HC Deb 01 February 1855 vol 136 cc1260-1

said, seeing the hon. Member for Hertfordshire (Mr. Cowper), a Lord of the Admiralty, in his place, he wished to ask him whether the Government had made any recent arrangements in reference to the delivery and consign- ment of packages at Balaklava and Scutari; and whether they were willing to take charge of such packages as were addressed to any of our officers and men at the seat of war; and whether any such arrangements included establishments, or places about to be established, for the delivery of packages when the hospital at Smyrna was opened; and whether it was true that Captain Heath was appointed permanent superintendent of the port at Balaklava?


said, that the Board of Admiralty, being very anxious to give effect to the desire that was so prevalent of forwarding packages to the Crimea, containing such comforts and luxuries as could not be procured in any other manner, had given instructions to the authorities at the dockyards at Deptford, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, to the effect that all packages directed to any officer or person engaged in Her Majesty's service in the Crimea or at Constantinople should be received, and, as occasion offered, that those packages should be placed on board such vessels as were employed for the conveyance of Government stores. A special bill of lading was to be made out for each package given by a private individual, and the package itself would be delivered to the senior naval officer at Balaklava, or at any other port in the East. At the same time, he must remind the hon. Gentleman that the power possessed by the Government of sending out such packages or parcels was limited by the number of ships they had under their control, and by the number they were able to hire. Renewed efforts would, however, be made for procuring fresh vessels. There was another limitation, which, however, was of a more serious character—namely, the size of the harbour at Balaklava, and the power of arranging those vessels when they did arrive at that place. In reference to Smyrna he had to inform the hon. Gentleman, that nothing had as yet been done upon the subject. When it became necessary, steps would be taken to place it in an efficient state for the reception of such packages. With regard to the appointment of Captain Heath, he could only say that Sir Edmund Lyons had full authority to make such arrangements as he thought necessary for the public service.

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