§ SIR ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL rose to move an Address for Copy of a letter from Sir John M'Neill, G. C. B., to Lord Panmure, of the 9th of February, 1856, respecting the services of Colonel Tulloch, and of any reply thereto. When the noble Lord at the head of the Government was asked a question the other day with regard to a recognition of the services of the Crimean Commissioners, his reply seemed to amount to this—that, notwithstanding their efforts, which led to so many improvements in the condition of our soldiers at Sebastopol, they were, after all, unprofitable servants, and that they ought to be contented with the satisfaction which they must experience at what they had done. He had no wish to impugn so high an authority with reference to what was the standard of duty and the proper reward; but it appeared to him that there had been an omission in the distribution of rewards which almost amounted to a denial of service. He had not only to complain that the answer of the noble Lord was unsatisfactory, but that what he did say came so tardily and reluctantly as to deprive his words of half their force. No sort of commendation or approval of the labours of these Commissioners or their Report had ever emanated from the Government that was not wrung from them by such questions as had been put the other night; and of no spontaneous approbation of their conduct could he recall any instance, unless it was that of Lord Panmure at a public dinner in Scotland. Now, he understood that shortly after the publication of the Report a communication was made by Sir John M'Neill to Lord Panmure, in which he called attention—not to his own services, for he had no desire and no expectation of any reward for himself—but to the services of Colonel Tulloch, to whom, it seemed, 923 some expectations had been held out before his departure for the Crimea of promotion or employment in the army. He was not aware what reply was sent to that letter, and to ascertain this was the object of his present Motion. If an answer was given it would be satisfactory to the House and the country to know what that answer was, and what reasons were given for not adopting the suggestion of Sir John M'Neill. It could hardly be contended that the correspondence was private. He did not see why there should be any indisposition to produce the answer to the House. The Crimean Commissioners were selected by the Government; they went out to the Crimea, as he was assured, with great reluctance; they undertook a most difficult and arduous duty; they discharged that duty manfully and honestly; they investigated the causes of those disasters and horrors which had befallen the British army, and which excited so strong a feeling of indignation in this country; they made suggestions which were in several instances adopted, and in consequence of those suggestions the sufferings of the army were materially alleviated; they returned to this country, and, so far as he could ascertain, no notice had been taken of them on the part of Her Majesty's Government. Even if Colonel Tulloch was incorrect in supposing that a sort of promise of promotion had been held out to him, that reward to which, under such circumstances, he would have had a just claim was denied him. Now, the Commissioners either did or did not discharge their duties faithfully. If the Government were of opinion that they had not properly discharged those duties, he thought it was only fair to them and to the people of this country that the points in which they had failed should be stated. If, on the other hand, they had fulfilled the expectations which were entertained of them—if, despite the difficulties and obstacles they had had to encounter, they had successfully discharged the duty intrusted to them—if the result of their inquiries and report had been to ameliorate the condition of the army, and to point out to those who were at its head the dangers to be avoided in such a winter campaign as that of the Crimea, he thought they ought not on their return to have been received in silence, or with cold and reluctant approval, but that no meed of honour and no cordiality of approbation would have exceeded their deserts.924
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House, a Copy of a Letter from Sir John M'Neill, G. C. B., to Lord Panmure, of the 9th day of February, 1856, respecting the services of Colonel Tulloch, and of any reply thereto.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
The hon. Baronet has not done justice to Her Majesty's Government in stating that no acknowledgment of the services of Sir John M'Neill and Colonel Tulloch has been made beyond that which he says was tardily wrung from them, and which they were unable to withhold. I stated—not this Session, but last Session—in terms which I thought full and ample, the high sense Her Majesty's Government entertained of the services of those officers; declaring that they had performed a difficult and important duty with great credit to themselves, and with great advantage to the public service. With regard to the acknowledgment that should be made to them, we are still in communication with them on that subject, and therefore I cannot speak definitively on that point. I must, however, object to the Motion of the hon. Baronet, and on these grounds. A letter was written by Sir John M'Neill to Lord Panmure; but from circumstances the only answer given to it was a private note from the private secretary of the noble Lord, which was not, and was not intended to be, an official document. The hon. Baronet asks for this correspondence, in order to ascertain whether Sir John M'Neill recommended Colonel Tulloch for military promotion, and what answer was given to that recommendation. I am quite ready to give the hon. Baronet as much information as to those two facts as he would possess if the papers were before him. Sir John M'Neill did undoubtedly recommend Colonel Tulloch for promotion, and Her Majesty's Government did not think fit to adopt the recommendation. Their reason for arriving at this conclusion was, as I stated on a former occasion, that the services performed by Colonel Tulloch were purely of a civil nature, and that military rank was not an appropriate acknowledgment of civil services. Colonel Tulloch had already attained the rank of colonel by merit, but not in consequence of service; for when he entered the War Office he was but a lieutenant on half-pay, but while in the office he attained the rank of colonel; and it was thought that it would not be consistent 925 with a due regard for the interests of the service to give him the rank of major general for his services in connection with the Crimean Commission. Had we done so we must have placed him over the heads of several very distinguished officers who served in the field in the Crimea, and they would have ground to complain that this civil officer—for so I must call him with regard to the service he performed—had been promoted over the heads of those who had been actually engaged in the field against the enemy. I give the hon. Baronet the full benefit of the facts that Sir John M'Neill did recommend Colonel Tulloch for military promotion, and that we did not think it consistent with our duty that military rank should be given for such a description of service. The hon. Baronet has stated that expectations were held out to Colonel Tulloch that he would receive military promotion. I have no knowledge of such an intimation; but whether such expectations were held out or not, I think it would have been improper to make Colonel Tulloch a major general for the performance of civil duties, however well he may have performed those duties, and however valuable his services may have been.
§ MR. SIDNEY HERBERT
thought there was some misapprehension on the part of his noble Friend with regard to the past services of Colonel Tulloch. The noble Lord seemed to say that Colonel Tulloch had already received such promotion that he could not now be further advanced, and that that officer had never seen service in the field. The fact was, however, that Colonel Tulloch had served in the Burmese war, where, for a young officer, he greatly distinguished himself. Colonel Tulloch subsequently rose by his merits, and had rendered very efficient services to the public. With respect to the reward that might be given to Colonel Tulloch for the discharge of his difficult duty in the Crimea, which had undoubtedly been attended with great advantage to the army, he (Mr. Herbert) would say nothing, because the noble Lord had informed the House that the Government were in communication with Sir John M'Neill and Colonel Tulloch on that subject. He would therefore express his hope that these officers would receive some suitable acknowledgment for the services they had rendered.
§ SIR WILLIAM CODRINGTON
was understood to express his opinion that if 926 Colonel Tulloch had been promoted to the rank of major general for services performed in a civil capacity, many officers who had commanded battalions throughout the siege of Sebastopol, and who had not received such promotion, would have had grounds for dissatisfaction.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.