HC Deb 14 April 1859 vol 153 cc1729-65

Sir, I believe that, by the practice and courtesy of the House, Resolutions like those which I am about to submit take precedence of other business. There are some occasions, Sir, when even those who on merely personal grounds are least anxious to find or make opportunities for rhetorical display, must deeply lament the deficiency in themselves of those qualities which are necessary to bring properly before this House a subject such as that which it is now my duty to lay before it. It is a subject not of argument, not of reasoning, not of dry logic; it is a subject which appeals to the deepest and warmest feelings of all I address, to the patriotism and to the public spirit of every Member of this House. But if, on the one hand, I never rose to address the House under a more painful and discouraging sense of personal deficiency, so, on the other I never rose to address the House with a firmer and more unhesitating conviction than that which I now entertain, that whatever may be wanting in the statement I shall lay before you, however feebly and inefficiently may be put before you the case I have to submit to the House, these deficiencies will, nevertheless, be amply supplied, and more than supplied, by the sympathy, the cordiality, and by the unanimous feeling which a Motion of this nature never fails to bring forth. I believe I may now congratulate this House—I believe I may congratulate the country, after two years of public peril and national alarm, on the complete restoration of our military ascendancy in India, and on the return of peace to that unhappily distracted country. There may still be local disturbances, there may still be unsettled districts; the waves may here and there continue to run high, though the storm that raised them has subsided; but every mail and telegram bring us news of the submission of some insurgent chief under the terms of Her Majesty's Proclamation, of the dispersion of some body of rebels lately in arms, and of the restoration of law and order in some district where anarchy lately prevailed. The struggle through which we have passed has cost many thousands of brave English lives, it has inflicted incalculable sufferings on the people of the country in which it took place, it has heavily augmented the debt and burdened the resources of India—it has done even worse than this, it has for a time exasperated and embittered that rivalry of races which must always to some extent exist in a conquered community; yet, against these evils, grave and serious as they are, we have to place some compensating advantages. We have come through that great contest with our military reputation enhanced in the eyes of foreign nations and our own—enhanced, not only by public success achieved under extraordinary difficulties, but by individual heroism displayed even where success was hopeless. Never, I believe, at any former period of our history,—not when the news of Plassey first spread through Bengal; not when the power and life of Tippoo Sahib ended together at the storming of Serin- gapatam; not when the Mahratta and Pindaree power was destroyed in Central India; not when the Sikh army, the terror of all the north-west, was crushed in two battles; not when the loss of 15,000 men in Affghanistan was retrieved, and the English standard again planted on Cabul and Candahar—never at any former period of our history was there so strongly impressed on the Asiatic mind the convictions of the inevitable permanence of British rule, and the unconquerable energy and perseverance of the British race. In the existence of that feeling we have cause to rejoice—not selfishly, not in mere vain glory, not with an exclusive reference to the interests of this country, but for the sake of India herself. We rejoice in it, because the existence of that conviction furnishes the best guarantee for the continuance of peace, and enables us to indulge a hope that in the long calm which will follow upon such a storm, India may repair her losses, recruit her energies, re-adjust her finances, improve her administration, and develope—as they have never been developed before—those almost incalculable material resources, which we all know her to possess. If, Sir, I am right in the judgment I have formed—if I am right in believing that the military difficulty is at an end, and that nothing now remains to deal with except difficulties of administration and finance—then I am sure this House will feel that it is not premature on our part to offer our thanks to those, whether in civil or in military employ, under whose wise direction, or by whose skill and courage this state of things has been brought about. Sir, Lord Canning has been Governor General of India from the beginning, and even before the beginning, of the recent insurrection. There has devolved upon him an amount of labour, of anxiety, and responsibility such as rarely falls to the lot of any British statesman, and no one, I believe, either in India or in England can deny, or has denied, that under the circumstances in which he has been placed, he has displayed both the courage and the humanity which belong to the character of an English gentleman. There may have been—as there always will be in such cases—diversities of opinion as to isolated acts of the Governor General, and to these differences of opinion I now refer, only because I think they render it doubly imperative—as to me it is doubly gratifying—that we should pay him the mark of honour and respect which is his due, and to which I ask the assent of this House. But whatever differences of opinion may exist as to isolated acts of his policy, I think it cannot be disputed that that policy, taken as a whole, has been temperate, and prudent. Lord Canning, to his honour, resisted a vindictive cry for blood, at a time when that cry met with too much sympathy, even in this country. He has acted throughout in harmony with the military authorities; he has remained at his post in a season of the utmost difficulty; in the darkest hour of national calamity he has not despaired of success. Sir, I think this House will feel that both officially, on account of the post which he fills, and personally, on account of the labour and responsibility which have devolved upon him, Lord Canning is entitled to the thanks of this House. Upon Lord Elphinstone, as Governor of Bombay, there has devolved a responsibility more limited indeed in its scope, but still most grave and formidable. To be satisfied of that fact you have only to look to the position of the Presidency of Bombay. Whether we look to the western frontier of that Presidency with Scinde—a province of comparatively recent acquirement—on one extremity, surrounded on two—we may almost say on three—sides by Native States, and with the wild Beloochee tribes beyond, or whether turning eastward we survey a vast aggregation of independent States, presided over by princes, mainly of the Rajpoot race, proud, warlike, free, and likely to sympathize with the cause of those who have risen against our rule—or whether we look within the Presidency itself to the variety of races which it includes, and the large presence of the Mahomedan element—it will be seen that the duty of protecting it alike against aggression from without, and revolt from within, was one of no ordinary difficulty. In the discharge of that duty Lord Elphinstone has been vigilant, sagacious, indefatigable. He has afforded to those engaged in the suppression of the rebellion all the assistance which the civil power could give. He has not hesitated, even at a time of the utmost emergency, almost to denude Bombay itself of European troops in order to send them to those districts where their services were more urgently needed; and I believe I am only expressing what is the universal opinion both in India and in England, when I say that no governor of a Presidency will ever have returned to this country with a reputation more enhanced by his conduct in office than will Lord Elphinstone. In the list of names which I have submitted to the House, that of Lord Harris does not appear, and I must explain the reason of the omission, lest it should seem to convey a slight upon that distinguished person. Lord Harris, until failing health compelled him to retire from his post at Madras, performed his duty as an administrator sedulously and well, but the Vote of Thanks we now propose is not for services rendered in the way of ordinary administration, but it; the suppression of disturbances in India. Now, during the last year, 1858, not only has there been no serious disturbance, but I think I may venture to say there has been no serious alarm or apprehension of disturbance throughout the Presidency of Madras and Southern India. Lord Harris, therefore, has not enjoyed the same opportunities of service and distinction which have been possessed by Viscount Canning and Lord Elphinstone, and that is the reason—and I need hardly say the only reason—why his name does not appear in the present Motion. There are still, Sir, some other names of civilians to whom, I believe, this House will willingly present its tribute of gratitude. The year 1858 has not been like 1857, and the great name and reputation of Sir John Lawrence will gain no accession of honour by the events of the last fourteen months. But Sir John Lawrence, notwithstanding failing health, and medical warnings, with a constitution skaken by thirty years of Indian toil, but with an energy and self-devotion which nothing could shake, has remained steadily at his post organizing new levies, pouring them down upon the plains, watching at once the turbulent population he had to control, and those even wilder race3 which inhabit the country lying beyond the Khyber and the Affghan frontier, and from first to last, throughout these transactions, has rendered that Province—which was regarded as the greatest danger of India—a source of security and strength to the British empire. Sir John Lawrence refused to quit his government until he was assured by the Governor General and by his own observation of the state of affairs that his services were no longer required. He has within the last day or two arrived in this country to take a part in the home administration of India—to adorn that administration by his presence, and to instruct it by his counsels. I believe and hope that the recep- tion which will be given him by the people of this country will be such as is due to his high deserts; and I can conceive nothing more fitting or appropriate than that the first news which greets him on his return to his native land should be the news that now, for the second time, Parliament—speaking, as it always ought to speak, the sense of the Commons of England—has recognized by an unanimous vote the value of his services. Sir Robert Hamilton has by his diplomatic exertions, by the happy union of firmness and conciliation, established and maintained English influence among the powerful and independent Native States of Central India. No man, throughout the transactions of the last two years, has had at his command better sources of local information, or has communicated more useful intelligence to the generals in the field. I need not point out to the House how seriously the difficulties of the last year must have been increased if the vast population of Central India under Native rule, encouraged and aided by their Governments, had taken part against us; but, with hardly an exception, the chiefs of that district have remained loyal and faithful to British authority. I have no desire to deprive them of the credit which is their due, but it seems to me that some portion of that credit justly reflects upon the able statesman to whom the conduct of diplomatic affairs in that part of India was entrusted. While I am on the subject of services rendered in that capacity, I think it only a debt of gratitude to advert to another eminent civil servant, whose name has not been included in the vote—Colonel Davidson, the Resident at Hyderabad. We all know how steadily and faithfully—notwithstanding the presence of many elements which might have been elements of hostility—the Government of the Nizam has adhered to the English cause, and I think we are bound to mark our respect for the officer who has done so much to maintain British influence at that Court. Mr. Frere, whose name stands next in the vote, is one of two men by whom the outlying and comparatively recently acquired province of Scinde has been governed with a very small display of physical force, and a comparatively limited amount of European aid. He was indefatigable at a time of the greatest difficulty in forwarding supplies of all kinds to those parts of the country in which military operations were in progress. He has ruled the province of Scinde with justice, with wisdom, and with vigour, neither on the one hand unduly deferring to Native prejudices, nor, on the other, harshly and inconsiderately disregarding Native ideas and feelings; and he has had his reward, for throughout those battles, Scinde has been tranquil and loyal. I said that Mr. Frere was one of two men by whom that province had been kept in order. The other, unhappily, cannot now be reached by the thanks of this House, or by any expression of national gratitude. But it is not right that the name and memory of General Jacob should pass away without receiving some passing recognition of a genius so rare and a character so exalted. General Jacob was in almost every respect the pattern of what an officer commanding Native troops ought to be. His men would have gone anywhere and have done anything. With such an officer, no difficulty as to caste could arise, because he trusted them and they trusted him; because they well knew that he never spared himself; and because every one of them felt assured, that if he gave an order disagreeable to their feelings it was not done wantonly or in ignorance, but because it was requisite for the good of the service. General Jacob maintained peace on the wildest frontier of India, and created a flourishing settlement out of a desert. Upon this settlement, he laid out such private means as he had acquired, and he has died at the age of forty-five, worn out with exhaustion from excessive labour, having given all he had, even his life, to the service of the State. Mr. Montgomery, during a great part of the last year, having the advantage of a long previous training in the Punjab Government, administered the civil affairs of Oude. He was left, and wisely left, with large powers of independent action, and with a discretion comparatively unfettered; and I am only stating that which I have heard from every quarter, and which I believe to be strictly true, when I say it is to his tact, to his temper, to his skill and good management, to his indefatigable exertions, that we owe, in a great degree, that so many of the great landowners of Oude—those, I mean, who had become compromised in the rebellion—have been induced to make terms with the British Government. Considering the importance of the operations in Oude, and how much the success of the military movements there have been influenced by the conduct of the civil administration, I think the House will not be inclined to refuse an acknowledgment of the services of Mr. Montgomery. Sir, I come now to the strictly military operations which have been carried on during the last twelve months, and I wish to say that, in mentioning the services of officers who have been engaged in these operations, I shall not attempt to give anything like a detailed or connected narrative of the military transactions in India. I do not pretend to the requisite familiarity with military subjects, and I apprehend that even to those who do possess the requisite familiarity, so many and so various have been the operations carried on—taking place as they have done simultaneously in different parts of India—that it would be hardly possible within any reasonable compass to bring the whole of them before the eye in a single connected view. It seems to me that the operations of this war mainly divide themselves into four principal epochs. The campaign which ended in the siege and capture of Delhi first broke the insurgent power in the North-West. Next followed that series of operations beginning with the first and then the final relief of Lucknow, and ending in the siege and capture of that place. Thirdly, you have to take into account that entirely separate and distinct series of operations carried on by Sir Hugh Rose in Central India, which ended in the complete subjection and tranquillization of that part of our empire. And lastly, we have before us that comparatively bloodless, but bloodless only because planned with consummate skill and judgment—campaign in Oude, which has ended in the entire re-establishment of peace in that country. With this brief sketch I shall proceed to mention the names of those officers in the military service who are named in the Vote, and who have taken a principal part in the operations I have alluded to. The name of Lord Clyde is one which half a century of military service has rendered familiar alike to Asia and to Europe. Whether we look to the remote period of the Peninsular campaign, or to earlier service in India itself, or to the campaigns in China of twenty years ago, or to that great Crimean contest in which on the English side no braver or better officer appeared; or whether we look to the services of the last eighteen months, we find everywhere the same personal daring, the same cool and cautious policy, the same energy, the same promptitude and the same decision in the public service. Lord Clyde, as we know, left England literally at a clay's notice to take part in this Indian war, and the rapidity and decision which he then evinced were only an earnest of the qualities which he displayed in every subsequent act, No soldier of that army can complain of his share of fatigue or exposure when he sees the Commander-in-Chief of India, nearly seventy years of age, sharing that fatigue, more than sharing that exposure, bearing in addition the undivided responsibility of an immense command, and, as happened only a few weeks ago, when struck down by an accident which would have disabled many a younger man, refusing to be laid up, refusing to allow himself the necessary time for rest and recovery, but still continuing to follow in a litter the march of his troops and to act as their chief. Everything I hear, everything I road, of the personal bearing of Lord Clyde in the field, identifies him in my mind with that young Lieutenant Campbell who forty-six years ago headed a storming party in the desperate and unsuccessful assault upon San Sebastian. How cautious has been his military policy, how economical of his soldiers' lives have been his campaigns the military history of this country will prove. I cannot but be struck with this fact—that in all the criticisms which are necessarily passed upon military affairs, I have never heard a single mistake or a single error in judgment attributed to Lord Clyde. The only adverse comment which I have heard upon his military policy has been the complaint of some that he has shown a tendency towards excessive caution, and has preferred to employ a large force where a small force would probably have sufficed. That is a line of conduct which may be justified, not only on the score of humanity, as anticipating resistance and preventing loss of life by an overwhelming display of force, but in India especially it may be justified on the score of policy also. In a country of that kind, where so much of your power depends, and necessarily depends, upon the opinion entertained of your power by the Natives, the moral effect of even a. single reverse can hardly be calculated and certainly is not to be measured by the mere material damage which it may occasion. Sir, I am only expressing the universal opinion when I say that the appointment of Lord Clyde to the chief command in India is an honour to the Minister who selected him. And here, perhaps, I may be permitted to refer to the career of that distinguished officer, in order to point out that whatever may be the defects inherent in our civil and military administration, those defects do not prevent men of humble social position, but of energy and talents, from rising without interest or influence to the highest and most important posts in the empire. Sir, the name which stands next on my list and which, if such distinctions are not invidious, yields in renown only to that of Lord Clyde, is the name of Sir Hugh Rose. Sir Hugh Rose commanded the force engaged in the campaign of Central India, and the services of the troops whom he led have been so clearly and distinctly described by himself that I think I cannot do better than read his own words. His force, he says, "marched 1,084 miles, took 150 pieces of cannon, took one entrenched camp, one fortified city, one partly entrenched town, fought sixteen successful actions, captured twenty forts, and never received a check." Sir, I think that plain and unadorned, and almost matter-of-fact description of results achieved shows an eloquence which Englishmen know how to appreciate—the eloquence of simplicity and of truth. English troops can do such things as are here described, but even English troops can only do these things if they have confidence in the general under whom they serve—if they know that their courage and discipline will not be wasted, and their lives thrown away by an error in judgment, by professional ignorance, or by any rash and hasty impulse of undisciplined courage. Sir, the campaign of Central India is in many respects one of the most memorable of late years. It was a campaign carried, as indeed almost all those carried in India have been, against great numerical odds. It was a campaign carried on during and through the hottest and worst season of the year, at a time when European troops are rarely called upon to act in the field. It was a campaign which involved a perpetual and unremitting series of marches, sieges, and battles, none of them operations in themselves of first-rate military importance, but collectively, as I imagine, constituting a far severer trial of the courage, discipline, and endurance of the troops engaged than could have been afforded by any single battle, or siege. The quality of personal courage is happily one for the exhibition of which no one thinks of praising an English officer or an English general; endurance is a quality which among Englishmen is almost as prevalent; but I nevertheless think it is impossible for any man to follow the incidents of the late campaign in India without being filled with admiration for the conduct of Sir Hugh Rose, struggling as he did not only against the enemy, but against the climate, struck down again and again by that terrible sun, often disabled but never giving up his command; encountering fatigue and suffering, and conquering physical weakness with that power which belongs only to a determined will. Sir, the services of Sir James Outram require, I imagine, no mention from me in order to become known to this House. We are all well aware how, in conjunction with Sir Henry Havelock, he penetrated into Lucknow with reinforcements in the month of September, 1857; how he took command of the garrison and remained there until relieved by Lord Clyde, in the month of November; how he held the isolated and exposed post of the Alumbagh until March, in the face of vast bodies of rebels whom he kept in check; and how he aided in the final capture of Lucknow. In maintaining the occupation of the Alumbagh, Sir James Outram rendered a service of not only great military, but of great political importance, because he thus proved to all India that the withdrawal of our troops from Lucknow was a withdrawal dictated merely by strategical reasons, and did not assume the aspect of an abandonment of that city. I shall simply add that Lord Clyde, in mentioning the name of Sir James Outram, speaks of "the brilliant and thoroughly complete manner in which he executed the duties intrusted to him." The next name on my list is, that of Major General Roberts, who commanded the Rajpootana field force, and who, on the 30th of March, made a successful assault on Kotah, taking fifty-six pieces of artillery. He also defeated a force of the Gwalior rebels on August 14th, with a loss of 1,000 men, and subsequently defeated another body of them at Sanganeer. He, in short, rendered most valuable service throughout the operations in Central India, and afforded the utmost assistance to Sir H. Rose. I come now to the name of Major General Whitlock, who, on the 10th of April, 1858, gained a victory over the rebels at Jughar, and on the 19th of the same mouth defeated the Nawab of Banda, on which occasion he took his palace, a fort, and thirteen guns. He also co-operated with Sir Hugh Rose throughout the recent operations in India. There is another name which has been rendered familiar to the people of this country in connection with the operations which took place at the siege of Delhi—I allude to that of Sir Archdale Wilson. I do not now propose to advert to those operations which were included in the former Vote of Thanks. But Sir Archdale Wilson was again employed in March, 1858, when he commanded the artillery at Lucknow, on which occasion, according to the testimony of Lord Clyde—a testimony I venture to quote on this occasion, because on a subject of this kind, professional eulogy naturally carries more weight with it than that of a person unskilled in military affairs—"he bore a conspicuous part in its reduction." Lord Clyde goes on to add— The merits of Sir A. Wilson are too widely known to gain anything from encomium by me, but I may be permitted to express my satisfaction at having been able to avail myself of the services of this distinguished officer. The effective fire of the artillery during the long operations that depended so much on the management of that arm elicited general admiration. Sir Hope Grant, whose name I shall now mention, has perhaps been more constantly and actively engaged than any other officer who has taken a part in the suppression of the recent outbreak in India. He has, I believe, been mentioned more frequently than any other officer in despatches; always in the front, always in the post of difficulty, a complete narrative of the engagements in which he has taken part would in itself furnish a history not very imperfect of the whole of the operations of this war. Sir Hope Grant commanded a cavalry brigade at the siege of Delhi; led a column sent in pursuit of the enemy after the capture of that fortress in October, 1857; commanded a division at the relief of Lucknow in November, and at Cawnpore in the month of December of the same year. He also commanded a division at Lucknow in March, where, Lord Clyde said, he fully justified the expectations which had been formed of his high military qualities. He was again sent in pursuit of the rebels after the capture of Lucknow, and at Nawabgunj defeated a force of 16,000 of the enemy with a vastly inferior number, took nine guns, crossed the Goomtee, fought a battle on the Gogra, and on that occasion was complimented by Lord Clyde, who said that "he had given effect to his instructions in his usual brilliant manner." In his despatch, dated the 7th of January of this year, Lord Clyde adds:— Sir Hope Grant's despatches during the last six months have told the story of the admirable part taken by him in this war. I cannot say too much in his praise. He has the rare merit of uniting the greatest boldness in action to a firm and correct judgment and the most scrupulous regard for his orders and instructions. When an officer is thus mentioned in a despatch of his Commander-in-Chief I think I am justified in including his name in the vote to which I am now asking the House of Commons to assent. Next in order comes Sir W. Mansfield, who has filled an office which is comparatively new, I believe, in the military system of this country—that of Chief of the Staff. In that capacity he was—if I may be allowed to use the phrase—the right hand of the Commander-in-Chief, and the relations which subsisted between these two distinguished men furnish, I am glad to say, an instance, happily not rare in the profession of arms of professional co-operation, combined with personal friendship. Lord Clyde, in his despatch of the 16th of January last, adverting to the relief of Lucknow, writes as follows:— I cannot convey to your Lordship in adequate terms my deep sense of the obligations I am under to Major-General Mansfield for the very able and cordial assistance he has afforded me and the service during these operations, and how admirably the very many important duties belonging to his situation have been performed. In December, 1857, Sir W. Mansfield commanded the division at Cawnpore, on which occasion his conduct also was highly praised; and in May, 1858, referring to the capture of Lucknow, Lord Clyde writes:— I have now the pleasing task of communicating to your Lordship the name of an officer to whom, not only I, as commanding general, but the service at large is under great obligations, Major-General Mansfield, Chief of the Staff, whose labours have been unceasing, whose abilities are of the highest order, and have been of the greatest use to me during this campaign. It is impossible for me to praise this officer too highly, or to re-commend him sufficiently to the protection of your Lordship and the Government. Since that despatch was written Sir W. Mansfield has served through the last campaign in Oude. To the testimony of Lord Clyde, in reference to his services, I shall add only the simple expression of my belief that anybody who has the good fortune of knowing Sir W. Mansfield personally, in however slight a degree, will concur in the justice of that estimate of his abilities to which his Commander-in-Chief has given expression, and of which, in my opinion, he has formed no exaggerated estimate. I may now advert to the name of Sir T. Franks, who crossed the Gogra in command of a division to be present during the operations at the siege of Lucknow. Of that gallant officer Lord Clyde writes that his division was on the occasion in question "admirably commanded." His chief exploit was, however, the series of rapid and skilful manœuvres which ended in the defeat of separate bodies of insurgents in three different battles at Chanda, Ameerapora, and Sultanpore, within four days, several pieces of artillery being taken. Sir Edward Lugard also commanded a division at the capture of Lucknow, and received the high praise of the Commander-in-Chief. In the following April and May he commanded the Azimghur field force, by means of which a large tract of country was recovered which had up to that time remained in the hands of the insurgents. Lord Clyde speaks of "the skill he had displayed," and expresses admiration of the manner in which the troops under his charge had borne exposure and fatigue. Sir John Michel commanded the Mhow field force, and defeated Tantia Topee at Beowra, with a loss of twenty-seven guns, in addition to his camp and baggage. Since that time he has been employed—and I venture to say he has been most assiduous in the discharge of that very arduous and disagreeable, but necessary and important duty—in hunting down the detached and broken forces of the insurgents. I now come to Brigadier Walpole, who received the praise of the Commander in Chief for his conduct at Cawnpore. He commanded a division at Lucknow, which Lord Clyde mentions as having been "admirably managed," Since that time he has been in command of a field force in Rohilcund and Kumaon, which has been frequently engaged with the enemy and signally successful, and I think those whom I address will feel that in the case of an officer who has rendered good service to the country, and who has long and faithfully discharged his duties, the mere accident of a single reverse—such as may happen to any general, however able, and such as the ablest generals have not been ashamed to acknowledge—affords no good reason why Brigadier Walpole should not receive those thanks which his general conduct has deserved. I have now to mention, with rather more particularity, the valuable and effective services of Sir Robert Napier. He marched with Havelock and Outram to Lucknow upon the occasion of the first relief. He remained and defended the Re- sidency until the date of the final relief in November. The Commander-in-Chief writes:— The success of the troops has been in no small degree promoted by the incessant and self-denying devotion of Colonel Napier, who has never been absent many hours, by day or night, from any one of the points of operation; whose advice has ever been readily tendered and gratefully accepted by the executive officers, whose earnestness and kind cordiality have stimulated and encouraged all ranks and grades amidst their harassing difficulties and dangerous labours. And again, upon a late occasion, referring to the part which Sir Robert Napier took in the capture of Lucknow, Lord Clyde says, "it is difficult to give an adequate idea of the zeal and activity he has displayed." Since then Sir Robert Napier has held command of the Gwalior district, and among other services he performed the singularly brilliant and successful act of defeating with an inferior force, consisting mainly of cavalry, a large body of the enemy on their retreat from the capture of Gwalior, from whom he took twenty-four pieces of artillery. I believe I have now gone through the list of officers whose names are included in the vote which I have to propose, and if I have dwelt at some length upon that which, from the impossibility of going fully into details, is little more than a dry enumeration of services performed. I hope the House will believe that I have done so in the performance of a duty to those officers whose names I have mentioned. I am anxious before I sit down to explain the principle upon which this vote has been framed. In these campaigns, in every rank of the service, instances of gallantry, devotion and military skill have not been rare; but it would be impossible to recognize all those instances separately and individually even were we only to take the cases of officers holding comparatively high and responsible positions. In the selection of names to be included in this vote it was felt that the least invidious course, and that sanctioned by precedent, would be to consider the military standing of the individuals and the operations in which they had been engaged. We have included all those who have commanded independent divisions and have been actively engaged in the field. There is another rule which has been laid down in preparing this vote to which I wish to advert, because it may explain the omission of names which some hon. Members might think ought to have been included. It has been thought right not to go back to the operations of 1857, that is to say, to those operations which were within the knowledge of the Government of the day when the last Vote of Thanks was proposed, because nothing could be more improper or unseemly than that one Government should in a matter of this kind undertake to revise and possibly to reverse the decision to which its predecessors had come. I mention this because there are one or two names which, but for the necessity of some limitation such as that I have referred to, I would gladly have included in the vote. I think the services which Sir Patrick Grant rendered in 1857 were deserving of public and even national acknowledgment. Sir Patrick Grant for a time held the chief command in India previous to the arrival of Sir Colin Campbell, but he has not been actively engaged in the field during any portion of the last year, and therefore, acting upon the rule we have laid down, we found it impossible, though with regret, to include his name. There is also Sir John Jones who commanded a division which entered Rohilcund, who has been omitted from a similar cause. Brigadier Chamberlain, too, is not mentioned; but I am assured on the highest authority that no man did more to organize and discipline the Punjab force. Sir Sidney Cotton again, though not engaged in any regular campaign upon a large scale, yet rendered most valuable and effective service in keeping peace upon the wild frontiers of Eusofzye. And now, Sir, having paid the tribute that is due to those who live, it is not fitting that we should pass away entirely from this subject without recognizing the services of the dead. Operations like those which have been carried on for the last eighteen months, could not be conducted without a great and lamentable loss of life, and unfortunately the loss to the public service in that respect is not one which can be measured by any numerical test, because it is always the best and bravest officers who rush to the front,—who volunteer for every service of danger or difficulty, who expose themselves to every risk, and among whom, therefore, there is necessarily a disproportionate loss of life. Among the many brave men who have fallen in these campaigns there are two whom, without exposing myself to the charge of invidious preference, I may be allowed especially to mention The first is Major Hodson, of the Guides, who, in his short but brilliant military career, displayed every qua- lity which a cavalry officer should possess. Nothing is more remarkable in glancing over the biography of Major Hodson that has just appeared than the variety of services in which he was engaged, unless it be the energy and versatility with which he turned from one to the other. At one time displaying his personal courage and skill as a swordsman in conflict with the Sikh fanatics; then transferred to the Civil Service, the duties of which he performed as though he had passed his whole life at the desk; afterwards recruiting and commanding the corps of Guides, and, lastly, taking part in the operations before Delhi, volunteering for every enterprise in which life could be hazarded or glory could be won; he crowded into the brief space of twelve eventful years the services and adventures of a long life. He died before the reward which he had earned could be received, but he attained that reward which doubtless he most coveted—the consciousness of duty nobly done, and the assurance of enduring military renown. Sir, the other officer to whom I shall refer, bore a name the mention of which which will always be received with feelings of special and individual interest by Members of this House. No words of mine can add to the glory attaching to the short but noble career of Sir William Peel. He bore a name which is inseparably connected with the Parliamentary history of this country, and it was with feelings I may almost say of personal pride and of personal sorrow that we, who sit in this assembly, received the news of his glorious achievements and of his untimely end. For his own reputation, indeed, he had lived long enough; no future acts could have enhanced his fame. It is England, it is the people of this country that have to deplore his loss. The last Resolution which I propose is one which I am sure needs no words of mine to recommend it—I mean the Resolution acknowledging the valour, self-devotion and brilliant services of the non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, both European and Native, who have taken part in the suppression of the Indian mutiny. Never was British courage more nobly displayed, never was greater energy or endurance shown, and never were they more needed. In order to prevent any misapprehension, I propose to add words to the Resolution which—as was my intention by the original terms—will include the petty officers, seamen, and marines, serving in India. I believe, Sir, if the people of the country pay, as they do, one and all, rich and poor, respect to the courage and endurance of our troops in India, it is not merely in consideration of the results which that courage and endurance have produced. It is not merely because we owe to them the restoration of our power, the enhancement of our military reputation, but it is from other and different reasons. It is because we feel that the qualities of courage and endurance which have been so singularly displayed in this war are qualities which he at the very root of our national character, and that if those qualities should cease to form a part of our national character, not only our military power, not only our possessions abroad would be endangered, but the honour, the independence, the safety, nay, the very existence of this great and world-wide empire, would no longer be secure for a single day. Without further comment, Sir, but with regret that I have detained the House so long, I beg to move the Resolutions which I have placed in your hand.


.—Sir, in rising to second the Motion of the noble Lord opposite, I do not hope, nor will I attempt to add anything to those glowing and manifestly heartfelt commendations which the noble Lord has bestowed, in the speech which I am sure we have all listened to with the utmost sympathy and admiration, upon the distinguished men, civil, military, and naval, who are the subjects of the vote which he has proposed. But I cannot refrain from asking permission of the House to have the honour of coupling my name with the tribute of gratitude and respect which the noble Lord has now proposed that we shall offer to the persons who are the subjects of the Resolution. Sir, the occasion upon which we are now assembled is one of those bright periods which from time to time occur amidst the hostile conflicts of party politics in this House. There are occasions on which this House, forgeting all that party strife which is incident to the working of our constitution, and remembering only that it is the representation of the nation which sent us here, unites in offering a tribute of honour and gratitude to those men who have the good fortune to perform great services for their country; and those occasions are not only gratifying and honourable to the members of this House, but they are occasions on which this House becomes more than ever the organ and expression of the feelings of the nation. There never, perhaps, was an occasion more deserving of an expression of the Thanks of Parliament and of this country than that which we are now commemorating; for I may say, without fear of contradiction, that the great struggle in India which has been brought to a happy termination is one of the most remarkable events in the history not only of this country, but of any country that ever existed in the world. There never was an occasion on which a danger of such immense and fearful import broke out so unexpectedly among the authorities of a country; there never was an occasion in which a great danger was faced with more wonderful fertility of resource, and overcome with more complete success. The noble Lord opposite has so eloquently and so well dealt out to each of the persons mentioned in this vote the appropriate terms of praise belonging to their respective functions that it would be almost impertinent in me to attempt to add to the commendation he has bestowed on them. But it is impossible for me not to concur in those well-merited praises which he has apportioned to Viscount Canning, the Governor General. He has well said there never was a man placed in a more difficult position, or one who has shown greater resource and greater courage in facing danger, greater moderation in the use of success, greater spirit and daring, greater firmness in peril, and greater humanity towards those whom he was compelled by necessity to resist. We had the satisfaction of advising the Crown to confer on Lord Canning that high and important command which he has so well held, and undoubtedly we cannot but feel some gratification in thinking that the advice we gave to the Sovereign on that occasion has been attended with such happy results. Sir, with regard to Lord Elphinstone, whom also I have the honour of claiming as my friend, the noble Lord has paid a just tribute to the ability and energy which that noble Lord has displayed during the administration of his separate Presidency. It is needless for me to attempt to add to the just praises which have been bestowed upon that most eminent and distinguished public servant, Sir John Lawrence, and those other civilians whom the noble Lord has mentioned. But with regard to Lord Clyde and Sir Hugh Rose, two officers whose eminent services the noble Lord has so well sketched out, I certainly was thankful to the noble Lord for the manner in which he alluded to the circumstance of their having been appointed by the late Government. I must say, however, in justice to the illustrious person who now holds the office of Commander-in-Chief, that in all those appointments his Royal Highness was consulted by and cooperated with Her Majesty's late Government. Undoubtedly it is not too much to say of Lord Clyde that he has shown all the great qualities which combine to make a great military commander—courage, ability, skill, discretion, care for his soldiers, the power of combining movements, personal endurance, and contempt of danger; in short, there is not a quality which goes to constitute a great military commander that Lord Clyde has not bad an opportunity of showing in the distinguished part helms been called on to play. I am glad that his health has not materially or permanently suffered by the exertions and dangers he has undergone, and I trust when his period of service is over he may return in the possession of all his natural vigour to receive that honourable welcome which a grateful country owes him. With regard to Sir Hugh Rose, I had the good fortune to place him many years ago in the position in which he gave that promise of distinction which he has since so amply fulfilled. In every position of command in which Sir Hugh Rose had previously been placed, whether in Egypt, Syria, or the Crimea, he showed that he possessed those qualities which he has since had an opportunity of more fully developing, and in the development of which he has so justly entitled himself to the honour and thanks of this House. I could not hope to add anything to the tribute bestowed by the noble Lord on Sir James Outram and those other persons whom he has mentioned; but, with regard to Sir Hope Grant, we may trust one day to see adorning the walls of our National Gallery some record of his distinguished exploits from the hands of the eminent artist who is his near relation in this country. I should be trespassing too far on the indulgence of the House by going into details to which the noble Lord has adverted with so much good taste and feeling. So far from thinking the noble Lord exceeded the proper limits connected with the task he had to perform, I am sure, from the manner in which he stated what he had to state, if he had not thought it wrong to intrude further on the attention of the House, his natural feelings would even have prompted him to add still further to the well-merited testimony which he has borne to the services of these distinguished men. It is needless to say of any of our English soldiers and sailors that wherever they may be they are sure to perform their duty to their country with all the courage, perseverance, and ability which have uniformly characterized their distinguished services. I should say in passing that the noble Lord very handsomely mentioned the services of certain officers who had not been included in the vote which we proposed when in office, and whom, therefore, he thought the present Government were debarred from including in the vote they now propose, because their services had not been performed subsequently to the date of that Vote of Thanks. I ought in justice to those officers to say that the late Government deemed themselves bound, by certain rules and the practice of Parliament, to select only those officers they enumerated in their Resolution, and that if we had had merely to look for those meritorious officers whose services entitled them to that distinction the list would not have been so limited; but the ordinary rules observed in those matters compelled us to confine ourselves to those who held a particular position and whose services had been of a particular nature. I was about to say, Sir, that there is one class of British subjects in India whom it is not possible to include in a Vote of Thanks of this kind, but whose courage and conduct are not undeserving of mention in this House. I allude, Sir, to the great number of civilians who are scattered over the whole of India. I am reminded by an hon. Friend behind me that allusion was made to them in our last vote. But, Sir, I allude not only to men but to women, who were exposed to the greatest perils and dangers, and whose conduct throughout the entire crisis was of the most heroic character. We have frequently seen records of endurance on the part of persons who have gone forth to explore distant countries, who have traversed deserts, who have been exposed to the privations of famine and to the dangers arising from hostile and wild tribes; we have read of the sufferings of shipwrecked crews who have undergone difficulties which it was hardly possible to suppose human nature could endure; and we have all of us perused the records of great battles by sea and land, and read of the skill of commanders and the bravery of the men serving under them; in all those cases, however, it was either an individual effort of courage and endurance that was manifested, or it was a great action per- formed by men trained to that particular service, whose minds were prepared for the dangers they had to endure, and who were supplied with all the means and appliances by which those dangers could be resisted. But in India we saw thousands of British subjects, scattered in handfuls over immense tracts of country, and placed there for purposes of administration, of commerce, or of agriculture, unprepared to encounter difficulties involving the necessity of fighting for their lives and their property. We have seen those people suddenly overwhelmed by a hurricane for which they were totally unprepared, but—to use the language of M. Montalembert in his recent eloquent work—"every one fighting, and every one resisting." I say that was a spectacle in the highest degree worthy of the national character, bringing out, as it did, in the strongest and boldest relief, individually and personally, in both men and women, those qualities of mind and determination which I trust will ever distinguish the nation to which we have the happiness and honour to belong. Those who had to defend themselves at the shortest possible notice have fought in a manner worthy of the most heroic ages, while those whose lot it was to be overwhelmed met their fate with a dignity and firmness which were as honourable as the victories achieved by others. Both sexes of our fellow country people have equally distinguished themselves, and we cannot too constantly bear in mind their heroic actions, because they are an honour to the country to which we belong, and must tend to raise it to a high point in the estimation and respect of all the nations of the world. I have only to add, in conclusion, that I cordially concur, as I am sure the House will do, in the vote which the noble Lord has proposed, and that I gladly acknowledge the very handsome and eloquent manner in which the noble Lord has discharged his duty upon the present occasion.


said, he rose to offer his hearty acknowledgments to the Secretary for India for his very able and judicious speech. No honour was more appreciated by the naval and military services than the Thanks of the House of Commons, and he rejoiced that on the present occasion the vote had been proposed in such handsome and eloquent terms. The noble Lord clearly manifested that he at least did not regard this duty as a mere ceremony: he looked upon it, as it was, as a matter of high importance. He had observed the strictest equity in his statements; but it was to be regretted that no precedent existed for including in the Vote of Thanks itself, as well as in the speech of the noble Lord, the names of the distinguished persons who had fallen in India. He (Sir De Lacy Evans) most cordially concurred in the praise bestowed on that excellent sailor—that excellent soldier—Sir William Peel. He would not further detain the House than by requesting the Government to consider the propriety of erecting a monument to those noble individuals.


Sir, perhaps I may be allowed the privilege of adding my voice to the Vote of Thanks which has been proposed in such eloquent terms by the noble Lord opposite. I was delighted to hear him speak of the merits and services of those officers who, from the Governor General downward, have distinguished themselves in India, and are mentioned in the vote he has proposed to the House. I certainly shall not pretend to follow him in detailing the deserving conduct of those officers, but shall content myself by saying that in the aggregate there were never greater services performed than those which have been rendered by our civil and military officers who had to meet and resist the dangers of the Indian mutiny. There never was a greater danger, and there never was a more complete sucsess. The dangers we had to encounter, and the successes we achieved in former times in India, from the time of Clive down, great and important as they were, become in a manner insignificant when compared with our recent trials and our recent triumphs. In former times we had to meet the Native forces equipped only with their own arms, adopting only their own mode of campaign, and acting upon defective military science; but in this mutiny we have had to encounter a trained and an immense force, armed and disciplined by ourselves—an arrow feathered from our own wing—and those who have overcome the danger have earned for themselves imperishable glory. Whether we look to the conduct of our troops when acting upon the offensive or defensive—whether we look at the aggressive operations at Delhi, or the marvellous defence of Lucknow—in every part we meet with the greatest courage, endurance, and devotion on the part both of officers and men. Sir, I should not have risen on this occasion if it were not for one thing not mentioned in the vote—not that I find fault with the noble Lord for the omission of it, but while the maintenance of our empire in India is one of the greatest difficulty, we ought, I think, to feel thankful that during the chief heat of the insurrection we have had the assistance of the most eminent and illustrious of the Native Princes—I would especially name Holkar, Scindiah, and the Nizam. The greatest honour is, I think, due to them for their fidelity, and the utmost readiness with which they afforded to our men, in the moment of their danger and surprise, every assistance in their power. They sorrowed for our losses, they rejoiced at our triumphs, and we owe them our thanks for their sympathy and support. I mention this the rather because, while we have every reason to rejoice at our triumphs, I remember that on the occasion of the former vote the noble Lord pointed to a truth, and told us in most forcible terms, that while we ought to rejoice in the victories of our countrymen, there was a danger lest those who had achieved them might show a want of consideration and kindness to those who belonged to a different race. I thought the suggestion of the noble Lord a very wise one; and I rejoice to find that every means were taken to avert the danger to which he then referred. It is said by Lord Metcalfe, in one of those admirable letters of his, that our empire in India is not wholly an empire of force, or wholly an empire of opinion, but is one of a mixed power of force and opinion. I trust that those duties which are incumbent on the noble Lord, and which he has shown himself so competent to fulfil, will continue to be performed in such a manner that we shall have to rejoice not merely at military and naval triumphs, but at the fact that those who are in command in India have earned for themselves the affections of the Natives, and that our empire of opinion has become as strong and as lasting as our empire of force.


Sir, although it may appear some what presumptuous in me to think that I can add anything to the. speeches which we have just heard, yet I hope the House, considering the position which I filled in the councils of the country during the great part of the mutiny in India, will allow me, in a few short sentences, to express my cordial concurrence me in the Vote of Thanks which the noble Lord has proposed. During the whole of the anxious autumn of 1857, one of my chief consolations was the confidence which I could repose in the great and illustrious men of whom the noble Lord has spoken in such eloquent terms. When every heart was throbbing with anxiety in England, and even the most sanguine entertained fears for the safety of our Indian empire, what a consolation was it to reflect that we had in the East such men as Canning, Outram, Grant, Mansfield, and the others whose names are included in the Vote of Thanks! I rejoice that the noble Lord has added fresh names to those which we brought before the House last year, but I regret that, following, as he says, our example, he has not introduced the name of Sir Patrick Grant. The reason why Sir Patrick Grant was not mentioned in the Vote of Thanks which we proposed last year was that he had not been immediately engaged in any of those actions which we were then commemorating; but at the close of the mutiny I think his name ought to be included. My reason for saying this is so much the stronger, because I had the good fortune to appoint him to the command of Madras, and that was the first occasion on which an Indian officer was appointed to so great a command in the Presidences. I know that that circumstance had a great effect on that service. The name of Grant was hailed with acclamations by the Directors of the East India Company when it was mentioned for the appointment, and the appointment was acknowledged to be a fit one by the Commander-in-Chief at the Horse Guards, and by the Crown. But the noble Lord the Secretary for India is correct in his statement that that officer's name was not included in the Vote of Thanks before, and therefore it is that it is not included on the present occasion. There is another name not so generally known in England, but known to me from the opportunities I had of becoming acquainted with it—I allude to Major-General Roberts. He is known through the Bombay army as one of the best officers in that service and his achievements, as described by the noble Lord the Secretary for India, have been of invaluable service. The noble Lord having detailed the whole proceedings, having given such generous praise to every one concerned, and made so brilliant a speech, all I can do is to add general applause to the approbation he has bestowed on specific cases. It is a great pride for this country that all classes when called on to exert themselves in such operations, exhibit themselves fitted for the occasion. The noble Lord's first Resolution applies more particularly to those who had the duty of presiding over the acts of others than to those who were themselves actors in these achievements. Among these, and at the head of them, of course stands the Governor General of India. I think that the country has a right to be proud of that great statesman Viscount Canning. I recollect the dinner given to him on his going out to take the government of India, and he then expressed a hope that everything would be peaceful during his reign; and although he could not be expected to foresee everything still he did foresee somewhat, for he added, that if we should not continue at peace, we ought to deserve it by exercising good faith towards the Native and subsidiary States; and then if peace should unfortunately be broken, we should be prepared with a good conscience to strike the blow, and it would be a blow struck with such effect that the struggle would be short. Viscount Canning has entirely acted up to everything he stated on that occasion. I am not inclined to allude on the present occasion to any bygone circumstances, but as regards Viscount Canning, it is part of his eulogy that during his tenure of office he was vehemently and unscrupulously assailed, and that he met the anger and abuse of persons in his own country with the same calmness and resolution with which he opposed the revolt and insurrection in India. The noble Lord stood forth an example of moderation and firmness, because in all cases he resisted both extremes by his courage and constancy; and an eloquent tribute has been rendered to his courage and conduct in that respect by the Secretary for India. It will be recollected that he deliberately put aside the advice tendered him even by such authorities as Sir John Lawrence and Sir Archdale Wilson, to treat with the King of Delhi during the insurrection, and at the same time he refused to listen to the council of many persons, who, in their alarm, urged him to act with greater severity towards the unfortunate inhabitants of India. It is the praise of Viscount Canning that he never forgot to look to the hereafter of that great country over which he presided. He acted indeed with vigour, but he was also determined not to stain the annals of his reign with such severity as would afterwards make the name of Eng- land odious and detestable. The noble Lord the Secretary for India had eulogized with great propriety the conduct of Lord Elphinstone. Few people know what resources that noble Lord displayed on the first outbreak of the rebellion. It was to him that we were mainly indebted for securing the earliest supply of troops from the Cape and Ceylon. He took upon himself every responsibility, denuding his Presidency almost entirely of troops to give them to the service of Bengal. There was no act of responsibility which he shrunk from during that most eventful period. The noble Lord had accounted for the omission of the name of Lord Harris from the Resolution. True, he was an Administrator, and during the whole course of the time very little took place in the Presidency of Madras which called for military energy and decision in the suppression of mutiny; but Lord Harris was not wanting in any quality which his position required, and for that reason he was included in the vote of 1858. The Secretary for India had spoken so handsomely in his praise this evening that I hope that speech will compensate Lord Harris for any dissatisfaction he might feel at finding his name omitted. It would be idle to attempt to speak in terms of greater approbation than the whole nation feel for Sir John Lawrence. He is now among us to contribute his powerful aid to the council of the noble Lord, and I am certain that England will meet with acclamation the man who saved for her the whole district of the Punjab in one of the most difficult positions in which a man could be placed, while at the same time he tendered excellent counsel to the Council and Governor General. In speaking of those who survive, we must not altogether forget the mighty dead. I believe that no man took a better part in Indian Administration than Sir Henry Lawrence. He fell early, and his loss was much to be deplored, for there was no man who stood higher through his writings and his books than Sir Henry Lawrence. Death closes, or ought to close, the lips against the failings of eminent servants of the public; but there is no reason why the mouth should not open in praise of the departed. His death, therefore, allows me to open my lips to speak of facts, which discretion or the fear of the jealousy of contemporaries might prevent me disclosing in his lifetime. I think I may now be allowed to state publicly what is generally known to the friends of Sir Henry Law- rence. In the early period of the outbreak of the melancholy mutiny, when battle was striking down many military men, and when disease was destroying some of the wisest and best councillors of India, it occurred to the Government that it was possible that some illness might attack or death seize upon the Governor General. It then became my duty to look out for a person who in such an event should take the place of Viscount Canning; and, with the entire consent of the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton, then Prime Minister, I fixed on Sir Henry Lawrence. That appointment of provisional Governor General, was accepted at once by the East India Directors, who knew the services of Sir Henry Lawrence, and was also fully approved of by Her Majesty the Queen. I feel it right to state this as due to the memory of that great man, because it shows that the position he achieved for himself, unaided by anything but his own merits, was fully recognized by his masters, the East India Directors and by the Sovereign. The noble Lord the Secretary for India has mentioned the name of Mr. Frere. No man stands higher in India in reputation than the Governor of Scinde. Among many circumstances which are so satisfactory in the power of offering thanks to the great men who achieved such remarkable success there is one feature certainly of dissatisfaction, which is this—that we praised the prominent men who suppressed the revolts and insurrection, but are almost necessarily obliged to be silent on the merits of those who preserved a province where no insurrection or revolt took place. I am therefore glad to see introduced into the Resolution the name of Mr. Frere. He, together with General Jacob, preserved that province almost without troops, and mainly, I believe, by the authority and terror of—among the troops the affection for—General Jacob. General Jacob has gone from among us: but he has left in his writings sufficient to show what wonders the determination of one resolute will may achieve over the minds of other men, particularly the European mind over the Natives. I believe it was entirely owing to the discipline of the troops in Scinde that not one of them stirred when the rest of the Native army were up in revolt. I am also glad to find the name of Sir R. Hamilton mentioned in the Vote of Thanks. He became thoroughly cognizant of the habits of the Natives and acquired great dominion over their minds, and it was very much owing to him that Holkar and other Native Princes took no active part in the late insurrection. The noble Lord the Secretary for India has paid a tribute of eulogy to Colonel Davidson, and Major Macpherson is also entitled to much praise. He contrived, by management of which we have as yet 110 knowledge, to prevent the Gwalior Contingent, after they revolted, from joining the other insurgents during two or three of the most perilous months of the year; and to him was much to be attributed the maintenance of tranquillity in that part of India at a period when insurrection and attack might have proved most injurious. The noble Lord the Member for Tiverton has alluded slightly to the omission of civilians from the vote. I imagine the noble Lord's (Lord Stanley) reason for omitting their names is, that since the Thanks of this House were voted to them in 1858 they have had no opportunity of exhibiting such remarkable energy and courage as they had displayed previously. They are a body of men to whom it is impossible for any one who has been connected with the affairs of India to hesitate to pay the highest tribute of admiration; but they have abundant work before them hereafter, which will be more congenial with their character and occupation. I trust that, although their names are omitted from this vote, they will be aware that the country looks forward with the expectation that they will show as much diligence, activity, and determination in the reform of Indian Institutions and in the economy of Indian expenditure as they have exhibited in the preservation of the British empire in India. I beg to express to the noble Lord the Secretary for India the sincere pleasure with which I have listened to his speech, which I am sure will find a most cordial response in the feelings of this House.


said he begged to add his tribute of thanks for the services of those distinguished men whose names were mentioned in the Resolutions of the noble Lord. He, thought it was a most important and fortunate circumstance that there should have been at the head of the Government of India when the mutiny broke out a nobleman like Viscount Canning, in the prime of life, full of energy, activity, and courage, and possessed of those qualifications which rendered him especially fitting to meet the difficulties by which he was surrounded. He (Colonel North) believed that since the world began no man was over placed in so awful a position. Without the slightest warning, without the least apprehension, a most gigantic mutiny broke out, and when his noble Friend turned for support to those regiments which had previously maintained the highest character for loyalty and discipline, and which Sir Charles Napier had described as constituting one of the finest armies in the world, he found he had to rest upon rotten reeds and that the most distinguished regiments were in fact the most mutinous. If under those circumstances his noble friend had committed errors, they at least ought to have been viewed with the greatest lenity; but instead of committing errors, from the moment of the outbreak to the present time his noble Friend had shown the greatest activity, the greatest discretion, the greatest courage, and the greatest humanity. With the assistance of that glorious old soldier, his noble and gallant Friend Lord Clyde, backed by the invincible army under his command, he had secured the safety of our empire and upheld the honour of the British name in India. Recent events had certainly entailed great losses upon this country; at the same time they had given an opportunity for the display, perhaps more conspicuously than on any former occasion, of those high qualities which pertained to the English character. Courage and devotion in their country's cause had not been confined to the military and naval service or to the sterner sex alone, and at no period had the courage and devotion of all classes of our countrymen been more strongly exhibited than during the last two years in India. Perhaps the House could not mark publicly their admiration of this conduct, but they had every reason, and he believed they would be happy, to testify the deep admiration they felt at the manner in which their countrymen and countrywomen in India had conducted themselves on so many occasions, under circumstances which might have appalled the stoutest heart. He was extremely pleased at the terms in which the right hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Vernon Smith) had alluded to the name of Sir Patrick Grant. He (Colonel North) had given notice to the noble Lord the Secretary for India that he should move an Amendment on this occasion in order that the name of Sir Patrick Grant might be added to the list of distinguished officers contained in the vote. He had not the honour of Sir Patrick Grant's acquaintance, but from the inquiries which he had made amongst Indian officers, and officers in the Queen's service, he found that there was but one opinion entertained—namely, that of the many distinguished officers which the East India Company had produced there was none more distinguished than Sir Patrick Grant. He knew that the gallant General had felt hurt at his name having been omitted from the Vote of Thanks on a former occasion; but he was confident, from the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Vernon Smith) had spoken of his services—and the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton had on all occasions shown himself jealous of the honour of English officers—that that omission was entirely accidental; and he lamented that by the rules of the House the name of Sir Patrick Grant could not be added to the present vote. It would be gratifying to the gallant officer, no doubt, to hear the individual opinions which had been expressed by the Ministers of the day; but all must feel that, flattering as those opinions might be, they could in no way be compared to a Vote of Thanks on the part of the House. Still, after the terms in which the noble Lord the Secretary for India and the right hon. Gentleman had spoken of Sir Patrick Grant, and feeling how advantageous and desirable it was that these votes should be carried unanimously, he (Colonel North) would not move the addition of which he had given notice. One further remark he would make. Perhaps the House was not aware that, upon the receipt of the intelligence of General Anson's death, his noble Friend Viscount Canning telegraphed to Madras, and ordered Sir Patrick Grant to repair at once to Calcutta, That gallant officer immediately gave up the command of the Madras army, and in two or three days left for Calcutta, where he organized that illustrious column which, under the command of the distinguished and lamented Havelock, performed such eminent services for their country. It was at his suggestion also that the Naval Brigade was formed; and he believed, further, that the preparations made by Sir Patrick Grant enabled Lord Clyde to take the field with such success on his arrival in India. Having made these observations he should content himself by saying it was not his intention to press his Amendment.


said, that while agreeing cordially in nearly all the observations of the noble Lord (Lord Stanley), he must express his regret that it was thought necessary to adhere so strictly to prece- dent as to omit from the vote the names of many men who had rendered valuable services to the country. The noble Lord had said that the vote was confined to officers who had distinguished themselves in general action; but many officers had rendered inestimable service by maintaining tranquillity on the frontier. Sir Sidney Cotton and Colonel Edwardes, by days of toil and nights of anxiety, by firmness, wisdom, and conciliation, preserved perfect tranquillity at Peshawur, where they not only had to contend with the wild tribes of the frontier, but to hold in check with a very small European force five regiments of mutinous Sepoys. Yet these men, who deserved the deepest gratitude, were, in consequence of strict adherence to precedent, precluded from having their names mentioned in the vote of that House. There were at present in this country the only two surviving officers who escaped from the dreadful massacre at Cawnpore—Captain Thomson and Lieutenant Delafosse; yet, although they had served throughout the whole of Havelock's campaign, they had received no mark of distinction, and he thought they were entitled to some recognition of their services.


said, he was anxious to bring under the consideration of the noble Lord and the House one who had rendered great and important services to the English Government during the past five years. Whether it was competent to include the potentate in question in this Vote of Thanks he knew not, but his object would be partially gained by availing himself of this opportunity of bringing his name prominently forward, in the hope of his obtaining that expression of praise and public gratitude which he had so honourably earned. He alluded to Mohamed Said, the present Pasha of Egypt. It was probably in the recollection of hon. Members that during the Crimean war the want of cavalry was much felt, and that Her Majesty's 10th Hussars and the 12th Lancers were accordingly ordered to proceed by the overland route from India to the Crimea. The present Pasha not only forwarded these two splendid regiments, nearly 1600 strong, through his territories from Suez to Alexandria, at his own expense, but during their detention at Cairo he entertained the officers and men in a most hospitable manner. In 1857–8 he rendered every possible assistance in forwarding our troops through his territories, from Alexandria to Suez, in considerable numbers; he had not the return on the subject to refer to, but he believed be was correct in saying not less than 10,000 men; and so admirable were the Pasha's arrangements, that they were much more than sufficient to meet our requirements. His Highness had constructed, at his own expense, a railway across the Isthmus of Suez, which not only contributed very much to the convenience and comfort of oar passengers, but was of great importance to our traffic with the East by this route; and he had afforded and continued to afford the greatest possible facilities to all their important traffic. No public thanks, no decoration, and no honour of any description had been accorded to the Pasha by our Government, although few of our allies deserved more at our hands; while at the same time he had been decorated by nearly all—certainly by most—of the other European Powers, none of whom participated, beyond a mere fractional degree, in the benefits which had been secured to us by his active and continuous efforts to meet our wishes. Under these circumstances he hoped that the noble Lord and the House would excuse the liberty he had taken in availing himself of this opportunity to introduce the name and services of Mohamed Said, the present Pacha of Egypt.


said, that if any doubt could have been thrown upon the value of the thanks of this House that doubt must have been removed by the speech of the noble Lord the Secretary for India, than which he felt sure that nothing could be more eloquent or more acceptable to the service, nor was it his intention to detract in the least degree from the unanimity with which it had been received. It was not the least, however, of the privileges enjoyed by a professional man who had the honour of a seat in that House that he had it in his power, when requested, to defend an absent officer, should that officer's character be at any time called in question. Now, there was one officer to whom he must be allowed to refer on the present occasion because, in the course of the mutiny, he had been grossly blamed, even, by civilians in the service of the East India Company. He alluded to Major General Johnstone, who had commanded at Jallundur. It had been said that that gallant officer neglected his duty, and this had been stated in terms that were even coarse. General Johnstone referred the whole matter to the Commander-in-Chief, and in justice to his character he (General Codrington) would read in a few words what was the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief on the gallant officer's conduct. Lord Clyde's judgment was this:— It is evident that he was impressed with a strong sense of duty, and acted to the best of his ability; his military character, therefore, stands out clear and unsullied after this inquiry, and the utmost that he can be accused of is an error in judgment in one particular, and the Commander-in-Chief conceives that atonement is due to him. He (General Codrington) referred to this matter, because the feeling against General Johnstone was at the time very strong in India, and he suffered a great deal in consequence. He trusted, however, that the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief, which he had just read, would altogether exonerate the gallant officer from blame. Another officer who had been hardly treated was Major-General Windham. He had been excluded from the thanks of Parliament on the last occasion; but if Lord Clyde's second despatch, with reference to the engagement at Cawnpore, had come home before that vote had been proposed there could be no doubt that that exclusion would not have occurred, and General Windham would have shared in that honour. On the subject of these actions at Cawnpore Sir Colin Campbell wrote, on December 20, that there was an omission which he had to regret in his despatch of the 2nd, and he begged then to repair it. He desired to make his acknowledgment of the great difficulties in which General Windham was placed in the operations described in that officer's despatch, and to recommend him, and the officers under him, to the protection and good offices of the Governor General. Viscount Canning accordingly, in a general order, stated that General Windham's reputation, as a leader of conspicuous bravery and coolness, would have lost nothing from an accidental omission, such as Sir Colin Campbell had occasion to regret, and the Governor-General had felt it his duty to bring under the notice of the Government in England the difficulties with which General Windham and the officers and troops under his command had to contend. When blame had been thrown upon officers, and the real facts were afterwards stated by the Commander-in-Chief, it was only fit that their exculpation should be as publicly known as the statements in which their conduct had been impugned. Nothing could be more true, and more eloquent because true, than the terms in which the noble Lord had proposed the thanks of that House to the civilians who had so eminently deserved them, and to the military officers who had done so much for their country. The Commander-in-Chief was worthy of all the honours he had received, and it was to be hoped that Lord Clyde would come home in good health to enjoy them.

The first three Resolutions were then put and agreed to.

Upon the fourth Resolution.


said, that as an old Sepoy officer—and he took pride in the appellation—he deemed it his duty to call the attention of the House to the peculiar circumstances in which the native army of India had been placed during the recent lamented disturbances. He wished the noble Lord had thought it consistent with his duty to mention specifically in this Vote those portions of the armies of Madras and Bombay which had taken so distinguished a part in the suppression of the mutiny. When it was remembered that the Madias force possessed a large infusion of the class of men who constituted the Bengal army, and that the Bombay army contained two-fifths, if not one-half of the same class from the same localities—when it was remembered, too, that the Bengal army was in constant communication with these men, using every possible effort to induce the Madras and Bombay Sepoys to swerve from their duty—it would, he thought, be conceded that native troops had never been exposed to so severe an ordeal, in spite of which they had stood fast to their allegiance, and had manifested in the strongest possible manner their devotion to British interests in India. Those very troops which had done such good service on the frontiers of Madras and Bundelcund under Generals Rose and Roberts, who had been so much and so deservedly eulogized by the noble Lord, had been forwarded to their destination owing to the energy, zeal, and prudence of the Governor of Madras and the Commander-in-Chief in that province. The Bombay Infantry had been justly eulogized, and, he might add, with respect to the cavalry, which consisted of three regiments, that the first, which was composed of Brahmins, Rajpoots, and high-class Mussulmans, had vigorously charged a brigade of mutineers furnished with guns at Neemuch, and had been driven back with desperate loss. The second regiment had been in the field since August, exposed to every kind of privation, and he had re- ceived a letter in which it was stated that the Sepoys had marched 166 miles in four days, with only the firmament for their canopy and the ground for their bed, and yet that a murmur had not escaped their lips. The 3rd Bombay Regiment of Cavalry had been in the field ever since the time of the Persian war, and had taken part in the actions which had been enumerated by the noble Lord the Secretary for India, and yet as he had been informed by its commanding officer now in this country on sick leave it had not lost a single man by desertion. Were not those proofs, he would ask, that reliance might be placed on the fidelity of a Sepoy army? Did those facts justify us in placing no confidence in those men for the future? There ought to be no hesitation to the answer which should be given to that inquiry, and he must, before he sat down, express a hope that the Government would act upon the policy of displaying for the future confidence in the fidelity of the native troops, and thereby enable this country to rule India with such an European force as might save her finances from utter ruin.

Resolution agreed to.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That the Thanks of this House be given to the Right honourable Charles John Viscount Canning, G.C.B., Her Majesty's Viceroy and Governor General of India; the Right honourable John Lord Elphinstone, G.C.B., Governor of the Presidency of Bombay; Sir John Laird Mair Lawrence, baronet, G.C.B., late Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab; Sir Robert North Collie Hamilton, baronet, Agent to the Governor General in Central India; Henry Bartle Edward Frere, esquire, Commissioner of Scinde; and Robert Montgomery, esquire, late Chief Commissioner in Oude,—for the ability with which they have severally employed the resources at their disposal for the re-establishment of Peace in Her Majesty's Indian Dominions.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That the Thanks of this House be given to General the Right honourable Lord Clyde, G.C.B., Commander-in- Chief in India; Lieutenant General Sir James Outrun, baronet, G.C.B.; Major General Sir Hugh Henry Rose, G.C.B.; Major General Henry Gee Roberts; Major General George Cornish Whitlock; Major General Sir Archdale Wilson, baronet, K.C.B.; Major General Sir James Hope Grant, K.C.B.; Major General Sir William Rose Mansfield, K.C.B.; Major General Sir 'Thomas Harte Franks, K.C.B.; Major General Sir Edward Lugard, K.C.B.; Major General Sir John Michel, K.C.B.; Brigadier General Robert Walpole, C.B.; Brigadier General Sir Robert Napier, K.C.B.; and Captain Edward Sotheby, R.N., C.B., for the eminent skill, courage, and perseverance displayed by them during the Military Operations by which the late Insurrection in India has been effectually suppressed.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That the Thanks of this House be given to the other gallant Officers of Her Majesty's Army and Navy, and also of Her Majesty's Indian Forces, for the intrepidity, zeal, and endurance evinced by thorn in the arduous operations of the late Indian Campaign.

Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That this House doth highly approve and acknowledge the valour, self-devotion, and brilliant services of the Non-Commissioned Officers and Private Soldiers, both European and Native, and of the Petty Officers and Seamen and Non-Commissioned Officers and Marines, who have taken part in the suppression of the recent disturbances in India; and that the same be signified to them by the Commanders of their several Corps, who are desired to thank them for their gallant behaviour.

Ordered, That the said Resolutions be transmitted by Mr. Speaker to the Governor General of India; and that his Lordship be requested to communicate the same to the several Officers referred to therein.