HC Deb 04 May 1854 vol 132 cc1228-9

said, he wished to ask the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Admiralty for an explanation of the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman on a former evening in answer to a question put by him. The right hon. Gentleman, on that occasion, stated that 2,259 horses had been sent to Turkey. There had been some misapprehension as to the real import of the communication made by the right hon. Gentleman on that occasion to the House. He now begged to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman meant to say that 2,259 horses had arrived in Turkey, or whether they had only been embarked in sailing vessels to Turkey from different ports in this country? He also begged to ask, supposing the horses had not arrived in Turkey, whether the right hon. Gentleman could inform the House at what time it was likely they would arrive there?


Sir, I have only to say, in answer to the question put to me by the hon. Baronet, that my statement was, at the time I made it, that 2,259 horses had been embarked, and had been sent from this country on their way to Turkey at different periods of time. I have this day received a communication from Lord Raglan, dated Malta, stating that the first portion of the horse transports had arrived at Malta during the day on which he wrote his communication, and that the arrangements on board the transports had been such that, although the passage was long and the wind not favourable, yet not one single horse had been lost. The first division of transports, therefore, had arrived at Malta, and, at the suggestion of Lord Raglan, who was then at Malta, the wind having become favourable, they were immediately expedited to Turkey by steamers, which were there ready to take them in tow, and I hope that a large number are now on their way to Constantinople, and, I believe, with a fair prospect of their soon arriving there. As the House may feel some anxiety upon the subject, I think I may state that the large steamer, the Himalaya, has been taken up to-day for the conveyance of horses to Turkey, and that it has been determined to send, by way of experiment, 500 horses by that vessel. It had been apprehended that some inconvenience might have arisen in consequence of the lowness of the decks, some of them being only 7 feet 6 inches high, but, after consulting the most competent authorities, it was thought on the whole expedient to send the horses, and I hope and believe that they will be conveyed to their destination with a speed heretofore unexampled.