HC Deb 21 March 1837 vol 37 cc681-3
Mr. Maclean

rose to ask those questions relative to Spain of which he had given notice on the previous evening, but not seeing the noble Lord, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs in his place, who, he was afraid, was absent from indisposition, he would take the liberty of putting them to his hon. Friend, the Secretary to the Admiralty. He wished to know if there was any truth in the accounts which had recently reached this country of a very sanguinary engagement having taken place on the northern coast of Spain, between the troops commanded by General Evans and those of Don Carlos. Those accounts proceeded to state that, after an engagement of considerable duration, General Evans, and the troops under his command, had retreated into the fortress of St. Sebastian, amidst considerable disorder, and with a considerable loss of life. The accounts went further, and stated—a point in which he, and in which he was sure, too, his hon. Friend felt deeply interested—that the retreat was covered by his Majesty's marines, and that Lord John Hay, and some captains of his Majesty's navy, had been present during the whole of the engagement. He (Mr. Maclean) was, therefore, anxious to know whether these accounts which had gained much credit both at home and abroad, were true or not. If true, he should like further to know if his Majesty's artillery and marine forces had suffered any, and what loss. If any accounts had reached his Majesty's Government, he hoped his hon. Friend would not object to state what they were.

Mr. C. Wood

said, he was not aware the hon. Gentleman had given notice of these questions; however, he (Mr. Wood) could state that no accounts of any description had reached the Admiralty and he had no means whatever of judging whether the accounts alluded to by his hon. Friend were true or not.

Mr. Grove Price

begged to know whether any body of British marines were employed in the field upon that occasion, whether they had fought under the British flag, and under the supreme command of General Evans?

Mr. Wood

said, he had only the same answer to give to the hon. Member's question as he had already given, whatever might be the accounts of the newspapers.

Mr. Maclean

observed, that perhaps his hon. Friend might have supposed he had asked him if any account had been received from General Evans, and he would now ask whether any had been received by telegraph from Paris.

Mr. Wood

said, he was not aware that either the Admiralty or the Government had any telegraphic communication with Paris. As far as he knew, the last infor- mation which the Government had had was from a private-officer, who left Bayonne on the 8th.

Subject dropped.