HC Deb 24 February 1808 vol 10 cc711-2
Mr. Calcraft

wished to know from his majesty's ministers, how far there was any foundation for the rumours so painful to the public feelings, upon that most important branch of the public service, which were lately in circulation. He alluded to the rumours of sir R. Strachan having been obliged to quit his station off Rochefort, in consequence of being short of provisions, and the concomitant report that the French squadron had been enabled to put to sea by the retreat of the blockading force. Though the sailing of the Rochefort squadron would, he hoped, be the means of adding new glory to the triumphs of the British navy, still he was sure that every one who heard him would agree, that if the blockade had been raised from any neglect in supplying the squadron under sir John Duckworth, that neglect was extremely criminal.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

had no information of the fact alluded to by the hon. gent. If the hon. gent. wished for any information on the subject, or had received any that he conceived it right to authenticate, his object would be best answered by making a motion, of which he might now give notice. All he could now say, in answer to the argumentative statements and questions of the hon. gent. was, that he was not aware of any such fact as that alluded to by the hon. gent.

Mr. Calcraft

said, he certainly had received some information which had led him to put the questions he had addressed to the hon. gent. He gave notice that he would on Thursday se'nnight submit a motion, with a view to ascertain the state of the approvisionment of sir R. Strachan's squadron.