at War that the camp at Chobham was established, but nothing of the sort was attempted by the former Administration, of which the right hon. Gentleman was a Member. He had heard the statement of the hon. Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Stafford) relative to the distress of our countrymen at Scutari and elsewhere with the deepest pain; but it was satisfactory to know that they had the consolation and advantage of individual sympathy such as our suffering countrymen never had in former wars. With regard to the Motion under discussion, he quite agreed with the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley), that inquiry ought not to be refused on account of its terms, and it was not its words that would induce him to vote against the Motion. He knew the strong feeling that existed in the country with regard to the sufferings of the army, but would any inquiry remove that suffering? Would the proposed Committee be productive of good or evil? That was the real question for them to consider. He apprehended it would be practically impossible for a Committee of that House sitting upstairs to inquire into the state of the army before Sebastopol. But there was no doubt about the sufferings of the army; that was patent to everybody; and what was required was, not an inquiry, but an immediate and decisive remedy. Well, then, what he had to ask was this, would a Committee supply that remedy? On the contrary, he thought it would do much to prevent it, because it would impede the Executive in carrying on the war, and prevent them from making those reforms in the departments connected with our military administration which were so much needed. In his opinion, a Committee dragging its slow length along from month to month, promising everything and performing nothing, would be a delusion to the people, and a disappointment to their just expectations. At the same time, he hoped the military administration would be reformed, and placed in able and willing hands. Nothing less than that would satisfy the country, and it was to be regretted that the advice of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London was not taken in November last. The noble Lord should have enforced it then as he was doing now, for he believed the present Government contained the very best materials for the formation of a new Government, and with the noble Lord back again, and his colleague the noble Lord the Home Secretary at the head of the War Department, he was convinced the country would be satisfied with the Administration. It was just what the country wanted, and while it would give confidence to our Allies, such a change would convince the people that the war would be carried on with increased energy. There could be no difference of opinion about carrying on the war with vigour; it was the wish of the people, and no matter what Government might be in, they would have to gratify it.


said, he had no wish to go into a consideration of what had been the conduct of our generals, or to discuss the bearing or movement of our army, because that was not embraced in the Motion before them. No; what he wanted the House to consider was, whether the Commissariat, Transport, and Ordnance Departments had been conducted as they ought to have been by the present Government. That was the issue upon which the debate must be taken, and upon which alone the conduct of the Government could be questioned. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War said that the Government had been subjected to much censure and obloquy in this matter, but it was not from that side that they had experienced opposition. On the contrary, they had done everything in their power to assist the Government in carrying out the object they all had in view, and to bring the war to a happy and prosperous issue. In no way had they ever interfered with their war measures, or objected to supplies. It was their duty now to ask whether Government had conducted the war successfully, and whether it was not owing to their failure in important details that the present miserable state of things at Sebastopol and Balaklava was to be attributed? That literally was the only issue they had to discuss. The hon. Member who spoke last seemed to think that everything had been done by the Government which could be done; but he must call to the hon. Member's mind the oft-repeated warning given in the Report of the Committee of 1850–51, as to the necessity of doing away with the different separate departments in the administration of the army. He would also refer to the Commission of 1832—to the Report of 1837—and also to the Report of 1851. The Committee expressed an opinion that greater simplicity in the administration of the civil departments of the army might be attained, and they urged on the Government to adopt measures to consolidate, economise, and simplify the civil administration of the army in all its branches. Now, he asked, what had the Government done? The Commissariat had certainly been transferred from the Treasury to the War Department, but he understood that that had only been done at the commencement of last autumn. If that were so, he hesitated not to say that the War Department was responsible for all the negligence and misfortunes that had taken place between Balaklava and Sebastopol. The want of mules, carriages, and fresh meat, must all be attributed to the War Department. He had done everything to uphold the Government. In December he had gone away satisfied with the explanations of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War, but they had now arrived at the 29th of January, and the reports from the camp still showed the same want of energy, the same want of means of transport and of fresh provisions as existed in December last. It was said that a Committee would paralyse the efforts of Government; but what efforts had they made? Why had not the right hon. Gentleman stated the remedies that had been, or were about to be, applied. That very morning he had received a letter from an officer at the camp, stating that his regiment was reduced from 790 to 240 bayonets, and that he had gone with fifty volunteers and eighteen ponies to Balaklava for boards to construct a field hospital, and that up to that time there was no place for invalids at the camp but a muddy tent. The writer added that he had got the hut up that morning, and that it would be the first accommodation of the kind at the camp. With regard to want of fuel, that also required explanation. Their first duty was to take care that the gallant men who were fighting our battles should not perish miserably through our neglect. He believed that many were looking anxiously for their decision that night, not as it affected this or that Administration, but as it would affect the future condition of our army. Finding the Government incompetent to assist the army, the country expected its representatives to enter upon an inquiry, not only to remedy present evils, but to prevent their recurrence in the next campaign. He heartily supported the Motion.


said, he wished to say a few words in explanation of the vote he was about to give, because there were many reasons why a searching inquiry should take place. They had heard from the hon. Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Stafford), who spoke only of what he had himself seen, statements which must have caused pain to every mind, and which of themselves would have been sufficient to induce hon. Members to vote for inquiry; but if the object of the House was to put an end to the evils that now existed, the real question was, would the proposed Committee effect that object? If he thought the proposed inquiry would effect that object, he should vote for it at once, whatever might be its effect on the Government; but he did not believe that an inquiry at the present time, and in the present circumstances, would have any beneficial effect. Now, what was it they wanted? Better administration of their military affairs—immediate decision—and an immediate infusion of energy into the working of every department. Now, he would ask any Gentleman who had ever been on a Select Committee of a similar nature, whether its first effect had not been to paralyse the action of whatever department was under consideration. The whole business of the department to be inquired into would have its attention taken up; the time of the clerks would be engaged in preparing returns; the chiefs would be looking after the progress of the inquiry, and the real business of the office would be suspended for a time. Therefore, by an inquiry of this sort they would be completely frustrating the object which all had in view—the relief of our army in the Crimea. He knew that when time was not an object, such Committees were often attended with beneficial results, but he feared that such would not be the case should the present Motion be successful. An hon. and gallant Member had expressed a wish to put the saddle on the right horse—to find out who was really to blame. They would not do that by such an inquiry as that proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. So far as the departments at home were concerned, their defence to an inquiry would be, that they had done all they could to send out stores of all kinds to the army abroad; and, if the inquiry stopped there, and the departments at home were acquitted, the natural conclusion would be that it was those abroad who were to blame. But were they to be condemned unheard? Such a course could never be consented to; but then, to carry on an inquiry as to their conduct, it would be necessary to call home the chiefs and all the parties concerned; so that, after paralysing the departments at home, they would then proceed to paralyse the army abroad. Therefore, feeling perfectly certain that the appointment of a Committee would be the very worst step they could take, he should not shrink from the responsibility of voting against an inquiry which he knew was much desired by the country at large. Some hon. Gentlemen admitted that they intended to vote for the Motion because it implied a censure upon the Government. To those hon. Gentlemen he would say, Why do you not move your vote of censure directly? And do not, in order to damage the Government, take a step which must necessarily be injurious to the army in the Crimea, and go far to destroy its efficiency. He had heard it said, also, "We will move this Committee, and when the Government is condemned, we will get rid of the inquiry." He would say, for the sake of the character of the House of Commons, if for no other reason, avoid appointing a Committee with any such view. Let it not be said that the indignation of the House of Commons was poured out only while one set of men were in office, but the moment they were removed and another set of men substituted in their place, that all their humanity, all their sympathy for the sufferings to which our soldiers had been exposed evaporated, and the inquiry stopped. So much for the Motion, and he wished he could here close his remarks; he was sorry, however, to say that the case had been put before the House in a manner which compelled him to trouble them with a word or two more. The question had been put before them as a vote of censure upon the one side, and upon the other as a vote of confidence. Now he was bound to say that the disclosures which had come out during the late few days had given him, as au habitual supporter of the Government, very great pain. He deeply regretted those disclosures, not only on account of the loss which the Cabinet had sustained in the secession of his noble Friend the Member for London, but because circumstances had in the course of the explanations which had been given come out which led him to doubt very much whether he could longer repose confidence in the administration of the army by those who were now at the head of the War Department. It appeared that his noble Friend (Lord John Russell), in the month of November last, expressed to the noble Lord at the head of the Government his dissatisfaction at the mode in which the business of that department was administered, and his noble Friend proposed that the administration should be transferred from the hands of the noble Duke (the Duke of Newcastle) to those of the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton (Viscount Palmerston). He was most anxious in what he was now saying not to be understood as throwing any imputation or saying the noble Duke had failed from any other cause than the great difficulties of the department which he was called upon to administer; but while he thought, from the high character and position of the noble Duke, that he might render valuable service in sonic other department, he thought, under the circumstances, that some such arrangement as that suggested by his noble Friend had become imperative. He had no wish to lay more stress than was fair on the particular expressions in the answer of Lord Aberdeen to his noble Friend's (Lord John Russell's) suggestion, but it was undoubtedly a distinct refusal to adopt it, and that upon grounds which appeared to him (Sir F. Baring) to be wholly insufficient. No doubt there were painful duties attaching to high office—no doubt it was extremely painful to disappoint the expectations of friends, and to transfer from their hands the duties of an important office, to those of others who we have reason to believe will conduct them more to the public advantage. There might be times when, and there might be offices in which, personal feelings might be allowed to have their play; but, at a moment like the present, when the interest of our army, the safety of our brave troops, and the honour of England and her allies also, were at stake, private friendship or personal feeling ought to weigh as nothing in the scale; and it was the imperative duty of Lord Aberdeen to place the administration of that which was believed to be the most difficult and important office in the Government in the most competent hands. He thought his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) had with much generosity relieved the Prime Minister from what he might have considered an invidious task, by pointing out the deficiency in the conduct of the War Department which, he had reason to believe, existed; and he should have been glad to have heard that his noble Friend had been supported in his representations by other Members of the Cabinet. His noble Friend's proposition, however, was met by a refusal on the part of the Premier. Again, his noble Friend suggested that the arrangements for the administration of the War Department were not sufficient, and proposed certain changes, but with no better success. If he (Sir F. Baring) were asked to do so, he would scarcely venture to state his views of what arrangements should be made for the conduct of that department; but his impression was, that no single man could be competent for the efficient administration of all the various duties connected with it, and he would recommend his noble Friend the Member for Tiverton (Viscount Palmerston) or whoever else might undertake the office, to apply to his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty (Sir J. Graham), whose great experience in the management of the Naval Department would be of the greatest assistance. He would not enter into the question whether the arrangement proposed by his noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) was, under the circumstances, wise in all respects or not, but he had a right to inquire what really had been done in the way of reforming the War Department. The only change, it appeared, that had been made, was the transfer of the Commissariat from the Treasury to the War Department. That was undoubtedly a step in the right direction; but when was it done? By the statement—which had it not been made by the noble Duke himself he would not have believed—it appeared that, whereas the noble Duke was appointed Secretary for War on the 12th June, it was not until the middle of December that he took upon himself the duties of the Commissariat, the reason being that he had no office in which to put the Commissariat clerks, and that he had only two rooms, lent to him by the First Lord of the Treasury, in which to carry on the whole business of the department. He thought the noble Duke was right in not undertaking the responsibility of the Commissariat while the control remained with the Treasury. But could he have confidence in the conduct of the war, when he saw that the only improvement, the only step in the way of consolidation of offices taken, had been delayed from June until the middle of December, the excuse being that Government were unable to obtain in London an office sufficiently large for the accommodation of from twenty to thirty clerks? Under these circumstances, however much he objected, on the grounds he had stated, to the appointment of the proposed Committee, he must not, in voting against it, be understood as expressing anything like confidence in the Government in reference to the conduct of the war, either past, present, or future.


said, he would beg to trespass upon the House for a few minutes in order to explain the motives by which he was actuated in voting as he proposed to vote with reference to the Motion under their consideration. His experience of the proceedings of that House was sufficient to demonstrate to him that hon. Members were frequently called upon to vote ostensibly upon one question, while virtually that vote must be recorded upon a question totally different. In such a position were they placed with reference to the subject immediately before them; and in dealing with that subject, he must express himself as agreeing to a certain extent with the right hon. Baronet who had just resumed his seat, when he said that as an abstract question he could not give his support to the proposition of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. He so far concurred with the right hon. Baronet, because, in the first place, he believed that the first sentence of that resolution proposed a course which was totally impracticable. If the Committee which the Motion demanded were granted, they would be obliged to summon from the Crimea those military men who there held high and important posts, in order to be enabled to obtain such evidence as would empower them to furnish a satisfactory Report to that House; or else the Committee must at once go out in a body, and hold their sittings at Balaklava. Now, both those courses, he maintained, were absolutely impracticable. Another exception which he had to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield was, that it was not sufficiently explicit. In his opinion it implied the existence of a doubt as to the incompetent manner in which the war had hitherto been conducted, a point upon which no doubt could exist in the mind of any man, either in or out of that House, with perhaps one or two exceptions. The conduct of that war had been condemned upon evidence which, unfortunately, was unimpeachable; it had been condemned by the evidence of those who were eye-witnesses of the destruction of thousands of the best and bravest of our troops. No stronger proof that such was unhappily the case could be found than those facts which had already so repeatedly been brought before the House. He was sorry, therefore, that the Motion had not been put in terms more clear and explicit, and he should, for his own part, have preferred the language in which the Motion of a noble and learned Lord in another place was couched. But the only doubt which he could for a moment entertain with respect to the vote which he should give had been removed by what had fallen within the last few days from the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, and the noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department. After the language to which those noble Lords had given expression, it could scarcely for a moment be matter of hesitation as to whether the vote of that House that evening should be regarded as one of confidence or no-confidence in Her Majesty's present advisers, with reference to the conduct of the war. For his own part he thought they had in that respect exhibited the utmost incompetency, and he should feel that he would be, to a certain extent, sharing the responsibility of those who had been the cause of those disasters which had of late befallen the country if he were to vote against the Motion before the House. Therefore it was that in voting for the appointment of the Committee he wished distinctly to be understood as taking that course upon the ground of want of confidence in the Government, and with the hope that the result of the division might be the removal of the Executive from office. He was not of course insensible to the inconvenience which might result from a change of Government at this particular moment, and, as an independent Member of that House, he should always be happy to give his individual support to any Administration, whatever its composition, whose Members possessed the energy and the ability to retrieve the losses which this country had sustained, and to repair the disasters which our army had unhappily suffered. It was not, of course, his province to reconcile the conduct of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London with his duty to his country. That noble Lord had had some practice in the art of resignation, and they might presume that in the course which he had taken within the last week he had acted as he thought right. It was not his misfortune to be a political associate of the noble Lord, but if such had been his position, he was bound to say that he should have regarded the conduct of the noble Lord as savouring more of the foresight and adroitness of political scheming than of the impulses of political patriotism. One thing that might be learnt from the disclosures which the noble Lord had made was, that the course of the Coalition Government had been one continued struggle for place and power between the discordant elements of which it was composed. The object of the noble Lord had been, not to insist upon what he deemed to be indispensable for the due administration of the affairs of the country, but to regain the lost political ascendancy of his party; while the object of that portion of the Cabinet of which Lord Aberdeen was the head had been a struggle, not to vanquish Russia in the Crimea, but to overcome the Whigs in the Cabinet. He had heard it said by many hon. Members in that House that they found some difficulty in giving their votes in favour of the Motion before them, because they conceived that its terms implied a censure upon the conduct of the gallant nobleman who commanded our forces in the Crimea. Now, he was perfectly at a loss to understand how such an idea could enter the mind of any hon. Member. He, for one, should say that if he for a moment thought the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield could be justly so construed, he should be the very last person to give it his support. So far from that being the case, however, he was of opinion that the best thing which could happen to that noble and gallant Lord was, that the fullest inquiry should be instituted into all the occurrences which had taken place in connection with the present contest. An attempt had been made by the supporters of the Government to endeavour to relieve Ministers from some portion of the odium which their incompetency had entailed upon them, by trying to cast blame upon the commanding officers in the Crimea, and he maintained, therefore, that it was for the interest of those brave men that the fullest information upon the subject of the Motion should be laid before the House. When that was done he believed that it would be found that the sad disasters which had attended our army were to be ascribed almost solely to the jobbery and incompetency of a Coalition Government.


said, he thought that, as the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War had been compelled to address the House before the case for this Motion had been fully opened, owing to the indisposition of the hon. and learned Mover, it would be but fair that the right hon. Gentleman should have an opportunity of replying to the different allegations that had been subsequently made. Many personal and party considerations, no doubt, entered into the question now before them, but he hoped the House would decide it upon higher grounds. The military reputation of the country in the eyes of the world, and, perhaps, the existence of the remnant of our gallant army, were involved in their vote that night. It was when thus viewed the country would appreciate the conduct of the noble Lord the Member for London, which had been so unfairly animadverted upon. That noble Lord had been charged with throwing over his colleagues and deserting his post at the approach of danger, but his whole career was an answer to such unworthy aspersions. It was well known that his nature rather courted than shrunk from danger, and so now, while his late colleagues resisted, he was courting inquiry into his own and their conduct. The noble Lord had felt that his duty to his country was superior to mere considerations of party or of delicacy for the feelings of his colleagues, and in that spirit he had patriotically acted on this principle. He had been accused by the hon. Gentleman who last addressed the House of an adroit facility for resignation, but the plain fact was, he wisely chose to resign rather than continue to uphold by his countenance weak counsels and half measures. When nothing had been done to redeem the pledge given for the re-organisation of the military departments beyond the barren appointment of a War Minister, and when from this inaction, mischiefs, which in war soon become disasters, might be expected, the noble Lord represented to the head of the Government, in terms as civil as he well could, the necessity of further active improvements, and of replacing the Duke of Newcastle by a man of preeminent energy and decision. What was Lord Aberdeen's reply to this proposition? Substantially this—that it would hurt the feelings of the noble Duke and his friends if he were to adopt it, and he could not therefore honestly submit it to the Queen. It was said, "Why did not the noble Lord then resign?" But it should be borne in mind that he was pressed to remain in office by the urgent solicitations of all his colleagues, and if he had obstinately resisted those solicitations, those who reproach him for resigning now, would have then censured him, perhaps even more severely, for quitting office, when by continuing to hold it he might have averted the dangers which his wisdom foresaw. It may be that we can now see that it would have been better that be should have then resigned, but we perceive this only by our experience of subsequent events. It had also been asked, why the noble Lord did not renew his proposition in the Cabinet on the Saturday before his resignation, when a project of reform in our military administration was discussed? It would have been better if he had done so, he would have stood verbally and technically right; but it must be remembered Lord Aberdeen had already declared that he could not honestly admit his proposition, and that all his colleagues had united in rejecting it, so that practically its revival would have been but a proposition to dissolve the Cabinet. No doubt his resignation had placed his colleagues in an unpleasant position, as their rejection of his counsels had placed him, but there could be no doubt that the country would gain this advantage from the noble Lord's step—that his secession from the Ministry would force on that reform in our military administration which he sought, and that now must take place. Now, upon what grounds had this Motion for inquiry been resisted? It was said it would prove nugatory, and prejudice and retard our operations in the Crimea. In fact, the usual stereotyped objections that are invariably offered to every proposal for inquiry were revived and repeated on this occasion. In the presence of such fearful disasters as had occurred, it was incumbent on that House to exercise its functions as the great inquest of the nation. If any safer or more expeditious mode of inquiry could be devised he would not refuse it, but inquiry there must be, full and satisfactory. Having served in the army, he could not sit quietly by when he heard a gallant Member say that the army under the present system was made for defeat. It ought to have been in the recollection of that gallant Member that in the early part of the present century, and, in fact, in the present campaign, our army had achieved brilliant successes. The hon. Member for Middlesex (Mr. B. Osborne) had told them that these disasters were the fault of the system. That assertion was contradicted by facts. He did not defend the present system; on the contrary, he had laboured to reform it. But still he could not forget that under the present system the Duke of Wellington had organised one of the most efficient armies that ever had, under great difficulties, secured for years constant success. But his objection to our war policy was, that we had endeavoured to force our army to accomplish what it was incompetent, alike by its numbers, its armament, its commissariat arrangements, or its means of transport, to perform. The inquiry now sought for I was not without precedent. The circumstances of the unfortunate and disastrous Walcheren Expedition were investigated at the bar of that House—a proceeding attended, no doubt, as all similar proceedings must be, with certain inconveniences, but which grew out of the essential open freedom of discussion of a representative Government. The effect of such an inquiry as that now proposed was analogous to that of the freedom of the press. No doubt the influence of such a press produced inconveniences, but they were infinitely more than counterbalanced by its attendant advantages. And here he felt bound to say, that but for that free press in the Crimea our army might have suffered even greater privations and miseries than those which it had endured, and the public would have been kept in comparative ignorance, and so its relieving hand stayed, and its inquiring, redressing disposition stifled. By that press, also, an excellent national feeling had been excited in every hamlet and fireside of the country by the publication of those letters, from all ranks of the army, which did such honour to their writers. He had no hesitation in saying that they owed thanks to the leading journal of the day for the vigorous truth (he used the word advisedly) that it had shed on this most painful subject—our misconducted war. It was the first to rouse the public mind to a sense of the impending peril, instead of allowing it to shut its eyes in a blind credulity, from which it would only have been awakened by disasters still worse than had already befallen us. A primâ facie case was made out for inquiry. The noble Lord the Member for the City of London told them that the condition of the army was "horrible and heart-rending," and avowed that, with all his highest official means of information, the causes which had produced such a state of things were inexplicable—he could not unravel them. Would the House of Commons, then, shut its cars to such a declaration from such an authority? Would it shrink from its bounden duty through a fear to disturb a few weakly-cemented interests? If they refused this inquiry now, heavier disasters, which he prayed God to avert, might compel them to concede it. Now, if they stifled investigation, in three weeks or a month hence one universal voice of indignation might reform further than their better judgment would approve. It was said that this Motion would be tantamount to a vote of want of confidence in the Ministry. Now, he had lately professed confidence in many of the leading Members of the Government, and that confidence was still unshaken. The noble Lords the Members for London and Tiverton were great pillars of the State, and he admired the splendid administrative abilities of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and of the First Lord of the Admiralty; but he could not approve the mode of conducting the war, nor consequently of those departments on which it depended. He could not help expressing his reprobation of the aspersions that had been cast upon our admirals by certain hot-headed individuals who complained that our fleets had not achieved impossibilities in the Baltic and Black Sea. Our admirals had shown a higher order of courage in resisting the allurements of false glory which might have tempted other men to rush upon disaster. Sir Charles Napier had taken one of the finest fleets we had ever sent to sea, yet where all guides and landmarks were effaced he had blockaded the enemy's powerful fleet, sealed up his commerce, protected our own, and having destroyed a strong and menacing fortress had brought that fleet back, manned by raw and undisciplined crews, through the most intricate navigation, without the loss of a single vessel. We should remember also, that fleet was not only the Baltic fleet, but our Channel fleet, the one buckler between ourselves and the enemy. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) had said that the country did not love coalitions: but there must be certain compromises of opinion in all Governments; the misfortune of the present Government was, that it consisted of too nicely-balanced an arrangement of forces, necessarily producing that indecision, weakness, and inaction which have, unhappily, too much characterised the negotiations which preceded and have attended the operations that have followed this war. He trusted that, whatever reconstruction might take place, a Government would be formed which would be guided by one governing principle. Any Government that would prosecute the war with vigour should have his support, and come what may, he should vote for this inquiry, as the sound constitutional mode of satisfying the public mind of the anxious desire of the House to avert for the future the frightful misery which had been undergone by our fellow-countrymen before Sebastopol.


Sir, I shall dismiss very briefly that part of this discussion which refers to the abstract propriety of appointing the Select Committee of Inquiry moved for by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck). I shall leave the Government to direct their answer upon that point not so much to us as to their late colleague, who resigned office rather than resist that inquiry, and who, I conclude, would vote for it but for the natural delicacy of his position towards the Cabinet he so lately adorned. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War and the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Colonies have dwelt on the danger of establishing such a precedent as the appointment of this Committee might furnish. They may dismiss that apprehension, for nothing but the extremity of the case can justify this Motion, and I trust, for the honour of the country and the sake of humanity, that a case so extreme may never occur again. If it does not, the Motion will be no precedent; if it does, a similar Motion will be understood to bear the same interpretation that the common sense of the House puts upon this; for I agree with Ministers that they cannot grant this Committee without a virtual transfer of the power and responsibilities of the Queen's Government, and the question therefore simply is—Has the conduct of Her Majesty's Ministers in this war been such that this House should quietly acquiesce, not only in the continuance of their power, but in the mode by which their responsibilities have been discharged? I, for one, feel that such an acquiescence would be to make us the servile accomplices in the sacrifice of what remains of that noble army of whose deeds the country are so proud, and of whose sufferings, so touchingly described by the hon. Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Stafford), the Government should be so ashamed. The noble Lord the Member for London has refused to make himself that accomplice, although the pain of deserting his colleagues in the hour of their imminent need must have been almost intolerable to so gallant a spirit, and I give him the more credit for the pain on account of the Spartan fortitude with which he has concealed its pangs. Shall this House be more complaisant than the noble Lord, although it has not the countervailing scruples which must have weighed upon a Cabinet Minister, the late organ and leader of the Government in these walls, now standing alone in his abandonment of office? If we could not feel for the public calamities, we must still be roused. by our own private anxiety and sorrow. I, myself, have two near relations in this war; many of us have near relations among the sufferers. It is our boast, as a portion of the gentlemen of England, that, wherever danger is to be braved or honour is to be won, there some of our kindred blood is flowing or may flow; and after the miseries so simply told by the hon. Member for North Northamptonshire, shall we be deprived of a remedy for the evils you admit, of an inquiry into the abuses you deplore, because of some paltry technical objections to the words of the only Motion that promises relief—because it is a vote for inquiry, when the Government assert that it should be a vote of censure? Take it, then, as a vote of censure, and let it so stand as a precedent to other times, if other times should be as grievously afflicted under a similar Administration. I shall not enter into all the details on which the Secretary at War always tries to rest the case of the Government, partly because I have been here anticipated by those who so ably preceded me, partly because I wish to lay clearly before the House the broad principles of the charge which we make against the Ministers. And first, we accuse you of this—That you entered, not, indeed, hastily, but with long deliberation, with ample time for forethought, if not for preparation, into the most arduous enterprise this generation has witnessed, in the most utter ignorance of the power and resources of the enemy you were to encounter, the nature of the climate you were to brave, of the country you were to enter, of the supplies which your army would need. This ignorance is the more inexcusable because you disdain the available sources of information. This is the fundamental cause of our disaster, and not the comparatively petty and collateral causes to which the Secretary at War would assign them. The ignorance, indeed, on a former occasion, the Government confessed; and when we were convened on the 12th of December we heard that synod of veteran statesmen—those analecta majora of the wisdom and genius of Parliament—actually make their ignorance the excuse for their incapacity. We might accept that excuse for the sake of its candour; but the Government have asked more, for, as I will undertake to show, they have asked us to acquit them of disasters when they took no pains to acquire the information that was necessary for success. It has, indeed, been said that the public were no wiser than the Government—that the public underrated the power of Russia, and demanded the premature siege of Sebastopol. If this were true, what then? Why do we choose Ministers—why do we give them salaries, patronage, honours—if it is not to have some men wiser than the average of mankind, at least in all that relates to the offices they hold? It may be a noble fault in a people to disregard the strength of an enemy when a cause is just. Who does not love and admire this English people more when they rose as one man to cry, "No matter what the cost or hazard—let us defend the weak against the strong? "But if to underrate the power of an enemy was almost a merit in the people, it was a grave dereliction of duty in a Minister of War. But I deny that the public, fairly considered, were not wiser than the Government, and there is scarcely a point which you have covered with a blunder on which some one or other of the public did not try to prepare and warn you. I shall first notice a subject hitherto little touched on in this House, but which seems to me intimately connected with the condition of our troops in the Crimea. The war had begun—our fleets were on the seas—the noblest fleets that ever left these shores, and it was on those fleets, much more than our land force, that the public relied for any advantage over Russia. Well, the ships were on the sea, and Odessa lay before them, surprised and almost defenceless—Odessa, the great depôt of the Russian enemy, the depot of ammunition, provisions, troops for that Crimea which you had already resolved to invade, and you content yourselves with the holyday bombardment of a single fort. And we may judge of your private instructions to your naval commanders, when for the audacity of that notable achievement your Admiral almost makes an apology. Is Odessa, I ask, spared for the sake of humanity? Humanity! Why, you were told that Odessa was the feeder of Sebastopol. You have found it to be so, to your cost. The Secretary at War expressed his amazement at the celerity with which Russian troops were moved from Odessa to Sebastopol, and to spare the arsenals, the granary, the market, the nursery ground of an hostile fortress was the grossest inhumanity to the army that now rots before the walls which your own laches has manned and supplied against it. If you were influenced by care for the British trade connected with Odessa, you knew little, indeed, of your countrymen if you did not feel that you might have come to Parliament with confidence for the most liberal compensation to all British subjects whom the occupation of Odessa—there was no occasion to destroy it—might have injured. This first proof of feeble incapacity links itself with all that has followed. You thus forbear the easiest and the wealthiest conquest of all, in order afterwards, in the very worst time, at the very worst season, to attempt an achievement the most difficult in itself, and which that forbearance to Odessa rendered more difficult still. Why, Sir, how the whole for- tunes of the campaign would have changed if Odessa had been your depôt instead of the Russian—nay, if when you found you could not invade the Crimea before the end of September, you had postponed that expedition till the spring, and instead of sending your troops to moulder piecemeal, ragged, and roofless before Sebastopol. But if you had some reason which we cannot divine for not prosecuting the attack at that time, why did you not later effectively blockade Odessa and the Sea of Azoff? You have thirty ships of the line, forty steamers on the Euxine, and you do not so much as blockade the great magazine of the enemy! Well, your troops went to Gallipoli. I must here contradict the statements both of the Minister and of the Secretary at War. I will show you even there, at the first, how utterly you had failed in the simplest provisions of which the Secretary of War has so vainly boasted. I have here some short extracts from the letters of an officer, written to his father, not intended for publication. I read them because I can, if necessary, state his name to any member of the Government, without, alas! the fear of injuring him in his profession. He is now no more. His father came to me and said, through his tears, "I would proudly have given my son's life to the service of his country, but he was murdered by the neglect of the Government, and without any real aid to his country." This young man had just bought a step in his profession; he was full of life, health, and ardour; athletic in his habits, no raw recruit, but accustomed to military hardship, the last man in the whole army to murmur without a cause. He belonged to that band of heroes famous even in the ranks of English warfare—the Welsh Fusiliers. His first letter is from Gallipoli, April 23. Here let me observe, that on the 7th of April the Duke of Newcastle had declared that never was an army so well provided for—in food, in all necessaries, even in articles that might be considered luxuries. On the 23rd of April an officer at Gallipoli writes thus— There are 20,000 French troops encamped a short distance from our troops. They are in every respect better equipped and provided for than ours. Their Government have provided their officers with mules for the conveyance of their baggage and everything else they require. We have to buy mules for ourselves, which cannot be done at Gallipoli, as the French Government have already bought them all up. Why was this? If the French could find mules, even at Gallipoli, why were you less active than the French? The French soldiers fraternise freely with ours, and to-day we saw them giving ours some of their bread, of which they have a most bountiful supply, while ours have not enough. At Gallipoli, in April, at the opening of the campaign, the soldiers of the Queen of England eating the bread of our ally! Is that a position which is worthy her throne, or our pride as a nation, and how does this agree with the Duke of Newcastle's statement of the 7th of April? Now let us pass on from Gallipoli. You proceed to Varna, not to fight, not to assist the Turks at Silistria—you have not, indeed, the necessary transports for that—but because Omar Pacha says that the presence there of your army will have a moral effect upon the Russians. Now, Sir, I think that this was a request on the part of Turkey which, so far as the selection of a site to encamp, we had a right to refuse. We came to defend them and to fight, but not to remain stationary, and melt away by pestilence in a climate notoriously pestilential in that special time of the year—pestilential, not from an accidental cause, but from one periodical and invariable—and which, if your Minister had asked any traveller, or consulted any authority, he must have known. Well, Sir, from the camp there, this officer writes, July 28— I hope something will be done soon, as I should look forward with horror to another summer in this country. We have now considerable difficulty in getting supplies, and frequently have to live on bread and cheese for a day or two, as ration meat cannot be eaten, though the officers eat it when the men will not. Now comes the reason why that climate was pestilential, and why you ought to have known it. July and August," says the officer there encamped, "are unhealthy months, as they are all dry and very hot, and the deposits from the lakes, which overflow in the spring, dry up and create miasma. Nearly all our cases of cholera occur in the night, and are mostly fatal in six hours. This young man has the cholera himself—he partially recovers—he rouses when the report comes that something is to be done—something, no doubt, which it was necessary to do; but was it the impression that that something should be the siege of Sebastopol? Then hear what he says:— Of course they keep secret where we are going; but we believe that it is to take Odessa, which is full of corn granaries, &c. I think this is the best thing we could do, and winter there both army and navy. It is too late in the year to attack Sebastopol. That could not have been the solitary notion of that young soldier; it must have been the talk of his comrades—"too late in the year to attack Sebastopol!" But no! out of all the twelve months in the year you had taken the worst to encamp at Varna, and it was of course equally consistent to take the worst to besiege Sebastopol, that Gibraltar of the East. You take the worst time not only for military operations, but for sanitary conditions. Open even so common a work as M Culloch's Geographical Dictionary, and you will find it was the unhealthiness of the Crimea which frustated its colonisation by Germans; open the Gazetteer of the World, and you will find that it is in autumn the climate is more especially unhealthy, and subject to the epidemics you have found there. Yet there you land without ambulances, without waggons, without hospital provision, without even tents. Here ends this young soldier's correspondence. Scarcely saved from cholera at Varna, cholera seized him at the first breeze from those new and more fatal shores—seized him while his comrades were landing in the Crimea. Without common comforts, without common medical aid, he died—calling out in his delirium to be set on shore, so that he might, at least, perish in the field. I charge you then with this—that twice in one campaign you expose your army in situations notoriously pestilential at the precise seasons which you choose for both encampments. Considering this alone we need not pause to weigh the reasons for disasters alleged by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War—namely, that our staff-officers had no experience of active command, and that our soldiers, selected from the peasantry, had not learned to take care of themselves. The main cause is this—the situations in which the army has been exposed, and the destitution in which it has been left; and the fault is the worse for the reasons that have been stated, namely, that our officers were not accustomed to invent resources, nor our soldiers inured to encounter hardships and disease. The defence of the Secretary of War has been chiefly directed to show that, wherever omissions were discovered and blunders made, he hastened to repair them. That excuse may avail for his department, but I maintain it is the ditty of the Government, taken as a whole, not only to repair but to foresee—to provide beforehand what may probably be wanted, and not to wait till the consequences of their own neglect start up and defy reparation. You cannot repair the loss of life; you cannot repair constitutions ruined for ever, because men were exposed to disease and deprived of proper medical attendance—because men were sent to brave all the rigour of a dismal climate, without clothing to cover and roofs to shelter them. Now even with regard to a road from Balaklava, early in the campaign we read every day in the papers that the whole region between Balaklava and Sebastopol was exposed to columns of dust. A moment's reflection would have told you that dust in the summer becomes mud with the first rains of winter, and when, after the battle of Alma, it became clear that you would have to invest Sebastopol, you should have seen to the construction of a road between your camp and your harbour. Here indeed, at first glance, Lord Raglan may seem chiefly to blame. But he told you in his despatch after the battle of Alma, that he wished he had more men; and it might have occurred to you that with young recruits—many of them mere boys weakened by disease, and not enough for the heavy work of the trenches—Lord Raglan might have no force to spare for the supplementary labour of roads, and also that he was deficient in the necessary animals and vehicles, and you ought not to have waited for Mr. Peto's offer—your patriotism should have been no less inventive than his. It has been said, "How are Government to blame for winds and hurricanes, rains and mud?" But you are to blame for taking no pains to learn that your army would be exposed to a climate that is subject to winds and hurricanes, rains and mud. You are to blame for not resorting to the ordinary inventions of art to counteract the hostile operations of nature. When the clouds gather, a prudent man takes out his umbrella; when the wind sets in the east, he will see that his coat can button; and a man attacked by cold and disease for neglecting such every-day precautions, might as well exclaim, "How could I foresee that it would rain, or that it would blow?" as you ex. claim, "How could we foresee that there would be winds, rain, or mud?"—in a climate in which winds, rain, and mud are the ordinary phenomena of winter. Attempts have been made elsewhere to fix blame upon our military commanders. It was wisely as well as generously said on this score by the Secretary at War— What generous man would indeed attack the absent agent not here to answer for himself, when there sit before us, face to face, the employers responsible for his errors so long as they continue him in office? But here what Lord Grenville said on the subject of the Walcheren Expedition is so apposite that I will venture to quote it— I am disposed," said Lord Grenville, "to believe that in the situation of the commander he did all that could reasonably be expected, or was possible to accomplish. The error was in the plan, and the want of foresight and information on the part of His Majesty's Ministers... The place, the situation, nay the season of the year, were chosen by them. There is a season of the year when the air of that place is most pestilential and dangerous; yet, to that place, and at that time, say His Majesty's Ministers, we will send the flower of the British Army—we will not send it at a time when its operations may be advantageous, but we will send it when from every information it will be destroyed more by disease than by the sword." [1 Hansard, xv. 19.] Does this apply? But it is said in defence of the War Minister, that the fault is not in himself, but the nature of his office. I am too happy to accept any palliation for his errors. But if I accept that excuse for the Minister of War, it becomes another grave charge against the collective Government, for you created that office, and why did you leave it so imperfect? Here you had no want of advice and information. You had the recommendations of a celebrated Commission, the advice of some of the ablest men, who had thoroughly examined the subject, and your excuse for not grappling with the question was, that the commencement of war was not the proper moment for a thorough reform in the War Administration, and that the proper time to make a War Office efficient was the moment of returning peace. But, at all events, the reform, as far as it went, was, according to you, an improvement on the old system, and yet, under the old system, we fought the wars of the Peninsula and gained the victory of Waterloo. But if the complications of this office were so mischievous, you must have discovered it long ago. Why, when you summoned Parliament for the 12th of December, could you not have reformed the office, even if you did not change the Minister, and propose to us that reform for which you are now prepared? That would have been worth calling us together for; but no, you then completed your cardinal sin of short-sighted incompetence by confining all your exertions to save the remnant of your army to two Bills, for which you said not a day was to be lost, and one of which has remained a dead letter to this hour. Here again, the same eternal want of information! You go to Germany for foreign troops, and Germany declares your overtures illegal, and rejects them with scorn. I ventured to tell you that, if you carried the Foreign Enlistment Bill, you would never be able to use it. And now Parliament meets again, meets with fresh accounts of almost incredible suffering—9,000 of our surviving soldiers enfeebled, I fear, by disease, the huts that should shelter the rest still at Balaklava, and Lord Raglan, according to the despatch we read this morning, still without men and vehicles to land and fix them. Men look to us, half with hope, half with despair. "What is to be done?" is the cry of every voice. No man is a more shrewd observer of public opinion than the noble Lord the Member for London, and his resignation significantly tells us what ought to be done. But if this Motion succeed, if this incomparable Ministry retire, and, like the hon. Member for Middlesex (Mr. B. Osborne), lose a place and find a constituency, who is to replace them? Where can we find their equals, in the unity of their councils, the foresight of their policy, and the good fortune that attends their measures? Let us compose our terrors, and face the possible calamity of such a loss with manly courage. The hon. Member for Richmond (Mr. Rich) chides my right hon. Friend the Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole), because, on Friday night, he condemned the Government for basing its existence on the principle of coalition. The hon. Member for Richmond is historically correct. Looking through our modern history I find that most of our powerful, even popular Administrations, have been more or less coalitions. Both the Administrations of Mr. Pitt were coalitions; and the last was very remarkable, for he first turned out the Addington Government, and then coalesced with six of its Members. Nay, he was not contented till he had netted the expelled Prime Minister himself, and made him Lord President of the Council. But then there is one indispensable element of a coalition, and that is, that its Members should coalesce. Now, Sir, it is that element which seems to me wanting in the present Cabinet. It has been an union of party interests, but not a coalition of party sentiment and feeling. It was a jest of Lord Chesterfield's, when a man of very obscure family married the daughter of a lady to whom scandal ascribed a large number of successful admirers, that "nobody's son had just married everybody's daughter." If I may parody that jest, I would say of this Government, that everybody's principles had united with nobody's opinions. It is dimly intimated that the noble Lord—now in a state of transition, but, after all, he is equally illustrious as the hon. Member for Tiverton—it is intimated that the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton is intended for an appointment that some months ago would have satisfied the country, and possibly have saved the Government. I fear now that it may be too late, and among his greatest dangers will be the armed neutrality of his unsuccessful advocate and noble Friend. The noble Lord the Member for London, on Friday last, attempted, not very triumphantly, to vindicate the Whigs from the charge of being an exclusive party that required all power for itself; and he found a solitary instance for the refutation of that charge in the magnanimity with which the Whigs lead consented to that division of power which his desertion now so emphatically recants and condemns. But, in plain words, his vindication only amounts to this—that where the Whigs could not get all the power, they reluctantly consented to accept a part. Now, Gentlemen opposite will, perhaps, pardon me if I say, that I think the secret of Whig exclusiveness and Whig ascendancy has been mainly this—you, the large body of independent Liberal politicians, the advocates for progress, have supposed, from the memory of former contests now ended, that, while England is advancing, a large section of your countrymen, with no visible interest in existing abuses, are, nevertheless, standing still and thus you have given, not to yourselves, not to the creed and leaders of the vast popular body, but to a small hereditary combination of great families, a fictitious monopoly of liberal policy—a genuine monopoly of lethargic government. It is my firm belief that any Administration, formed from either side of the House, should we be unfortunate as to lose the present, would be as fully alive to the necessity of popular measures, of steady progress, of sympathy with the free and enlightened people they might aspire to govern, as any of the great men who are demagogues in opposition and oligarchs in office. But to me, individually, and to the public, it is a matter of comparative indifference from what section of men a Government at this moment shall be formed, so long as it manfully represents the great cause to which the honour and safety of England are committed, and carries into practical execution the spirit that animates the humblest tradesman, the poorest artisan who has sent his scanty earnings to the relief of our suffering army. It has been said, as the crowning excuse for the Government, that all our preceding wars have begun with blunders. Were this an arena for historical disquisition I should deny that fact; but grant it for the sake of argument. How were those blunders repaired and converted into triumphs? I know a case in point. Once in the last century there was a Duke of Newcastle, who presided over the conduct of a war, and was supported by a league of aristocratic combinations. That war was, indeed, a series of blunders and disasters. In vain attempts were made to patch up that luckless Ministry—in vain some drops of healthful blood were infused into its feeble and decrepit constitution—the people, at last, became aroused, indignant, irresistible. They applied one remedy; that remedy is now before ourselves. They dismissed their Government and saved their army.


Sir, I do not know that I can recollect an occasion on which there has been before the House—I will not say so great a question, but I must say, so remarkable a combination of questions, each of which is great. In this country even the dismissal of the Government is enough to constitute a great party conflict, and to attract immense public interest; but the fate of the Government, though it be an element in this discussion, is the smallest among the elements that it involves; because, Sir, along with the fate of the Government is involved the far exceeding question of the condition of your army, and along with the condition of the army is involved that which, if at the present moment it be regarded with less lively interest, is always of the deepest interest to the people of England—namely, the duty and functions of the House of Commons to consider and r apply a remedy to great national evils. With respect to the Government, what they desire and what they have a right to ask is, that their position should be perfectly clear and perfectly defined in the face of this House. Sir, the hon. Baronet who has just resumed his seat says that the present Government was formed upon a union of interests, but not of opinions. Sir, the judgment of the present Government belongs to a higher tribunal—[Laughter]—I speak it with no disrespect—than any individual Member of Parliament or any Parliament that now exists, because this is a question in which personal feelings and prejudices are so much involved that it is viewed by us with heated eyes. But there is a tribunal that will deal with this question with even-handed justice—I mean the enlightened opinion of the country. After what has happened during the last few weeks, and what we have heard during the last three days from my noble Friend, the Member for the City of London, I beg to enter my respectful protest against the declaration of the hon. Gentleman (Sir E. B. Lytton), that the combination out of which the present Government proceeded was a community of interests, and not of feelings and opinions. I beg to render this testimony, as far as I am concerned, in the face of the world to my noble Friend (Lord J. Russell), that in all the measures in which I have been concerned with him, whether in their preparation for this House, or whether in their conduct through this House, I have received from him great cordiality and harmony of support, and he, I trust, has received from me a correlative amount of support. The history of the Government will remain in its acts, and by its acts let it be judged. With reference to the present position of the Government, I must recur, in the first place, to the explanation of my noble Friend, for the purpose of acknowledging the tribute, so far beyond my merits, which my noble Friend was pleased to pay to a portion of my political conduct. He is in a position in this House in which it is his rare privilege that by the eulogies he confers he can confer distinction, but that he cannot receive it in return. I will, therefore, content myself with owning his kindness in that and many other matters, and in expressing the hope that it may be never effaced from my recollection. But with regard to the position of the Government with reference to my noble Friend, it is not to be wondered at if persons viewing the facts from different points of view do not find them presented in precisely the same light. I hope I may not be thought to controvert anything stated by my noble Friend, if I respectfully state to the House that, at the time he announced the resignation of the office he lately held, his colleagues were entirely unaware, so far as I am acquainted, of any difference of opinion between him and themselves. My noble Friend did not make any contrary statement; but, at the same time, I think that those who listened to the statement of my noble Friend, and had no other acquaintance with the facts, might justly suppose that he, having made a proposal at a given time for a change of office in the Government, though he had been dissuaded from pressing it at a particular time, had continued to keep that proposal alive, and that only at the last, when he had lost all hope of its acceptance, had proceeded to place his resignation in the hands of my noble Friend the First Lord of the Treasury. Sir, I venture to state, so far as my knowledge goes, that if such were the impression recently conveyed to the House, that impression was totally unwarranted by the facts. At the time of the resignation of my noble Friend we were not conscious of any the slightest difference of opinion between him and ourselves with reference to the conduct of the war. My noble Friend has called attention to a correspondence between himself and the Earl of Aberdeen, in which he urged that the present Minister of War should give place to my noble Friend the Member for Tiverton, and in which the Earl of Aberdeen declined to accede to that proposal, acting on that occasion in concert with every one of his colleagues. It has been stated this evening by the right hon. Member for Portsmouth (Sir F. Baring) that he considered that Lord Aberdeen was not justified in declining that proposal on grounds of private and personal regard, when it was deemed such a change would be beneficial to the country. Why, certainly not, Sir; he would not have been justified in such a case. But it was not on grounds of private and personal regard that my noble Friend Lord Aberdeen declined to accede to that proposal. It was on the 17th of November that the proposal was made, and those who wish to appreciate the circumstances should go back to that period. Sentiments of discontent among the public with reference to the conduct of the Minister of War were not rife in the country at that period. (Cries of "Oh, oh!") I will venture to say more (because if I stop here it may seem to imply that opinions out of doors ought to settle this question). —that the great exertions made by my noble Friend the Minister of War, in conjunction with the Commander of the Forces and the other military departments, in order to send out the army to the East, were exertions that deserved and had won the approbation of the country. Such was the opinion, I believe, of the country, and such was the opinion of my noble Friend the Member for the City of London; for it may be in his recollection, that in the early part of November he addressed a letter to the Duke of Newcastle, in which he stated to his Grace, with that handsome appreciation of his conduct that might be expected from such a man, that he had done in his office everything that it was possible to do. Well, Sir, on the 3rd of December the correspondence with the Earl of Aberdeen was brought to a close, my noble Friend adhering to his opinion, and the Earl of Aberdeen declining to act on that opinion. But from the close of that correspondence till the time of the meeting of Parliament on Tuesday last there is a vacuum that requires to be filled up. I may be wrong—I cannot tell what passed in the mind of my noble Friend—but I venture to say that, with regard to my knowledge, and according I believe to the view of his colleagues, his proposal was not in existence during that period. On the 3rd of December, as I have said, my noble Friend adhered to his opinion that the office of Secretary at War ought to be abolished or absorbed, and that of Secretary for War ought to be held by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. But shortly after that Parliament met—on the 12th of December—and a debate took place on the Address, which may be in the recollection of the Members of this House. On the 16th of December a Cabinet Council was held, and discussions were entered into with respect to the proceedings of the Government and the measures of the coming Session. The impression made, I think, on the colleagues of the noble Lord by the conversations at that Council was, that it was impossible he could retain his intention of proposing a change in the War Department; but it was not left to impressions, for on that day, as I am authorised by the First Lord of the Treasury to state, Lord Aberdeen, being in some doubt as to the meaning of the President of the Council, did himself take an opportunity of ascertaining what his opinions were, and asked him whether he adhered to his proposal with reference to a change in the War Department. I was not present at the conversation. I speak only from what Lord Aberdeen has informed me, and what I believe at the time he communicated to such Members of the Cabinet as happened to refer to him on the subject. He stated to me that when he then asked my noble Friend whether he adhered to his plan, my noble Friend distinctly announced to him that he had changed his intentions. He attributed that change to a conversation which he had had with a distinguished person, a friend of his—I need not name—not a Member of the present Cabinet, but versed in the affairs of military administration, and very friendly to the reform of the military department. My noble Friend then on the 16th of December stated that he had changed his intentions, chiefly in consequence of a conversation with this friend, who, though a great military reformer, had convinced my noble Friend that the present was not a fitting time for the proposed changes, Well, Sir, that being the case, it was obvious that all his colleagues who took the pains to inform themselves on the subject regarded that proposal of my noble Friend, not as a proposal that was awake and alive, or one that was to be pressed upon them, but as a proposal which he had given up and definitively abandoned. Nor was there anything that occurred in the following month that induced the Government to think otherwise, because from time to time, as Cabinet Councils met, measures were discussed, and on Saturday week my noble Friend himself called the attention of the Government to the subject of the formation of a War Board, and asked what had been done with regard to developing the views of the Government as to the war, and at that very Council a plan was agreed upon for giving form to measures which had, for some time, been practically in operation for combining the heads of the various War Departments with a view to the more speedy and prompt transaction of the business of the war. My noble Friend, on that occasion, was a concurring and consenting party in that conversation, and he subsequently went to Lord Aberdeen, I think on the day before the meeting of Parliament, and stated that he intended to prepare modifications to that plan, with the details of which he was not altogether satisfied. These Amendments we never had the opportunity of considering. But my noble Friend said, the other night, he had no reason to suppose they would be adopted by the Cabinet. I venture, however, to say that he had no reason to suppose they would not have been adopted by the Cabinet. I am unaware, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary at War, who has seen that memorandum, is totally unaware, of any question of principle that could be raised on it, or of any difference of opinion that could grow out of it, with regard to my noble Friend on the one hand or the Government on the other. Therefore, Sir, if it be thought that there is something of audacity in the Members of the Government when they meet Parliament and challenge a vote on their fate after they have lost the strength and the ornament of the presence of my noble Friend, I trust it will be recollected that up till Tuesday last his colleagues—I will not say every one of his colleagues, for I cannot speak for all personal and private communications, but his colleagues at large—were not aware either that my noble Friend had any intention to revive his defunct proposal, or that in any respect there existed any difference of opinion between him and them in regard to the conduct of the war and the constitution of the administrative departments. I hope the House will forgive me for having stated in this manner what appeared to me to be desirable in order to clear the views which the House might entertain—I do not say of the position of my noble Friend, for I do not question one syllable that fell from his lips—but to clear the view that the House might entertain of the position of the Government when, on Wednesday, it was called on to deliberate in consequence of the resignation of my noble Friend. Now, it may be thought that the Government, as I have said, are guilty of a reckless disregard of opinion in meeting Parliament and taking the opinion of the House of Commons on the Motion that is now before them without any change in their own composition, and deprived of the leader under whom they have acted in this House. I beseech those who are disposed to come to such a conclusion to consider what was the position of the Government on Wednesday and Thursday last. It is very easy to describe that position as a disagreeable position. In that description I am myself not wholly unprepared to concur.

At once, as far as angel's ken, he views The dismal situation waste and wild. Those blasts that come from the Oppo- sition side of the House are not always agreeable; but if I turn for comfort to some portions of this side of the House I see a quarter where sits the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard), and I am bound to say that from that quarter issue the coldest and most bitter blasts of all. And all the comfort I have with respect to him is, that I can see no difference between the tone of his speeches he addresses to the House now, when he avows he has withdrawn his confidence from the Government, and the tone of his speeches, on various occasions, when he assured the Government of his steady allegiance. I think the House will agree with me that those who are charged with the responsibilities of office have something else to do besides considering the pleasures of their position. They have something else to do even in ordinary times, but still more in times like these, under the pressure of events such as now beset your army, and, in connection with it, the country. Now, the question is, what course was it open to us to take? Were we to attempt some modification or interchange of offices that should enable us to present a more acceptable or popular front to the House of Commons? I agree with the hon. Member for Aylesbury, who says that such a change, wrought under such circumstances, could have earned no favour for Government, but must have enhanced and accumulated suspicion upon them, and placed them in a false and unworthy position. That is the part of the mariner, who, under the pressure of a tempest, sets about appealing to the mercy, and commences bargaining with his gods— Ad miseras preces, Decurrere et votis pacisci, Ne Cypriæ Tyritæque merces Addant avaro divitias mari. It was not compatible with the position of the Government to offer terms to the House of Commons. It would not have been compatible with the position and character of the House of Commons to accept terms from a Government so circumstanced. Then, on the other hand, if it was not open to us to modify the composition of the Government, was it open to us to abandon office under the pressure of a hostile Motion? There may be a majority here, for all I know, who are determined this night to pass a vote of censure on the Government; but I think there are few that have within them the spirit and justice of Englishmen who will not be free to own that it was the duty of the Govern- ment, having conducted public affairs up to the time when they were made the subject of a notice of censure, not to shrink from that censure. It has been well said by my right hon. Friend the Secretary for the Colonies that we were determined to meet it as we stood, without forecasting the future. It would have been audacious—it would have been altogether unjustifiable either to form a conclusion or even a design with respect to the future existence of the Government till they got the sentence and judgment of the House of Commons with respect to that existence; and if we had shrunk, after notice was given, from asking for judgment on our past actions, I ask in what terms we should hereafter have been described? What sort of an epitaph would have been written over our remains? Why, Sir, I think I should have phrased it somewhat thus myself, "Here lie the dishonoured ashes of a Ministry which found England at peace and left her at war—which was content to enjoy the emoluments of office and wield the sceptre of power so long as no one had courage to question its existence. They saw a storm gathering over the country—they heard grievances and afflicting news of the state of the sick and wounded in the East. These things did not move them; but when the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield raised his hand to point the thunderbolt at them, then they were conscience-stricken with a sense of their guilt, and, in thinking to escape from punishment, they abandoned duty." It is, therefore, from no mere desire to court the condemnation of Parliament, and from no mean desire to cling to office, that Her Majesty's Government have thought it their duty to invite you to pass judgment on the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield without a single circumstance to draw you from the path either to the right or to the left so far as depends upon them. So much, then, for the state of the Government here; but what is far more important in the view of the country is the state of the army. And it is not only the state of the army in the Crimea this House has to consider, but they must look to the causes of that state, and the means of applying a remedy. I will not attempt to alleviate or weaken the sense of interest felt in this House and throughout the country with respect to the condition of that army. It would be a vain attempt, and not only vain, but doing violence to the nature of every one who has the feelings of a man. It is, in truth, the absorbing question of the time. My hon. Friend the Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Stafford) is right when he says, not only that England cares for the army, but that she may now almost be said to care for little else. And I, for my part, will offer no resistance, and will interpose no impediment to any measure whatever that can be shown that will contribute one jot or tittle to benefit that army. What, then, is the state of this army? Here we must recollect that it is our duty to endeavour to put a cheek on feeling, and to come to a very different affair—namely, an appreciation of the real state of the case. Of course, it will appear to all that the evidence which the public journals render us is, on the whole, and from necessity, far from being complete in its character. It must and does proceed mainly from those who have suffered those evils of which I do not now inquire what portion were unavoidable, or what portion could have been avoided. There are some of the difficulties of the army with respect to which we may venture to hope that they are now in course of diminution; for instance, if I take some points in connection with those accounts that at the present moment the public have been made acquainted with in the most authentic form, I find that large portions of warns clothing have been issued, and that the troops are now in possession of these comforts. I do not know if there are any individual exceptions, but I make no doubt of Lord Raglan's general accuracy. The huts have begun to be taken up to the encampment and to be issued to the men. The sickness which prevailed to so fearful an extent, according to the latest accounts which the military authorities gave me to-day, has begun to show a slight diminution. I may also mention that, out of ten vessels which sailed from this country with the stores and men necessary for the construction of the railway, by this time nearly the whole have arrived; and I believe it was the estimate of the intelligent and public-spirited men who were entrusted with the construction of the railway, that within about three weeks of the time of fully commencing it that railway would be completed. What, however, is more material to the present state of facts is, perhaps, this—that an arrangement, which has long been the object of desire in both the allied camps, has at length, by the efforts of the generals, been completed, and General Canrobert has been able to place at the disposal of Lord Raglan—or rather has been able to apply to the discharge of duties for which Lord Raglan has hitherto provided—such a force of French as to diminish by 1,600 men the number of English permanently in the trenches. Of course I need not acquaint the House that the number of 1,600 men by no means represents the amount of relief; but my meaning is, the number permanently in the trenches: and I apprehend I am not wrong in stating that, so far as the labours of the siege are concerned, that arrangement is equivalent to an addition of from 4,000 to 5,000 healthy and well-ordered troops on the spot to the British army, in reference to the works which it had to undertake. I hope the House will think that I have not stated these things as cancelling the case which is before us—that I have not infused into the statement of them a tincture of exaggeration. My sole object is, that the facts shall be placed clearly before the House, and an impartial judgment passed upon them. Now, with respect to the number of the army, that is a question to which, I think, it is desirable to refer, because, undoubtedly, either the statement which goes abroad among the public, or, at any rate, the mode of making that statement, is fallacious; so that calamities, in themselves great and serious, are magnified far beyond their just proportions. For example, it is said that 54,000 men have been sent to the East, and that 12,000 bayonets is the whole force we have there at our disposal. This, of course, is a matter of fact. I do not speak of the army before Sebastopol as if it consisted of men fresh from our climate, having undergone no pressure of fatigue, but I speak of the number of those, including the auxiliary marine force and the naval brigade, engaged in military duties before Sebastopol, excluding the whole of those who, whether at Balaklava or elsewhere, are on the sick list. Now, Sir, the number of those engaged in military duties before Sebastopol, according to the latest returns, must somewhat exceed 30,000. I do not pretend to give the precise figure, because I have not the precise returns for the naval brigade, or for the marines, but that is an affair which cannot exceed 300 or 500 one way or the other. 28,300 men under arms, or in active service of one kind or another, were the force before Sebastopol at the latest moment of which we have the returns, and to that must be added, on account of the auxiliary naval force, about 3,000 or 4,000 men. I have spoken of the statement that the army consists of only 12,000 men, and that statement goes abroad, and is received as gospel by well-intentioned members of the community. Indeed, it was my lot yesterday morning to hear it preached as gospel before a large congregation. A most meritorious clergyman, addressing one of the most intelligent flocks in London, stated that the army sent out to the East was, at present, represented by far less than one-third of its numbers before Sebastopol. I hope, however, we are not driven to that melancholy and miserable conclusion, that our army of 1854 is gone, and that we have nothing to do but to consider of the formation of an army of 1855. There have been many calamities, there have been many faults, there have been many great and glorious actions attended with loss; in some instances the hand of Providence has descended in a manner which could not be foreseen. There has been delay of our best hopes—agony has been brought to our tenderest feelings, but we are not driven to the conclusion that the army which left these shores, the finest ever despatched from England, is numbered among the things which are past. Now, Sir, though I have said that I do not intend to attempt to get quit of the case in that manner (although those things I have stated are strictly true), I believe much remains behind, and there is still one other subject to which I must venture to advert. Persons in this country, necessarily ignorant of military matters, are in the habit of giving their judgment of them in a great degree by comparison. It is common to revert to the state of the French camp and the French organisation, and to draw inferences highly unfavourable to those engaged in the conduct of our own; and, Sir, so far from endeavouring to detract from what is stated to the advantage of the French as to their organisation, I rejoice to have this opportunity of bearing testimony to the high state of military art and science, and those best parts which relate to the care of the soldier, displayed by our gallant neighbours and allies. But I wish to point out to the House the necessary imperfection as to the means of information. It is natural—I do not complain, and I do not think any one will complain, not even those who suffer by them—that these comparisons should be drawn. I only suppose a case of possibility. If it were only to happen that, in any material points, the organisation or arrangements of the British army should be superior to the French, you would not think it justifiable in us to make that statement. You would say, on the contrary, they were matters on which we ought not to enter. But I will not press it further, and 1 only press it as a reason for suspension of judgment, and caution and circumspection in considering a matter of this kind. But, after all this, the case is a case which absorbs your attention, and, after every effort you can use, every assistance you can render the Government, and whatever sacrifice you may choose to make, with a view of improving the state of the army. I accede and agree to the justice of the picture which has been drawn by my noble Friend the Member for the City of London. I admit, though I trust improvement has begun, and although it is clear the great weight of excess of labour is now materially lightened, there is much in the general arrangements of the government of that army which calls for amendment. I agree that, in some important particulars, it is so defective—whether from fault or necessity—so defective, that the accounts received are—I will use the language of my noble Friend—they are horrible, they are heart-rending. If that be a fair outline of the state of the army, we come to the question, what is the cause of that state? And the first duty I apprehend you have to perform is to endeavour to make some separation between the inevitable incidents of war, and especially of an arduous and difficult enterprise in war, and the faults and miseries which human care might have avoided. As far as those causes are unavoidable, I am not here to discuss them; but I must plainly say, there are some Gentlemen who do not take a just estimate of the unavoidable causes of misery in our army. Why, the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) says the matter of providing for an army 3,000 miles off is a matter of no difficulty at all; that nothing but the self-sufficiency of some Members of the Government prevented their seeking advice in the proper quarters; and that, if that advice had been sought and the proper measures taken, every man would have had his breakfast table regularly served in the Crimea—I almost thought he was going to say with The Times newspaper served along with it, such was the idea which the right hon. Gentleman appeared to have of the facility of this operation. In that respect I think the right hon. Gentleman has not taken a true or fair measure of the case. But now let us ask the question, which of these causes have been avoidable? The right hon. Gentleman made another observation for which I mean to tax him. [Laughter.] I used the word "tax" unconsciously. I hope it will be understood I mean nothing of a personal character in it, But the right hon. Gentleman made another observation, for which I shall take him to task. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to be under the belief that due supplies have been withheld from this army, and that the army has been, what is called, starved from motives of economy. [Mr. HENLEY intimated dissent.] Well, I am glad that is not the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman. It is an opinion, however, which I have heard on more than one occasion stated in this House. It may be very unfashionable and unpopular to refer to the word "economy" at all; but, at the same time, if it be the duty of no other man, it is my duty, and no period can, in my opinion, be unfitting to declare that to the best of their power the Government of the country, and the representatives of the people in this country, should respect and study economy. But, so far from supposing that economy has been the cause of those miseries, I am afraid we are rather open to the charge that, in our endeavour to mitigate them, we have been driven into profusion. At any rate, I hope the House will be content to suspend its judgment on that part of the case until we come to the time when I, or some worthier person, will have to submit proposals connected with the financial arrangements of the coming year, and, in so doing, to present with them an account of the transactions of the past one. I am bound to enter my protest likewise on behalf of economy with respect to another matter. I do not believe that it is the parsimony of Parliament which has rendered our military establishments liable, so far as they are liable, to the charge of ineffectiveness. I am not prepared to admit that a sum of 14,000,000l. annually, which is about the average sum which has been bestowed during the peace, is not sufficient to provide this country with the necessary means of defence. It may be true that, in certain instances, you have had ill-judged parsimony, but, if it is so, I venture to say it is easy to find other instances in which the fault has not been that of parsimony, but of a very different kind. And I frankly own I should do injustice to the people of England and to the House of Commons, if I allowed it to be supposed either that the people were unwilling to bear the necessary burdens, or that the generosity of Parliament has failed in providing those supplies which should be adequate for the country's defence. So much for economy. I will not dwell on that subject further, because I know you do not mean to lay the principal part of the burden on that ground. The hon. Baronet who has just sat down takes to task the policy of Government, and this he does on the authority of a young gentleman who is an officer in the army, and who, writing his opinions home, is quoted by the hon. Baronet as an authority, in deference to which he calls on you to pronounce what should and should not have been done. The hon. Baronet says it was monstrous to go to Sebastopol, because we ought to have known that the climate of the Crimea was so pestilential it was certain ruin to any army which went there. Now, Sir, I join issue with the hon. Baronet, and tell him that he was misinformed. The hon. Baronet refers us to M' Culloch's Geographical Dictionary. I am not so deeply read in the articles of that useful work, but I cannot help believing that, in the summary of information it affords, it states that the climate of the Crimea is totally different in different parts of the Crimea, and that on the southern line of the Crimea, where Sebastopol is to be found, there is nothing in the climate which ought to prevent its becoming the scene of military operations. But the real truth is this—you cannot carry an army into those countries without risk to health. Not the climate alone, but all the incidents of military life added to the climate, must be reckoned among the causes of ill health to the army. Then the hon. Baronet says, "Why spare Odessa?" Are you going to condemn the Government by vote to-night because they spared Odessa? Suppose you are so indignant at the Government for sparing Odessa that you vote against it to-night, and find at a subsequent period that the Government took the opportunity of having the matter of the destruction of Odessa fully considered by the commanders on the spot, and that these commanders gave them the advice upon which the Government acted—I ask what would be the position of those who had passed judgment on the Government for sparing Odessa? The hon. Baronet says we ought to have taken Odessa, which was open to us, and would have been very comfortable quarters to our troops; but he forgot to tell us that Odessa is an open town containing 140,000 people, perfectly accessible to Russian forces on all sides, and with 300,000 or 400,000 men within easy reach of it. What, therefore, would have been the condition of the British army if they had taken the advice of the hon. Baronet and gone into those comfortable quarters? Then, says the hon. Baronet, you sent to buy mules in Spain and Egypt—why did you not buy baggage animals at Gallipoli? This is different from the complaint of the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard). The hon. Baronet, who is the great orator of his party, having devoted much time and mind to inform himself with respect to facts, recommends as a great mart Gallipoli—which is no place of traffic, but a small village situated on a narrow strip of land—and contends that we should have trusted to Gallipoli for mules, and not have trusted to Spain and Egypt. But how does this agree with the other and much more rational charge of the hon. Member for Aylesbury, who says that we did not send anywhere for mules—that we had no mules or horses, not only in the Crimea, but even at Varna? I leave these two champions to join issue and try the quarrel between themselves. But I must take issue here, in the first instance, with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Aylesbury. He stated the other night, not only that we had no transport animals when we landed in the Crimea, because after all that was not at the moment so very surprising a matter, but that we had no means of transport at Varna. And yet I have to acquaint the hon. Gentleman that we had 5,000 horses and mules at that period at Varna for the purposes of transport. But, said the hon. Gentleman, those horses at Varna were the horses of the officers, who were forced to take out with them three or four horses, although many of them could ill afford the expense. What, however, has the hon. Baronet (Sir E. B. Lytton) tonight said? He has asked, "Is it true that you carried out three horses for the correspondent of the Times, whereas you have not allowed the officers to send out more than one? "From one side of the House we are charged with compelling the officers to send three or four horses to the East; and from the other side we are charged with only allowing them to send one. But, be that as it may, I beg to state to the House, upon good authority, that there were means of transport to the amount of 5,000 animals at Varna at the period of the expedition to the Crimea. With respect, then, to the military criticisms of the hon. Baronet, I think I may venture here to leave them. But, though these may be his specific grounds for supporting the motion, they may not be the grounds on which the votes of other hon. Members may rest, or on which their opinions as to the true causes of the evils which exist in the Crimea may be formed. Now, Sir, it may be convenient to say a few words first of all with regard to my noble Friend who is supposed to be more especially responsible for the conducting of the war, and to be specifically pointed at by the Motion, as Secretary of State for the War Department; secondly, with regard to the administration of that department; and then also with respect to the administration of the army in the Crimea. Now, as regards the second point—namely, the administration of the War Department—it is admitted on all hands to be defective. But it is not admitted, in the first place, that nothing has been done to cure those defects, or that, on the other hand, they are such defects as are deserving the censure of this House. Your War Department may be in a very imperfect state as compared with the similar department of France, which has had a standing army of from 60,000 to 80,000 men engaged in war for the last twenty-five years in Algeria; but I believe it is the opinion of competent men that the present state and the performances of your War Department are in no degree inferior to what they were at the close of the last war. ["Oh, oh!"] I hear murmurs, as if it was thought that the department and its operrations ought to be improved since the close of the last war. Theoretically, no doubt it ought to be; but surely it is something to have lost practice during a forty years' peace. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) says, "You have sent an army to the East, and you have sent it unprovided with necessaries." That is his charge; and it is a very intelligible one; and if there were any grain of truth in it, then you may vote whatever vote of censure you please upon us. But I beg leave to join issue with the right hon. Gentleman, and to say that, instead of our having sent an army to the East unprovided with necessaries, we have sent it supplied with ample necessaries of every description. I will not enter into a statement of details, but I will refer the House to the fair and candid statement with which the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield opened this debate, when he said— You have sent an army to the East in numbers and efficiency such as never before left these shores; an army likewise unequalled in its equipments; but that army is perishing for want of food, while upon the shores of the port of Balaklava there are rotting stores of every possible description sufficient to provide for the wants of two such armies. I believe I have given the substance of the hon. and learned Gentleman's statement correctly. Now, although the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman may, perhaps, in some points be beyond, yet upon the whole, it is not very far from the truth. Surely, then, this is an answer as far as regards the charge that our army has been sent from England unprovided with necessaries. It is an answer to the charge that your military department here has failed to supply that army with all the necessaries it required. Nor is it true to say that nothing has been done to improve the War Department. On the contrary, measures were taken by my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, to re-organise the Board of Transport, and by my noble Friend the Secretary of War to organise transport corps separate from the Commissariat. It may be said, as has been stated by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Portsmouth (Sir F. Baring), that the Commissariat has only recently been transferred to the Secretary of State for War. That may be true; but from the time of the commencement of this war the direction of the Commissariat has been in the hands of the Secretary at War. All these things have been done, and at the time they were adopted they were considered to be the best measures that could then be devised. Since then the principle of concentration has been practically carried into effect. For sometime past the heads of the different Boards have met—informally till lately, and now they meet more formally—for the purpose of giving to the military department of the State as much of unity in its operations as its various functions are capable of. Well, so much for the military department. But I must point out to the House that if the present heads of the military department are to be selected for objects of censure, it will be well to consider upon whom that will recoil. Within the last three years the Government of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London first proposed a Bill for raising the militia. That Bill was taken up in a modified form by the Government of the Earl of Derby, much to its credit, and passed this House. From the time that Lord Hardinge has been the Commander in Chief, much has been done towards the improvement of that arm. Is the Minié rifle nothing? Is the improvement of the Minié rifle nothing? It is due to Lord Hardinge's administration that every measure for the purpose of promoting the re-arming of the army has been taken. That most important weapon, the Minié rifle, was first introduced in 1851, and its improvement was effected in 1853. By it the weapon is reduced three pounds in weight, while it is in every respect superior to the old musket of the British army. It is a weapon capable of the most astonishing execution, as was very remarkably demonstrated at the battle of Inkerman, where it inflicted the greatest slaughter which had been known for many years. That was, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary at War has justly called it, "the soldiers' battle," but it would not have been fought in the way it was if it had not been for your War Administration, first of all, employing that effective weapon, and thereby changing altogether the character of your infantry, and converting them from mere machines, who fired without thinking or looking, into good and effective marksmen, as the hosts of Russia soon found. Since that time, also, your field artillery has been all but created afresh. In 1852 you had no field artillery. You had no guns or gun-carriages at that time fit for the service. But is that all? Was it not an indication of improvement when the British corps were collected the year before last at Chobham, with a view and an endeavour to combine them into one army? And when that plan was found to work so satisfactorily, was it no mark of improvement that it was determined to follow it up during the last and the present year? Government, I have the gratification of saying, have been so successful as to procure, in a convenient situation, a large piece of ground, with a view of establishing a permanent encampment, and enabling you to make a better and more effective use of your army than you have hitherto done when you employed them so much for purposes of police regulations both at home and abroad. But if you intend to censure your military department of the Government, you must perceive that that censure will fall upon the members of several successive Governments of this country, as well as on the Parliaments whose confidence they possessed. But I know it is not intended to cast censure upon the department, but it is upon the Secretary for War that you intend to discharge your ire. Now, there are states of opinion with which it is in vain to contend. There are duties which it is beyond the power of man satisfactorily to discharge. I confess, it is my own belief that the duties of all the departments in this country are of such a nature that no man can discharge them without being sensible that much fault may justly be found with the manner of his discharging them. I have not the least doubt that this truth applies to my noble Friend the Secretary of State for War. I am far from saying that my noble Friend enjoys such an exemption from all the infirmities of human nature, that he is able to devise everything wisely, and do everything in the right manner, and at the right time. But if you think that my noble Friend has not devoted himself with assiduity and attention to the duties of his office, then I tell you, you are mistaken. You may pass a vote of censure on my noble Friend; you (the Opposition) may shelter yourselves behind this vote for a Select Committee to make your attack upon him and upon the Government, but I venture to tell you that you know not the true character of my noble Friend, and that every man who gives his vote against him this night, though he may swell the majority against and succeed in throwing obloquy upon my noble Friend, will find, before twelve months have passed away, and when the true state of the facts shall be declared, there will be among the just and generous minds of the people of England a reaction in his favour. But now, what are the grounds of this Motion? You are going to condemn my noble Friend on account of the condition of the army in the Crimea. I believe that is the statement. You have an impression that there were no roads, no clothing, no houses, but little food, a want of ammunition, and dreadful confusion at Balaklava; and, I must not forget to add, that it is your opinion also that the hospitals are most defective. Now, I must beseech the House to reflect how long these complaints have been rife in this country. I think, if you go back, it was in the middle of the month of December that they were first heard of, ["No, no!"] Why, Parliament met in the middle of that month, and the then state of the army was fully discussed in this House. The House heard the statement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary at War. They believed that statement, and I believe they were justified in giving their credence to it. Complaints there were at that time, and complaints there ever must be, both in the Army and the Navy. But I think you will agree with me that it was not the duty of my noble Friend the Duke of Newcastle, in the case of every complaint, to write to Lord Raglan, who was engaged in such gigantic duties, and having on his mind matters of such vast responsibility, and call upon him to put the matter right, as if he were some officer of a department at Somerset House. The duty of my noble Friend was to give credit to such complaints, and when they assumed the character of some general neglect, arising, in all probability, from want of energy or prudence on the part of some one in office, then was the only time for my noble Friend to entertain such complaints. Well, a discussion on the state of the army took place in this House on the 12th of December, when my right hon. Friend stated the condition of that army, and the House in general was satisfied. Since that time these complaints have become more rife, and, I am sorry to say, redundant. Now, what was the duty of my noble Friend under those circumstances? What was the utmost he could do? Was he to recall Lord Raglan? ["Hear, hear!"] Well, I hear a solitary cheer; but I apprehend that it does not indicate the real sense of the House. Lord Raglan either deserves your confidence or he does not; but if he is to have your confidence it is necessary that he should have it whole and entire. It is impossible for any man to discharge the duties incumbent upon Lord Raglan—such duties as have rarely been combined in the hands of any individual—unless he has the full confidence and the full support of the Government and of the Parliament at home. Is the choice of Lord Raglan to he blamed? Did the Government err in that choice? Did the incompetent Minister at War, as he has been termed, did my noble Friend the Duke of Newcastle show his incompetency in that choice? Why, it was approved by the universal voice of the country. Were the events which fol- lowed that appointment of a nature to shake the confidence which the Government reposed in Lord Raglan? On the contrary, you have voted him your unanimous thanks—not only your unanimous but your enthusiastic thanks—for his brilliant services in the field. Her Majesty has conferred upon him the highest military honours which it was in her power to bestow. I know this also, that besides the difficulties which a general in the field has to encounter, Lord Raglan has had the further duty—not less essential—to perform, over and above the ordinary duties of a soldier, of giving life and practical vigour to that alliance between England and France, of which it is all very well for us to speak in this House—for, so far as we are concerned, it is a matter very easy to deal with—but it has been upon Lord Raglan practically that the task of successfully maintaining that alliance has fallen. I believe there cannot be two opinions as to the way in which Lord Raglan has maintained that alliance. I believe it has been—indeed I know he has said it has been—almost the great object of his mind to maintain and to confirm that alliance, and not to confirm it in its form only, but to animate it with the warm spirit of generous affection and attachment. Well, I think there cannot be two opinions as to the manner in which Lord Raglan has discharged that part of his duty. Then I suppose you would not have recalled Lord Raglan when complaints appeared in the newspapers, or when an article appeared, written by some editor, stating that he should have been recalled. What, then, would you have done? Because the practical question before us turns to a great extent upon this point. I want to know whether, when these complaints became rife, you would have recalled the subordinate officers of Lord Raglan? Would you have recalled the heads of the Medical department, of the Commissariat, of the Quartermaster-general's, or of the Adjutant-general's department? I name these departments because they include the principal persons engaged in the administration of the Army. I fully admit that facts have been made known to the Government, especially since the beginning of December, of such a character as it was impossible for them to overlook. I think, however, that it was not their duty to recall Lord Raglan's subordinate officers without communicating with him on the subject. The confidence which the Go- vernment reposed in him made it their duty—their absolute duty—in point of common justice and decency, to ask him to investigate these charges. It was their duty to apply to him—to remind him of the powers lodged in his hands—to let him inquire into these complaints, and then act accordingly. I venture to say that that is the course which my noble Friend the Minister for War has pursued. He has received from Lord Raglan statements in answer to the representations which were made in the month of December, and measures have been taken which he trusts will lead to a great improvement in the condition of the army. Some hon. Gentleman has said—I think it was the hon. Baronet who preceded me—that it is not our duty to cure evils, but to prevent them. It is our duty, he says, to prevent evils in an army. I admit that it is our duty, to the best of our power, to do so; but the hon. Baronet has not shown that these evils could have been prevented by anything that depended upon my noble Friend the Minister fur War, or upon Her Majesty's Government. I apprehend that the state of the case is this:—The officers of Lord Raglan are responsible to him; Lord Raglan is responsible to the Government; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons. You may say, "It takes a long time to follow out this responsibility, and in the meanwhile the mischief is going on." That is perfectly true, but the question is, can you find a shorter way to a remedy? That is the whole question. The Government could not find a shorter way to a remedy by recalling Lord Raglan, and if they had done so the country would have cried out upon them. The Government could not have found a shorter way to a remedy by recalling the officers of Lord Raglan without previous communication with him, and without affording him an opportunity of making a fair statement of the facts. They could not have pursued either of these courses; and are you to determine whether you will dismiss the Government or not, before they have had the opportunity of bringing these grave matters to issue in the only way open to them in reason and justice? You may say this is a slow process. [Sir E. B. LYTTON: The speech is a slow process.] The hon. Baronet says the speech is a slow process, and I admit it is so, but the matter is an important one. I know that the hon. Baronet, when he speaks, is remarkable for conciseness, but all men have not the same talent; and I beg to assure the hon. Baronet that my object is to put the point as well as I can, and as shortly as I can, to the House. You say you wish to shorten the process by the course you are about to take, and I want to know what you really mean by the inquiry which you contemplate. It has been said, that this is a question of confidence, or no-confidence, in the Government. My answer to that is, that the House of Commons is not called upon to vote confidence in the Government at the present moment. When the Government produces its measures to the House, then, no doubt, it calls upon the House, either directly or indirectly, for a vote of confidence; hut, at present, the question is not whether you shall adopt a vote of confidence or not, but whether you shall pass a vote of censure or not. That distinction between the two measures is a plain one, and it happens to have been brought out in a very marked manner at one period in the history of this country. During the existence of the Shelburne Administration, a question arose whether an union should be formed with Lord North or with Mr. Fox, the party of Lord North and that of Mr. Fox constituting the Opposition of the day. I find in the Memoirs and Correspondence of Mr. Fox this pas-sage— The preliminaries of peace had been signed, and were laid before Parliament on the 27th of January, 1783. The terms were not, in general, approved of, and the Ministers thought a vote of approbation by Parliament absolutely necessary for their continuance in office. Lord North declared that he would oppose any vote of censure, but that he could not concur in a vote of approbation. 'If they come for an address,' said he, 'they make us judges, and they must make out their case.' Lord North declined to support the Address which the Government wanted, though he would not support a vote of censure, and in consequence of his declining to support the Address he lost the alliance of the Ministers, and was induced to attempt to form a coalition with Mr. Fox. Now, this is the question at the present time. The Motion now before the House is a disguised vote of censure. In saying so, I mean no disrespect to the hon. and learned Member by whom it was proposed, for I am quite sure there is no man in this House less capable of adopting deliberately a disguised mode of action than the hon. and learned Gentleman; but I mean that, though the Motion purports to contemplate inquiry, it is in fact a vote of censure upon the Government. We have been told that it is a technical objection to say that this is a proceeding without a precedent. It is proposed to commit to a Select Committee of this House the duty of examining into the state of the army in the Crimea, and into the conduct of the War Department at home, and the right hon. Member for Midhurst (Mr. Walpole) quoted what he called a precedent for this proceeding in the case of the Walcheren expedition. Now, I must confess that I think I never heard a more unhappy comparison. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that there were some points of difference. I declare that, as to points of resemblance, I do not think there is more than one, which was not referred to by the right hon. Member for Midhurst—namely, that curiously enough the Motion for the Walcheren Inquiry and the Motion now before the House were both brought forward on the 26th of January. With regard to the Motions themselves, my right hon. Friend could scarcely have been serious when he said that the Walcheren Inquiry was a precedent for this, for they differ in the most essential respects. I will mention one of those points of difference. The Walcheren Inquiry was an inquiry into an expedition which we had undertaken single-handed; the people you had to examine were your own people; the measure was your own measure; the failure was your own failure. Now, is this a singlehanded expedition—can this be a singlehanded inquiry? If my right hon. Friend inquires—and I do not envy him his task if he is a Member of the Committee—into the conduct of the War Department, in connection with the expedition, and into the state of the army in the Crimea, I want to know whether he will be able so to shape his inquiry that he will have no evidence upon any question touching the conduct and the policy of the French nation? What will be the position of the right hon. Gentleman if he has to propose to this House that we should require the assistance of witnesses from over the water, in order to illustrate certain points in which the question is common to the two nations? The policy of the expedition to Sebastopol is to be censured. We ought to have wintered at our ease at Odessa. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to inquire into those points, it is plain that he must have French as well as English witnesses. But my right hon. Friend forgets this, which is the most vital distinction that can be drawn between the two cases—that the inquiry into the Walcheren expedition was an inquiry after the fact. That was an inquiry within the legitimate scope and office of the House of Commons. The Ministers had adopted a course of action, you were dissatisfied with the results, and you placed the Ministers upon their trial. Your business is not to govern the country, but it is, if you think fit, to call to account those who do govern it. For such a purpose it is perfectly reasonable to inquire into a past expedition, but how does that apply to the present case? How can you inquire into the past of the Sebastopol expedition without examining into the present and the future? How is it possible that you can conduct the inquiry with respect to what you may call the past, without—not damaging, but absolutely ruining, the present and the future? The real truth is this, that if this Motion be anything—if the inquiry into an actually proceeding operation be anything—it is a Motion that the House of Commons cannot pass without violating the laws which fix its place in the constitution, because, if the Motion means anything, it means taking the conduct of the expedition out of the hands of the Government. The Walcheren Inquiry was an investigation which was conducted by the House at the bar. The inquiry now proposed is to take place before a Select Committee upstairs. It seems to me that, when a Motion is made for a Committee of the whole House upon a great national question, what you mean to imply is, in a legitimate form, your want of confidence in an existing Administration, and any proceedings which you take in consequence of such a Motion you take with the whole weight and power of the House, in the face of day, and before the country; but is it really to be supposed that the inquiry now proposed is to be entrusted to a Select Committee? That is a part of the question that can hardly be limited. I think every man must be prepared to say "Yes" or "No" to that question. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole, says that a Select Committee is to undertake this inquiry, but that is not the prevailing sentiment. The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard) says that it is perfectly absurd to think of entrusting such an inquiry to a Select Committee. Then, why does he vote for the Motion? Because he thinks it will despatch the Government. The hon. Member for Aylesbury, I must say, is not nice in the choice of his instruments. The priest of old, when he was about to sacrifice, washed his hands and put on his sacrificial garments before he plunged the knife into the heart of his victim; but it seems to me that the hon. Gentleman does not much care in what condition his hands are. The merits of this Motion, in the view of that hon. Gentleman, is simply that it will despatch the Government. He does not recommend it—he does not defend it—he abandons it; he condemns it; he says it is unworthy and ridiculous, and he is right. You cannot, I maintain, entrust your inquiry to a Select Committee. It is vain to say that there is no limitation of your powers written in your Journals. No doubt you may, if you please, decline to transact any business in this House. You may appoint a Select Committee to transact the business of the House, and you may take the votes of the Committee in lieu of your own. You may, if you please, split yourselves from your honoured functions, and devolve them upon a few of your Members, but will that answer the purposes of those who seek to save the army? Will it answer the purposes of those who wish to maintain the dignity and honour of the country? Does the hon. Member for Aylesbury, a man of ability and honour, really think that the people of England will allow him to deal in this way with such questions as the present? Does he think the despatching of a Government, however he may dislike it, is a matter so simple that the people of England do not care one pin how it is done, provided only the knife reaches the heart? If the hon. Gentleman thinks so he is totally mistaken. We have been told, to-night, that if we rejected this Motion we should cause disappointment to the country. Then, if you are to cause pleasure by adopting this Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, I want to know what kind of pleasure it will be? It will be a pleasure dependent upon the belief that you are going to inquire into the existing state of things. The country will not understand your doctrine. that you are so short of means for attaining your ends, that, in order to despatch the Government you dislike, you are obliged to vote for a Motion you cannot defend. If the House of Commons say they will have an inquiry, depend upon it the country will believe you, but what you wish is that the country should not believe you. Now, if the country does believe you, and if the country would be disappointed by your rejecting this Motion, what, I ask, will be the disappointment of the country when they find, first that you have voted for inquiry, and then that you never meant that inquiry to take place? Well, I really should venture, with great respect, to submit upon this question the opinion of Lord Porchester, who moved the appointment of the Walcheren Inquiry. What was the language that he used? He said— I cannot consent to delegate the right of inquiry on this occasion to any Select or Secret Committee, by whom the course of investigation might be misdirected, or its bounds limited,—before whom, possibly, garbled extracts, called documents, might be laid by Ministers themselves, in order to produce a partial discussion. But I will not expose the case to such a risk. It is in a Committee of the whole House alone we can have a fair case, because, if necessary, we can examine oral evidence at the bar."—[1 Hansard, xv. 162.] Sir, I therefore submit to this House, if they think, as they may think, that the time has come when it is fit to put a period to the existence of the present Government, that they have no difficulty, and need make no difficulty, in the choice of legitimate means for effecting that purpose. The Government cannot continue a week in office without submitting to you proposals for measures which are required for the service of the country. Why, then, do you not meet them in the way in which the constitution points out? Can you give any example, in the whole of your history, of a time when the House of Commons has thought it worthy of itself to put a period to an Administration by means such as this—by means of a character so indirect, and so tending to deceive and delude the country? Sir, I venture to say this in conclusion:—You may deprive us of the character of Ministers, but we remain Members of Parliament, and, as Members of Parliament, we have a common interest with you in the character and in the dignity of the House of Commons. Now, Sir, what is the foundation of that character and of that dignity? Your power is a gigantic power; but it is gigantic on account of the prudence—on account of the sense of justice and of propriety with which you are commonly content to wield it. Rely upon it, the House of Commons, in this free country, can no more afford to disregard the rules which former prudence has laid down, or stoop to the use of indirect means to delude the country with promises which it does not mean to fulfil, than can any other body, however inferior. It is as needful for the House of Commons as it is for anybody in this country—I would say that it is more needful for it—to remain within the limits which are marked out for its province, if it wish to continue on the proud eminence to which the labours of those who preceded you have raised it. If this Motion be passed to-night, as it is quite possible that it may, no doubt it will bring great relief to the Members of the Administration, but it will impose upon you a corresponding responsibility which you cannot get rid of. You may not feel it. I see here many who have had but a short experience in this House, and who are called upon to vote on a great question without, perhaps, having the means of fully seeing all that it involves. For my own part, this I say—that I am sensible, whatever Government may arise out of the ashes of that which may be about to fall, that it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to render to it every support which he conscientiously can give to it. Further, with respect to those who may vote for the Motion which is now, perhaps, about to pass, I venture also to say that it will be their duty—the duty of the men, the duty of the party, be they who they may—if they should be called upon to assist in filling the vacuum which they have gone to such lengths to create—I mean by supporting this Motion—not to shrink from that task. Whether they do so or not, however, I earnestly hope that the House, in the vote which it is about to give, will recollect its respect to the country, and will reflect on the mode of proceeding which it is about to adopt. For my part, I believe that mode of proceeding to be worse than useless so far as regards the army in the Crimea. Your inquiry will never take place as a real inquiry; or, if it did, it would lead to nothing but confusion and disturbance, increased disaster, shame at home, and weakness abroad; it would convey no consolation to those whom you seek to aid, but it would carry malignant joy to the hearts of the enemies of England, and, for my part, I ever shall rejoice, if this Motion is to-night to be carried, that my own last words, as a Member of the Cabinet of the Earl of Aberdeen, had been words of solemn and earnest protest against a proceeding which has no foundation either in the constitution or in the practice of preceding Parliaments, which is useless and mischievous for the purpose which it appears to contemplate, and which in my judgment is full of danger to the power, dignity, and usefulness of the Commons of England.


Sir, after the remarkable admissions which have been made in the course of this debate by Members of the Government, it is unnecessary for me to-night at all to indulge in that "slow" process which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been reminded of by an hon. Baronet, and to which he so good-humouredly alluded. Sir, this debate was commenced by an hon. and learned Gentleman to whom we always listen with attention and respect; and when he suddenly ceased from addressing us, remembering that he was an accomplished orator, I almost at first supposed that it was an artifice of rhetoric when he merely moved the Resolution which he has now, Sir, placed in your hands; for if there ever were a Resolution upon a question of national interest submitted to the House of Commons which required no arguments to support, and no arts of oratory to enforce it and recommend it to the adoption of the House, it was, in my opinion, the Resolution which the hon. and learned Gentleman submitted to us on Friday last—because, before the hon. and learned Gentleman had risen, in pursuance of his notice, to bring that Resolution before our consideration, a noble Lord, who had been but within a few hours the chief Minister of the Crown in this House, had admitted the case of the hon. and learned Gentleman—had made a public declaration which, in my mind, rendered the step taken by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, not only justifiable, but necessary and inevitable; and it appeared to me impossible, after the admission, or rather the declaration, of the noble Lord, that any Gentleman in this House could have found himself justified in opposing the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman. This, therefore, brings me to the closing observations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman has taken the instance of the inquiry into the Walcheren expedition, and has said to my right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole), "You have urged upon us what is a false resemblance between the present state of affairs and that which existed at the time of the investigation into Walcheren; and I will show you points of difference which you cannot contest." I entirely agree with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there are points of difference between the present case and that of the inquiry into the expedition to Walcheren. No Minister of the Crown, in the case of the Walcheren expedition, had come forward and said that the state of affairs in his mind demanded inquiry—that, with all the advantages of official position and of his accumulated Parliamentary experience, there was in that state of affairs something inexplicable to him. Now, in the case of the Walcheren expedition, instead of the First Minister of the Crown in this House making such admissions, you had him urging the inexpediency of the course, and telling us that information was not required in many particulars, and that in others it was inexpedient and impolitic to give it. After all the arguments of the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon this parallel between the present circumstances and those which at tended the inquiry into Walcheren, let us for a moment remember what really are the circumstances which we have to consider, and let us take that broad and common-sense view of them which the people of this country have for some time adopted. You do not deny that a great army has perished in a distant country to which it has been sent. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that the amount of our loss has been misrepresented and exaggerated. He says that it was an army of 54,000 or 56,000 men, and that there are 30,000 still bearing arms, and that only 24,000 or 26,000 therefore have perished. Is not that then, I ask, a subject worthy of inquiry? But the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the same time dilates upon the contradictory accounts which exist upon the subject. Well, then, is there not some ground for inquiry, when it is a question whether 20,000 or 30,000 British troops have disappeared, when the First Minister of the Crown in this House tells us, with the advantage of his official experience, that the causes of that loss are inexplicable to him, and when the Chancellor of the Exchequer tells us that the greatest misconceptions and misrepresentations exist upon the subject? I ask you, is not that a fair ground for inquiry into a subject so interesting to the people of this country? But, says the Chancellor of the Exchequer, still harping upon the instance of Walcheren, would you justify yourselves in the present case by having recourse to means and measures which in that instance might have been justified because the transactions to which they referred were con- cluded? But the Chancellor of the Exchequer has misconceived, or has for a moment forgotten, the nature of the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. The Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman is not to inquire into the conduct of the war; it is not a Motion which requires us to call before us French and English witnesses, the authorities of rival armies, persons connected with different countries, and owning a different allegiance. The Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman is to inquire into the condition of the army before Sebastopol, and whether that condition has been occasioned by the mal-administration of the Government departments connected with the army. Now, Sir, that is a simple issue; but I doubt whether it is an issue which can be raised and investigated at the conclusion of the war. Suppose that the present war were to last as long as the late war, could you at the end of twenty years pretend to inquire into the condition of the army "now" before Sebastopol? It might be a legitimate course to postpone to the conclusion of the struggle the discussion of the principles and policy upon which it had been conducted; but the present question appears to me to be of an instant and urgent character, and which, if ever inquired into, can only be inquired into at this moment. Then the right hon. Gentleman dwells upon the inevitable character of an investigation of this kind by Parliament into the administration of those in office, and he says that it is a mockery whether before a Select Committee, or before a Committee of the whole House—the investigation is a mockery, because, he says, that carrying the Motion for inquiry is clearly a censure upon the Government. But that was not the opinion of Sir Samuel Romilly in the debate upon the Walcheren expedition—I quote a name, Sir, still remembered and respected by the Whig party—Sir Samuel Romilly meeting an objection of this kind, said— If you lay down that doctrine, you may as well lay down the doctrine that a man is condemned because he is put upon his trial. Well, Sir, we have now before us the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, to which there appear to be, so far as I can collect the course of the debate, three main objections. The first objection is that of my hon. Friend the Member for West Norfolk (Mr. Bentinck), that it is a censure upon the Commander of the forces in the Crimea. Now, Sir, if I thought that by any ingenuity the language of the Motion could be construed into a censure upon the conduct of Lord Raglan, or of any general officer in the Crimea, I should be the last man who would vote for it, or who would in any way sanction it; but I cannot, I confess, in any way apply to it such an interpretation; and I declare, if I had written the Motion myself, entertaining those feelings towards Lord Raglan to which I have referred, that I could not have devised language which I should have imagined would be less likely to be supposed to convey the slightest imputation against the noble Lord. The Motion refers to the condition of the army, to its physical condition, in that country. It wishes to inquire how far that condition, which we so much deplore, and which we believe to be so calamitous, has been occasioned by the conduct of any department of the Government. How, therefore, can such an interpretation be placed upon it? Nor do I believe that it is one which can, for a moment, be entertained. The second objection to this Motion is, that it is of an unconstitutional and inconvenient character. That I have already touched upon in adverting to the instance of the expedition to Walcheren, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has introduced to our notice to-night. I confess I do not think that any inconvenience would occur from the Committee of the House of Commons visiting the heights of Sebastopol. We have to consider whether there shall be an inquiry into a specific subject—the condition of the army. Such an inquiry I believe to be perfectly constitutional, and, in my mind, it would not be inconvenient. But then, Sir, comes the third and main objection to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, and that is, that it conveys, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, a censure upon the Government, or, as a colleague of his who preceded him stated, it implies a want of confidence in the Administration. Now, Sir, let us endeavour to understand what is meant by the want of confidence which this Motion is said to carry. I think we have a right to ask from the Government, who are resisting the Motion, on the ground that it implies a want of confidence—I think we have a right to ask them this question—In what Government does it imply a want of confidence? Does it imply a want of confidence in the Administration which existed forty-eight hours ago? But the noble Lord, late the First Minister of the Crown in this House, has quitted that Government; and he has quitted it with a happy description of the feelings that prevailed among its Members, and of the cordiality which animated their councils. I do not think, therefore, that the Government will resist this Motion on the ground that it is a want of confidence in the Cabinet as it existed with the noble Lord the Member for the City of London as a Member of it. Well, then, is it a declaration of want of confidence in the Cabinet as it now exists? But we are told almost from the Treasury bench that whatever may be the effect of this Motion—whether the Government win or whether they lose—the event is to be followed by the abdication of all self-confidence on their own part. Do they, then, object to our voting a want of confidence in au Administration which tells us that the moment it is over, whatever may be the result of the Motion, they will consider themselves as no longer worthy the confidence of Parliament? Well, then, is the objection to this Motion that it implies a want of confidence in the Government that is to be? That is a question we have a right to ask. Hard has been the fate of the House of Commons of late years. It has often been called upon to vote confidence in men with whose principles it was unacquainted, but it never has yet been called upon to vote confidence when it did not know either the principles or the men. Well, then, when we are asked to pass a vote of confidence in the Government, or to convey censure, the right hon. Gentlemen opposite who have addressed us have always argued this case as if the present Motion was an attack upon an individual Member of the Cabinet. The whole of this case has been argued by the Government as if this were a personal attack upon the Minister of War. Now, Sir, for my part, I beg to disclaim, in language as clear as I can express my meaning in, that I entirely protest against that Parliamentary conduct which signals out one Member of the Cabinet, and, on the pretence of criticising the Administration of his department, visits him with a censure from which the other Members of the Cabinet—his colleagues—are to be exempted. I have had occasion, in other instances, to maintain these opinions, and I have ever acted upon them. I have been asked myself—it was not an appeal made to me in confidence, and, therefore, though I will mention no names, I think I am not doing wrong in speaking of it here—I have been asked, of course by Members of the party opposite, whether I could support a vote of censure upon the Duke of Newcastle? Now, there must be many who now hear me who must be cognisant of the truth of what I am stating. This, I believe, was some time before the period to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred as the first inauspicious day when he heard the administration of the War Department was in disfavour. I say then I have been asked by hon. Gentlemen who sit on the other side whether I would support a vote of censure upon the Duke of Newcastle, and I have been assured by those hon. Gentlemen that such a Motion, if proposed, would be sure to be passed by a decisive majority. But I said, as I say now, that I never will, directly or indirectly, be a party to any Motion in this House, the object of which is to select one Member of the Cabinet, and make him the scapegoat of a policy for which the whole of his colleagues are equally responsible. Now, Sir, it is the fashion, in order to make this management of the case palatable for those who are opposed to the Duke of Newcastle—it is the fashion to say, that this is a vote against the mal-administration of his office. Well, it is not for me to defend the Duke of Newcastle. We have had the character of the Duke of Newcastle painted by his colleagues, and I have no doubt their expressions are still fresh in the ear and memory of hon. Members. I do not subscribe to their justice. I only refer to them as coming from an authentic quarter, and which, therefore, must be supposed to draw a character which at least deserves attention. It is not merely the colleague who has quitted him who gives us an interpretation of his official shortcoming, but his yet remaining colleagues bear equal testimony in an elaborate manner, that the Duke of Newcastle is alike deficient in energy and in experience. Well, Sir, it is not for me to dispute the judgment of a Minister made by his own colleagues; but, so far am I from wishing to argue this case, or to conduct this debate in any unfair spirit to the Duke of Newcastle, that I am bound to say that, though I cannot but ascribe to the maladministration of the affairs of his office many of those disasters the existence of which no one can deny, and few can palliate—although I cannot but do this, yet I am bound to say, I am not at all certain that there was one other Member of the Cabinet who, placed in the same situation, would not have carried on affairs equally unsatisfactorily. If we come to the administration of offices, so far as the conduct of the war is concerned, the Duke of Newcastle is not the only Minister who, in the administration of his office, is, in my mind, entitled to the notice of Parliament. There is another Secretary of State, who, from the nature of his office, is much concerned in the administration of affairs with regard to the conduct of the war. It is the noble Lord the Secretary of State opposite (Viscount Palmerston), whose energy and experience, we are told, are our only compensation for the disasters we have experienced, and the calamities which the Duke of Newcastle has brought about. Sir, the noble Lord, from having the militia entirely under his superintendence, exercises, of course, considerable influence over the conduct of the war. Now, what has been the administration of the noble Lord's office? What has he done? On the 6th of last February the noble Lord gave notice to this House that he should ask leave to bring in Bills for the establishment of the Irish and Scotch militia. There was not the slightest resistance offered to measures so wise, so important, so urgent. Well, February passed, and the Bills were not introduced, though unopposed. They were not introduced by a Cabinet which must at that moment have known that war, if not inevitable, was, at least, impending. February passed. March arrived. On the 28th of March war was declared. One would have supposed that Ministers who had declared war, who must have known that a militia was the only sure basis of a reserve in this country, would not for a moment longer have delayed the introduction of these important Bills respecting the Scotch and Irish militia. But these Bills, promised in February, promised in March—on the 28th of which month, as I said, war was declared. April passed, and these Bills were not introduced. May passed away, June passed, and these Bills were not introduced, and not till after Midsummer did the noble Lord the Home Secretary, who, we are told, is the only man who can conduct the war, introduced these two Bills for the establishment of the Scotch and Irish militia. The consequence was, we were at war; the regiments of the line were taken from Ireland, the English militia was sent to garrison Ireland, and this country was left quite undefended, while, at the same time, the means of supplying our resources were proportionately diminished. I should like to know, if the Duke of Newcastle had done this, whether his colleagues would not have been pretty sure to have blazoned it forth in his catalogue of misadventures and mal-administration? It happens, however, to be in the department of another Secretary of State, who, in the administration of his office, is such a paragon of Ministerial adroitness and ability that we are told he is the only man who can make up for the laches of his colleague. Sir, I say this with sincerity, and I believe in the spirit of constitutional justice. I will not doubt that the Duke of Newcastle was placed in an office which he was not equal to, for all his colleagues, with the exception of one right hon. Gentleman, have assured the House in the most elaborate manner that that was the case. But, Sir, I say the Duke of Newcastle has done nothing for which his colleagues in the first place are not as responsible as himself. He was placed in a new office, with the most laborious duties; and at a period of such crisis and difficulty, it peculiarly became the colleagues of the Duke of Newcastle, who must have been well aware of what he was doing, to have sustained him with their counsel and their sympathy; least of all did it become them, when he was involved in a difficult position, as he is at present. to have quitted him; or, if they remained with him, to have risen in the House of Commons in order to decry his abilities and denounce his administration. I have no personal or political relations with the Duke of Newcastle. I need not remind the House that there are many reasons why that is not a very popular name on this side of the House. The Duke of Newcastle, as a politician, was trained and bred on the Conservative benches; he owed his introduction to, and his success in public life to, this party; and, in our opinion, he conducted himself to this party, at a particular moment, with an acerbity of feeling and an ambiguity of conduct, which, in his present forlorn condition, we can well afford to forget. But, Sir, I protest against the convenient method which now is brought into a habit, of placing all these disasters upon either the mal-administration of an individual or the ill-working of a system. Whatever may be the faults of that system, when worked by able men, it has accomplished great things. At this late hour I shall not enter into that branch of the question, because I believe that the calamities which we all deplore have not been brought about only, or even principally, by faults of administration, but rather by an erroneous policy, for which certainly the Cabinet must have been responsible, and not a solitary Minister. I think the designs of the Cabinet were hastily conceived. I think they attempted to accomplish them with inadequate means. I think that they were insufficiently advised of the nature of the enterprise in which they had embarked; and that they showed throughout the whole conception and management of their scheme a want of foresight, of firmness, of depth of energy, and of all those resources which became a Ministry who had embarked in an enterprise of such vast importance. Why, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been this very evening referring to the Walcheren expedition. I remember those debates, and I am sure the noble Lord the Secretary of State opposite (Viscount Palmerston) must also remember them. I am only a reader of those debates, but he was a listener. I remember it was pointed out by very able Members of this House, that the Government of that day were so ignorant that they had endeavoured by a coup de main to take one of the strongest fortresses in Europe, and were surprised to find, when about to accomplish that project, that the fortress was defended more strongly than they had been led to believe. Substitute, Sir, Sebastopol for Antwerp, and you have the whole history of the present expedition. But it was held to be a great misdemeanor on the part of that Ministry to have undertaken a scheme which involved the siege of so strong a fortress without having previously obtained ample and accurate information as to its defences. Why, we now hear from the Ministers themselves that they were surprised at the resistance which had been experienced there, and the strength of the place before which our army under their directions have sat down. And then we are told the ill administration of an individual Minister easily accounts for the disastrous consequences which must necessarily result from such a gross want of statesmanlike sagacity. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) the other night defended himself on account of his conduct during an autumnal tour. But it is not so much of autumnal tours that we complain as of winter campaigns. The Secretary of State for the Colonies to-night, and the Secretary at War the other night, taunted us with our timid opposition to the Government. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, when he acceded to office some months ago, made his first appearance in that capacity by taunting us for not bringing forward a vote of want of confidence in the Government. He has returned to-night to his suggestion of that political remedy. I think we have had quite enough of these taunts from the right hon. Secretary. I am not ashamed to say we have exhibited a timid opposition to the Government. That has not been because we were afraid of the Government or the consequences of our opposition if we undertook it; but because we were timid on account of the unparalleled disasters which we found accumulating over the country. We did so because the country was involved in war, and whatever might be our opinion as to the impolicy which occasioned that war, we felt it our duty cordially to support the existing Government in carrying on that war with vigour and efficiency. And if we now offer no longer "a timid opposition," it is because we find that, notwithstanding the support we gave them—notwithstanding the fact that there has been no vote, either of money or of men, which we have not cordially supported—notwithstanding the fact that during all this agitating period there has been only one measure connected with the war which the Opposition has resisted, and that was a measure universally condemned by the country—notwithstanding the Parliament and the country alike have upheld them, have placed in their hands unlimited means, and have offered at no time a criticism on their acts, the Ministry have so mismanaged affairs that they have broken up from their own incapacity, and have placed the army of England in the perilous and calamitous condition it is at the present moment. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer commenced his speech by dilating on the terms of perfect confidence which have prevailed from the first among all the Members of the Coalition Government. The House listened with tender surprise to the revelations of the right hon. Gentleman, and, with that admirable consistency of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is so consummate a master, he concluded his description of this affectionate and perfect confidence existing between all these Gentlemen by assuring the House that neither he nor his colleagues were aware, twenty- four hours before it was known to the public, of the important secession of the noble Lord the leader of the House of Commons. Notwithstanding this unbroken confidence, it seems that some of the Cabinet had to walk down to this House, and, from their accustomed places, hear for the first time that their leader had quitted his post. The most important speech made during this debate, which it is impossible to pass over unnoticed, was the speech of the noble Lord the late President of the Council, in which he explained to the House the reasons which had induced him to quit office. I listened to that speech with a feeling shared, I am sure, by the vast majority of the House. I listened to that speech with amazement. It seemed to me I was listening to a page of Bubb Doddington. Such an all-unconscious admission of profligate intrigue is not to be matched in that record which commemorates the doings of another Duke of Newcastle, who was a Minister of England when the House of Commons was led by Sir Thomas Robinson, and when the Opposition was actually carried on by the Paymaster of the Forces old the Secretary at War. We are perpetually told that it is our blessed lot to live in an age of progress, and yet we have this confession in our purer days of a new morality, that the noble Lord the late President of the Council goes to the Prime Minister, and tells him that, in consequence of, I will not say his "antiquated imbecility," as the noble Lord opposite (Viscount Palmerston) might, but in consequence of his incapability and incompetence—in consequence of not being "the active spirit of the whole machine," he (the Lord President) proposes that one Secretary of State should be dismissed, and another colleague, the right hon. Member for South Wiltshire (Mr. S. Herbert), should be superseded altogether and his office suppressed. But that is not all. We all remember the combination by which Mr. Canning and Lord Wellesley conspired successfully to eject Lord Castlereagh from the Cabinet, and the recollection of those deeds is still a stain upon the memory of Mr. Canning. But there was this in the last instance which exceeds the conduct of the Cabinet which conducted the affair of the Walcheren expedition, there was this difference—the colleague for whose behest and benefit the conspiracy was intended was not at least selected as the authority to rebuke with Spartan severity, with more than Lacedemonian rigour, the illustrious conspirator who had sacrificed himself to the disinterestedness of friendship. The noble Lord the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Viscount Palmerston) performed his part in a feeling manner. The noble Lord was sincerely shocked at the conduct of the Lord President of the Council quitting his colleagues without due notice. I should have thought the memory of the noble Lord might have softened his language of rebuke; for, if he could only recall a period some twelve months ago, if I recollect aright, the noble Lord equally as suddenly—at as perplexing a moment—when the question of peace or war hung in the balance—quitted his colleagues. The only difference is, that on that occasion the noble Lord did not condescend to give us an explanation as candid as that offered to the House by the noble Lord the President of the Council. That noble Lord appeared to take great credit to himself because lie has increased the area of his party, and has always been ready to receive men of ability who have chosen to enlist under his standard, and he seemed to urge that point as if he were vindicating himself from attacks upon the existence of a Coalition Government; but no one objects to a combination between public men who have acted in different parties. The noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department was once a member of the Tory party; Lord Derby, on the other hand, was a member of Earl Grey's Administration. There is no stain upon the character or honour of public men, nor inconvenience to the public service, in statesmen, however they may have at one time differed, if they feel themselves justified in so doing, acting together in public life. All that the country requires of public men when they do so act together is, that they should idem sentire de republicâ—that upon all great questions they should entertain the same views, that in subjects of policy, whether foreign or domestic, they should be animated by the same convictions and the same sympathies. But, with regard to the existing Government—that is, if it still be an existing Government—all have seen that, during their career, it does not appear that upon any great question, whether domestic or external, they have been animated by the same spirit and sympathies. It is to that circumstance that we must attribute the fact that they have been so unsuccessful in carrying their measures or prosecuting their policy. What has been the theory that seems to have kept together the various elements of the Cabinet? The balance of power in the Cabinet is the theory which both sides have attempted to support. That this is so appears from their own admission. The late Lord President is breaking up the Cabinet, because from the first he anticipated injurious consequences in the conduct of the war from the want of experience and energy of the Duke of Newcastle, and yet he never objected to the office of Minister for War being conferred on the Duke of Newcastle, because it gave him the means of saving the balance of power, and introducing as Secretary for the Colonies a supporter of his side. Thus, in the struggle to preserve the balance of power the noble Lord was victorious, but he got bolder, and, not satisfied with his success, he invaded the Principalities, and attempted to drive out the Minister for War also. That expedition has, however, been no more successful than was that of the Russians some few months since, and what are the consequences? We are called on to decide upon the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, which Her Majesty's Ministers tell us they consider a vote of want of confidence. Well, Sir, that Motion is before the House, and we must vote upon it. The vote which I shall give is one which, I believe, will be the vote of the majority of the House. Personally, I care nothing for the consequences, but I feel called upon to decide on an issue which Ministers have interpreted into a question of approbation or confidence. I care not by what name it is called, and I must decide according to the opinions I entertain. Sir, I have no confidence whatever in the existing Government. I told them a year ago, when taunted for not asking the House of Commons to ratify that opinion of mine, that as they had no confidence in each other, a Vote of want of confidence from this side of the House was surplusage. I ask the House of Commons to decide if twelve months have not proved that I was right in that assumption, although its accuracy was then questioned. What confidence has the noble Lord the late President of the Council in the Minister for War? What confidence have this variety of Ministers in each other's councils? They stand before us confessedly as men who have not that union of feelings and of sympathy necessary to enable them successfully to conduct public affairs. The late President of the Council, in scattering some compli- ments among the colleagues he was quitting, dilated upon the patience and ability with which the noble Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had conducted the duties of his department. I am not here to question those valuable qualities or that patience, but I say that all the patience and all the ability with which the Earl of Clarendon may have administered are completely lost by scenes like this, and when the Ministers of this country have themselves revealed their weakness to foreign Courts, all the ability and patience of that statesman cannot make up for the weakness which is known to prevail in the councils of England. At all times such a circumstance must be injurious, but at the present moment it may be more than injurious. Two years ago England was the leading Power in Europe, but is there any man in this House who can pretend that she holds that position now? If this be the case—if we are called upon to decide whether the House of Commons has confidence in the Ministry, when the debate is commenced by the secession of the most eminent member of the Government—when affairs are in a calamitous state, and when we are told by the late Lord President that the conduct of the war is entrusted to a Minister who he thinks is unequal to the task—I ask the country—I ask this House—I ask the Ministers themselves, whether they can complain that a member of the Opposition should give his vote according to the belief which he entertains that the affairs of the country are intrusted to a deplorable Administration?


Mr. Speaker, I have not, as I have stated on a previous occasion, the smallest intention of entering upon the general subject of debate; but some personal allusions have been made to myself which I cannot altogether omit to notice. I do not mean to enter further into the question of the differences I may have had with the Earl of Aberdeen, or into the foundation of the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I do not contest the accuracy of any one statement made by him, but I must say that I think that if I were to enter into various particulars as to the letters I wrote in the beginning of October to the Duke of Newcastle, to which reference has been made, and the answers which I received, and as to the circumstances attending my subsequent representations upon that and upon various other subjects with respect to the conduct of the war—I think I could show that the circumstances stated by the right hon. Gentleman do not complete the history of the transaction. It appears to me that, laying aside any notion of my own vindication, I am opposed to anything which might tend to a practice which, I think, would be productive of inconvenience—I mean the practice of stating on subsequent occasions what has passed between Members of the Cabinet. I should not, however, have risen for the purpose alone of making these observations, but I cannot pass by a phrase used by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) in which he said that the transaction in which I have been engaged with the Earl of Aberdeen would, in the language of the last century, have been called "profligate intrigue." Now, if the right hon. Gentleman means that the habit of invective and the form of words which were used by Parliamentary statesmen against each other would have led to this transaction being so characterised, I have no objection to say that false imputations abounded in the last century, and it would have been no wonder that such an imputation should have been made. But if he means to say that a true character would have been given to that transaction by application to it of that name, I beg leave most solemnly to deny that imputation. It has happened on more than one occasion that the Prime Minister of the day has been called upon to state to one of his colleagues that the office which he held might be more efficiently held by another Member of the same Cabinet. I remember a transaction, in which I was not myself engaged further than in being a spectator of it, of which the history may be easily had by the right hon. Gentleman, and it referred to one whom he, at least, respects—I mean the Earl of Derby. When the Earl of Derby was Secretary for Ireland in Earl Grey's Administration, and when a great question was pending—a question of no less importance than the emancipation of the slaves in the West Indies—it was thought desirable that the office of Secretary for the Colonies should be held by a man possessing influence and weight in this House, and who could exert that influence with the eloquence known to be possessed by the Earl of Derby. Now, Earl Grey had no hesitation in stating that to Lord Goderich; and Lord Goderich, giving way to that opinion, accepted the office of Lord Privy Seal in the same Ca- binet, but I never heard that termed "profligate intrigue; "if it were a profligate intrigue, it must have been a profligate intrigue on the part of the Earl of Derby to get possession of the Seals of the Colonial Office; but instead of a profligate intrigue it was a transaction for the public benefit, and enabled the Earl of Derby to bring forward with ability, which all who recollect it admire, the plan for the emancipation of slaves, of which he was the author. But the right hon. Gentleman has alluded to another transaction—namely, on the occasion of the Walcheren expedition, the conduct pursued by Mr. Canning towards Lord Castlereagh, which he says still remains a stain upon the memory of that distinguished statesman. The conduct of Mr. Canning towards Lord Castlereagh was this—He did not conceive he was well qualified to conduct the Walcheren expedition, and he stated his opinion to the Duke of Portland, then Prime Minister, and also said that the communication might be made to Lord Castlereagh; but it was not so made. He was informed months afterwards that the communication had not been made, and in the end it appeared to Lord Castlereagh that Mr. Canning had connived at the suppression of that communication, and a duel took place in consequence. Now, was there anything similar in this conduct? Without imputing blame to Mr. Canning—for that is a question which is somewhat intricate—my own impression is that Mr. Canning was not to blame, and that it was rather owing to the weakness of the party, and more particularly of its chief the Duke of Portland, than to any intentional concealment on the part of Mr. Canning—I ask is there any kind of similarity between the conduct of Mr. Canning on that occasion and that which I pursued towards the Duke of Newcastle? I wrote immediately after the first letter to beg that that letter might be shown to the Duke of Newcastle; and, accordingly, in the very next letter I received from the Earl of Aberdeen, which was two or three days afterwards, he stated that both the Duke of Newcastle and my right hon. Friend the Secretary at War had been fully informed of the purport of my communication, and they stated to him, as, indeed, I fully expected, that they were perfectly ready and willing to concur in any arrangement that might be made which had for its object the good of the public service. Whether the arrangement which I proposed was a good one or a bad one for the public service, there was no concealment on the subject; I never desired to conceal, and did not conceal, from them the opinion that I held, that it was a proposal which some might call advantageous and others disadvantageous—to impose a very onerous burden on my noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who was not even informed of the subject. So far from there being any intrigue, it was, as I thought, conducive to the public service, and when my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer says that at that time there was no general impression against the Administration of the Duke of Newcastle, I beg leave to say I think that will prove a strong reason in favour of the arrangement I proposed. If a change had been made at that time it would have been merely said that the Duke of Newcastle, who had not hitherto had experience in an office which had become of so much importance at the beginning of the war, had taken another office of Secretary of State, and that the arrangement was made for the public benefit, whereas now any change that might be made, such as that hinted at the other day, would be considered as the effect of public clamour, and the Duke of Newcastle would be represented as the victim of public opinion. I believe, if the arrangement had been adopted by my noble Friend at the head of the Government at the time it was proposed, it would have been for the reputation of the Duke of Newcastle, who must always be considered a man of sound judgment in public affairs, and well qualified to fill a public office, although, as I stated at the time, I did not think he had authority sufficient to conduct the vast operations which a war against Russia must involve. I have nothing further to say, but I deemed it necessary to make this personal explanation, to show that the term "profligate intrigue," attributed to me by the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, was not applicable to my conduct.


There is, Sir, one point in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) in which I have reason to express my cordial and entire concurrence. He has stated that the present Motion does not single out the Duke of Newcastle as one Member of the Cabinet for special and distinct condemnation, but that the whole of the Cabinet who are his colleagues at the present time are also with him responsible for those matters upon which his conduct appears to be brought into question. It is upon that principle that we stand here to submit to the decision of the House our conduct. We have stated that we consider ourselves to be jointly and in common responsible for those matters; and therefore I disclaim, on the part of the Government, that unworthy proceeding which the right hon. Gentleman has imputed to some one or other of us in the course of the debate, that we had endeavoured to throw upon one Member that which upon every principle of the constitution should be equally shared by all. With respect to the noble Duke at the head of the War Department, I must in justice say this—that I think public opinion has done him great injustice, and I am sure the day will come when a more correct and juster estimate will be formed of the ability and devotion of that noble Duke in the service of his country. Much has been said about a coalition Government, and it is the common opinion that the Government which now stands here, being formed of persons who were not always of the same party, retained in itself that principle of division which belonged to its original elements, and that we were always thinking of the balance of party, and ranging ourselves according to the party to which we might respectively belong. Sir, I can amply confirm what was stated by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that in all the discussions that have taken place among the Members of the Government in regard to those matters with which they had to deal, we never thought of what party we originally belonged to, but each man expressed himself according to his own honest opinion of the matter, and there was only that diversity which must arise between men of the same party when any number of individuals consider one common subject. I warn you against giving encouragement to vulgar clamour against a coalition, because I will venture to say that in the present state of political parties in this country you will never be able to form a Government, strong enough to carry on its affairs with the support of Parliament, that is not founded more or less upon the principle of coalition. We do not deny that there are circumstances connected with the state and condition of our army in the Crimea which have been most afflicting, and which to a certain extent have been calamitous and deeply to be deplored. These difficulties, however, have very much arisen from circumstances, in some respects, independent of the con- trol of man—in other respects from that inexperience which must necessarily be found amongst the instruments of a Government who are called upon, after a long period of peace, when the different branches of the military service, which have had no practical experience, are called upon to perform duties of the utmost importance and difficulty in great military operations. I admit, undoubtedly, that there is much in the domestic distribution of our military departments which not only admits of great improvement, but urgently requires it. There is much also in the arrangement of those branches of the service which have been connected with the execution of the detail of our operations abroad which also may be susceptible of great and material improvement. But it could hardly be expected that after so long a period of peace, when our army had never been in a condition to act, and when it was impossible to train up persons in different branches of the service, so as to be instructed in the performance of the duties which they were called upon to perform in the field—it could hardly be expected that, under such circumstances, mistakes and confusion, to a certain degree, should not have arisen, and that, in consequence thereof, great evils must necessarily be encountered. With respect to military criticism, I can only say that there is no foundation for a great portion of that which we have seen. We have been told that our army ought to have gone to Odessa and passed the winter there, instead of being sent to attack Sebastopol. You might as well have proposed to an enemy intending to invade England to pass the winter at Brighton, and wait there, until the summer, before it marched to attack London. What would have been the position of our army at Odessa, an open and unfortified town, within the reach of all the military resources of Russia; whilst, on the other hand, Sebastopol would have been much more difficult to approach than it has proved to be? If hon. Members of this House meant to call in question the conduct of the war in this respect, the Motion ought to have been directed to that object. That would have been a fair and legitimate object of discussion. You might then have justly impugned the policy of the Government in regard to the operations of the war, and we should have been prepared to go into our defence on that question. But I most humbly submit that the course which has been pursued is one which is likely to set a most dangerous and inconvenient precedent in Parliamentary proceedings. We have been told that the course now proposed is similar to the proceeding which took place with regard to the Walcheren expedition. Now, the very great difference between the two cases has been over and over again most fully and completely shown. The inquiry into the Walcheren expedition was made by the whole House, and not to a delegated authority upstairs. But the great difference consists in this—that that expedition was over—that the persons to be examined were here—that it was an inquiry into the conduct of the Government, and not into the condition of an army many thousand miles off—an inquiry which cannot be conducted unless you bring home the persons whom you wish to examine, or unless you send a Committee of this House to interrupt and control the operations of the army. I say, then, that the question which we now have to consider is one of the most important that has almost ever occupied the attention of Parliament—not because it involves the existence or overthrow of a Government, but because you are about to set a precedent, dangerous if you carry it out, and disappointing to the nation if you let it drop and merely use it as an instrument for overthrowing the Government of the day. If this House thinks that the existing Government is not deserving of the confidence of Parliament—if this House is determined to withdraw its support from the Government and wishes to see the reins of Government placed in other hands—why the more manly, the more direct, the more constitutional course would have been to affirm the proposition that the Government no longer possesses the confidence of Parliament, and ought to resign its power into the hands of the Sovereign from whom it received it. Such a course would have been simple and direct—such a course, if it had been adopted, would have led to no inconvenience—such a course would have been conformable to the principles of the constitution—and if such a course is in unison with the sentiments of the House, the sooner it is adopted the better for all parties concerned. But I must say that the course which is now about to be followed is one which I think does no honour to the House which adopts it, and one which I think will not only set a bad example here, but will be attended with inconvenient results abroad. We are engaged, Sir, in a great and arduous contest. Whatever may be the decision of the House upon the Government that now stands before it, I think it is just, at least, that the dissensions which prevail may be confined to the overthrowing of the Government, and that whatever Government may succeed we shall not exhibit to Europe the melancholy spectacle of a country interrupting by party and political struggles the conduct of great national interests. I trust that Parliament will take example from the nation which it represents, and that as this nation is unanimous in its determination that the war shall be carried on with vigour and energy—as the nation is convinced of the justice of the cause, and is firmly satisfied that the war ought not to be concluded without such a termination as may secure our future safety against the occurrence of those dangers to avert which we have been driven to take arms—so, I trust, whatever may be the fate of the Government, whatever may be the decision of this night's debate, that when the House has settled what Government it will have—when the House shall have given its confidence to any set of men who may be hereafter entrusted with the conduct of public affairs, they will give their support to that Government—that they will enable it to carry out the wishes and determination of the nation, and that they will not show to Europe that a constitutional Government is less able to conduct the affairs of a country than a Government founded upon different principles, and that we shall not discredit Parliamentary institutions by letting the world believe that we are not capable of meeting the difficulties of a great crisis, or that a nation can only display its energies and act with perseverance, and consistency, and vigour when it is deprived of those constitutional representative forms which have been the pride, the glory, and the foundation of the prosperity of this country.


amid loud cries of "Divide!" observed, that as he had been so unfortunate as not to catch the Speaker's eye during the course of the evening, although he had frequently risen, he hoped the House would allow him a few minutes to explain the grounds upon which he should give his vote in support of the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield. He would previously observe that if the House were to follow the advice of the noble Lord, and to act according to the wishes of the country, the first thing they would do would be to turn out the Ministry. So far as he himself was concerned, he was prepared either to give a vote of censure upon the Government or to vote for the inquiry now proposed. When he had the honour of addressing the House in December last, he suspected how the case stood, but now matters were altered. They had now the evidence of the noble Lord who had just retired from the Ministry that the war had not been carried on with sufficient energy or spirit, and they were bound to believe the testimony of the noble Lord with regard to the disastrous circumstances which bad attended it. As the noble Lord had left the Ministry because he could not induce the Government to do what he thought necessary for the interests of the country, and as the Ministry now remained in precisely the same condition as when the noble Lord left it, he (Mr. Muntz) would ask the House and the country what they were to expect from such a Ministry and such a Government but the same bad management and miserable inefficiency? Much had been said as to the impossibility of carrying out the proposed inquiry; but he (Mr. Muntz) saw no difficulty in doing so, as he did not wish to inquire into what was going to be done, but only into what had been done. It was useful now to look to the past, that at all events they might provide better for the future. The eyes of all England were upon them that night, for the nation looked to that House in hopes of being relieved from, to say the least, a weak Administration, as one that had sacrificed their best blood, wasted their dearest treasure, and disgraced their country. He would, therefore, only remind the House, in conclusion of these few remarks, and, in the words of one never to be forgotten, that "England expects every man to do his duty."


said, he wished to put a question to his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sheffield. The noble Viscount the Secretary of State for the Home Department had told the House that they were called upon to sanction, not only a most dangerous precedent, but also a Motion that could not be carried out; and that if not carried out, the public would be disappointed, and that the real object of the Motion was certainly different from what its terms purported. Now, if that were the case, there could not be a greater fraud on the public, and he, therefore, wished to ask his hon. and learned Friend whether, in the event of his carry- ing his Motion, he meant to nominate a Committee for the purpose of actual inquiry? Were they to have a Committee upstairs, so that the people might know who were the parties really to blame for the disasters which had occurred? Such an inquiry was due to the friends, to the relations, to the memories of those who had fallen—it was due to the character of this nation—it was due to the working classes from whom the ranks of our Army were recruited. If the effect of carrying the Motion would be only to displace the Gentlemen on the Treasury benches, and make room for another set—if it were to be only a shuffle of the cards, let the people know it at once, but let them not disgrace themselves by such a sham of voting for an inquiry that was not to be carried out.


Sir, I will answer, as it is my duty to do, the question which has been put to me by the hon. Member for Finsbury; and I may say, in reply, that when I framed the Motion before the House I intended to carry into effect the inquiry as expressed in the words under your notice. Nothing which I have seen or heard during this debate has induced me to alter my original determination, and in that determination I still continue. If the House will only grant the Committee, I promise to proceed to its nomination. I hope the House will pardon me if I now proceed to say a few words in reply to some observations which have been made during the debate. The objections which have been made to my Motion, if stripped of the verbiage in which they were couched, amount to this—that, if the Motion be carried, the action of the Government will be paralysed; that inquiry will render inefficient the action of the Minister of War, and will interfere with the command of the army. Now, what are the' circumstances under which this inquiry is proposed? Hon. Members themselves admit that the disasters, to which the Motion relates, have occurred. The Ministers themselves acknowledge that the condition of the army is, to use the words of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, "heart-rending," This House has given Ministers the powers necessary for carrying on the war, and has given to them also an unlimited command of money. In fact, Ministers have made upon this House no demand for the vigorous prosecution of the war to which we have not readily acceded. But what, notwithstanding all those facili- ties, is the condition of our army, and what the condition of Ministers themselves? Paralyse them! Why, have they not been acting under one continued paralysis? Can they possibly do worse fur the future than they have been doing? Judging of the time to come by the experience of the past, can this Resolution, if carried, add in a single degree to the incapacity, the ignorance, and the inefficiency by which the conduct of the war has hitherto been characterised? Ministers, as I have said, not only acknowledge the present disastrous position of the army, but endeavour to defend themselves against the charge of being the authors, in a great measure, of the existing evils, by the declaration that they had sent to Balaklava sufficient stores to maintain our army in comfort. But I want to know whether the statement which was made a few nights ago by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary at War, to the effect that although we could successfully send our supplies over the 3,000 miles which intervene between this and Balaklava, yet that the obstacles which are opposed to us in the six miles, which the camp is distant from that town, have failed to be overcome—is to he accepted by this House as an excuse for the inefficiency of Ministers? Shall such obstacles be said to have prevailed against the energy and the resources of the people of this country—a country that has covered itself with a network of railways, in which active exertion of every description exists as a law of its inhabitants? We have confided to Her Majesty's Government the destinies of a gallant army and of a great nation. They have betrayed that confidence, and the hopes of the people are now directed to this House. Shall we, too, betray them? To inquire into the condition of our army becomes our duty; and shall it be said that we—when confusion and incapacity upon the part of Ministers have caused that army to melt, as it were, away—refuse, in consequence of some purely technical objection, to take the course which duty imperatively demands? But I am sure, Sir, that this House will not hesitate to grant the proposed inquiry. Let us recollect that for every disaster which for the future may take place we shall be responsible, if the present inquiry be denied. If we refuse this inquiry, we shall be abdicating our functions as the representatives of the people. But we are asked to put off this Committee until the expedition to the Crimea shall be brought to a close; that means, in other words, until not a remnant of our gallant army remains. I say, inquire at once; inquire and save that army which is in jeopardy. The country looks to us for aid in this extremity. Let us not disappoint the expectations of the whole English people.

Question put; The House divided:—Ayes 305; Noes 148: Majority 157.

List of the AYES.
Adderley, C. B. Cocks, T. S.
Alcock, T. Codrington, Sir W.
Alexander, J. Cole, hon. H. A.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Coles, H. B.
Archdall, Capt. M. Collier, R. P.
Arkwright, G. Colvile, C. R.
Atherton, W. Compton, H. C.
Bailey, Sir J. Conolly, T.
Bailey, C. Corry, rt. hon. H. L.
Ball, E. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Baldock, E. H. Crook, J.
Barrington, Visct. Cubitt, Ald.
Barrow, W. H. Davies, D. A. S.
Bateson, T. Deedes, W.
Beckett, W. Doring, Sir E.
Bective, Earl of Devereux, J. T.
Bellew, T. A. Disraeli, rt. hon. B.
Bennet, P. Dod, J. W.
Bentinck, Lord H. Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Duke, Sir J.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Duncan, Visct.
Berkeley, hon. H F. Duncan, G.
Biggs, W. Duncombe, T.
Blandford, Marq. of Duncombe, hon. A.
Boldero, Col. Duncombe, hon. O.
Booker, T. W. Duncombe, hon. W. E.
Brady, J. Dungarvon, Visct.
Bramley-Moore, J. Dunlop, A. M.
Bramston, T. W. Dunne, Col.
Brocklehurst, J. Du Pre, C. G.
Brown, H. East, Sir J. B.
Bruce, C. L. C. Ebrington, Visct.
Bruce, H. A. Egerton, Sir P.
Buck, L. W. Egerton, E. C.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Elmley, Visct.
Burghley, Lord Farnham, E. B.
Burke, Sir T. J. Farrer, J.
Burroughes, H. N. Fellows, E.
Butt, G. M. Filmer, Sir E,
Butt, I. Fitzgerald, W. R. S.
Cabbell, B. B. Fitzwilliam, ho.C.W.W.
Campbell, Sir A. I. Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W.
Carnac, Sir J. R. Floyer, J.
Cavendish, hon. G. Follett, B. S.
Cayley, E. S. Forester, rt. hon. Col.
Cecil, Lord R. Forster, C.
Challis, Ald. Forster, J.
Chambers, M. Franklyn, G. W.
Chambers, T. French, F.
Chandos, Marq. of Frewen, C. H.
Chelsea, Visct. Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Child, S. Galway, Visct.
Cholmondeley, Lord H. Gardner, R.
Christy, S. Gaskell, J. M.
Clifford, H. M. George, J.
Clinton, Lord C. P. Gilpin,. Col.
Clive, R. Gladstone, Capt.
Cobbett, J. M. Goddard, A. L.
Cobbold, J. C. Goderich Visct.
Gooch, Sir E. S. Manners, Lord G.
Graham, Lord M. W. March, Earl of
Granby, Marq. of Martin, J.
Greenall, G. Massey, W. N.
Greene, J. Masterman, J.
Gregson, S. Meux, Sir H.
Grenfell, C. W. Miall, E.
Guinness, R. S. Miles, W.
Gwyn, H. Mills, T.
Hadfield, G. Milner, W. M. E.
Bale, R. B. Milton, Visct.
Milford, Sir H. Michell, W.
Hall, Gen. Mitchell, T. A.
Hamilton, Lord C. Montgomery, Sir G.
Hamilton, G. A. Morgan, O.
Hamilton, J.H. Mowatt, F.
Hanbury, hon. C. S. B. Mowbray, J. R.
Harcourt, Col. Mullings, J. R.
Hayes, Sir E. Muntz, G. F.
Headlam, T. E. Murrough, J. P.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. Neeld, John
Herbert, Sir T. Neeld, Jos.
Heyworth, L. Newark, Visct.
Hildyard, R C. Newdegate, C. N.
Horsfall, T. B. Newport, Visct.
Horsman, E. North, Col.
Hotham, Lord Oakes, J. H. P.
Hume, W. F, Ossulston, Lord
Hutchins, E. J. Otway, A. J.
Mutt, W. Packe, C. W.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Jones, Capt. Palk, L.
Keating, R. Palmer, Rob.
Keating, H. S. Paxton, Sir J.
Belly, Sir F. Peacocke, G. M. W.
Kendall, N. Pellatt, A.
Kennedy, T. Percy, hon. J. W.
Kerrison, Sir E. C. Perry, Sir T. E.
King, hon. P. J. L. Phinn, T.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Pigott, F.
Knatchbull, W. F. Portal, M.
Knight, F. W. Powlett, Lord W.
Knightley, R. Pritchard, J.
Knox, Col. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
Lacon, Sir E. Reed, J. H.
Laffan, R. M. Ricardo, J. L.
Laing, S. Ricardo, O.
Langston, W. G. Rich, H.
Langton, H. G. Robertson, P. F.
Laslett, W. Roebuck, J. A.
Laurie, J. Bolt, P.
Layard, A. H. Sandars, G.
Lee, W. Scholefield, W.
Lennox, Lord A. F. Scobell, Capt.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Scott, hon. F.
Leslie, C. P. Seymour, H. D.
Liddell, H. G. Seymour, W. D.
Liddell, hon. H. T. Shafto, R. D.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Lindsay, W. S. Sibthorp, Col.
Lockhart, W. Smijth, Sir W.
Lowther, hon. Col. Smith, J. A.
Lowther, Capt. Smith, M. T.
Lytton, Sir G. E. L. B. Smith, W. M.
Macartney, G. Smyth, J. G.
MacGregor, J. Spooner, R.
M'Mahon, P. Stafford, A.
M'Taggart, Sir J. Stafford, Marq. of
Maddock, Sir H. Stanley, Lord
Maguire, J. F. Strickland, Sir G.
Malins, R. Stuart, W.
Mandeville, Visct. Sturt, H. G.
Mangles, R. D. Sullivan, M.
Swift, R. Walmsley, Sir J.
Taylor, Col. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Thesiger, Sir P. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Thornhill, W. P. Walter, J.
Tollemache, J. Warner, E.
Tomline, G. Watson, W. H.
Townshend, Capt. Welby, Sir G. E.
Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J. Whatman, J.
Tudway, R. C. Whiteside, J.
Tyler, Sir G. Whitmore, H.
Tyrell, Sir J. T. Wilkinson, W. A.
Uxbridge, Earl of Williams, W.
Vance, J. Willoughby, Sir H.
Vansittart, G. H. Wise, J. A.
Verner, Sir W. Woodd, B. T.
Vernon, L. V. Wyndham, H.
Villiers, hon. F. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Vyvyan, Sir R. R. Wynne, W. W. E.
Vyse, Col. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Waddington, D. TELLERS.
Waddington, H. S. Drummond, H.
Walcott, Adm. Berkeley, C.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Foley, J. H. H.
A'Court, C. H. W. Fortescue, C. S.
Acton, J. Freestun, Col.
Adair, H. E. Freshfield, J. W.
Adair, R. A. S. Gladstone, rt. hon. W.
Anderson, Sir J. Glyn, G. C.
Ball, J. Gordon, hon. A.
Baring, H. B. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T. Gower, hon. F. L.
Baring, T. Greene, T.
Barnes, T. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Bass, M. T. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Berkeley, Adm. Grosvenor, Earl
Berkeley, C. L. G. Gurney, J. H.
Bethell, Sir R. Hall, Sir B.
Bonham-Carter, J. Hankey, T.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Hamner, Sir J.
Brand, hon. H. Harcourt, G. G.
Brockman, E. D. Hardinge, hon. C. S.
Brotherton, J. Hastie, Arch.
Bruce, Lord E. Heathcote, Sir W.
Buckley, Gen. Herbert, H. A.
Byng, hon. G. H. C. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Hervey, Lord A.
Cavendish, hon. C. C. Heywood, J.
Cheetham, J. Hogg, Sir J. W.
Clinton, Lord R. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E. Hughes, W. B.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Ingham, R.
Crossley, F. Jackson, W.
Currie, R. Jermyn, Earl
Dalkeith, Earl of Johnstone, J.
Denison, E. Johnstone, Sir J.
Denison, J. E. Keogh, W.
Dent, J. D. Kershaw, J.
De Vere, S. E. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Locke, J.
Duff, G. S. Lockhart, A. E.
Duff, J. Lowe, R.
Elcho, Lord Luce, T.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Lushington, C. M.
Ellice, E. Mackinnon, W. A,
Elliot, hon. J. E. M'Cann, J.
Emlyn, Visct. Marjoribanks, D. C.
Fagan, W. Marshall, W.
Fenwick, H. Milligan, R.
FitzGerald, Sir J. Milnes, R. M.
Fitzgerald, J. D. Molesworth,rt.hn.SirW.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Monck, Visct.
Moncrieff, J, Smith, J. B.
Morris, D. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Mostyn, hn. T. E. M. L. Steel, J.
North, F. Stephenson, R.
O'Connell, D. Strutt, rt. hon. E.
O'Connell, J. Sutton, J. H. M.
Osborne, R. Thompson, G.
Owen, Sir J. Thornely, T.
Paget, Lord A. Traill, G.
Palmer, Round. Tynte, Col. C. J. K.
Palmerston, Visct. Vernon, G. E. H.
Patten, J. W. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Peel, Sir R. Whitbread, S.
Peel, F. Wickham, H. W.
Peel, Gen. Wigram, L. T.
Phillimore, R. J. Wilson, J.
Pilkington, J. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Pinney, W. Wood, rt, hon. Sir C.
Price, Sir R. Wortley. rt. hon. J. S.
Rice, E. R. Wrightson, W. B.
Roche, E. B. Wyndham, W.
Russell, F. C. H. Wyvill, M.
Sadleir, J. Young, rt. hon. Sir J.
Scrope, G. P.
Seymour, Lord TELLERS.
Shelburne, Earl of Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Sheridan, R. B. Mulgrave, Earl of

The House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock.