§ Sir Robert Peel
said, Sir, I rise for the purpose of moving, that the Thanks of the House be given to a portion of the British army, and to its gallant Commander, for services recently performed under very critical circumstances, and during very important operations on the banks of the Indus, which army has, under these circumstances, and during these operations, exhibited proofs of discipline, of constancy and of valour which have sustained and even exalted the high character of the British army, and have entitled that army and its commander to the public expression of our thanks. With the policy of the measures in the execution of which, that army has been employed I have upon this occasion, nothing to do. Whether it were justifiable and politic to exact from the Ameers of Scinde penalties on account of the violation of their engagements—whether it were politic to demand the cession of territory in lieu of the tribute to which the Ameers were subject, are questions which, in my opinion, ought to be reserved altogether for separate consideration. I have now to call the attention of the House to the conduct and merits of gallant men performing the first duty of a soldier—namely, obedience to lawful authority, and by the mode in which they performed it, entitling themselves, in my opinion, to the public acknowledgement which I shall propose. Sir, others I consider to be responsible for the measures, the execution of which was committed to Sir Charles Napier. He was employed by the Governor-general. He received 526 instructions from the Governor-general. He had authority, within certain limits, from the Governor-general; but for the employment, the instructions, the authority, the Civil Power in India, and not Sir Charles Napier, is, in my opinion, altogether responsible. I shall be prepared on the proper occasion, if need be, to vindicate the instructions and authority, but upon the present occasion, I shall altogether abstain from entering into any discussion on the policy of the measures themselves. Sir, the information which has recently been laid on the Table of the House, and the degree of public attention which has been directed to the operations in Scinde, relieve me from the necessity of entering into any detail with regard to the measures which led to the employment of the British army on that occasion. I take it for granted, that every Gentleman has read the papers laid on the Table of the House, relating to the subject, and I shall not, therefore, enter into any unnecessary detail of the circumstances which led to the British army being placed under the command of Sir Charles Napier. The House would recollect, that about the month of September, 1842, Sir Charles Napier was directed to take the command of the British army in Scinde and Beloochistan. The active operations in which he was engaged extended for a period which is included between January 1843, and the latter end of March, in the same year. That period of three months, included the advance upon Emaum Ghur, the battle of Meeanee, and the battle of Hyderabad. These two battles, the most prominent objects to any one contemplating the subject, were fought under very peculiar circumstances. According to the first report of Sir Charles Napier, the force opposed to him in the battle of Meeanee amounted to somewhere about 23,000 men, while his own force did not exceed 2,800. I have, however, reason to believe, that he overrated the amount of the force under his command, and underrated that of the force opposed to him. I believe it would be more consistent with the truth, were I to say, that the number of the British troops under his command at the battle of Meeanee, did not exceed 2,000, and that the force opposed to him did not fall short of 25,000, the number originally given. Sir, the force of the Ameers consisted of men accustomed to war, of 527 great natural courage, and of desperate resolution, to which full credit is given in the admirable despatch of Sir Charles Napier. That force, originally estimated at 25,000 men, occupied a very formidable position. They were posted in the dried bed of a water-course, which during the inundations of the Indus becomes filled. The enemy were flanked by a village, and by a wooded country, almost impervious to troops. Their position, I believe, was defended by fifteen pieces of artillery; and against this force of 25,000 men so postal, Sir Charles Napier and his army marched, for the purpose of defending their lives, and supporting the honour and credit of their country. At the battle of Hyderabad, the force of Sir Charles Napier had received the addition of two or three regiments; and the British force in that battle amounted to 5,000 men. The force opposed to him, consisted of about 20,000. Of the courage and resolution of the army of the Ameers no greater proof can be given than one adduced from the despatch of Sir charles Napier,—That on the approach of the British army the Beloochees did what, as an exhibition of courage, corresponds in European warfare with the actual conflict of the bayonet, the proof of European courage which is the most decisive, that after discharging their firelocks at the troops of Sir Charles Napier, they rushed from the watercourse in which they had taken up their position and attacked the British soldiers with their shields and swords, which they took as substitutes for their firelocks.Nothing can be more decisive than the testimony of Sir C. Napier to the valour of those who were opposed to him; at the same time, any one who considers the circumstances of the action, the nature of the position, the valour of the enemy, and the disparity of the forces, will admit that, the valour of the enemy was rendered vain by the eminent military skill on the part of Sir C. Napier. Sir, in those two battles also, although there was such an immense disparity of force, the valour of the British soldiers fully maintained the character of their country. In the first battle, where the disparity was the greatest, the British force consisted, I think, of only one regiment of Europeans, three regiments of Sepoys, if I remember rightly, the 25th, the 12th, and the 1st, and some native cavalry; and it is, I think, most gratifying to know that there was no distinction an the exhibition of valour, between the 528 Sepoy and the European; animated by the example of their officers, both Sepoy and European were exposed to the common danger, and showed an equal degree of courage and resolution. Sir, to the officers and men employed on that occasion it would be impossible to attribute too high praise; but, at the same time, justice requires that we should not overlook the great cause of the victory. It is in my opinion, mainly to be ascribed, both at Meeanee and Hyderabad, to the example set by the gallant Officer, who was responsible for the British army on those occasions. It is most fortunate that at such a crisis, and under circumstances of such difficulty, the command of the British army was committed to a man, one of three brothers, who have engrafted on the stem of an ancient and honourable lineage that personal nobility which is derived from unblemished private character, from the highest sense of personal honour, and from repeated proofs of valour in the field, which have made their name conspicuous in the records of their country. Sir, each of these three brothers learnt the art of war under an illustrious commander, during the whole of those memorable campaigns of which one of them has been the faithful, impartial, and eloquent historian—and the exploits of those three brothers during the whole of those campaigns entitle them to the gratitude of their country. In almost every action of the Peninsular war they gave proofs of great military skill and personal valour. In the actions of Corunna, of Busaco, of Ciudad Rodrigo, and during the operations of the Pyrenees, they proved that there was no British officer more prodigal of his blood in the cause of his country than was each of those brothers. Sir, the officer who commanded in the actions to which this notice refers, bears a name than which there is none more conspicuous in the bright pages which contain the records, whether in the military or the naval annals of this country, for desperate and successful valour. For if we read the account of some naval action, in which, in the course of five minutes, with a force wholly unable, unless directed with the utmost skill and valour, to compete with the enemy—if in the course of five minutes we find a signal victory achieved, by which the glories of St. Vincent are revived—a victory by the moral effect of which a dynasty is changed,—if we read 529 the records of such an action, we find the name of the commander there is Napier. Even in a more limited and circumscribed sphere of operation, when, in the course of last year, it became of the utmost importance to impress on a misguided multitude the inherent strength of the law and the civil power directed by a consciousness of right, and by consummate skill, the man who, accompanied by only six constables, attacked hundreds of people, and captured more of those opposed to him than the number of the men he commanded—I remark, with satisfaction, that the person who achieved that comparatively speaking, humble and yet most useful exploit, also bore the name of Napier. I am justified then in saying, that in the records of gallant exploits, whether civil, military, or naval, there is not one name which stands out more conspicuously than the name borne by the gallant Officer who commanded at Meeanee and Hyderabad. And, Sir, I believe that those who bear that name, stimulated by the examples of their predecessors, will continue to exhibit the same courage and resolution in great actions, and that the motto which they bear on their shields, "Ready, ay, ready," will be as it is, their motto, so also the characteristic of their conduct. Let the House recollect that when Sir Charles Napier was called on to take the command of the forces in Scinde he had attained the age of 62, and that his body had been shattered in the service of his country; and yet it is to his spirit—to the example which he set the troops—inspiring an unparalleled confidence in their commander, that we must mainly attribute the success of the actions of Meeanee and Hyderabad. The quality of actions, Sir, chiefly depends on the character of those who superintend them. The actions which have been performed by the members of the Napier family may appear foolhardy to the pusillanimous—they may appear the mere result of a lucky chance to the superficial; but however desperate they may appear when they are undertaken and superintended by ordinary minds, they are, nevertheless, reconcileable with the soberest calculations of prudence when directed by such men as Sir Charles Napier. Sir, there is one point I am desirous of adverting to, because I know if rashness could be imputed to Sir Charles Napier—if it could be imputed to him that he had needlessly led the British army into the 530 conflict—no praise which we could bestow on his valour would compensate him for the painful reflections which such an imputation would give birth to in his mind. I think it is impossible for any one to peruse the papers relating to this question without coming to the conclusion that not only was that the wisest course which Sir Charles Napier could take—namely, that of at once encountering the enemy, but that if he had pursued any other course, the safety of the army would have been compromised. It is difficult to speculate as to what might have been the results if a different course had been taken; but if any man could entertain a doubt as to the policy of the course which Sir Charles Napier took in not suspending his march, in not permitting the Ameers to congregate, and in determining at once to bring his force of two thousand five hundred men into conflict with a force eight times the number, he would only ask such a man to read the account of what passed in the year 1839, at the time when Sir John Keane arrived from Bomb y at the mouth of the Indus. Do not speculate on what the Ameers would have done in 1843, if Sir Charles Napier had delayed his march or withdrawn his troops, but read the testimonies of what their conduct was in 1839, and I think you will say that Sir Charles Napier had no alternative but at once to front the danger which menaced him. In 1839, Lord Auckland having determined on advancing into Affghanistan, he sent a force from Bombay, under the command of Sir John Keane, for the purpose of entering upon some negotiations with the Ameers, and of making Scinde the basis of his military operations. Lord Auckland, in describing the operations of Sir John Keane, gave this account of the conduct and intentions of the Ameers:—The Bombay division, under the command of Sir John Keane, landed at the Hujamsee mouth of the Indus in the early days of December, and Lord Auckland, writing in March, 1839, says:—No resistance was offered to its disembarkation, but from the date of its arrival every artifice was resorted to to thwart and impede its movements, notwithstanding the most fulsome professions of friendship and devotion.They (the Ameers), says Lord Auckland, professed the utmost devotion, yet he says that they were at the same moment "making every preparation for hostilities, and that they endeavoured to see 531 what good they could derive from a system of feigned confidence and violent menace." The Ameers then took with respect to Sir John Keane the same course which they afterwards took with respect to Sir Charles Napier:—Communications, Lord Auckland continues, were cut off—letters seized—boatmen and other workpeople threatened—and every appearance of intended open hostility exhibited,On the 24th January, 1839, Sir John Keane writes:—I have in former communications stated to you that Scinde has all along been considered a light affair, as it might be called a secondary consideration; as relating to the campaign, so near as I can judge at this hour, it assumes a different aspect, and takes a first place in the operations of the army.Again, immediately after he writes:—Things have come to a crisis in Lower Scinde; the gentlemen of the residency have been obliged to leave Hyderabad, and are now in my camp.I ask you also, continued the right bon. Baronet to read the account which Lieut. Eastwick gives of the menaces directed against him. There is no saying what the consequences might have been if he had remained at Hyderabad. He retired, and if he had not been prudent enough to retire, he would have been exposed to the same attacks as that gallant officer Major Outram was afterwards subjected to. Lieutenant Eastwick, in his account of the negotiations states, thatOn the 20th January, the treaty was given to the Ameers; on the 21st January, the Ameers desired the meeting should be postponed to the 22nd. On the 22nd the Ameers said they could not on that day give an explicit answer; they would not say whether they would accept the treaty or not. On the 23rd hordes of troops surrounded the city, and the reply of the Ameers was that the treaty should be sent back, for that they would not sign.The proceedings of the Ameers, in 1839, were exactly similar to those of 1843. They made fulsome professions of friendship and devotion—they asked you to postpone the negotiations from day to day—they pretended to wish for further time for consideration, but every hour they were collecting their forces. At their request four days were allowed to elapse. When their preparations were completed what was their answer? 532The treaty could not now be signed—the embassy might go or stay as they pleased, but they (the Ameers) could give them no pledge of safety, having no control over the Beloochees.So Sir John Keane says:—The whole country in front and in rear of us is now aroused and under arms to exterminate us if they can. Troops are flocking in from all directions to the capital. Let a brigade of infantry, two regiments of cavalry, and a troop of horse artillery be sent down as soon as possible.Why did not the Ameers attack the British army?Because Sir Willoughby Cotton having received authentic intelligence of the imminent hazard of a rupture in Lower Scinde, marched two brigades of infantry, one brigade of cavalry, and a large force of artillery down the east bank of the Indus in the direction of Hyderabad. The troops of Shah Shoojah had been sent to occupy Sukanna, a town from which the Beloochee soldiery had been drafted to support the Ameers of Hyderabad.Sir John Keane, who was on the opposite bank, wished to take that course which Sir Charles Napier afterwards took, of making an attack at once. On the 30th of January Sir Henry Pottinger, finding himself supported by such a force, told the Ameers he could now make no abatement in the terms which had been proffered; but if they still refused, if a gun or a matchlock were fired, their whole country would be seized, and that they themselves would be dispossessed of power. When the Ameers found that four or five brigades of British troops were close upon them they signified, on the 1st of February, their readiness to submit to the terms. If, however, there had then been only a force of 2,000 or 2500 men, depend upon it the Ameers, notwithstanding their professions of friendship, would have attacked our troops. Sir Charles Napier was not in the condition in which Sir John Keane and Sir Willoughby Cotton were. He had not 8000 or 10,000 men under his command, but only a limited force of 2,500 men to oppose to the forces of the Ameers. My opinion is, that if he had delayed one day longer; if he had attempted to retreat; if he had not taken that course which his wisdom combined with his skill had dictated him to take, not one day would have passed without his army being attacked and cut off; and though the glory of the British arms would not have been 533 tarnished by such a result, still, following upon the disaster which occurred to us at Cabul, it would have produced the most serious consequences. In estimating the conduct of Sir Charles Napier, I do not think the chief praise is due to his military skill—I do not think it is due even to his personal valour; but I do think it is due to him for the course which he took, and his opposition to those who advised a postponement of hostilities, in at once engaging the enemy. Having pondered on the consequences of retreat—knowing the shock which our Indian empire would sustain by a repetition of a disaster like that of Cabul—he, on his own responsibility, with less local knowledge than was possessed by many around him, had the moral courage to act in opposition to the advice he received, and committed that army and his own reputation to the fate of doubtful war. It is chiefly for that exhibition of moral courage that I think him entitled to the Thanks of the House. In detailing the action of Meeanee Sir Charles Napier writes as follows:—At one time, my lord, the courage and numbers of the enemy against the 22nd, 25th, and 12th regiments bore heavily in that part of the battle. There was no time to be lost, and I sent orders to the cavalry to force the right of the enemy's line. This order was very gallantly executed by the 9th Bengal Cavalry and the Scinde Horse; the details shall be afterwards stated, for the struggle on our right and centre was at that time so fierce that I could not go to the left.That is the modest and becoming account of the reasons which prevented him from going to the left. He remained at the post of danger, feeling that the time was come when, whatever might be the consequences of his fall, the necessity for an example of personal devotion upon his part, by coming and sharing in the common danger, was so great that he could not retire from his position, and he was thus obliged to collect from others an account which he himself could not give. And there did that gallant man stand, I believe within ten or fifteen yards of the water-course where lay the whole force of the enemy, cheering on his troops by an example of personal valour, which made it impossible for any man in that army to resist its contagious influence, but compelled them all, like their gallant commander, to devote their lives to the service of their country. Sir, I think it is unnecessary for me to trouble the House with 534 further details. I am asking them to place upon record their sense of the military services of the Army in Scinde and of its commander. I call upon them for no expression of opinion upon any other point connected with the operations in that country. But looking to what was achieved by them, looking to what was done by every man in that army on those two days, I think the House will be disposed to come to a unanimous resolution that for such exploits the Thanks of this House are justly due. With respect to some who were engaged in those battles, we must mingle with the expression of our gratitude to them an expression of deep sympathy with their relatives and friends. The dispatches of Sir C. Napier wifely and justly ascribe to individuals who fell on those occasions much of the merit of the victories that have been gained. He has left, I believe, an imperishable record of the exploits which they performed. It is almost impossible to lament deaths so glorious as some which took place in the course of those engagements. He speaks of one gallant officer in a manner which must, I think, if anything can, give consolation, to his family and friends, and prove to them the highest consolation that could be offered to them under their affliction and distress. He says:—I have deeply to regret the loss of the brave and excellent Captain Garrett, of the 9th Light Cavalry, who fell honourably in the battle; and also the fall of Lieutenant Smith of the Bombay Artillery; with unsurpassed and desperate valour he galloped in front of his battery, and rode up upon the top of the nullah (filled with enemies) to see where his guns could bear with the greatest effect. Here the hero fell.Sir, there can be no nobler inscription upon the tomb of that gallant officer than the words in which his commander has thus commemorated his services. Sir, with regard to these gallant men, I trust we shall now proceed to bestow upon them that highest reward which a grateful country can confer—that reward, of which it has with truth been said—The Senate's thanks, the Gazette's pompous tale, With force resistless o'er the brave prevail.That we shall allow you, Sir, as the organ of the nation's voice, to express to Sir Charles Napier, and to the Officers and the Men who served under his command—to the European and to the Sepoy—to the man of the highest and of the lowest 535 rank who shared in those days a common fate and are invested with a common glory—that to them all we shall convey through you, Sir, as our organ, the acknowledgment of the public gratitude. The right hon. Baronet concluded by movingThat the Thanks of this House he given to Major-general Sir Charles Napier, Knight Grand Cross of the Most honourable Order of the Bath, for the eminent skill, energy, and gallantry displayed by him in the recent Military Operations in Scinde, particularly in the two decisive battles of Meeanee and Hyderabad.
Lord J. Russell
After the eloquent terms in which the right hon. Baronet has moved the Thanks of this House to Sir C. Napier and the gallant army under his command, I shall content myself with merely seconding that motion. I took occasion the other day, to state my opinion of the moral courage with which Sir C. Napier extricated himself from the perilous position in which he was placed. I need not now repeat that opinion. I cannot, however, help saying that, even those who may disapprove of a portion of his conduct, but with whom I do not agree—I cannot help saying, that even those hon. Members may, in my opinion, fitly render a tribute to the military skill, to the exalted courage, and to the persevering conduct of Sir C. Napier, and of the army under his command. It is eminently fortunate for this country, that at the age which Sir C. Napier has attained, he should have retained all the vigour and the energy of a young man; and there are few men, perhaps at the age of twenty or thirty, who would have shown so much energy as Sir C. Napier, united with his great military skill.
§ Viscount Howick
could assure the House that it was with the most unfeigned regret he felt himself under the absolute necessity of interfering with that unanimity which the right hon. Baronet had called for from the House; but, painful as it might be to him to take that course, a sense of imperious duty compelled him to adopt it, and he was bound to state to the House the grounds upon which, in his opinion, they ought to withhold from Sir C. Napier the high honour which the right hon. Baronet had proposed that they should bestow upon him. It was, he repeated, most painful to him to take that course, because he could truly say, that the right hon. Baronet himself could not more ad- 536 mire than he did the military skill displayed by Sir C. Napier. He thought that in the short and decisive campaign in Scinde he had had an opportunity of showing some of the greatest qualities which could distinguish a military commander—prompt decision, energy, undaunted bravery, consummate military skill, and, above all, that power which particularly distinguished f superior minds—the power of inspiring into all who served under his command a portion of the same spirit by which he was himself animated. All these praises he most cheerfully and most cordially concurred with the right hon. Baronet in attributing to Sir C. Napier; but it was utterly impossible for him to forget that, upon that occasion, Sir C. Napier had not been merely a general. The right hon. Baronet had said, that they had then nothing to do with the policy pursued. Now that might be truly said, if the Governor-general were responsible for all the measures that had been adopted, and if Sir C. Napier had merely been called upon to carry into effect a course of policy decided on by others. But the House would remember that such a statement was not quite consistent with the opinion which the right hon. Baronet himself had avowed, when he turned round and told them that it was not the great military skill which he most admired in Sir C. Napier. He maintained that on that occasion they had to do with a question of policy—that Sir C. Napier was not merely a general in Scinde—that he had powers given to him, and with those powers responsibility of a very peculiar kind. On looking to the papers, he perceived a letter to Sir C. Napier from the Governor-general, dated August 26, 1842, saying—Within the limits of your military command you will exercise entire authority over all political and civil officers.And Major Outram was directed to lay before him, with "judicial accuracy," the case against the Ameers; and, on the case so admitted to him, Sir Charles Napier was to exercise his own judgment; he was informed, that the Governor-general was determined signally to punish the treachery of any ally, but at the same time this most proper caution was added, that—The Governor-general would not proceed in this course without the most ample and convincing evidence of the guilt of the persons accused. The Governor-general entirely relies on your sense of justice, and is convinced, that whatever report you may make 537 on the subject (after full investigation), will be such as he may safely act upon.Accordingly, if we read through the papers, we should find that every step that was taken against the Ameers was virtually taken and determined on by Sir C. Napier. In most instances he acted at once on the discretionary authority given to him by the Governor-general, and even when he referred to the Governor-general, it was quite clear that the latter, being at a distance from the scene of action, saw only through the eyes of Sir C. Napier and supported him throughout. He therefore contended that Sir C. Napier stood in a different position from many military officers who had been thanked by that House. In the case, for instance, of Lord Keane, it had been perfectly consistent for those who disapproved of the Affghan expedition to join in the Vote of Thanks to his Lordship, because in that case there had been no discretion, no power whatever in Lord Keane to alter the course that had been adopted. The military operations had been resolved upon by the Governor-general; and Lord Keane had merely been called upon to give effect to that resolution. But with Sir C. Napier the case was far otherwise. He had been placed at the head of a large force; he had been desired to effect certain objects peaceably, if possible, and if not by force; having been placed in this situation, the policy which had been pursued was his policy, and he was equally responsible with the Governor-general for all that had taken place in Scinde. Now, such being the case, he was bound to say it appeared to him that it was utterly impossible that Sir C. Napier's military conduct should be judged of alone and apart from his conduct as a statesman and negotiator; his conduct should be regarded as a whole; and, taking it in that light, he was bound to say, that for one, he could not approve of it. He was, however, far from meaning to contend that Sir C. Napier ought, during the few days which preceded the battle of Meeanee, to have acted upon the advice of Major Outram. He entertained no such opinion; on the contrary, he confessed that he concurred in the opinion which the right hon. Baronet had again stated on that evening, and which had, on a former occasion, been expressed by hon. Members upon both sides of the House, that if at that time Sir Charles Napier had acted upon the opinion of Major Outram—if he had hesitated to advance and fight that battle; and if he had allowed the ne- 538 gotiations to be continued—if he had so done, it was his persuasion also, that in the situation in which Sir C. Napier was then placed, a great disaster would have been the consequence. So far he entirely concurred with the right hon. Baronet. But the question was, how had affairs been brought to that situation which rendered the battle necessary. He must say, that on reading over these papers, and giving to them a calm and impartial consideration, it was impossible for him to come to any other conclusion than that it was the arbitrary violence with which those unhappy princes had been treated which had brought affairs to that condition in which the battle became necessary. That was the conclusion at which he had arrived after calmly reviewing the whole series of transactions in that country from the time Sir C. Napier had assumed the direction of them; for he should observe in passing, that Lord Ellen borough's instructions had at first been marked by a fairness and moderation which they had not subsequently displayed. He was far from meaning to exempt the Ameers from all blame. He knew that they had behaved like all barbarous people, and especially like all barbarous people in the east. No doubt they had been guilty of treachery, of deceit, and of plotting against us. But he asked any dispassionate and impartial man, after having calmly read over all the papers that had been laid before them—he asked any such man to lay his hand on his heart, and then to deny that we had given them the first example of setting at nought, under frivolous pretences, the solemn engagements of treaties deliberately contracted, and that it was only when they found their interests most seriously threatened—when they believed they had no other mode of escaping, probably from ruin, or at all events from a summary and arbitrary confiscation of their property, that it was only then that collection of their troops against us had commenced. He confessed that that was the impression which the reading of those papers had made upon his mind after giving to them the calmest and most deliberate consideration in his power. And undoubtedly, he was greatly strengthened in that opinion by finding that those persons who had the best means of judging of the state of that country, concurred with him in the view which he had taken. When he found his opinion supported by Sir Henry Pottinger, by Major Outram, and by Lieutenant Eastwick, he could not doubt but that there must be good grounds for 539 entertaining that opinion. He found Lieutenant Eastwick in the speech which he had lately published—a speech which he thought equally creditable to him for the ability it displayed, and for the high tone of moral sentiment which was embodied in it—he said he found in that speech the following words in confirmation of his view of the question:—As an independent man, giving an independent opinion to the best of my humble judgment, I am bound to say that I consider his (meaning Sir C. Napier's) ignorance of the language, the manners, and the habits of the people with whom he had to deal—his want of experience in native character and political life in India, and, above all, his total want of sympathy with the unfortunate Am0eers, were the main causes of the fatal result of these negotiations.Such was the opinion of Lieutenant Eastwick, and he (Lord Howick) confessed that it was an opinion in which he entirely participated. At the same time, he was well aware, that the difficulty of forming a correct judgment upon questions of that kind was so great, especially to those who could not boast of being very conversant, as he confessed he was not, with eastern affairs—so much depended upon the degree of credit to be given to conflicting testimony, which he had no means of estimating—so much did he feel his incompetence to pronounce a decision upon a case like the one then before the House, that strengthened as his own opinion was—much as he condemned the course of proceeding in Scinde, still he should have hesitated to call upon the House to refuse the Vote of Thanks which had been proposed, if he thought that by doing so they would necessarily pronounce a judgment against Sir C. Napier, and against the course of policy which he had pursued. But he denied that such would be the result of their withholding the Vote of Thanks which the right hon. Baronet had proposed, because he was prepared to contend, that whatever might be their opinion on these transactions, they could not agree to a Vote of Thanks in the circumstances of the case, without violating an important and long recognised rule of policy. He maintained, that even if it were much clearer than he could admit it to be, that in all his dealings with these unhappy princes Sir C. Napier had respected the great principles of justice—if his policy were much less open to doubt, than it actually was, he maintained that even then there would be a valid objection to their agreeing to that vote under the circumstances of the 540 case. Hon. Gentlemen might perhaps be surprised at the opinion he had thus expressed; but he thought he should render much more clear the nature of the objection which he took to the Vote under the circumstances under which it was asked, by referring to what had actually occurred upon another occasion. He believed it would be very generally admitted, that the battle of Navarino, considered merely as a feat of arms, was highly honourable to the British name—that the skill of the officers and of the men engaged upon that occasion had been most conspicuously displayed; and yet the Administration which held the reins of power, when Parliament met after that celebrated action, had not thought it fit, under the circumstances under which it had taken place, to propose any Vote of Thanks from that House. Their determination not to do so had been met with much disapprobation in various quarters; and amongst others, his right hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, then Member for Westminster, had come forward and proposed that the House should vote its Thanks to Sir Edward Codrington and to his gallant companions in arms. The Government, however, opposed the motion, and Mr. Huskisson, then Secretary of State for the Colonial and War Departments, moved the previous question. After a lengthened debate, the motion of his right hon. Friend was withdrawn without a division. Now there was, he was aware, many distinctions to be drawn between that case and the present; but that which it was important to consider was, the grounds upon which the Vote of Thanks proposed by his right hon. Friend had been at that time opposed by the Government, and refused without a division by the House. The arguments against agreeing to that Vote, had been stated by Mr. Huskisson in a speech, the whole of which would be well worthy of the consideration of the House; but he would trouble the House only with two short extracts from it. Mr. Huskisson had said—That That there never existed on the part of Government the smallest intention to propose the thanks of Parliament to the officers and men engaged in that affair. He would tell the hon. Member why such a thought could not enter into the mind of a prudent and sensible Minister. It was this:—we voted the thanks of Parliament for triumphs over our enemies—we voted them to mark our satisfaction, that in a conflict which we had foreseen and dircted with a power against which we had declared war—the skill, and gallantry, 541 and zeal of our officers, had triumphed over the skill, and gallantry, and zeal of our enemies, and that they had maintained by that skill, gallantry, and zeal, the ancient superiority of our country above all others.Again, Mr. Huskisson had thus expressed himself in another part of his speech on that occasion:—He did not doubt the gallantry nor dispute the discretion of Sir Edward Codrington, but he must say to the House, be cautious before you create a precedent of thanks for an event which grew out of an accident, lest officers, looking at the signal benefit conferred on them by receiving such thanks, should cherish too easy a disposition to create a precedent, and lest such accidents so created should lead to consequences which the country might long have reason to regret."*Such was the opinion of Mr. Huskisson. The right hon. Baronet opposite followed him later in the debate, and urged very much the same line of argument, but dwelt more particularly on the importance of adhering rigidly to the rule of limiting these Votes to cases where war bad formally been declared, and quoted several precedents in support of this opinion, amongst others, the case of the battle of Toulouse, in which the Thanks of the House were withheld from the Duke of Wellington, on the ground, that when the action was fought, the war had actually terminated, although the hostile commanders could not have been aware of that fact; and, therefore, as the war was no longer going on, the battle must be considered a misfortune, and not a subject demanding a Vote of Thanks on the part of the House to the commander in the action, and of the troops serving under him. The right hon. Baronet protested most strongly, and he had no doubt most sincerely, against the idea of being actuated by any party motive, or of intending to cast any reflection on the policy of the Cabinet which had preceded that to which he then belonged. The course taken by the Government had been imputed to their wish to cast a slur on the policy of Mr. Canning, and on the Treaty, which, in fact, led to the battle, the right hon. Baronet protested against this as a most unfounded imputation. He had no wish, he said, to question the brilliancy of the action in which Sir E. Codrington commanded, neither did he desire to cast any imputation on his discretion, or the manner in which he had fought the battle, nor did he say that*See Hansard, New Series, p. 392 & 397, Vol. xviii.542 he ought to have avoided the accident. He resisted the Vote simply on the importance of adhering to the general rule, that when war had not been declared, the Thanks of the House ought not to be given. He gave the right hon. Baronet the fullest credit for sincerity in making that statement, but he must be allowed to ask him whether that general rule was of less importance now than then? How was it, then, that he now came forward to propose this Vote of Thanks, when he found Sir C. Napier, in his dispatch of the 27th of December, stating,—War has not been declared, nor do I think it necessary to declare it.When, on looking over these papers, he could find no trace of war having been declared, it did appear to him, that the present case fell most fitly and most completely within the rule laid down by the right hon. Baronet. [Sir R. Peel: the rule has been disregarded since the period referred to by the noble Lord.] He had no doubt, that the right hon. Baronet would be able to prove that the wholesome technical rule to which he had alluded had unfortunately been broken in upon of late years. But what be wished to show was, that an acquiescence in this Vote of Thanks would involve a violation, not merely of the technical rule, but of the salutary and important principle on which that technical rule was founded—a principle of policy, in his opinion, most wise and most becoming. What was the ground taken by Mr. Huskisson?Beware," he said, "how you give to officers in command of your fleets and armies the temptation of high honours for successes in cases of accidental encounters. Beware bow you give them an expectation of high professional honours, lest you should bias their minds and render those encounters less unfrequent than they would otherwise be.Such was the real substance of the argument of Mr. Huskisson, in which he entirely concurred. Not that he believed for a moment that any officer would deliberately engage in what he knew to be an unnecessary action, thus incurring the guilt of wanton bloodshed, merely for the purpose of obtaining honours for himself; but he knew that men's minds were so strangely constituted that, in doubtful and difficult cases, the best and wisest men were liable to be unconsciously biased and influenced by the promptings of self-interest and ambition—a fact borne out by all history and all experience. If, then, this principle was 543 applicable to the case referred to by Mr. Huskisson, why was it not equally applicable to the present occasion? It was Sir Charles Napier who had to determine whether military operations should be undertaken or not. It depended on his conduct towards the Ameers whether a collision should happen. He had great military means at his disposal, with instructions if possible to obtain what was necessary for the honour and safety of the country without having recourse to arms. He trusted none of them were so enamoured of military glory—so intoxicated with success, as not deeply to regret that Sir C. Napier failed to accomplish his object by peaceable means. He trusted that all deplored, as a great calamity, even the brilliant victories of Meeanee and Hyderabad—brilliant as they were—when they thought upon the frightful bloodshed by which they were purchased, and that they all united in the wish, that what was really necessary could have been obtained without having this price to pay for it. But if so—if this were really the view they took of what had happened, let them so act on the present occasion as to render the recurrence of such calamities less probable. Let them look at the state of circumstances in India, and reflect that it had frequently in times past been found necessary, and that it was probable it often would be so in future in that part of our dominions, to entrust the conduct of negotiations to generals commanding large armies, instructed to obtain by pacific means, if possible, if not by force, objects considered essential for our safety or our interest. Could it be doubted, that a brave and enterprising general, conscious of high military talents, which he panted for an opportunity to display, surrounded by officers all animated by the same spirit, commanding a gallant and eager army, in which he placed implicit confidence; was it in human nature that such a man, placed in such circumstances, treating with oriental rulers with whom treachery, deceit, and procrastination were habitual, finding negotiations drawing out to an apparently interminable length—was it possible that such a man so circumstanced, should not feel a strong disposition to cut the Gordian knot of such interminable negotiations with the sword, rather than to await their disentanglement by patience and forbearance? Knowing the strong passion for military glory which burned in the breast of the soldier, could it be doubted that the position of a 544 general so placed must be one of great difficulty and temptation, and that he must have a strong bias towards a recourse to arms. That bias it would be most unwise to encrease, by departing from the salutary rule hitherto adhered to, and holding out to a general placed in so trying a situation, the prospect of one of the highest professional honours, if failing in negotiations, he should prove successful in arms. The principle involved was precisely that maintained by Mr. Huskisson, he would, therefore, adopt his language, merely substituting the words "unsuccessful negotiations" for the word "accident," and say, be cautious how you create a precedent of thanking commanders in events growing out of unsuccessful negotiations, lest officers, looking at the signal benefit conferred on them by receiving such a Vote of Thanks, should cherish too easy a disposition to create such failures in negotiations, and thus lead to consequences which the country may long have to regret. He maintained, that the argument applied with increased force to the case under discussion; because the occurrence of such cases in Europe between the fleets of civilised powers was comparatively rare, while in India, where it was constantly necessary to intrust the conduct of negotiations to generals in the command of armies, such cases were, and were likely to continue, of frequent occurrence. He must confess, that this question derived additional importance from what passed on a former evening. The words which fell from, the right hon. Baronet in the course of the debate which took place last week, t made it peculiarly imperative on the House to beware how they did anything which I would tend in the remotest degree to enourage for the future in India a system of unscrupulous aggrandisement. He alluded to the declaration of the right hon. Baronet opposite, which he had heard with no less concern than was at the time expressed by his noble Friend near him (Lord J. Russel), a declaration which the right hon. Baronet's explanation seemed to him to have left substantially unaltered, that there t existed "an uncontrollable principle," the effect of which was the absorption by civilized states of their more barbarous neighbours; and that the laws of nations, such as they were in Europe, which, in his opinion, as in that of his noble Friend, were at least sufficiently lax, could not in practice be strictly observed in India. That was a doctrine against which he felt called upon most a decidedly to protest. He certainly was not 545 before aware that the eternal rules of right and wrong depended on place and varied with latitude and longitude. He for one could not think that this "uncontrollable principle," as it was called, ought to be regarded with favour; nor did he find that they were in the habit of so regarding it, when appealed to by other nations as an excuse for their aggressions. He doubted whether this "uncontrollable principle" would be considered in this country a sufficient justification of the encroachments of Russia on her semi-barbarous neighbours, or of French conquest in Africa. He was inclined to think, that if the latter power, urged by this 'uncontrollable principle," should proceed by degrees to extend French dominion over the whole northern coast of Africa, the Cabinet of which the right hon. Baronet was at the head, would think themselves warranted in interfering. He repeated, therefore, that he protested against this doctrine which the right hon. Baronet had so incautiously promulgated—for he attributed it to nothing but want of caution on the part of the right hon. Baronet—a want of caution undoubtedly most unpardonable in his situation, and which, in his opinion, made it still more incumbent on the House, than it otherwise would have been, to beware how they departed from the old and recognised practice of Parliament in such cases, lest they should encourage a repetition of such scenes as those which had lately occurred in Scinde. He believed that by giving this Vote of Thanks, they would be teaching military and naval officers that when they are engaged in negotiations, if by their own conduct these negotiations should fail, and conflicts unfortunately result, they had only to succeed—they had only to display valour when the contest actually came, and that House and the country would not scrutinise with very close eyes the justice of the means by which that conflict was produced. He, for one, looked with feelings of anything but satisfaction even on those brilliant battles of Meanee and Hyderabad, brilliant as undoubtedly they were in a military point of view. He could not help fearing that in the eyes of the Almighty they were stained with the guilt of unnecessary and wanton bloodshed, and he believed that, if they thanked those by whom these battles were fought, a portion of that guilt would fall on their heads. At all events, even admitting that the past was beyond their power, the future, at least, was in some degree within their control. By withholding 546 this Vote of Thanks, he believed, they had it in their power to read a great and useful moral lesson to those who in future might be entrusted with the command of our fleets and armies, and to those in whose hands were placed the destinies of India. These were the views and sentiments which be assured the House he had not lightly adopted, nor willingly obtruded on the House; for he had felt it a most painful task to state the reasons which had brought him to the conclusion that the present proposition ought not to receive the assent of the House. He must confess that it was not without great hesitation that he had made up his mind to abstain from taking that course which, following the precedent of Mr. Huskisson, he had originally proposed to himself—namely, to move the previous question, and take the sense of the House. Such was the course which he had in the first instance been inclined to adopt; and had he entertained the remotest hope of securing the concurrence of the House, he undoubtedly would have moved that amendment. Such, however, he knew was not the feeling of the majority; and, although he should not allow such a consideration to deter him from doing what he regarded as his duty, still he did not wish to provoke division upon a question on which it would be invidious to divide. He trusted, that by stating thus fully his sentiments, he had sufficiently discharged his own conscience; and, having done so, he left the matter in their hands without proposing any amendment.
Mr. V. Smith
fully participated in the admiration which had been expressed at the valour and skill which had been displayed in the recent military achievements in Scinde. Those achievements could be best appreciated from the fact that our brave troops had fought one against ten, odds which were proverbial as a test of extraordinary prowess. Entertaining these sentiments in regard to the military exploits of our officers and soldiers, however, he felt bound to say that he agreed in the spirit of the principle laid down by his noble Friend who had just spoken. At the same time, he was glad that his noble Friend had not moved any amendment. The fact was, he believed that the blaze of martial glory which had attended the arms of Sir C. Napier and his gallant band had blinded the reason of many Gentlemen to the essential points in the diplomatic conduct of that gallant commander. If the political conduct of Sir C. Napier had been 547 mixed up in the Vote, he should certainly have felt it his duty to vote against it. This had not been done, however; although the right hon. Baronet had felt obliged to allude indirectly to the subject, which was so united with the military conduct, in the course of his speech. He was the more anxious on this subject on account of the dangerous and detestable principles laid down by the right hon. Baronet the other evening when an army of exercise was stationed at Gwalior, and the policy which seemed to be plotting there, threatened our Indian dominion with new events of the same kind. With regard to the subject immediately before the House, he must say that there was a public servant connected with these transactions to whom he thought justice had not been done by the House or the country. He alluded to Major Outram, and he was sorry the right hon. Baronet, who made this motion, and who, he was certain, must have admired the conduct of that gallant officer, had not, in the course of his speech, taken any opportunity of expressing such a sentiment. Looking at the papers, too, which had been laid before the House, he regretted to be obliged to observe that Major Outram had not been fairly dealt with in them. There were three grounds, generally, upon which he complained of the manner in which Major Outram had been treated in these papers. The first complaint he had was against the foot notes, very racy and familiar in their style, being produced appended to the reports of an inferior officer, that officer being a commissioner; and he believed that the Government greatly mistook the character of Sir Charles Napier if they thought he would have wished for their production. The second complaint was with regard to an important letter, inclosed in another, and which the writer wished should not be published without alteration; yet this letter had been published in its original form. The third was, that there were found in the letter of Sir C. Napier extracts, purporting to be from a letter of Major Outram, which did not appear when the letter itself was produced, but were, for reasons best known to the Government, excluded from that document when it was laid before the House in the first series of papers on the subject of these transactions. These three instances he charged as specific cases of interference, to the prejudice of Major Outram, in the production of the papers. And this injustice formed the ground which had induced him to express his feelings as to 548 the conduct of that gallant officer, and his regret that his name had not somehow been introduced. He was aware that if Major Outram was to be regarded simply as a civil or a diplomatic agent, it would be, in point of form, improper to introduce as his name in a Vote like the present. Still he thought a circumstance had occurred which the Government might have seized, as affording them an opportunity to express its sense to the House of the services performed by that gallant individual—he alluded to an exploit than which nothing more chivalrous or gallant had marked the services of the army in India, at Meanee, Hyderabad, or anywhere—viz., the defence by Major Outram, of the residency. The very high sense in which Sir C. Napier held that exploit was shown by one of his letters, in which he stated that it was his intention to write a book on the defence of outworks, and that he should deduce his at evidence from the circumstances of the defence of the Hyderabad residency by Major Outram. No greater proof of the ability s, and skill displayed by that officer could be required. He thought that there was an opening for some deviation from the usual course in the present case. Far was it from his intention to undervalue the important services which had been performed n by Sir C. Napier, or to detract from the consummate skill and ability which he had displayed throughout; but it must be remembered that Sir C. Napier had risked his life, and the lives of his soldiers, as soldiers ought to do, in war; but Major Outram risked his life in endeavouring to preserve peace, and by determining to act within the spirit of the instructions he had received; for if Major Outram had given notice that Roostum Khan was likely to be restored, he knew that the Ameers would have endeavoured to prevent the Beloochees, and war would have followed. Major Outram having his instructions, narrowed and limited as they were—much more so he must say then they ought to have been—properly refused to exceed them in the slightest degree, and by doing so, he incurred the greatest danger to himself. He thought, therefore, that Major Outram was entitled to the highest praise for having, in the execution of his orders, and in his desire to maintain peace, risked his own life in behalf of his country.
§ Sir H. Hardinge
said, as it was not the intention of the noble Lord to divide the House, he should not interpose between what he hoped would be the unanimous 549 Vote of the House more than a few moments; but he could not avoid referring to some observations of the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, in which, in speaking of Major Outram's brilliant action in defending the residency, he had, he thought, furnished a complete answer to the assertion of the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, that there had been no declaration of war to justify Sir Chas. Napier in the attack he made on the Ameers at Meanee. The attack on the residency was in itself a declaration of war, and not only a declaration of war, but the commencement of hostilities by the enemy. And, again, had not that battle resulted from the fact that several of the Ameers had combined to take part against Sir Charles Napier? As to there having been no actual declaration of war, he might refer to numerous cases in which hostilities had been commenced without any previous declaration of war, but in which the hostile acts of the enemy were so apparent, that there could be no doubt that war was intended; and could any man contend that Sir C. Napier, under the circumstances in which he found himself placed in regard to the force opposed to him, was not fully justified in the attack he made? The noble Lord had admitted, that the advice given by Major Outram previous to the battle of Meanee was wrong, and that Sir C. Napier had acted rightly in not following it, and agreeing in so much of what the noble Lord had stated, he must say, that Sir C. Napier had shown great moral courage and decision of character in determining, contrary to the advice of the political agent, to attack the Ameers. He was glad to hear that the noble Lord did not intend to divide the House against the Vote, and he was sure the noble Lord was sincere when he said it was with great pain he made the observations he had addressed to them; and believing this, he must say, that he had never heard a speech of the noble Lord's with greater pain, for if there was one man more than another who was distinguished for his humanity and generosity of spirit, that man was his friend Sir C. Napier. For several years of his life it had been his great pleasure and happiness to serve with that brave and gallant officer. A braver man did not exist—his courage was proverbial in the army—courage was the characteristic of his race, and in every action in which he had been engaged, he had come out of the field with honour. And as to the case which was 550 now more especially under notice of the House, viz., the military exploits of Sir C. Napier in Scinde, it was that consummate ability with which he had devised his plan of operations, the skill with which his troops were brought into action, and the irresistible ardour and gallantry with which he carried out his plans, were points peculiarly deserving their attention; and as to those points, let them look to the opinions of the army he commanded, and they would find that there was not a man in it who did not attribute the success which had attended their arms to the master mind of their general. It was the feeling of every one, that but for him the battle would have been lost, and throughout the whole of these transactions Sir C. Napier had shown the very highest qualifications, both as a general and a soldier, sharing all the privations and all the dangers of the field and of the march; on the day of battle he was the first man in the saddle and the last man out of it; and though he was upwards of sixty-two years of age, it was mainly owing to the great skill, the indefatigable zeal, and the untiring courage of that extraordinary man, that he had been able to accomplish and bring to a successful and brilliant result a series of operations which might have been found too difficult for many a younger man. When at Emaum Ghur after a forced march, he himself placed two pieces of artillery in a position to act against the fortress, an act which would require the exertions of a young man of great physical strength. It showed, that he was capable of almost any effort. Sir Charles Napier knew from experience that he failed to deprive the enemy of that resource the Ameers might have gone into the Desert, when they could have defied the British power, and if he had delayed many hours longer in his attack, he knew also, that he should not be able to accomplish it at all. The conduct, therefore, of Sir C. Napier, in every instance in which it could be brought before the public, reflected upon that gallant officer, the highest credit in a military point of view. Then the humane and generous feelings with which he was actuated, were sufficiently apparent in his despatches.It gives me great satisfaction, (said Sir C. Napier), to say that some prisoners have been taken; and, though the number is small, it is still some advance towards a civilised mode of warfare; for I cannot help thinking that the desperate resistance generally made by wounded Beloochees has arisen from their own sys- 551 tem of warfare, which admits of no quarter being given in action. We are at present employed in collecting the wounded Beloochees within our reach, in order to give them medical assistance.This was the way in which Sir Charles Napier, combined with great courage and consummate military skill, all the attributes of a Christian general. With reference to the attack at Meanee, he thought that officer, having the safety and honour of the entire army to maintain, his deciding to attack the enemy against the advice of Major Outram, was one of the brightest features in the whole transaction. Had he delayed the attack but a few hours, it is probable he would have been surrounded by a force twice as great as that he had then to contend with; and there was also this distinction between the two actions—that of Meanee and that of Hyderabad—as showing that in respect to the first not an hour was to be lost—viz., that in that Sir C. Napier had not 2,800, as had been stated, but scarcely 2,300 men under his command; while at Hyderabad he was strengthened by reinforcements from Bombay and from Sukkur, and knowing that he had 5,000 men in the field, he could afford to wait and encourage the enemy to approach almost to his encampment, for he knew that by that means he would draw them from their position, and, by making the victory more complete, in all probability at once terminate the war. Under all the circumstances—looking at the brilliant manner in which Sir Charles Napier had distinguished himself on every occasion—whether acting as general officer in Scinde, or in earlier life in a subordinate capacity—he would say that there was no man who more richly deserved the approbation and thanks of that House and of his country. It was impossible to say what new fortune might attend that distinguished and gallant officer, or what new services he might be called on to perform, surrounded as he was by great difficulties, from the nature of the country in which he was engaged, and more especially from the nature of the climate; but possessing the confidence of Lord Ellenborough, the Governor-general, the confidence of his army, and animated by the unanimous Vote of Thanks which that House was about to confer upon him, he was sure that the honour and safety of the army could not be placed in more able or better hands.
§ Mr. Mangles
, in the few observations which he felt it to be his duty to address 552 to the House, should confine himself to those points in Sir Charles Napier's conduct which, looking at the papers on the table, seemed to require some explanation. It had been stated, in the course of the debate on Thursday last, that Sir Charles Napier had acted in strict accordance with the instructions he had received from the Governor-general; that he had been merely the instrument of Lord Ellenborough; and if this had been so, the Vote of Thanks being confined to the military conduct of the General,—he should certainly not have opposed that Vote. But that could not be considered as the true state of the case; for the papers on the table—from which alone the House could judge—showed, as it appeared to him, that the line of policy taken by Sir C. Napier in one most important particular, had not received the previous sanction of the Governor-general, and had, in fact, nothing to do with British interests; and to that line of policy was to be attributed the war which had taken place, and what he feared. would be its fatal consequences. The hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of the Board of Control, had said, during the recent debate, that there had been no remonstrance made by the Ameers against the terms of the Treaty between them and the Government of India, and that they had not protested against any demand made by the Governor-general under that Treaty to protect British interests. And this was true. Then, what had occasioned the war and the battles for which the House had now to give Thanks? It was the policy which had been undertaken by Sir C. Napier without previous authority from Lord Ellenborongh, though that policy was afterwards confirmed by Lord Ellenborough's approbation. It was easy to prove that the war did not result from any of the demands embodied in the Treaty. In page 503 of the first Blue Book, they found Major Outram's account of the conference that took place, and there it appearedThat the Ameers denied the charges on which the new Treaty was imposed, but still (said they) we will subscribe it and the Ameers of Upper Scinde will also subscribe to it, on one condition—i. e., that Meer Roostum be restored to his rights.And on the following day, a long discussion took place between Major Outram and the Ameers, not as to the terms of the Treaty, but on the subject of Meer Roostum's restoration (the Beloochees having in 553 the meantime assumed a threatening attitude.) The Ameers on that occasiob urcred—At least give us some pledge that justice shall be done, by which the Ameers may endeavour to allay the excitement of the people, and persuade them to disperse—we fear it will be impossible, but their Highnesses will try once more, if you will authorize them to hold out hopes of the ultimate restoration of their lands which have been made over to Ali Moorad.And then they asked that the Khyrpore Ameers might be allowed to settle their own affairs with Ali Moorad, without the interference of the British resident. It was shown clearly by the papers, that the outbreak eventually took place because the Ameers had not been able to satisfy their troops upon this point; and he could prove, that Sir C. Napier had no previous authority from Lord Ellenborough to urge that point, and that he had done so on his own responsibility. The war resulted solely on account of the transfer of the turban, or chiefship among the chiefs of Upper Scinde from Meer Roostum to Ali Moorad. This was Sir C. Napier's doing. In No. 409, page 478, Sir Charles writes—I had a secret message from Meer Roostum. The bearer had an open letter in the usual unmeaning style of the Durbar; but the messenger privately informed Lieutenant Brown that Roostum could do nothing, and would escape to my camp. I did not like this, as it would have embarrassed me very much how to act; but the idea struck me at once that he might go to Ali Moorad, who might induce him as (a family arrangement) to resign the turban to him (Ali Moorad), especially as Roostum has long been desirous of getting rid of this charge of the Talpoors. I therefore secretly wrote to Roostum and Ali Moorad, and about one o'clock this morning I had an express from Ali Moorad, to say that his brother is safe with him.He was, however, at a loss to see how it could have embarrassed the gallant Genneral that this principal chief of his opponents should fly to his camp, provided the gallant officer wished to avoid war. In page 483, in writing to the Governor-general he said further:—This conviction opened upon me a system, which appears the only one to follow—making the chief powerful, and holding him under the power of the Government. This made me venture to promise Ali Moorad your Lordship's support in having the turban, which your Lordship has approved of. The next step was to secure him the exercise of its power now, even during his brother's life. 554 This I was so fortunate to succeed in, by persuading Meer Roostum to place himself in Ali Moorad's hands.From these passages, and others which he might quote, (the House would mark the word "persuading" in the last extract), it was quite apparent that it was by the advice of Sir Charles Napier himself that Meer Roostum had placed himself in his brother's hands. There was also another series of declarations, equally clear, made by the gallant General, in which he denied that he had advised the old man, as he called him, to place himself in his brother's hands, and the discrepancy between the two statements he was most anxious to have cleared up; for until it was so he did not see how he could consent to this Vote of Thanks. In page 32 of the Blue book, Sir C. Napier, in writing to Major outram, said—Roostum's plea of being sent to Ali Moorad by me is a shallow affair. He went contrary to my advice, and now wants to make out that he acted by it.And in page 29 of the same book, in a note to a letter of Major Outram's in reference to the transfer of the province of Upper Scinde, Sir C. Napier remarked—It was the positive act of Meer Roostum, without my connivance or even knowledge till it was done," though be bad actually, as stated in other papers, advised him to surrender the turban. Again, in page 20, they would find the following note—These statements the House would see were directly opposite to the former extracts he had quoted from the correspondence of the same gallant officer in reference to the transfer of the turban. Then as to the flight of Meer Roostum, there were equal inconsistencies in Sir C. Napier's despatches. In page 485 of the old book, in communicating to the Governor-general that Meer Roostum had fled, it was stated—1. The giving lands to the turban was an act of the Talpoor family's own doing; we had no hand in this division, or in the transfer of the turban.And now, my Lord, I have to tell you that Meer Roostum has decamped yesterday morning. I met Ali Moorad the night before, and desired him to say that I would pay my respects to his highness the next day, and the next day I heard of his flight, I can only account for this in one of two ways.This communication was dated December 29; and again on the 17th of January Sir C. Napier, writing to the Governor-general, stated—
- "1. Meer Roostum, who is a timid man, and has all along fancied that I want to make him prisoner, believed that the time for this
555 step had arrived, and that his brother and I were about to execute our conspiracy against him, or,
- "2. That Ali Moorad drove his brother to this step. Meer Roostum had resigned the turban to his brother Ali in the most formal manner, writing his resignation in the Koran."That the old man, Meer Roostum, (who it seems had been persuaded by Ali Moorad that I meant to imprison him for life, and who was perfectly exhausted by his flight), might return to Khyrpore, and live anywhere he pleased as a simple Ameer.In both those communications it was asserted, as no doubt, was the case, that Meer Roostum had fled, from the fear of the treatment he might experience from Sir C. Napier, whose disposition and intentions towards him had been misrepresented by his brother Ali Moored, where all aim was to terrify him out of his privileges and power as the principal chief of Upper Scinde. He would now turn the attention of the House to Sir C. Napier's proclamation on the flight of the old man, which would be found in pages 6 and 7 of the new book; and it was to be remarked that that proclamation was issued on the 1st of January, between the dates of the two letters from which he had quoted.Camp, near Khyrpore, Jan. 1, 1843.Ameers, and People of Scinde,His Highness the Ameer Roostum Khan sent a secret messenger to me to say, that he was in the hands of his family, and could not act as his feelings of friendship for the English nation prompted him to do, and that if I would receive him he would escape and come to my camp. I answered his highness that I would cettainly receive him, but that my advice was for him to consult with his brother, the Ameer Ali Moorad Khan. He took my advice; he went to the fort of Dejee to his brother. When I heard of this I was glad, for I thought that Scinde would be tranquil; that his highness would spend his last days in honour and in peace. I moved with my troops towards Khyrpore to force his violent family to disperse the wild bands that they had collected. I sent his highness word that I should visit him; I wanted to ask his advice as to the arrangements for the new treaty. I thought that he had again become the friend of the Government that I serve. That night I heard that he had solemnly conferred upon his brother, the Ameer Ali Moorad, the turban of command over the Talpoor family, which brother is their heir to that honour. I thought this a very wise proceeding, 556 and it added to my desire to meet his highness that I might hear from his own lips all these things, and report the same to the Governor-general, being assured that these acts of his highness would recover for him the good opinion and friendship of the Governor-general of India. My feelings towards his highness were those of friendship, honour, and peace. I even advised his highness's brother, the Ameer Ali Moorad, not to accept the turban; but to assist his brother, the chief, in the care of government. I laboured for the honour of the Talpoor family. What then was my astonishment to find that, when I expected to meet the Ameer Roostum Khan, I heard that his highness had departed from the roof of his brother; thus insulting and defying the Governor-general, whose commander I am. But my surprise is greatly increased by hearing that his highness has joined his family with their armed bands, who have cut off our communications, and stopped our mails. These things have surprised me, but my course is plain, and thus I publish it to the country that all may know it, and conduct themselves accordingly. I will, according to the existing treaty, protect the chief, Ameer Ali Moorad, in his rights, as the justly constituted chieftain of the Talpoor family. God willing, I mean to march into the Desert. I will disperse the armed bands that have stopped our mails. I will place the killadars of the chief, Ali Moorad, in command of every fort, and I will act towards the Ameers of Hyderabad as I shall find their conduct may deserve.It was his (Mr. Mangles's) opinion that without resorting to war the Ameers would—not willingly perhaps—but that under the fear of the approach of our superior force they would have submitted to the whole of our demands; and, therefore, that the war might have been avoided. It was his opinion also that it was the conduct of Sir Charles Napier that brought matters to that crisis at which war was inevitable, to that crisis from which his genius and valour extricated himself and his troops; and, therefore, unless it could be shown that I that officer had not done this, and that the negotiations on the points of difference could not have been brought to a successful issue, except by cutting the Gordian knot with the sword, he should feel it to be his duty to vote against the motion of the right hon. Baronet.
§ Sir H. Douglas
thought that the speech of the right hoe. Baronet, and the response of the noble Lord, the Member for London, ought to have induced the passing of this Vote of Thanks unanimously, and by acclamation, in which case, he (Sir H. Douglas) would not have trespassed on the time of the House. Sir C. Napier 557 and himself were old comrades. They had been long connected by professional relations as well as private friendship, and although be regretted, that the noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland, did not intend a division, he should have thought it his duty to throw out observations to depreciate the value of the Vote in the estimation of the gallant officer for whom it was designed. He wished to make a few remarks on the speech of the noble Lord, as well as that of the hon. Gentlemen who spoke last. The House should remember, that Sir Charles Napier did not take charge of the army in Scinde until the 17th of October, and that when his position was considered, it would be most unfair to entangle him with any transactions which had previously taken place. It was not for him (Sir C. Napier) to discuss the policy of the Treaty of 1839, when his duty was of a different nature, but at all events, it was clear, that by the Treaty of 1839 the confederacy of the Ameers was virtually dissolved. That Treaty divided the great drama which was before the House into two periods, one period including the operations before the Treaty, and the other embracing those operations which took place subsequently to it. Sir Charles Napier was sent at the head of the troops into Scinde, to carry into effect, and if necessary, to enforce that Treaty. He had accordingly a conference with the Ameers on assuming the command of the army, and reported after that conference, that the Ameers were not acting loyally—that they had been guilty of several violations of the Articles of the Treaty. The duty of enforcing the observance of the Treaty, if such a course were found to be necessary, was the justification of the line of conduct which he (Sir C. Napier) subsequently adopted; and in fact, he would, in the discharge of that duty, have been justified by the mere circumstance of the Ameers having confederated in violation and defiance of the Treaty to attack and disperse them. Having shown that Sir Charles Napier was justified in the line of conduct which he had adopted by the Treaty of 1839, he (Sir H. Douglas) should add his testimony, as a military man, to the gallant achievements of Sir Charles Napier. If that gallant officer had acted upon the advice of Major Outram, and delayed his operations for a longer time, the result must have been most disastrous. He had al- 558 ready delayed his operations for three days—he saw that the object of the Ameers was to gain time, and add to their military force, and he accordingly refused to agree to the repeated solicitations of Major Outram for any further delay. So plainly did Sir Charles Napier see the designs of the Ameers, and so well did he understand the difficulties in which Major Outram himself would be placed by those designs, that although Major Outram continued to assure Sir Charles Napier that he (Major Outran) was in no danger, yet the gallant officer furnished him with men, a company of the gallant 22nd, to defend the British residency. Subsequent events proved how correct the views of Sir Charles Napier were, for Major Outram, in a few days after, wrote a letter on board the Phoenix steamer, stating, that notwithstanding his former opinions of the Ameers, their highnesses had commenced hostilities by attacking and driving him out of his residency. He (Sir H. Douglas) was of opinion, that Major Outram deserved the highest character for the bravery and skill with which he defended himself when he was attacked—Major Outram made a splendid defence of the residency; but passing from the military to the civil conduct of those proceedings, he should repeat, that grateful and thankful should we be that Sir Charles Napier had the moral courage of not acting upon the advice of Major Outram. If Sir Charles Napier had taken a different course, there might have been, instead of that brilliant victory, a repetition of those calamities which had befallen another of our armies. He (Sir H. Douglas) hoped he might be permitted to bear this testimony as a military man to the character of the gallant General, of whom he had been an old associate, and in whom he had long since perceived those high qualities which justified him in anticipating, that whenever the fitting opportunity occurred, his career would be one of no ordinary description. At the first of those actions to which reference had been so often made, the gallant General had no means of securing a reserve, for every bayonet he had was required for the action, so that he could not make that provision of a reserve for any disaster, and under those circumstances the formation of his force was such as to secure for them all the advantages which could be derived from the most enlightened mili- 559 tary skill. The mode in which he formed his force and gained that victory was most scientific—the combinations perfect; he opened with a destructive fire of artillery, bringing up his infantry immediately into a desperate conflict, and then supporting those movements with his cavalry. Such was the valour of his enemies, and such their numbers, that if Sir Charles Napier had adopted any system of operations which would have enabled the barbarians in his front to stand against him for any time—if he had not shaken them at first by his artillery, and followed it up with a charge of cavalry, the results might have been very different indeed. Meeanee and Hyderabad were most brilliant victories, such as were not exceeded in the valour or skill displayed by the actions of the gallant Clive, when he laid the foundation of our political and military power in India. The services of Sir Charles Napier would not be outshone by the Cornwallises the Moiras, the Wellesleys—nay, they would bear comparison with the achievements of the "hero of a hundred fights" himself. In three-quarters of a century the military prowess of England raised up and secured that empire which now contains 100,000,000 of inhabitants, of an extent as great as from Sicily to Smolensko, and which, in breadth, forms a considerable portion of the quadrant of the earth. That mighty empire has been raised within a hundred years by military prowess. He forbore to go into the policy in which these proceedings originated, but he should remark that neither the enterprise nor the industry of England could have secured that empire if it had not been for British force and valour. Thus has the British empire been raised, thus only can it be maintained. The recent brilliant achievements of Sir Charles Napier secured our power in that part of the world, and in the manner in which those operations were conducted, they would bear comparison even with the achievements of the "hero of the hundred fights" in that country.
§ Mr. Hawes
without entering into the question of the general policy pursued respecting Scinde, would follow the example of his noble Friend near him, in not shrinking from expressing to the House and to the country his feelings with respect to the motion for a Vote of Thanks to Sir Charles Napier. He undertook to say, that for this Vote of Thanks there 560 was no precedent. At the time that Scinde was invaded we were not at war. There had been no declaration of war. We committed the first aggression. Our attack upon a fort in Scinde was the first act of open aggression. In disapproving of these actions he did not wish to detract from the military merit of Sir Chas Napier; and if he thought that he was called upon merely to agree in a Vote of is Thanks to him as an officer for purely military exploits, he would have no hesitation in agreeing to such a Vote. But; it must be recollected, that Sir Charles Napier had been invested with supreme id authority in Scinde. The country had been placed entirely under military control, and Sir C. Napier made responsible for any act committed under his orders. The diplomatic agents, whose opinions and advice usually had some influence with military men, had been all removed? and Major Outram was placed entirelyy under the command of Sir Charles Napier. He thought, that upon looking at the course pursued by Major Outram, if advice had been acted upon, the battles of Hyderabad and Meeanee would never have been fought. It was no defence for Sir Charles Napier to say, that when he was placed in a certain position, it was necessary to fight. The question was, how he came into that situation. Under all the circumstances of the case, he considered that Sir Charles Napier must be measured in reference to his political as well as to his military policy; and he thought it would be a dangerous precedent were the House to pass a Vote of Thanks to a military man, who, having under him the entire civil as well as military command, might place his troops it in such a situation that fighting became inevitable, and who, in doing so, could not but feel that he was placed in this position—that he would receive no Vote of Thanks for pursuing a peaceful policy; if, however, he commenced a war, and it brought it to a successful termination he would receive the highest honour that House could confer on him. He thought the House was becoming too prone to confer Thanks for military services. Formerly it was usual only to confer that honour upon the conductor of a series of operations extending over many years, but more latterly it had been the custom to vote the Thanks of the House to the achievers of single exploits—a practice, as 561 he thought, in some measure tending to diminish the value of the honour. He repeated, that in Sir C. Napier's case, his military could not be separated from his civil policy. From the correspondence before the House, he believed, that it had been the intention of Sir C. Napier to carry on the negotiations by force. On the 17th of October, 1842, he found him writing to the Governor-general in the following terms:—Several Ameers have broken the Treaty in various instances stated in the accompanying return of complaints' against them. I have maintained that we want only a fair pretext to coerce the Ameers, and I think the various acts recorded in the return give abundant reason," &c.Here, then, it was assumed, that because the Ameers had violated a Treaty (which we had been the first to break) we were justified in looking for a pretext to coerce them. If the House of Commons sanctioned a Vote of Thanks upon these grounds, he thought they would be sanctioning a very dangerous principle—that of a commander-in-chief setting aside the ordinary means of diplomacy, and resorting to the sword, and would be giving a dangerous pre-eminence to ideas of war and blood in preference to those of a more mild and peaceful policy. He found it also stated in the instructions drawn up for the guidance of Major Outram by Sir Charles Napier, that the question he was to urge to the Ameers was whether or not they would accept of the Treaty; as in case they did not assent, the army would immediately advance. Was not this a rather unusual course in diplomacy—this entering the country of an ally who had committed no aggression against us—this placing our negotiator in the shape of a general officer, and telling him to say, "Accept or not: if you refuse, our army shall advance?" Was any exploit, however brilliant in a military point of view, to sanction such a course of procedure, a course which would enable any future Governor-general of India to set aside every political agent and make every question turn on the power of our arms? Under the impression, therefore, that Sir Charles Napier had forced on the war which had occasioned the actions for which they were called upon to thank him, and that any such Vote would be a dangerous precedent to sanction, he would conclude by expressing his concurrence in the views of 562 the noble Lord (Viscount Howick) near him.
§ Sir C. Napier
said, he rose under no ordinary feelings to return his thanks to the right hon. Baronet for the very eloquent manner in which he had brought forward the services of his gallant relative, and for the honour he had also done him, in having spoken of him in terms which he had no right to expect. The right hon. Baronet had mentioned the services of his gallant relative, beginning at the battle of Corunna, and following up the whole with his services in Scinde; but he was ignorant of some other services which his gallant relative had also performed, and he hoped the House would permit him to mention them, as they were to the honour and credit of that gallant officer. At the battle of Corunna it was perfectly notorious, that whilst leading on the 50th regiment in the front of the battle, the great general under whom he was brought up, Sir John Moore, said to Napier and his friend Major Stanhope, "Well done, my majors!" The very expression of "my majors" would have stamped them as heroes at once. At the head of his regiment Napier advanced—it was the first time he had seen an action, or heard the fire of an enemy in his life—he advanced at the head of his men, leading them on with the greatest possible coolness. Something occurred to impede them—he was surrounded by French troops—received a cut on the head with a saber—was stabbed in the back with a bayonet—a bullet went through his leg, and two of his ribs were broken by a cannon-ball. "I think (said the gallant Officer) that was a dose enough to settle any man." He was taken to the quarters of those distinguished officers, Marshals Ney and Soult, and nursed, and afterwards they restored him to his family, even without an exchange, and he was sure, that no man in England or France would rejoice more than Marshal Soult, when he heard of the glorious conduct of Major Napier. When he returned to England, his regiment was in Spain under the Duke of Wellington, he obtained permission to go out as an amateur, and was present at the battle of the Passage of the Coa. At the battle of Busaco he was present—he himself was also there as an amateur, and he could not do better than follow the steps of that great man; and his relative in that engagement was shot through the nose, and the ball fell 563 into his jaw—he sank back into his (Sir C. Napier's) arms, and he carried him off the field. He was as brave a man and possessed of as heroic courage as any man that existed in the present day. He remembered, that at the battle of Busaco, Napier was dressed in the red uniform of his regiment—the coat of his staff was blue—he was with the staff—and he (Commodore Napier) cautioned him that he was in a bad position. "Either you or I shall be shot; put on your cloak," he said. "No," was the answer, "I am in the uniform of my regiment, and in it I will stand or fall." He had hardly uttered these words before he was struck. When going off the field, he met the Duke of Wellington; and, though the body was weak, the soldier's mind was firm. He took off his hat, cheered the Duke as he passed, and said, "I cannot die at a better moment." He held him whilst the ball was extracted from his jaw, and though he kicked, he uttered not a word. [Laughter] That might set the House in a laugh, but it had not that effect upon him. After his gallant friend recovered from his wound, the next battle he was in was that of Fuentes d'Onor; then he escaped for once. He then appeared at Cordova—his two brothers were wounded, but he escaped; he received promotion; and his next services were under that great admiral, Sir George Cockburn, off the coast of Spain, when, though there was no regular fighting, as in the rest of Spain, yet very extraordinary and gallant actions were performed. As a civil officer, his services in Cephalonia were a proof; and he fancied that no man had done more for the improvement of the island than Sir C. Napier did, during the time he was there. He did almost more than it was possible for any man to do in so short a time. In the next year he was commanding a district in the north of England, and he thought the noble Lord, who was then Secretary of State for the Home Department, would say, that Radical as his gallant relative was, and he acknowledged himself to be so to a very considerable extent, no man better conducted an army in any district of England, or kept that district more perfectly quiet, at that moment when difficulties were going on—difficulties that might have embarrassed the Government—than his gallant relative. Had he been on the side of the Government, his district could 564 not have been kept more peaceable. They next found him in India, and the right hon. Baronet had so well described his conduct from the time he took the command, that it was necessary for him to say, very little upon the subject. Still he hoped the House would excuse him for dwelling with pleasure and complacency upon the services his gallant relative had performed there, and the manner in which he had executed them. He believed that if any hon. Member read the blue-book then before the House, and looked into the whole of his relative's plans for seizing or surprising Emaum Ghur, he must admit, that the man who could plan all that and execute such an enterprise in a desert, with the loss, he believed, of only six camels, must be a man possessed of very great qualities indeed. They were not entering into the policy of Sir C. Napier and his operations then, he had nothing to do with that policy, but only with his conduct as a general officer commanding an army. If his policy were bad, try him for it, and punish him, if they pleased: but let his conduct as a general officer and that of every man in his army be thanked by every man in that House. He thought it petty, and was sorry the noble Lord had taken the opportunity, not indeed to throw blame upon his gallant relative, but to stir a question against any officer who had performed his duty. The right hon. Baronet said, and said truly, that when the first account of Meeanee came home, Sir C. Napier stated that he had 2,800 men, and the enemy 20,000. The right hon. Baronet also said, that upon reflection and examination into the state of his army, Sir C. Napier found he had only 2,000 men; that might imply 2,000 bayonets, but he had it from his gallant relative himself, that he had 1,700 bayonets only, and that the whole of his army, with officers, amouuted only to 2,000 men. The army of the enemy was stated by him at 22,000 men. Since then another report had come from him stating it at 25,000, but he knew it was not less than 30,000. Whether they looked to ancient or modern times, was there a single instance in which an officer with such a small force had been able to overcome an army of such enormous magnitude as that he had described? and he was sure, that the right hon. Baronet would bear him out when he said, that an officer commanding 565 an army of 20,000 or 30,000 men, and' overpowering a rabble of 200,000 or 300,000, would not be so extraordinary; but under the circumstances he was astonished that the 30,000 had not overcome Sir C. Napier's force, and driven them to—into the Indus. It was one of the most extraordinary things in history; he could not account for it. His gallant relative must himself have shown the most exemplary courage ever shown by man, and when he sent hone, speaking of the Sepoys' behaviour in that gallant manner, and recommending a larger number of officers, and saying that the officers rallied their men, he said nothing of himself—he never said that he was the man who rallied the Sepoys when their ranks were broken. As an old naval officer, a friend of his, used to say, "Where the battle raged there was the chief." At Hyderabad he gained a victory with more facility—then he had 5,000 men, and the enemy 20,000. He had seen a letter from an officer, in which he spoke of his ascending one of the nullahs. The nullah he was in was forty feet broad and seventeen feet deep. His gallant friend rode his horse "Red Rover," and was the second who ascended; but he could not conceive how it was possible that should have been done. The excitement in the men carried even their horses through, and their exertions were even beyond hunting in Leicestershire. Had his gallant friend waited twenty hours longer to have made the attack, he would have been surrounded by 50,000 or 60,000 men. In the correspondence one of the Ameers admitted, that the same evening after the battle, there were 12,000 fresh troops in Hyderabad. That was a sufficient apology, he thought, for his friend in having fought when he did. He most unwillingly must make some observations upon what had fallen from the noble Lord on that side of the House; and he would commence by saying, that he entirely disagreed from him in the position he had taken. The noble Lord said, that the right hon. Baronet, in speaking of the services of Sir C. Napier, had turned off at once and said, that he must have been a diplomatist, because it appeared he corresponded with Major Outram, although he had not followed his advice. He approved as much of his relation's policy as he did of his fighting propensities. He believed it was perfectly clear that his gallant relative went to Scinde by orders 566 from Lord Ellenborough, who gave him certain instructions. If he had not followed out those instructions properly, he presumed that Lord Ellenborough would have found fault with him; but from the blue-book it appeared that Lord Ellenborough entirely approved of his conduct. If, therefore, he was wrong, the blame must go upon Lord Ellenborough, certainly not upon his gallant relation. He believed the right hon. Baronet brought forward his motion to thank his gallant relative and his army for their fighting qualities—in fact, for having gained a great victory; and, whether right or not in his policy, he did not think the House of Commons at that moment had anything to do with it. It would have been wiser on the part of the noble Lord, had he restricted himself entirely to thanking his gallant friend and his army for their military qualities, reserving to himself, when any motion was brought forward on the policy of our conduct to the Ameers of Scinde, the opportunity of entering upon that subject. That was the proper course for the noble Lord, and he should have been happy had the noble Lord taken it. The noble Lord said, the Ameers plotted against us; but to what extent was plotting to go before an officer was to interfere? It was extremely difficult to define the line to which plotting might go without such interference. Were they to plot to cut throats before the troops were assembled? Where was the line to begin for punishment? The noble Lord brought forward Mr. Eastwick. Had that gentleman any command in Scinde, or any responsibility there? It was very easy, when the whole thing was over, to write a letter and say, "If Napier bad done this, things would have been very different." if the whole of their throats had been cut, Mr. Eastwick might still have written a pamphlet, but would be have been brought to a Court-martial? Then the noble Lord spoke of the climate. He should like to know whether any general commanding an army could trust himself, for a single moment, knowing that in three or four days the climate would become so hot as to destroy an entire army? The noble Lord then stepped out of those arguments, and made a comparison between the battles of Hyderabad and Meeanee and that of Navarino, though he should like to know, in the name of God, what comparison there was between them? The noble 567 Lord referred to Navarino, and said there was no Vote of Thanks, because it was accidental. So it was. Sir E. Codrington went into Navarino, thinking he was doing perfectly right. There were ships of four or five different flags; the men were half disciplined, almost barbarians; an accident occurred; a musket was fired, and a general blaze took place. It was perfectly right, therefore, to say it was accidental, but where was the accident at Hyderabad or Meeanee? Was it on our side? Not at all. The Ameers attacked our residency, there was the accident—they came forward to sign the Treaty, and a number of Beloochees not under their control attacked the residency with a very strong force. Major Outram was obliged to retreat after defending himself in the most gallant manner, and arrived at the camp of Sir C. Napier. What was the gallant officer to do? Was he to stand still and look on? The only thing he had to do was to fight, and if he had not done so he ought to have been hanged. The noble Lord said there was no declaration of war; that was the fashion now—they had not declared war with China, and yet they had been fighting there for four or five years. Why was it? Perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer could tell—it was to get money into the Exchequer. But when the Beloochees attacked the residency was not that a declaration of war? If there had been a negotiation with France, and she had sent twenty or thirty steamers to Ireland, would that be a declaration of war or peace? He should think the hon. Gentleman would consider that a declaration of war, or something like it. He had no doubt, that if the noble Lord had been in that residency when it was attacked, he, as a political man, and understanding those things well, would have written to Sir C. Napier saying, "It's high time you should come here to defend me. I am attacked by 8,000 men, and eight pieces of artillery, having only 100 men; the shots are flying about my ears as thick as possible, and I really think its high time you should come and put an end to this business." The noble Lord said, that also great military means were in the power of the general. Great military means! 2,000 men, English and Sepoys, to do what?—to defend themselves against no less than 30,000 men; Great encouragement that for military amateurs! Could any man for a single moment believe that refusing a 568 Vote of Thanks in the House of Commons to an officer who fought 30,000 men with 2,000 would get many amateurs?—after running the risk, too, of getting the whole of their throats cut? The noble Lord said, the general fought to disentangle a great Gordian knot of diplomacy, for that would have been the result of continuing the diplomacy. He said it was much more, likely that it was to prevent getting their throats cut. The noble Lord, who urged the interposition of political agents, then said the thing could have been done well. Let, them see how those things had been done for a great number of years. He had a right to go into that. He had been many years in Her Majesty's service, and he would just go back to Constantinople. They had a diplomatic agent there. A fleet was sent there, but it soon came away with its tail between its legs. Had we not had enough of them in Spain? Let the House read Sir J. Moore's account of the diplomatic agents. What was his opinion of them? Why, he said, "that they knew nothing, and that they I did nothing but get the country into constant scrapes." They were half military men who had forgotten the use of the sword and taken up the pen, and did not know how to wield it. Look at the diplomatic agents in China and Affghanistan, and then in Scinde? What had they done in Scinde? Any man who took, up the blue-book must say that the political agent was to blame,—that he was blinded by the ambition of the pen as by that of the sword. He (Sir C. Napier) said, it was a dangerous thing to mix the two together. He thought too the officers were of the same opinion. They trusted, only to courage and valour, and they put an end to the war at once, sooner than the agents could by diplomacy. Those were his sentiments. He gave his vote conscientiously, and he should give a similar vote if the officer, for whom the Thanks of the House were asked, had not been in any way connected with him.
§ Mr. W. Bingham Baring
said, it was a bold thing in him to rise after the gallant Officer, who had just addressed the House. He rose, however, to vindicate the Board to which he belonged. A charge had been made against the Board of Control—and a serious one too. It was no less than this—that a disposition had been shown to favouritism, by which one party had been protected at the expense of 569 another; in fact, that Major Outram's despatches had been presented in such a manner as to place him in an inferior position to that which he ought to occupy. The case was this:—Major Outram had been employed in Scinde to superintend the carrying on of negotiations. In the performance of his duty he justly and wisely placed before the general his opinions, argued for the policy which he thought ought to be adopted, and stated his facts and arguments for that course. Sir Napier, in receiving those statements, gave, no doubt, his best consideration to the arguments, as he was bound to do, recollecting the judgment Major Outram had shown in the management of affairs connected with that country. But Sir C. Napier was not responsible to Major Outran. He therefore merely confined himself to giving instructions how to act. The consequences t would be, that if merely the instructions of Sir C. Napier were alone presented to the House, it would be impossible to make out the state of the case. Sir C. Napier, when he sent Major Outram's dispatches to the Governor-general, to whom he was responsible, thought it his duty, and he (Mr. Baring) was of opinion, that Sir C. Napier had acted correctly, to allude to those letters, and to show why it was he did not follow the advice he received from Major Outram. Some portion of those explanations was contained in diplomatic letters, and other parts of them—from the overwhelming business thrown upon him, of organising the Government, consulting different interests, bringing parties to act together who were different in race, language, and habits, he could not put into the regular despatches but appended them as foot-notes. Because, however, he could not give them in despatches, would it have been just not to have given them? There was nothing in those footnotes disrespectful to Major Outram; Sir C. Napier merely stated, that he was of a different opinion from the gallant Major. Such was the explanation he had to give. He was satisfied in his own mind, that he was doing his duty, and he took upon himself the responsibility of having advised that those notes should be kept, and he thought great injustice would have been committed if they had not been retained in the correspondence. The right hon. Gentleman who had spoken in the course of the evening had referred to the omission of two passages in a despatch from Major Outram to the Governor-general, in April, 1842. Now, the 570 rule that had been adopted, in drawing up that correspondence was this, so long as Major Outram agreed with Sir C. Napier, such parts of the despatches only were given as were necessary for the understanding the negotiations; but, at the same time, taking care not to strike out anything that could be urged in favour of the cause of the Ameers of Scinde. All their case was there, and nothing was omitted that could in the slightest degree be urged in favour of them. But, as regarded the correspondence in which Major Outram differed from Lord Ellenborough, every line and letter was presented to the House, and in an unmutilated form. It will be oberved, that the despatch from which the passages had been omitted, was dated the 21st of April, when Major Outram counselled Lord Ellenborough to take severe measures against the Ameers, and when be proposed to him to consider the subsisting treaties as forfeited. He had been anxious to make this explanation to the House, for he felt that, for any department of the Government to injure in the slightest degree the fair fame of any man under them, was disgraceful on their part, injurious to the service, and must be eventually injurious to the country.
§ Mr. C. Wood
said, he should have been content to sit still after the protest of his noble Friend near him (Lord Howick), but he could not do so, after the speech of the gallant Member near him. No doubt his noble Friend had discharged a painful and invidious duty, but the hon. And gallant Member had completely mistaken his noble Friend's views. Not a word fell from his noble Friend calling in question the high military character and achievements of Sir C. Napier. His noble Friend from first to last approved of the military skill, the gallantry, and the moral and political courage, which Sir C. Napier had shown throughout the whole of his military operations in Scinde, and in fighting the battle of Meeanee. He (Mr. Wood) certainly thought his noble Friend did, and he was sure it was his intention to, pay a tribute to the whole of Sir C. Napier's military conduct from beginning to end, in which he (Mr. Wood) entirely concurred Nor did his noble Friend enter into the question of the policy of Lord Ellenborough. The position his noble Friend took was, that according to Parliamentary precedent, according to the principles laid down by Parliament in 571 voting Thanks to military and naval officers, this Vote of Thanks ought not to have been proposed; and, if hon. Gentlemen would refer to the debate on the motion for a Vote of Thanks to Sir E. Codrington, they would find the principles laid down by Mr. Huskisson, and by the right hon. Gentleman opposite as clearly as it was possible, and, consistently with those principles, he contended that the Vote on the present occasion ought not to be moved. He was far from saying that the House might not depart from those principles; this he maintained, that those principles so laid down were departed from in the present. instance. Those principles, as laid down by Mr. Huskisson and the right hon. Baronet were, that for mere hostilities and acts of aggression, however necessary, however signal the success, however brilliant the achievement, an officer could not be entitled to a Vote of Thanks. They said there must be a state of formal recognised war between the two countries before he could be so entitled. Instances were quoted similar to the present. The right hon. Baronet quoted Sir G. Byng's action on the coast of Sicily. Sir G. Byng went to Spain and told the Spanish government that he had instructions to prevent any aggression against Sicily. Spain refused to desist from making the aggression. Sir G. Byng demanded an armistice. The Spanish admiral would not agree to it. He then attacked and gained a complete victory over their fleet, but a Vote of Thanks was refused to him; and why? Because war had not been declared. The right hon Baronet said,That his conduct had been entirely approved by his Sovereign, that the policy of his conduct had not been questioned in Parliament; nevertheless Thanks were not voted, because there had been no declaration of war.Sir James Mackintosh, argued in favour of a Vote of Thanks for Navarino. He said, as it might be said with reference to the affairs of Scinde,What were the admirals to do? Were they to negotiate? If they were, they were to negotiate as admirals usually did, with their great guns. That was the only representation that could have any effect on the understandings of our ancient allies the Turks.The same arguments as those of Sir J. Mackintosh with reference to Navarino might be used with reference to the operations of Sir C. Napier. Nobody then dis- 572 puted the gallantry of Sir E. Codrington, nor did any one dispute that of Sir Charles. But as there was no war, the former was not entitled to Thanks, and the same principle applied to the latter. Reference was made in that debate to the case of Copenhagen. A fleet and army were sent to demand the surrender of the Danish fleet. The Danes refused to give it up. Hostilities commenced, and complete success attended our forces, Thanks were voted by Parliament. Sir James Mackintosh quoted this case: He said,The only question that arose respecting Copenhagen was, whether the danger actually existed Then danger existed, war was justified and began, Upon this principle hostilities were commenced against Denmark.But according to the views of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, that did not entitle the army and the fleet to a Vote of Thanks. He said in answering Sir James Mackintosh,In the case of Copenhagen that very fact existed, the non-existence of which was the reason of forbearance from voting Parliamentary thanks in the cases of Admiral Byng, and the battle of Toulouse—there was a declaration of war issued by Denmark against Great Britain. At the time of the military occupation of the Danish arsenals, Denmark had declared hersslf at war with England.Now the battle of Toulouse had been referred to. This was a remarkable case. We were engaged in a war, in the strictest sense of the term, in a recognised war. The Duke of Wellington had no reason to suppose that the war was stopped. He fought and gained a signal victory. Honours were granted for the action, but the Thanks of the House were refused on the ground that something had occurred elsewhere which had put an end to the war. Now, what was the principle on which this declaration of war, this state of recognised war, was always insisted on as entitling officers to a Vote of Thanks? Why, it was laid down by Mr. Huskisson, that it was inexpedient to pass a Vote of Thanks to an officer with whom the power rested of fighting the battle, for fear there should be any temptation to commence an engagement. He (Mr. Wood) did not say that that was so in this case. The right hon. Gentleman did not say it was so in the case of Sir E. Codrington, but he said the House ought to be cautious before making a precedent, of voting Thanks on such occasions. 573For an event which grew out of an accident; lest officers, looking at the signal benefit conferred on them by receiving such thanks, should cherish too easy a disposition to create such accidents.These were Mr. Huskisson's words: this was the principle laid down by him, and confirmed by the right hon. Baronet opposite, and it was strictly applicable to the present case. The hon. and gallant officer said that there were Votes of Thanks for the exploits in China and Affghanistan, without a declaration of war. In the case of Affghanistan, there was a declaration of war. In the case of China there was not. But then there was this distinction, and one on which the precedent rested, that, in the case of China, the power of peace and war was not vested in the military officer. The principles on which the precedents rested were, that the person in whom the option of peace or war was vested, was not entitled to a Vote of Thanks, as a military officer, in the event of success. His noble Friend said, that Sir C. Napier was put in that position in which, according to the principles and the precedents which had been acted on by the House, he could not receive the vote. He (Mr. C. Wood) must say, that so far as the precedent went, so far as the principles went, he believed his noble Friend was in the right, and was therefore justified in bringing the question before the attention of Parliament. If the House chose to disregard precedents they might do so; but was it right that the House should do so, knowing to what extent precedents had been enforced before, that they were acting contrary to those precedents? and he thought with strange inconsistency, on the part of the right hon. Baronet who proposed the present Vote of Thanks. He (Mr. C. Wood) admitted the glory of the victory, and that Sir C. Napier well merited the Vote for his gallantry and his ability, but at the same time he thought there were precedents relating to similar cases, and founded on wholesome principles, which were altogether opposed to such a Vote.
§ Mr. Sharman Crawford
said, it was with no small surprise, after the speech of the noble Lord, the Member for Sutherland, and those of the other hon. Gentlemen, that he heard no hon. Member express an intention of taking the sense of the House by bringing the question to a division. He was one of those who felt 574 strongly the force of the arguments that had been used. He felt that the House, by a Vote of Thanks, was identifying itself with, and approved of the origin and conduct of, those wars. He did not wish by any act of his to identify himself with such wars as those which had been carried on in India. He thought that a stand should be made against those wars, and that the House should limit its expression of approving them; but, at the same time, he felt that the officers were compelled, as machines, to work on occasions where they could not approve of the objects for which they worked. He, for those reasons protested against the Vote. He protested against the bloody, unjust, and unnecessary wars that had taken place in India, and he should therefore move the previous question.
§ Mr. B. Escott
said, this was a most important question. Those brave and noble-minded men who had hazarded their lives in the cause of their country well deserved the Thanks of that House and of the nation; but it seemed to be the wish of some hon. Gentlemen on the other side to depreciate the value of their services, by imputing motives and indulging in insinuations against at least one of the officers engaged in those operations, whose conduct they did not dare to impugn by a direct motion in that House. The hon. Member for Halifax, although he did not oppose this Vote of Thanks, had sought to depreciate the credit due to the gallant Officer who had directed the operations in Scinde, and had objected to the motion on the ground of precedent. He was not, however, disposed to argue such a question as this upon precedent. Sir C. Napier had gained an unprecedented victory; and in awarding to that gallant Officer their meed of praise and gratitude for his unprecedented successes, they were not to be guided or influenced by the conduct of Parliament on other occasions, when the actions under consideration were of a widely different nature from those in which Sir C. Napier had been engaged. The noble Lord who had addressed the House had made two admissions to which he would call their attention. The noble Lord had stated that the conduct of Sir C. Napier, in a military point of view, had been beyond all praise. The hon. Member for Halifax had repeated this sentiment, and had said that he considered the gal- 575 lant officer was entitled to the unbounded gratitude of the country. What was the nature of the motion now before the House? It was a motion for a Vote of Thanks to Major-general Sir C. Napier, and to the officers and men for military operations in Scinde. If, then, the conduct of that gallant officer with respect to these military operations was beyond all praise, and if, as had been admitted by the noble Lord and by the hon. Member for Halifax, they had only the subject of military operations under their consideration in this debate,—on what ground did they rest their attacks upon Sir C. Napier? The noble Lord had also made another admission. He had said that he, like many others, had very little knowledge of the affairs in Scinde—that it was a most difficult thing to form a correct opinion with reference to transactions which took place at such a distance—and that we ought to be exceedingly cautious in condemning the acts of persons of the propriety of whose conduct we had comparatively slight means of judging. But, although the noble Lord possessed so little knowledge of these affairs, two hon. and gallant Members who had spoken in the course of the debate possessed considerable knowledge on the subject; and what were the opinions of the hon. and gallant Member for Liverpool (Sir H. Douglas) and the hon. and gallant Member for Marylebone (Sir C. Napier)? Did not those hon. Members and his right hon. and gallant Friend (Sir H. Hardinge) distinctly state, that General Sir C. Napier would have acted a most treacherous part towards the men under his command, most prejudicially to the interests of his country, and that he would have done dishonour to his own high military character, if he had delayed any longer to attack the force arrayed against him? He hoped that the hon. Member opposite (Mr. S. Crawford), pursuing that straightforward course which always characterized his conduct in that House, would press his motion to a division. He sincerely trusted that the hon. Member would divide the House upon the question, in order that it might be seen how many Members of a British House of Commons would act upon the 'suggestions of the noble Lord, and deprive future commanders of that stimulus to similar exertions under similar difficulties which was afforded by an anticipation of the applause and approba- 576 tion of the British Parliament. A noble Lord (Lord Auckland) who possessed a deep and intimate acquaintance with this subject, and who had to-night spoken upon the question in another place, had not deemed that it became him to be niggard in the meed of approbation he had awarded to Sir C. Napier and the gallant army under his command. Whether or not that noble Lord had been mistaken, he had at least been unfortunate on a former occasion; but his misfortune, or his ill-policy—if, indeed, it was his ill-policy—ought to be considerately regarded by a generous nation. That noble Lord had not, however, thought it right or becoming to make any attack to-night upon his successor, Lord Ellenborough, or upon the gallant officer, Sir C. Napier, who had reaped laurels on a field where the noble Lord had not been equally fortunate. The noble Lord had left it to others—and he hoped their numbers would be seen on a division to-night—to rise in the House of Commons, safe from danger, removed from difficulty, and, under the pretence of maintaining, that incitements ought not to be held out to military men to engage in hostilities unnecessarily, to seek to withhold the highest reward a military man could receive—the approbation of the representatives of the people—from those who had most richly deserved it. He would only add, that it was now their duty to watch narrowly the future course of events in the country which their gallant army had conquered, with a view to the dissemination of the arts of peace and the introduction of English institutions.
§ Dr. Bowring
felt it necessary to justify the vote he was about to give on this question. He had no feeling whatever against General Sir Charles Napier, whom he knew, and whose high and noble qualities he admitted and admired; but he disapproved all aggressive war, and he would therefore vote for the motion of his hon. Friend (Mr. S. Crawford).
§ Viscount Palmerston
wished to state, in a very few words, the grounds upon which it was his intention to give the motion of the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) his warm and cordial support. He could not allow himself to consider this motion as involving, in any degree whatever, any political considerations. He regarded it as a simple proposal to confer upon most distinguished military merit the Thanks of that House—one of the highest rewards 577 that could be conferred upon those who fought and bled in defence of their country. He wholly discarded from his consideration all topics which involved any question as to whether the treatment of the Ameers were justifiable or not—whether the policy pursued by Lord Ellenborough were wise or the contrary. He would not even permit himself to look at that portion of the political transactions in India in which Sir C. Napier might be considered to have been involved in his political capacity. He saw a most brilliant exploit performed by British troops—an exploit almost without example, with reference to the disparity of forces and the completeness of the success; and he thought, following what he considered the just precedent of former periods, that this was an occasion upon which it was becoming that the House should join in commendation of the valour and skill which had been displayed. He said the skill, as well as the valour, because he thought the sagacity which Sir C. Napier had exhibited in the course of these military operations was not less conspicuous than the bravery he had displayed in the actions in which he had been engaged. His noble Friend and some hon. Members on that side of the House conceived that the proceedings which took place in Parliament with regard to the battle of Navarino presented an obstacle to their agreeing to the motion now under consideration. He could not perceive any identity between the two cases. What was the battle of Navarino? An accidental conflict which took place between our fleet, forming a portion of a combined fleet, which was the instrument of mediation on the part of the Allied Powers between two contending parties, and the fleet of a Power with which we were not at war, and with which we did not afterwards find ourselves at war. We remained on terms of peace with the Sultan after that battle; and for Parliament to have voted Thanks for a victory gained in an unintentional and accidental conflict with the fleet of a friendly Power, and which did not disturb the peaceful relations between this country and the sovereign whose fleet we defeated, would have been exceedingly discourteous towards the Sultan; and he thought the Government of that day acted with just consideration when they declined to agree to such a Vote. But no man would say that we had not been at war with these Ameers. If that was not war which, beginning in battle, ended in dethronement, he was at a 578 loss to know what war was. He was sure that the Ameers would not be disposed to acquiesce in the peaceful interpretation which his noble Friend had given of the transaction. He gave this Vote his most warm and cordial support, reserving himself entirely free as to any opinion he might entertain with regard to any political questions connected with the transactions in Scinde.
§ Mr. W. O. Stanley
said, it had not been his intention to offer any remarks to the House, but he rose in consequence of an observation which had been used by the hon. Member for Winchester. That hon. Gentleman had said, that hon. Members who had expressed their opinions freely on this question, "dared" not impugn the conduct of the gallant officer to whom it was now proposed to pass a Vote of Thanks. The hon. Members who had spoken on that side of the House, had given free expression to their opinions, because many of them felt that though Sir C. Napier had acted in a most creditable manner, and had deserved the Thanks of the House for his military services, there were circumstances connected with his transactions in India, of which they could not approve. This was the feeling which he entertained; but he should be sorry to divide the House on this question, or to give his vote against the motion. He believed, that the conduct exhibited by Sir C. Napier, could have been rivalled by few persons. He was willing to give that gallant officer his full weed of praise; but, at the same time, he could not read the correspondence which had been submitted to the House, without regretting some portions of the conduct of the gallant officer. He considered that the laurels which Sir C. Napier had won, were tarnished by the letter which he had written to the Ameers of Scinde. If the motion were pressed to a division, he certainly would not vote upon it.
§ The House then divided on the Question; that the Question be put: Ayes 164; Noes 9—Majority 155.
|List of the AYES.|
|Ackers, J.||Baillie, H. J.|
|Arland, T. D.||Baird, W.|
|Allix, J. P.||Baldwin, B.|
|Arkwright, G.||Baring, hon. W. B|
|Arundel and Surrey, Earl of||Baring, rt. hon. F. T.|
|Barnard, E. G.|
|Ashley, Lord||Bentinck, Lord G.|
|Baillie, Col. U||Berkeley, hon. C.|
|Bernal, R.||Hamilton, W. J.|
|Blakemore, R.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Hanmer, Sir J.|
|Borthwick, P.||Hardinge, rt. hn. SirH.|
|Botfield, B.||Hatton, Capt. V.|
|Bowes, J.||Henley, J. W.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Herbert, hon. S.|
|Broadley, H.||Hobhouse, rt. hn. SirJ.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Hodgson, F.|
|Buckley, E.||Hodgson, R.|
|Busfield, W.||Hope, G. W.|
|Butler, P. S.||Hornby, J.|
|Byng, rt. hon. G. S.||Howard, Lord|
|Chetwode, Sir J.||Howard, P. H.|
|Childers, J. W.||Hume, J.|
|Christie, W. D.||Humphery, Mr. Ald.|
|Clerk, Sir G.||Hutt, W.|
|Clive, Visct.||Jermyn, Earl|
|Clive, hon. R. H.||Jocelyn, Visct.|
|Colborne, hn. W.N.R.||Jones, Capt.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E|
|Collett, W. R.||Langston, J. H.|
|Collett, J.||Lascelles, hon. W. S.|
|Connolly, Col.||Law, hon. C. E.|
|Coote, Sir C. H.||Lawson, A.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H.||Leveson, Lord|
|Craig, W. G.||Lincoln, Earl of|
|Cripps, W.||Lindsay, H. H.|
|Curteis, H. B.||Lockhart, W.|
|Dalrymple, Capt.||Lowther, hon. Col.|
|Damer, hon. Col.||Lygon, hon. Gen.|
|Dawson, hon. T. V.||Mc Geachy, F. A.|
|Denison, E. B.||Mackenzie, W. F|
|Dickinson, F. H.||Maclean, D.|
|Douglas, Sir H.||M'Neill, D.|
|Douglas, Sir C. E.||Mahon, Visct.|
|Douro, Marquis of||Manners, Lord C. S.|
|Drummond, H. Home||Manners, Lord J.|
|Duke, Sir J.||Marsland, H.|
|Duncan, G.||Masterman, J.|
|Duncombe, T.||Maxwell, hon. J. P.|
|Easthope, Sir J.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Morris, D.|
|Eliot, Lord||Murray, A.|
|Escott, B.||Napier, Sir C.|
|Ferguson, Col.||Nicholl, rt. hon. J.|
|Fitzroy, Lord C||Northland, Visct.|
|Flower, Sir J.||O'Brien, A. S.|
|Ffolliott, J||Packe, C. W.|
|Forster, M.||Paget, Col.|
|Fox, C. R.||Pakington, J. S.|
|Fox, S. L.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Fuller, A. E.||Pechell, Capt.|
|Gardner, J. D.||Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.|
|Gaskell, J. Milnes.||Peel, J.|
|Gill, T.||Plumridge, Capt.|
|Gisborne, T.||Praed, W. T.|
|Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.||Pringle, A.|
|Gordon, hon. Capt.||Rashleigh, W.|
|Goring, C||Rawdon, Col.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|Greene, T.||Shaw, rt. hon. F.|
|Gregory, W. H.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Hallyburton, Lord J. F.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Hamilton, J. H.||Standish, C.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Stanley, Lord|
|Staunton, Sir G. T.||Verner Col.|
|Stewart, J.||Wood, Col.|
|Sutton, hon. H. M.||Wood, Col. T.|
|Tancred, H. W.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Tennent, J. E.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Thesiger, F.||Young, J.|
|Trench, Sir F. W.||TELLERS.|
|Turner, E.||Freemantle, Sir T.|
|Vane, Lord H.||Baring, H.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Wawn, J. T.|
|Granger, T. C.||Williams, W.|
|Hawes, B.||Wood, C.|
|Mangles, R. D.||Brotherton, J.|
|Strickland, Sir G.||Crawford, S.|
§ It was accordingly
§ Resolved, That the Thanks of this House be given to Major General Sir Charles Napier, Knight Grand Cross of the Most honourable Order of the Bath, for the eminent skill, energy, and gallantry displayed by him in the recent Military Operations in Scinde; particularly in the two decisive Battles of Meeanee and Hyderabad.—And also
§ Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That the Thanks of this House be given to the several Officers of the Army, both European and Native, serving under Major General Sir Charles Napier, for their unwearied zeal and conspicuous gallantry.
§ Resolved, Nemine Contradicente, That this House doth highly approve and acknowledge the brave and meritorious conduct displayed by the non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, both European and Native, engaged in the operations in Scinde; and that this Resolution be signified to them by the Commanders of the several corps.
§ Ordered, That the said Resolutions be transmitted by Mr. Speaker to the Governor General in India, and that his Lordship be requested to communicate the same to the several Officers referred to therein.