HC Deb 10 February 1854 vol 130 cc402-3

said, he wished to put a question to the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) on the subject of which he had given notice. According to the report of Captain Drummond, the Russian fleet was not in Sebastopol, but in Kaffa Bay, which commanded all the coast of Circassia, as well as Batoum and Trebizond. He wished to ask the noble Lord whether the Admirals of the allied fleet had returned from Sinope to Constantinople, not having as- certained with any certainty the position of the Russian fleet, and whether the Ambassadors of France and England had thought it necessary, under those circumstances, to send a messenger to warn the Admirals that they were dissatisfied with their return, and that they must take upon themselves the responsibility of that act?


What has happened upon the subject to which the hon. Gentleman has alluded is this:—The Admirals were desired by the English and French Ambassadors to leave Beykos Bay and go into the Black Sea. They accordingly went into the Black Sea, and stayed in the harbour of Sinope for some days. The Admiral then wrote to say that he found that it would be dangerous to remain any longer in that anchorage; and that if the two squadrons were to remain in the Black Sea for two months, it would be the way to promote any wishes that the Emperor of Russia might entertain that the British and French fleets should be disabled. He therefore thought it his duty to return to Constantinople, intending to send out steamers and screw vessels of war from time to time, in order to obtain that command of the Black Sea which, by the instructions of the British and French Governments, he was directed to acquire. I believe that, although the Ambassadors Certainly required an explanation of this conduct on the part of the Admiral, that it will be found to have deserved the entire approbation of Her Majesty's Government and of the country at large.

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