HC Deb 17 August 1846 vol 88 cc752-3

begged to ask a question of the right hon. Baronet the President of the Board of Control. In the Stamford Mercury newspaper, of the 15th of May last, a letter was printed, professing to be from private John Lunn, of the 80th Regiment, to his father, in Stamford. It related to the battles which lately took place, in India; and, after describing the battle of the 20th December, it proceeded to give an account of what took place on the subsequent day. And this was the passage to which he wished to direct the attention of the right hon. Baronet:— On the succeeding morning we commenced maiming and shooting all the prisoners, which dreadful work occupied us nearly the whole of the day. On the 22nd we commenced our march," &c. Now, if this were true, it was perfectly shocking; but he should wish to have from the right hon. Baronet, if possible, a contradiction of the statement. He (Mr. Warburton) had been given to understand that it was not correct; and he thought it was for the honour of the country that if possible the statement should be contradicted.


I quite agree with my hon. Friend that it is for the honour of the country—and not only for the honour of the country, but for the very safety of the country, that such a statement should be contradicted; and I am most happy to say, therefore, that there is not one word of truth in it—that there is not the slightest foundation for it whatever. My hon. Friend very kindly put the paper into my hands in which the statement appeared, and I find that it contains the most monstrous contradictious. So far from any atrocity of the kind having been perpetrated, the surgeons of the British army were actively engaged in taking care of the wounded Sikhs; and all the time they could devote to that purpose was so employed by them, to the great astonishment of the Sikhs, who had never seen such an instance of humanity before.