HC Deb 19 February 1855 vol 136 cc1543-99

The House then went into Committee of Supply, Mr. BOUVERIE in the Chair.

(1.) 193,595 Men.


Sir, in proceeding to ask the Committee to agree to the votes of money which are necessary to cover what the Government considers will be the probable expenditure on account of the Army in the course of the ensuing financial year, I must beg their indulgence, on account of the very short period which has elapsed since I entered upon the duties of my present office, and which has barely allowed me sufficient time to become acquainted with the more prominent features of the contents of these Estimates, much less with their minor and minuter points. I also feel that it is no easy task for any one to render intelligible to the Committee the complicated details of a service like the army, requiring, even in ordinary years, and under ordinary circumstances, to be kept on foot by the appropriation of a considerable portion of the whole annual expenditure which is authorised by Parliament, and which in these Estimates has been swollen to dimensions unusually large, but not, I believe, larger than are commensurate with the magnitude of the operations in which the country is now engaged. I have further to regret the absence, from indisposition, of my right hon. Friend the present Secretary of State for the Colonies, under whose superintendence the Estimates have been framed. I need not observe that I had relied very much on the presence of my right hon. Friend, because of his great familiarity with the subject, and because these Estimates had been prepared under his especial direction. The Estimates for the ensuing financial year differ from those of the current year in more than one respect. In the first place, the number of men which the Government ask the Committee to allow to be borne upon the establishment of the army greatly exceeds that which has been voted for the last year. Then, again, there is a very large augmentation in very many of those services which have always formed a part of the administration of the British Army, and have always been included in the Estimates; but, in addition to those causes of difference, the Committee will observe that these Estimates show the creation of new departments which have never before appeared therein, or been submitted to the sanction of Parliament. I will refer, for instance, to such a department as the land transport service, which it has been found from painful experience necessary to establish. The first Vote to which I shall call the attention of the Committee has reference to the number and strength of the army. Setting aside the number of the regiments of infantry and cavalry of the line which are employed in the East Indies, and paid for by the Government of India, not reckoning also the estimated force of the foreign corps which is to be raised under the Foreign Enlistment Act, passed at the commencement of the Session, and further, excluding from the present calculation the number of men who form the militia regiments which have been embodied, and for which provision has been made, the number of men which we propose to be voted for the service of the ensuing year is 178,645. When my right hon. Friend the late Secretary at War introduced the original Estimates of last year, he stated that he was desirous that the House should first have the opportunity of discussing the policy of those measures in which the Government had been concerned previous to the breaking out of the war, and that after such discussion had taken place he would then introduce further Estimates to provide for placing the army upon a war footing, and he introduced two Supplementary Estimates, which, together, provided for an addition to the force of the army of nearly 30,000 men. Comparing the Estimates of the present with the original Estimates of the last year, there is an increase of about 66.000 men; but, as compared with the whole Estimates of the year, there is an increase of but 35,869, exclusive of 14,950 men in the foreign corps proposed to be raised. The manner in which this increased number of men is proposed to be spread over the effective strength of the army is as follows:—In the first place, there will be an addition of 1,950 men to the Foot Guards. The cavalry also will be increased by 3,470 men. The remainder is to be spread over forty-one regiments of infantry of the line. A battalion of 2,000 strong is to be added to the 60th Rifles, making that regiment one of three battalions, and a battalion of the same strength is to be added to the rifle corps, making three battalions also in that corps. In the course of last year, every regiment, exclusive of those in India, was raised from an establishment of 1,000 to 1,200 men, and directions have now been given for further raising the force of those regiments—fortyone in number—now serving in the Crimea, from 1,200 to 2,000 men each. With respect to the distribution of this force, there are ten regiments of cavalry and forty-one regiments of infantry of the line in the Crimea, and the remainder of the regiments, exclusive of those in India, are employed in the Colonies and the military stations in the Mediterranean. It will doubtless be satisfactory to the Committee to be informed that in the course of the past year a considerable reduction has been made in the number of troops maintained by this country in the Colonies. There has been an addition of one battalion to the force in the Australian Colonies, but the Governments of those colonies are called upon to pay for that increased force, and credit is taken in the Estimates for a sum of I2,000l., for the cost of that battalion. The whole sum payable by the Australian Colonies for the military force maintained there, is 30,000l. The force at the Cape still continues very large, and it has not been thought advisable at present, considering the state of the Eastern frontier, to make any reductions in the number of troops at present stationed in that colony. A very considerable reduction has been made in the West India and British North American Colonies. There were formerly three regiments in the West India Colonies; there are now only two. In the British North American Colonies, last year, there were six regiments—namely, four in Canada and two in the Lower Provinces. There is now only one regiment in Canada, exclusive of the Canadian Rifles, and one in the Lower Provinces. It must be satisfactory to know that the reduction was made almost entirely at the invitation of the colonists themselves. The people of Canada have expressed their deep sympathy with this country in the cause in which it is engaged; and with regard to the force in Nova Scotia, the Legislature of that province has presented an Address to the Crown expressing its readiness to undertake the external defence of that country, should the Government find it necessary to withdraw the troops at present stationed there. Of the two regiments in the British North American Colonies, one is now at Quebec and the other at Halifax. The whole amount of reduction in those Colonies is about 3,000 men, representing an expenditure of from 90,000l. to 100,000l.

The next Vote to which I will call the attention of the Committee includes the charge for the daily pay and daily allowance, which for the number of men I have mentioned, will amount in the course of the year to 4,500,000l., being an increase over last year, if the Supplementary Estimate of 800,000l. be not taken into account, of about 1,500,000l. I am informed that since last year there has been no alteration in the rates of pay of the different ranks in the army with one exception, namely, that of the colonels of regiments. If hon. Members will compare the rates of pay to be allowed to colonels next year with those allowed last year, they will find an increase ranging from 600l. to the sum of 1,000l. in the instance of the colonels of the Foot Guards. Now, this additional pay allowed to colonels has been granted, I may say, in conformity with the recommendation of a Committee of this House, and has reference to an alteration which has taken place since last year in the mode of clothing the men of the different regiments. This alteration I will explain more fully when I come to the subject of the clothing of the army; but I will merely now observe that it is in consequence of the colonels ceasing to derive a pecuniary gain from the clothing of their men that a fixed addition has been made to their pay of 600l. in regard to the colonels of the infantry of the line; which, however, will be liable to be hereafter reduced, in the event of vacancies occurring to the sum of 500l. I have stated that the force to be maintained for the service of the year ensuing is 178,645 men, and that that is an increase upon the establishment, as voted last year in the original and Supplementary Estimates, of 35,869 men. Now, that force will, of course, require to be recruited during the year; but, in addition to that, seeing that the effective strength of the army is not equal to the establishment as voted by Parliament last year, it is discovered that it will be necessary to recruit 40,000 men in the course of this next year in order to bring the army up to the proposed strength of its establishment. Provision has, therefore, been made in the Estimates for recruiting up to that number. We have also to add about 20,000 men to supply vacancies which are estimated to be caused by casualties in the course of the year, so that provision is required to be made for the recruiting of 60,000 men. The estimated cost of raising this number of men is 513,000l., being an excess over that of the Estimate of the last year, for a similar purpose, of 378,000l. At the beginning of the last year the bounty paid to recruits on joining regiments of infantry of the line amounted to 4l. In order to induce more persons to come forward as recruits in the autumn of last year the bounty was increased to 6l., and, I believe, in the month of January in the present year it has been still further raised to 8l. This circumstance will explain the large sum required to be provided for the recruiting service. In connection with the subject of the recruiting of the Army, I may refer to the Bill which the noble Lord the Secretary of State for the War Department has, in another place, announced it to be his intention to introduce. By that measure it is proposed to authorise the enlistment of men for the army of an age above that at which recruits are ordinarily enlisted, and ranging from twentyfour to thirty or thirty-two. They are to be enlisted for a period of two or three years; and in that way the Secretary of State for War anticipates that he will succeed in obtaining men fit for service in the war, and whose constitutions will be better able to withstand the trials of climate to which our men are exposed than the recruits who have recently been raised.

Having referred to the expense of recruiting the army, I will now come to the cost of mounting the cavalry. There is a sum of 322,000l. taken in the present Vote for the purchase of horses. The Government propose to provide for the purchase of 7,500 horses for the cavalry force. Deducting the four regiments of cavalry that are employed in the East Indies and paid by the Indian Government, and deducting likewise the household cavalry, for the mounting of which provision is to be made in a different manner, I find that the establishment of horses for the cavalry of the line is stated to be from 7,800 to 8,000. Now, the Government proposed to obtain 7,500 horses, which will enable them, in fact, to remount almost the entire cavalry force. The necessity for purchasing this large number of horses arises in this way. There has been a considerable increase in the strength of ten cavalry regiments which have been sent out for service in the Crimea; and at the commencement of this year the effective strength of horses for the cavalry did not exceed 4,197, not including the 2,500 horses that were sent to the Crimea, which number in the course of this year have dwindled down to not more than 1,000, and which, in the course of the quarter now current, must be expected to undergo a still further diminution. So that, in point of fact, the Government have to provide for the bringing up of the establishment of horses from 4,197 to the number of 7,800, and likewise for replac- ing the losses that are likely to be sustained by casualties during the next year. Altogether, therefore, they estimate the number of horses that will be required at 7,500. There is also another reason for the large increase proposed in this Vote. The Committee will observe that the estimated cost of each horse is set down in the present Estimates at 40l., whereas, in former years, it has been only 26l. Now, the cause for this increase is as follows: It has hitherto been the practice to purchase horses at the age of three years, and the regulation price for them was 26l. each. I am told that these horses were kept in training for a period of two years, and cost the country altogether about 60l. apiece, and that when about five years old they were fit to be used. Of course, under present circumstances, we require horses that will be immediately available for service, and it is, therefore, proposed to buy horses of the age of from five to nine years. Now, the cost of horses at ages ranging between the years that I have named, and trained and fit for service, is taken to be 40l. each, or an excess of 14l. per horse over the price voted last year.

Having now stated the charge for pay and allowances, as well as the sum proposed to be asked for the mounting of the cavalry force, I will now pass on to another item of this Vote—namely, that of clothing, in which there is an increase of something more than 105,000l. Since last year the system of clothing the army had undergone an entire alteration. The practice formerly was this—certain articles of clothing were specified to be issued to each man in the regiment; there was a regular scale of prices, and an estimate was made according to this scale of the cost of clothing the regiment, always reckoning the number of the regiment as being up to the full strength of the establishment, and the sum thus estimated was paid to the colonel. In addition, a further sum was also paid him, generally averaging about 600l., which was, and was intended to be, his profit on the clothing of the regiment. In addition to this, however, the colonel had a further advantage, because, if the strength of the regiment was not up to its full establishment, he was not debited to the Government with the difference, but, on the other hand, if, at any time during the year, the strength of the regiment exceeded its establishment, and he showed that he had provided clothes for the supernumeraries, the colonel was entitled to debit the Government with the extra amount. That system, however, has been changed in consequence of its condemnation by public opinion, although it was admitted that it gave satisfaction to the men, who were fairly treated under it. The manner in which the present Estimate has been formed is by calculating the cost of the clothing for each man in every regiment, making no allowance for the pecuniary profit of the colonels; and by adding to this the cost of the number of men by which the army is about to be increased. This money will still be expended by the colonels; they will be allowed to make contracts with their clothiers, and thus they will still be induced to take an interest in the clothing of the regiment, but as the bills will be sent in to the Government, they will have no pecuniary profit whatever in the affair. There is, also, a considerable increase, amounting to 155,600l., in the charge for general and regimental hospitals. In time of peace, when a man went into hospital, a deduction was made from his pay of the sum of l0d. per diem, and the charge for general and regimental hospitals had, therefore, in former years been very light. Last year, in consequence of the deductions of pay thus made, the net charge of the hospital was only 8,000l. A largely-increased Vote is rendered necessary this year, by the fact that when men became sick in the course of active service the stoppage was no longer 10d. a day, but was reduced to the ordinary stoppage for rations—3½d. a day, and, consequently, though the number of men in the army, and the numbers, therefore, of men who would go into hospital were very much increased, the Government have calculated the stoppages of pay at a smaller sum than last year. The principal reason, however, for the large increase in this item is, of course, the expense of maintaining the hospitals at Scutari, at Balaklava, and in the camp before Sebastopol. The Vote asked for includes the expenses of nurses and hospital orderlies, but not the pay of the surgeons, which is provided for in another Vote. To show the Committee how difficult it is under present circumstances to anticipate beforehand the probable demands of a state of war, I may refer to the fact, that since these Estimates were framed it has been determined to establish a civil hospital at Smyrna, to be placed in charge of medical practitioners taken from the civil branch of the profession. This step has been determined on since these Estimates were drawn up, and consequently the expenses of the proposed hospital are not included in them. It is also intended to establish a line of transports fitted up with every accommodation as hospital ships, with surgeons on board, to run between Constantinople and this country, in order to convey hither invalids whose treatment is more likely to be successful at home, and thus to make room in the hospital at Scutari for the men who were brought down from the camp before Sebastopol.

In the Vote for Divine service there is an increase of 9,200l., which is caused entirely by the charge for chaplains appointed to attend the army in the field. The number of chaplains already sent out is forty-two, of whom twenty-four are of the Church of England, eight Presbyterians, and ten Roman Catholics. The rate of pay allowed to these gentlemen is 16s. a day, with the exception of some who, receiving a contribution from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, are allowed an annual payment of 100l. a year. There is an increase in the charge for the pay of schoolmasters of 7,150l., which is owing to the intention of the Government to appoint thirty new schoolmasters who have been trained in the normal school at Chelsea, and to establish and organise schools in each regiment. It is also proposed to appoint schoolmasters in the new depôts which have been established, and no less than eighteen trained schoolmasters have been appointed to schools in the different militia regiments which have been embodied; for it is felt that as these regiments are now being called out for permanent service, it is but fair that they should have the same advantages in the way of schools and schoolmasters as are enjoyed by the regular regiments, whose places they take. The number of schoolmasters at present employed is seventy-four, and it is intended to appoint thirty more, thus raising the whole number to 104. If there has ever been any doubts entertained as to the expediency of educating our soldiers, I think they must be entirely dispelled by the letters which have appeared in the public journals from private soldiers since the commencement of the war. The next item on which I feel it necessary to make any remarks is the miscellaneous charges. There is among these a charge of 156,000l. to cover claims which are likely to be made for losses sustained by officers and men while engaged in active service against the enemy. This estimate, however, is an entirely conjectural one. There is an increase of 65,000l. in the item of field allowances, which are payments made to officers of somewhere about 2s. 6d. a day while engaged on active service, to enable them to provide the means of transport, &c., for their private baggage.

There remain now two more items in this Vote on which I have to touch—namely, the charges for the land transport service and for the foreign corps. It is admitted that the land transport service of the army in the Crimea has fallen into a state of inefficiency. It had been placed under the charge of the Commissariat, and, as the duties of that department were sufficiently ample to occupy the whole time of one head, it was by no means surprising that, almost overburdened with its own special functions, the Commissariat had proved little qualified to cope with the difficulties which met it when it attempted to carry on the duties of another department. It must be remembered, however, in justice to the Commissariat, that it had been called on not only to provide means of transport for the rations of the men and the forage of the horses, and for the carriage of the sick, but also for the conveyance to the camp of large quantities of warm clothing, huts, and other articles, although at the time the animals which it had collected together were dying in large numbers from the insufficiency of food, the badness of the roads, and also from exposure to the inclemency of the weather. Certain it is that this service was in a state of admitted deficiency, and the Government have, therefore, determined to organise this land transport corps, under the command of Colonel M'Murdo, which would undertake the whole of the land transport of the army. The number of drivers of the land transport corps will be 8,000, and the Vote will provide for the transport of the animals purchased by Colonel M'Murdo's agents from adjacent countries to the seat of war, where they would be available for the use of the corps. [Mr. BAILLIE: How many horses will there be?] I am unable to state the number of animals that will be collected together, because that will be regulated by the demands of the service. The hon. Member for Aylesbury has said that we have made no provision for the maintenance of the foreign corps; but in that respect he was in error, for I have now arrived at the estimate which provides for that purpose 400,000l. The charge of the foreign corps, as I have stated, will be 400,000l., supposing that they would consist of thirteen regiments of 1,000 strong. The total charge of the land forces proposed to be voted is 7,353,804l., which is an increase upon the Estimates of last year, including under this title the original and two supplementary Estimates, of 2,630,516l. There is no difficulty in accounting for that excess. It is owing to the increased number of men receiving daily pay—the cost of the foreign corps—the cost of the land transport corps—the additional cost of hospital service and of the recruiting service, and the mounting of the men. Suppose I divide the charge for the land forces amongst the men to be maintained, including the foreign corps, I find the cost per man, including officers as well as privates, will be for 1853–54, 35l. 8s.; for 1854–55, 34l. 14s.; and for the present year, 37l. 19s. The increase of the Vote for the staff amounts to 163,600l.; but there was a Supplementary Estimate of 70,000l., which leaves the net increase 93,600l. There is no alteration, I think, in the staff at home; and, with regard to that part of the foreign staff that is employed in the Colonies, I find there is a diminution of about 5,500l. That diminution is owing to the reduction of the military forces in the province of Canada. In consequence of that reduction, we have substituted a major general on the staff for a lieutenant general, and to that substitution this reduction is to be attributed. There is one remark which I wish to make in reference to the pay of the military secretary of the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. The Government have determined that for the future, where there is a civil Governor in the colony, he shall not be allowed any staff by the Imperial Government. The consequence is, that in the case of the Governor of Canada we have taken away the provision that was male for the aide de camp of the civil Governor. But we have made an exception to the rule in the case of the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. We allow him a military secretary, paid by this country, and the reason is partly in consequence of the much larger force maintained in the Cape of Good Hope than in the other colonies, and partly, also, in consequence of the Major General commanding the army at the Cape being at a very great distance from the seat of the civil government, the Major General being at the eastern extremity and the civil Governor at the western extremity of the colony, and it not being desirable that the correspondence between them should pass through the office of the Colonial Secretary. The whole of the increase in the Estimates is to be attributed to the staff employed in the army abroad. It is not necessary to go into details, but I may say that more than one-half of the increase is required to pay for the large number of surgeons and assistant surgeons which it is necessary to employ in the hospitals at Scutari and with the army. The next Vote to which I come is Vote No. 4, for the public departments connected with the army. In this vote there is also a considerable increase—there is an increase of 48,500l. I may state that I shall reduce the Vote when I come to take it by the salary of the Secretary at War, for, that office having ceased to exist as a separate office, it will not be necessary to vote the salary. The increase in No. 4 arises partly from our having included in it the charge for the establishment of the Secretary of State for War, which amounts to a sum of 18,787l. The charge for that department last year was, I think, included in the Civil Estimates; at all events, it was not included in the Army Estimates. There is also a considerable increase in the cost of the office which has hitherto been known as that of the Secretary at War. It has been found necessary to have an additional number of clerks employed in that office. The clerks engaged are temporary clerks, and, of course, will cease to be employed the moment the pressure of business shall be reduced. There is also an increase on account of postage, which is merely a matter of account, costing nothing to the public; and those items added together account for the whole of the increase in this Vote. I shall pass over the filth vote—the vote for the Royal Military College—because that is a self-supporting institution; that is to say, the payments made by the young men who are educated in that college quite cover the cost of the establishment. The payments, however, are made into the Exchequer, and a certain sum is voted in the Estimates for the support of the establishment, An hon. Gentleman has given notice of a Motion on the subject of the payments made by the different classes of students, which will come on in due course, and I may re- serve till then further reference to this matter. There is an increase in the Vote for the Military Asylum, Chelsea, which is Vote No. 6, of 2,611l. I am informed that last year an Act of Parliament was passed authorising the appropriation of 10,000l. for the purpose of enlarging the accommodation in the Military Asylum, and the object of the increased Vote in the present year is to provide for the additional orphans who are to be admitted into the Asylum in consequence of the additional accommodation thus provided. The present number of orphans, as well in the Royal Military Asylum as in the Hibernian School, is 350, and we now provide for the maintenance of 120 additional orphans in the Royal Military Asylum. Passing over Vote No. 7, in which no alteration is made, I come to Vote No. 8, which is the charge for the embodied militia of the United Kingdom. There are 150 regiments of militia to be provided for, and the charge amounts to 3,813,383l. This is the first time that the charge for the Militia has been included in the Army Estimates of late years. The course hitherto has been to take the Militia Estimates separately from the Army Estimates. A Committee was appointed, to whom the Secretary at War submitted the Militia Estimates, and if the Committee approved of them, they were introduced to the House separately, and passed in that form. Last year a sum was taken in those Estimates on account for the several regiments of militia embodied. This year, however, nearly the whole of the militia of the country is placed on a permanent footing, and the charge, therefore, for this service is included in the Army Estimates. Of the regiments embodied the services of three have been accepted for the Mediterranean, and it is intended to send a further number to the same part of the world. With this Vote is concluded the effective branch of the Estimates, and upon the effective branch it is that the whole augmentation takes place.

On coming to the other division—the non-effective branch—it will be found that, on the whole, as compared with last year, there is a reduction of 33,000l. The first Vote on the non-effective branch is the charge for rewarding officers and men who have rendered distinguished service to the country. The whole Vote amounts to 22,000l., of which 18,000l. is appropriated to the rewarding of officers, and 4,000l. to the rewarding of sergeants. There is an in- crease in that part of the Estimate that is employed in the rewarding of sergeants of 1,500l. The next two Votes are Nos. 10 and 11, both of which are important, and both of which show a considerable increase. The first of those Votes is applied to the unattached pay of general officers, and there is an increase in the Vote of 18,000l. I will state the manner in which the increase arose. It is owing to the recommendation of the Commission which was appointed last year upon the subject of the retirement and promotion of officers in the Army. The number of general officers receiving payment at the rate of 1l. 5s. per day was fixed some time ago at 120. Supernumerary general officers, provided they had served a certain number of years as field officers, were allowed to receive, not 11. 5s. a day, but an annual allowance of 400l. In consequence of there being no brevet for some time past, the number of general officers in the Estimates of last year had sunk below 120, having fallen to 105. being fifteen below the number fixed, so there was no general officer receiving the pay of 400l. a year. The Commission appointed last year made an entire change in the manner of promoting officers to be general officers with the view of bringing forward younger men where they could be employed in the command of brigades or divisions. It is unnecessary to enter into the details at length, except in so far as they bear upon the Estimate in this Vote. It was stated that the effect of the recommendation, if adopted, would be to bear hardly upon the colonels created by the brevet of 1841 and 1846, and in order to prevent any complaints it was advised that one more brevet should be issued, to include all the colonels of 1841 and 1846. The Commission recommended that the number of general officers receiving 1l. 5s. a day should be reduced to the number of 100; but the effect of the brevet of last year, by bringing forward to the rank of major-general the colonels of 1841 and 1846, has been to raise the whole number of major-generals, excepting always those who are employed and are colonels of regiments, to 148, and the excess over 100 is to be provided for; but it is intended in future to promote only one colonel to the rank of major-general for every three vacancies, until the whole number, which is now 148, shall be reduced to 100. The payment of the 400l. a year to the general officers exceeding 100 will therefore account for the increase in this Vote. The increase on Vote No. 11 is caused by the retirement on full pay of a certain number of colonels, captains, and other officers, and that is owing also to the recommendation of the Commission; for, whereas formerly the sum fixed was 46,000l., in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee it was agreed that it should be raised to the sum of 60,000l., the object being to make provision for certain captains and other officers who did not possess the activity which the exigencies of the present time required. A sum of 5,000l. would be sufficient for the purpose in the course of this year; and next year and subsequent years more Votes would be taken for the same purpose, so as eventually to bring up the whole Vote for retired full pay for officers of the rank of colonel and captain and other officers to the standard of 60,000l. The charge for half-pay has undergone a reduction in the course of last year. The diminution in the number of officers receiving it is not less than 313, and the diminution amounts to 7,721l. A great part of this reduction is owing to deaths in the course of the year, but a portion of it is also owing to the course pursued by the Government in calling out all available captains who would accept employment in the army on active service, the opportunity of offering them employment being afforded to the Government by the augmentation of the forces. I may observe that this Vote, though substantially a non-effective Vote, has to a certain extent, in consequence of what passed in the course of last year, maintained a reserve on which the Government are able to call for officers, and by which the establishment of the army may be increased without at the same time increasing the burdens of the country. I have no remark to make upon Vote 13, which provides for the pay of the disbanded officers of the foreign corps in the late war, which shows, of course, a reduction. I wish, however, to say a few words on Votes 14 and 15, which provide pensions for the widows of officers and for their families. The increase in the Vote for the present year is to be attributed to the probability that there will be an increased number of claims in the course of the year; and it is considered desirable to relax the forms of the warrant under which those pensions are granted. Suppose an officer dies from fatigue or privation while engaged against the enemy, it is considered that his widow and family have as fair a claim upon the country as if he had died in battle. In the Vote for the hospitals there has been a small increase in consequence of the increased price of provisions. The only remaining Vote which it is necessary for me to advert to, is the charge for out pensioners. There is a reduction of the sum of 27,123l. in that Vote, in consequence of out-pensioners dying off in the course of the year, while the present war it is not supposed, during this next year, will exercise any material influence on the number of out-pensioners. Having occupied the Committee so long, I shall now, without making any of those general reflections which the nature of the subject might suggest, at once proceed, Sir, to place in your hand the first Vote for 193,595 officers, non-commissioned officers, and rank and file for the year commencing the 1st of April, 1855, and ending the 30th of March, 1856.


said, he wished to bring under the notice of the Committee one point connected with the medical department. He found that officers in the navy who had been wounded had, when brought home, asylums open for them, such as the hospitals at Portsmouth and Plymouth, where they received every attention, and had the benefit of all the surgical skill which their cases required. Now, with respect to the army, he was not aware that there was for the officers brought home wounded from the Crimea any receptacle, where they could be received and attended to free of expense. Now, he thought, this was a very great hardship upon the officers in the army, though the alteration made in the deduction of from tenpence to twopence from the pay of the soldiers upon entering an hospital must be regarded as a very satisfactory change. He happened to know a case, which he would state to the Committee as it had been related to him. It was the case of an officer who was wounded in the Crimea by a ricochet cannon ball, a nine-pounder. He saw the ball coming, and saw it enter the ground, and thought it had not sufficient power to rise, but it did rise and struck him in the breast. He (Colonel Boldero) was speaking of facts related to him by the officer's brother. The ball struck him and knocked him from his horse; the medical men in the Crimea saw the wound was of great severity, and he was ordered home. He had seen the individual himself in London, delicate in appearance, but still in pretty good health. The wound turned out badly afterwards, an ulcer formed in his chest, and he was laid upon his back. He went to an eminent medical man in London and stated his case. The opinion of that medical man was, had the ball struck him lower down, in the pit of the stomach, it would have been instant death; that had it struck him higher up it would have caused a lingering death, but, having struck him where it did, he thought he could cure him. He made a deep incision in the chest, and attended him twice a day. That officer was paying two guineas a day to that medical man for attending him, in the hope that he would cure him; whereas, if there was an hospital for officers of the army like those in Portsmouth and Plymouth, he would receive the best medical attendance in the kingdom free of expense. That officer had about 15s. a day, and he had to pay between two and three guineas a day for medical attendance. He stated this case in order to show that there was something rotten in the present system, which compelled our gallant and brave defenders, for whom the country would grudge no needful expense, to spend, when brought home wounded, three times the amount of their pay in order to procure requisite medical attendance. A statement made the other night by the hon. Member for Aylesbury struck harshly upon his ear. The hon. Member said, that the medical men before Sebastopol had signed a "round robin," offering their resignation to Lord Raglan. [Mr. LAYARD: Not a "round robin," but a paper.] Good God! was it possible that such a state of things could occur; that medical men, in the presence of the enemy, and who, being 3,000 miles from the shores of England, could not be at once replaced by other surgeons, should so far commit themselves, when night after night sallies were being made by the Russians, when casualties were continually occurring, and when sickness and death extended from one end of the camp to the other! Was it possible, he repeated, that gentlemen highly educated, scientific men, could have committed such an act? He did not doubt the assertion of the hon. Member; but he had a right to ask whether the Government had received from Lord Raglan any intimation of such conduct on the part of the medical department? If it did occur, it was mutiny to the fullest extent, and why was it not punished? Was it that the noble Lord in command of the army thought the medical men in question were so overworked, that he could not come down upon them, and punish them for their mutinous act. He made these remarks in a pure spirit, for he wished to improve the condition of the officers in the medical department, who had generally performed their duty nobly in the Crimea, and if they had taken the step imputed to them, there must be something, as he had before observed, very rotten in the system, and the sooner that House set to work to amend it the better. In what he was about to say, he should, perhaps, meet with the concurrence of very few in that House. At the end of 1853, seeing war to be inevitable, he had had occasion at public meetings to declare his opinion that the Minister was not born, who would dare to come down to the House of Commons and ask for supplies to land a British army at any part of the continent of Europe. The war, he had said, must be a naval one, for this country was not a military nation. However, when Parliament met, he was amazed at the feeling prevailing in the House of Commons, for there was scarcely a man in it prepared to oppose the propositions of the Government to send out an army for actual operations. He confessed that he was not bold enough to stand up in his place and state his views at the moment, because all the House appeared to be against him. Nevertheless, he was still of opinion that a gross mistake had been committed, and that the Government ought never to have attempted in 1854 to send out an army to the East, to contend against the Russians. This country should have sent out its fleets, and destroyed the Russian trade and fortresses. Instead of this, however, the Government had thought fit to send an army first to Varna, where thousands upon thousands of men were lost by sickness, and afterwards to the Crimea, without the necessary auxiliaries and appendages to meet difficulties. Those men had done their duty in three actions, which history could not equal for the gallantry and bravery displayed; and however much the regimental officers may be condemned, it was they and their men that gained those battles. But in the present circumstances. hon. Members ought to express their opinion without being mealymouthed, for those circumstances were, as an hon. Member had said, of a dangerous character. This country had sent out about 60,000 men, and there were only remaining of that large number 12,000 in the field to undertake offensive operations. What has become of the rest? Their places of course must be supplied by recruits; and every means had been taken to obtain recruits by altering the standard, and the age, and by increased bounty. Well, he understood that the Government now obtained by the system of recruiting 1,000 men a week. But what was the amount of casualties? Why, 1,000 a week. How were they able to supply troops for the Colonies, the East Indies, and the home service, in addition to what they required for the war, by recruiting at the rate of only 1,000 a week? How were they to form their army in the spring for service in the Crimea? They were not to turn tail upon Sebastopol. Having commenced they must go on with this war; and yet, if what he had stated was correct, they were only recruiting at the pace of furnishing supplies to meet their casualties in the Crimea. This expedition to the Crimea had been described as similar to that of the Walcheren, but in certain respects it was different. In the Walcheren expedition they landed their troops in a place most notoriously unhealthy. The loss of men was truly lamentable, and an expense of about 20,000,000l. was entailed upon the country. But in the Crimea they had a good climate, and the loss of their troops arose from various other causes—they lost them from over fatigue, from want of food, from want of clothing, and from lack of medical attendance, and not from climate. Had they given them proper food and clothing and a fair share of work, they would not now have to lament over a tenth part of the number who had been cut off. The Government undertook a work which they were not able to accomplish. They failed in their Commissariat arrangements, they failed in their siege batteries, and in their medical department; in short, they had failed in every operation they undertook. They entered on a war with Russia, a most formidable Power, and what had they accomplished? They sent a magnificent fleet to the Baltic, which came home after doing next to nothing; they sent an army to Varna, where great losses were sustained by disease; and then they sent it to the Crimea, where no doubt most splendid actions were performed by the troops, but, notwithstanding, Sebastopol was stronger at this moment than when they first assailed it. There was not a family in the kingdom that did not mourn over the loss of relatives who had perished in this expedition. All these things were admitted; every blunder was admitted; for when these things were mentioned there was not a point on which the Government were not ready to express their regret. They were sorry that no road had been made—that provisions had not been got up to the troops—that there were not doctors in sufficient numbers—and that the medicines had not arrived in sufficient time. Indeed, it could not be denied that the whole arrangements of this army and its supplies had exhibited a mass of confusion, injury, and neglect, from beginning to end. But notwithstanding all this, he hoped the Government would now put their shoulders to the wheel and carry them through their present difficult position. It was essential to our prestige as a military nation that Sebastopol should fall. That great military fortress was not yet invested. They had only invested seven miles, leaving other seven miles open to the enemy to carry on their supplies, and our own troops, looking through their glasses, could see caravans bearing ammunition, guns, and provisions into the heart of the fortress. If they could name in history a siege undertaken by any Power leaving half the investment open to the enemy, he should like to hear when and where that siege took place. There was one subject which he had not heard touched upon in the course of any of these debates. He recollected last year, in the month of July, walking On the banks of the Thames, amusing himself, after sitting for a length of time in that House on Committee, when he saw a barge loading a quantity of porter, destined, as he was informed, for the Crimea. Soon after he saw it stated that the porter was to be delivered to the troops at cost price—a very praiseworthy proceeding; but he had since been informed that, though the porter was sent out, there was no person to receive it, and no stores wherein it could be placed, so that the porter actually came back. Whether it came bock because there was no one to receive it, or because it was of inferior quality, he knew not, and should like to be informed. In the meantime he would beg to read an extract from a document which came from India, on the subject of porter. It was a letter from an officer of the 94th Regiment, in which he stated that the surgeon had latterly noticed a great improvement in the health of the 94th Regiment. There was a record of the mortality among the troops from 1835 to 1854; and it appeared that in 1840 the mortality was 9½ per cent, while in 1854 it was only 1½ per cent. This reduction in the mortality he attributed to the improved sanitary measures which had been adopted, such as the system of confining men to the barracks in the heat of the day, but chiefly to the introduction of porter to the canteen, the men being thereby induced to give up in a great measure the use of spirituous liquors. Now, there was no difficulty about the porter. It was a wholesome beverage, which could be obtained to any extent that was desired; and he should like to know why the porter to which he had alluded had been sent home from the Crimea, and why an additional supply had not been sent to the troops, seeing the good effect which it might be expected to have upon their health?


said, he would make no objection to the Vote for the number of men proposed to the Committee; but he felt bound to say that, on looking through these Estimates, there were various items on which extensive reductions, he considered, might fairly be made. At the same time he felt that it was useless at the present moment to enter into the various matters to which he might refer, with the view of inducing the Committee to agree to any proposition that he might make. He begged to call the attention of the Committee, however, to the charge for the establishments that were to be consolidated. The establishment of the Secretary for War was put down at 18,787l.; but there was also a charge for the establishment of the Secretary at War of 16.085l. Now, they had been informed that this office was to be merged into the principal office of the Secretary of State for War. Then, the charge for the Commander in Chief's department was 13,989l., the Adjutant General's 8,499l., and the Quartermaster General's 6,618l.; making altogether a sum of 93,978l. Now, he held that if they wished to economise their military expenditure, they must begin by combining the whole of these offices into one. If the Secretary for War had the entire charge, with competent persons under him to discharge the duties of the respective offices, the expense would be reduced one-half and the business would be infinitely better done than it was at present. Only place a proper person at the head of the War Department, as was done in France, and he should have no fears for the result; but in meantime, until they were informed what Government had determined upon, he thought this branch of the Estimates ought to be postponed. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. Peel) had referred to the change which had been made in the clothing of the army; he (Mr. Williams) had made it a rule to bring that question before the House for a number of years past, and, of course, he was not sorry to hear that at length the clothing of the army was placed in the hands of the Government, instead of the colonels in command, who were general officers. As far back as 1831, a Committee reported upon this very subject, and at that time the profit to the colonel for clothing the Grenadier Guards was 1,800l., but now he hoped the system was irrevocably changed, and that the colonels were provided for as gentlemen and soldiers ought to be, instead of having to make up their incomes by becoming the tailors of their own regiments. The alteration of the system would be beneficial to the men, who would be much better clothed than formerly, and a considerable saving effected. He had perceived a vast improvement in the clothing of the Grenadier Guards already. Their cloth was of better quality, and the colour a brighter scarlet. With regard to the emoluments of general officers, that had been made a topic of complaint; and no doubt the change of system would reduce those emoluments. Prince Albert, for instance, would lose, perhaps, not less than 1,500l. a year by the change, still there was no good reason why Prince Albert should be paid more than any other general officer. There were three general officers of high merit who had been serving the country in the Crimea—General Sir De Lacy Evans, General Sir Colin Campbell, and General Sir George Brown. These three generals received 1,100l. a year each as colonels of regiments, while Prince Albert received 2,200l. a year as colonel of the Grenadier Guards. He was aware that colonels of regiments were general officers, and as such enjoyed perfect sinecures. The hon. Gentleman had also referred to the promised reduction of the number of general officers. It was a remarkable fact that there were more general officers in the British army than in the French army. In the British army there were 303 general officers, while in the French army there were only 255—that was to say, 5 marshals, 78 generals of division, and 172 gene- rals of brigade. On looking at the Queen's warrant, he found a loophole by which it was possible to place any number of the officers of the Guards on the list of generals, notwithstanding that warrant ["No no!"]; and by virtue of the Queen's warrant any officer who should be removed from the Foot Guards in consequence of being promoted to be a general officer was to receive unattached pay according to his regimental rank—if a lieutenant colonel 600l., and if a major 550l. a year. Now, a general officer in the army would receive only 450l. a year. He wished to know why a major in the Guards should, as colonel, receive 100l. a year more than a colonel holding the same rank in any other regiment? Neither could he understand why a captain in the Guards should hold the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the army, unless it were that the officers of the Guards consisted almost entirely of the aristocracy, or of persons connected with that clique. He considered this distinction between the Guards and the other regiments of the service to be most unjust, the payment of the one being 50 per cent greater than the payment of the other, besides all the privileges that were enjoyed by them, such as an allowance of 5,000l. a year for breakfasts and dinners at St. James' Palace, and the various other advantages which, as an aristocratic body, they possessed,


said, it was not his intention to trouble the Committee with any details of a purely professional character; that task he would leave to military Gentlemen. He simply rose to remind the Committee how frequently they had been told of the enormous expense attendant upon the maintenance of the army. But when he recurred to the Estimates moved this time last year, and coupled it with the state of that army at present, he must say no man could help feeling surprised at the enormous sum of money expended on starving it. However, that surprise would be very considerably increased when it was recollected that that result had occurred under the auspices of a Government which was declared by its supporters to embody the ablest administration of the country. Still it was to be hoped, now that the Government had been re-constructed—or, as his right hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) termed it, "re-burnished"—that the House would not be called upon when it met next year to deliberate upon a state of things so sug gestive of sad reflections as that now before them.


said, he sincerely believed that it was the hon. Member for Lambeth himself, and his class, such as his (Mr. Williams's) Friend the Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume), not now present, who, by the course they had pursued, had brought the country to its present necessity. ["Hear, hear!"] Yes, he maintained that those Gentlemen had impaired the efficiency of the army; and then up got the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Williams), and delivered a speech which was nothing more than a tirade against the army, and a tirade against Prince Albert, because he was in command of the Grenadier Guards. Now, he (Colonel Knox) was inclined to think that when an hon. Member got up to criticise the condition of the army he ought first to have learned his lesson. He could, however, inform the hon. Member for Lambeth that in his comments he was most grossly mistaken. Why, what did the hon. Gentleman mean by telling the Committee that while ordinary colonels of regiments only received 1,100l. a year, Prince Albert received 2,200l. a year as Colonel of the Grenadiers? But did not the hon. Gentleman know that the command of the Grenadier Guards, which was composed of three battalions, was equivalent to the command of three regiments. Now, he charged the hon. Member for Lambeth with making remarks on that subject which he knew to be as false as anything could be. The hon. Gentleman, descending to a miserable pettifogging economy, talked of dinners being given to the Guards at the Palace. But just let him look a little further into the army, and see what was the ease—what was the position of the Guards? They drew for neither coals, candles, nor any other of the military allowances which the rest of the army drew. He could only say that, if the Guards were placed upon the tame footing as the rest of the army, there would be no economy to the State. But "oh!" exclaimed the hon. Gentleman, "the Guards are better paid." Well, what was the fact? A lieutenant and captain in the Guards had but 120l. a year, while a captain in the line had rather better than 200l. And yet the hon. Gentleman opposite, knowing all that, had not the manliness or straightforwardness to avow it, but mine forward year after year to reiterate these charges that had been as repeatedly disproved. He would ask the Committee was that the moment to decry the Guards? was that the moment to declare that the Guards had not done their duty, or were unworthy of their hire? He for one, connected as he had been with the Guards for five-and-twenty years, could not remain silent when such aspersions were cast upon that gallant corps. Well, but that was not all; the hon. Member for Lambeth then went on to talk of the clothing of the army. Now, he dared say, the hon. Gentleman might be a very good soldier in Lambeth; for all he knew he might be a most efficient member of the Lambeth militia; still he would like very much to see what kind of clothing he would select for his regiment, if the choice devolved on him. On that point all he (Colonel Knox) would say was, that he should rather be excused from wearing it. The hon. Gentleman spoke, also, of the change which had been made with respect to the clothing. Now, he was quite prepared to admit that that change had been a wise and proper one; but he would not allow that it had been so made at the suggestion of the hon. Member for Lambeth. At the same time he begged leave to tell that hon. Gentleman that he was quite in error in his calculations on this head, for very great doubts were entertained whether the country would more likely lose than gain by the new system. And in point of fact he might mention what a relative of his, who had been in command of a regiment for several years —one of the senior officers of the army— said to him on the occasion of the change, "I am very glad to get rid of the clothing of my regiment, for all I know is, what with the various changes in the uniform, and accoutrements, and what not, I am very much out of pocket." But he could furnish the hon. Gentleman with another sample of the consequences following from the change he seemed to think so much of. He believed that at that very moment a claim was pending against Government on the part of a contractor, because sufficient time had not been allowed him to complete the alterations of the uniform. The contractor, acting in rather a different manner from hon. Gentlemen opposite, had looked a little a-head, and had prepared already for forthcoming seasons. The Government, however, turned round upon him, and said, "No, we cannot take any of these uniforms; we have altered the pattern." But the contractor was not content with that, and claimed 10,000l. as compensation for his losses. He (Colonel Knox) believed the hon. Member for Lambeth had here a capital case, and he would urge him to take it up and claim compensation for the contractor. As a military man he was quite ready to admit that the old system of farming out the clothing to general officers was wrong in principle, and that commanding officers were much satisfied with the change that had been made. He quite concurred in the view taken by the hon. and gallant Gentleman behind him (Colonel Boldero), that the country had rushed into a gigantic war without having adequately provided for it. They had done so with their eyes open, well knowing that the Gentlemen of the school of the hon. Member for Lambeth, by their fighting and quibbling, had entirely crippled all the military departments. He must contend, however, that the responsibility of that state of things rested with the Government. If he was not misinformed, in December, 1853, when war was imminent, a conclave was held at the War Office, at which the Minister of War, the Secretary at War, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Commander in Chief, attended. Now, public rumour had it that the distinguished officer who was at the head of the army was called upon to give a statement as to what number of men he could furnish in case of emergency. Be that as it might, it would be well to know—no matter what might have been the statement of the Commander in Chief as to the number of men he could supply—if he had told the Government that there would be a terrible deficiency in materials of every description. If he had done so, he had only done his duty; but, at the same time, he still maintained that a grave responsibility rested with the Government. He was prepared to maintain that a great deal of the evils of the Crimea had arisen from the fact that there had not been a single military man connected with the Government. If they were to have a Commander in Chief, make him in reality responsible for the condition of the army. He would conclude his observations by again protesting against the hon. Member for Lambeth year after year reiterating his charges against the army, and of giving them currency throughout the country, without assuring himself that they were substantially correct.


said, he rose to say a few words in defence of an absent Member. The hon. and gallant Member who had just sat down (Colonel Knox) said that the state of the army was, in a great mea- sure, owing to the conduct of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume). Now, in the first place, he (Lord Seymour) should like the hon. and gallant Member to look back at the votes and to find any single instance when the hon. Member for Montrose had proposed a reduction in the number of men when he was in a majority. Whenever such a thing was proposed, the party proposing it had always found himself in a very small minority. He had been in the House very ninny years, and had never seen a Government propose a number of men without carrying it. So far, then, the hon. and gallant Member's charge was unfounded. But, in the next place, he (Lord Seymour) thought it unfounded, because, having acted for three years consecutively with the hon. Member for Montrose, in relation to the Estimates for the Army, Navy, and Ordnance, he had not found the hon. Member ever propose any vote which tended to reduce the efficiency of the service. What the hon. Member (Mr. Hume) always said, and fairly said, was, let me see the money properly spent. This was his great anxiety, and it was a just one. He also took upon himself to object to particular payments, a most disagreeable task. It was always a disagreeable duty to object to payments made on account not only of distinction but of party favour. There was no doubt that the hon. Gentleman did take such objections, and he (Lord Seymour) could not but think that such a course was proper and most useful, not only to the country, but also to the Government, When that hon. Member did allude to any reduction in the Estimates, it was always to the Conservative Estimates of 1834–35 that he pointed. These were his model estimates, and to them he always referred when he wanted to enforce any argument having regard to a reduction. This of course, was a time when no one would propose to reduce Estimates; but if any observation were made, it would be that at this period we ought to maintain a more effective cavalry force. We had a very small cavalry force, even on paper—9,000 in all. That was but a miserable amount with which to enter into a war with Russia. We knew that it would be ridiculous, in speaking of any Continental power, to talk of such a force. But when we came to consider that of these 9,000 men, three regiments were household troops, who, it was now understood, were not to be sent abroad, and were, therefore, a force kept only for orna- ment, like the beef-eaters—we might well doubt whether we should keep so large a proportion of so small a force ineffective for purposes of war. It seemed to him but right, for the sake of the splendour of the Court, that we should have one magnificent regiment, with horses so large and men so heavy that for many of the services of war they would be perfectly useless; but he would suggest that in future years it would be worth considering whether, while we keep up so small a force, we ought to render three regiments out of it ineffective for practical purposes.


said, he had understood that the proposed land transport service was to consist of 8,000 men. The number of horses attached to such a corps could not be less than 12,000. It would be necessary to calculate some such number, for the food of those animals would have to be sent from this country. They had the authority of no less a person than the Earl of Cardigan that the horses composing our cavalry force in the Crimea had been literally starved to death. It was generally understood that the cavalry in the Crimea was to be increased by at least 1,200 men, now on their way from India, and by at least a similar number to be sent from this country. There had never been any explanation why the horses in the Crimea had been starved to death. Barley, it was known, could be procured in any quantity at a distance of only two days' sail. The head of the Commissariat department, however, still retained his place, an therefore it could not be supposed that the Government had any serious cause of complaint against him. It had been stated that recruits were now to be engaged between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-six, and for periods of one, two, or three years. He had never before heard of engaging troops for one year. That, he considered, would scarcely give time for the recruits to be drilled and brought into a condition to be of service. He therefore supposed no man would be engaged for less than three years, and he wished, at the same time, to know whether men engaged for that perriod were to be allowed the same bounty money as those engaged for the ordinary term of years? He also wished to know whether any steps had been taken to enlist the foreign corps?


said, he should be glad to know what were the actual expenses of the army to this country? Those expenses were spread over so many Estimates, and in the case of the Ordnance were so mixed up with charges for the Navy, that it was impossible for independent Members in the country to ascertain the actual amount. If, however, the Government would give the Committee a statement of the total cost of the army, the information would have the effect of throwing much light upon military discussions. They had heard that, by a late order of the Crown, sixty sergeants of the line were to be endowed with commissions. He wished to ask whether, in giving those commissions for gallant conduct in the field of battle, any allowance was made to them to enable them to take up those commissions? Every one knew that a large expenditure would be incurred by the acceptance of those commissions, and it was idle to suppose that a man in the position of a sergeant in the army had the requisite means of obtaining uniform, &c., or, in the case of cavalry, chargers. The army accounts of France gave very specific information on this head; and, if hon. Members would take the trouble of consulting the Budget de Guerre, they would see that all these wants were provided for. If the Government had no intention of accompanying those commissions with some adequate allowance for outfit, the gift of a commission to them would be rather a damnosa hereditas than anything else. Passing over these details, he would proceed to the great question raised by the hon. Member for Aylesbury, and to the mode in which it had been met by the noble Lord at the head of the Government. The noble Lord had said that his (Mr. Layard's) observations were vulgar appeals to the prejudices against the aristocracy. He (Sir E. Perry) denied the truth of that observation. There was nothing in the speech of the hon. Gentleman to warrant such an assertion. That great question respecting the aristocratic interest in the English army must be dealt with by some statesman who was able to read aright the signs of the times. It was no vulgar demagogue who said that "the British soldier fought under the cold shade of aristocracy." That was a sentiment expressed by a member of the aristocracy himself, who could rank with the highest born of the land. When they recollected the gallant deeds of the soldiers in the three glorious battles of the Crimea—when they considered the intelligence that was displayed in their letters that were published, and the high moral tone which was ex- hibited— they must feel that the time was ripe for considering the question of promotion in the army. When he (Sir E. Perry) contrasted the moral condition of the soldiers in the Crimea with the moral condition of the soldiers who fought our battles in the revolutionary war, the last of whom were said to be the outpourings of the streets of London, he felt that the time was come when that great question must be dealt with, and the same open career afforded in the army as was to be found in other ranks of life in this country. It was from no insolent sentiment of ill will to the aristocracy that his hon. Friend (Mr. Layard) had brought forward this question. For himself, his own sympathies and interests were all bound up with the institutions of the country; but in order to make these institutions stable, the statesmen who guided their councils must adapt those institutions to what was growing up around them on every side; and it was because the noble Lord at the head of the Government had the power of effecting such an adaptation, that he (Sir E. Perry) was willing to give a strenuous support to the noble Lord's Government. But although he had this strong desire, what he rose for was to express the dissatisfaction with which he had heard the taunts and ill-deserved sneers which had been levelled at his hon. Friend who pointed out where the blot lay. This question of army reform was so much connected with the Committee to be moved for on Thursday next, that he must make a few observations with reference to it. He had come down to the House the other day with an earnest desire to be able to retract the vote he had given on a former occasion. He had expected that the noble Lord at the head of the Government would have put forward such a vigorous programme of the conduct of the war that he should have been able to reconcile to his conscience and his constituents the change in his conduct; but on hearing the plans which had been adopted, he only felt, in common, he believed, with the greater portion of the House, a feeling of chill and dissatisfaction. The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard) had pointed out the extraordinary fetters placed upon the executive in the field, and the noble Lord had given no answer to any one of those objections. If the Government were not satisfied with their Commander-in-Chief, their course was obvious, and they had ample power, for the whole country was with them; but their mode of shackling a general in the field with Commissioners tied round his neck, and with power almost to displace him, must paralyse the efforts of any man, however skilled he might be in the art of war. His hon. Friend (Mr. Layard) had been taunted with citing the Commission de la sureté publique as an example to be followed; but, on the contrary, the hon. Member had pointed to that as the only instance on record in which such an extraordinary procedure had been resorted to; and that to make that Commission succeed, the Commissioners were armed with an ambulatory guillotine. As au independent Member of the House, and as a supporter of the Government who had no other opportunity to make his opinions known, he had ventured to make these observations. He observed that his calling himself a supporter of the Government called up some smiles on the opposite side of the House; but he could assure the hon. Gentlemen who sat opposite that he had no desire at all to see them sitting in the places of the present Government. Their Chancellor of the Exchequer would, under Lord Derby, probably have been the right hon. Gentleman the leader of the Opposition; and their War Minister would have been a nobleman (Lord Ellenborough) under whose rule he (Sir E. Perry) had lived during a most eventful period; and if Conservative Members opposite wanted to see what sort of a War Minister that noble Lord would have made, let them turn to the last chapter of a Conservative historian, Thornton's History of India. He (Sir E. Perry) believed that the noble Lord at the head of the Government had the power to do anything which his experience and his genius suggested for the conduct of the war; and, as one who wished well to his Government he implored him to wield his great powers with vigour, and to mould his measures according to the desires of the nation and the exigencies of the crisis.


said, he must complain of the deductions made in the soldier's pay for the expense of his clothing and other comforts, in time of war, and thought that if this system went on, between the noble Lord the Secretary for War and the Under Secretary the firm would soon be known by the appellation of Moses and Son. At Scutari he had been told by the medical men connected with the hospital there that there prevailed a deplorable want of proper clothing for the sick and wounded, and very often the only clothes they had were those which the marines and sailors had given them while on their voyage from the Crimea, and very often men were sent thence as convalescents, who, on arriving at their destination, were found to be so ill that they were obliged to be sent back again. He therefore urged on the Government to provide proper clothing in the different hospitals for convalescents going out to the Crimea, and also for those returning to England. He must also allude to the stoppages made from the soldier's pay for hospital allowances. He knew an instance in which several hundred sick and wounded were landed from the Acorn at Scutari, who arrived at the hospital in such a state as to be incapable of taking care of themselves, much less of their kits. The authorities refused to supply them with knives and forks, because, by the regulations, a soldier was obliged to find these articles, but fortunately there were other parties who supplied them. He thought great blame must be attributable to some of the subordinate officers, as he was ready to express his belief that no one could be more zealous or active in the cause of the soldier than the late Secretary at War (Mr. S. Herbert). He wished at the same time to ask why it was that there were so many ships at Beicos Bay lying idle and doing nothing? Why could they not drop down to Scutari, where they might anchor in perfect security, and their crews might be employed in landing the sick and wounded, and assisting to carry them to the hospital, instead of leaving them to the tender mercies of the Turks. Under the kind directions of Lady Stratford the sufferings of these poor men in this respect were greatly lessened. If hon. Members had seen, as he himself had, 450 sick landed in one day, they would acknowledge that there was much cause for this question. He believed that on that occasion a request was actually made that a ship should drop down to Scutari, but was refused; some days elapsed before these poor wretches were landed, and during that time they were lying on the deck in their miserable rags of blankets. He hoped that the Government would require better arrangements to be made for the reception of the sick and wounded at Scutari than had as yet been established. He wished also to call their attention to the staff of surgeons in the hospitals. He understood that they were called upon to perform duties—such as drawing up the diet roll—which should not be thrown upon them. He had seen a letter from a sick officer in which he stated that his doctor had to attend to sixty-nine men and nine officers. Now, by the French regulations there was one doctor appointed to twenty-five wounded men, and one doctor to every fifty malades ordinaires. It was impossible for the medical men of our army to do all the business that was thrown upon them. He hoped that the attention of the Government, would, therefore, be given to this subject.


said, he begged to be allowed to call attention to one point of great consequence — that of the tents. He believed a large number of the tents furnished to the troops for use during the present campaign were old tents that had been used in the Peninsular war, and that it had been truly remarked of them, that they might as well sit under a sieve. In fact, a great part of the misery endured by our men was owing to the insufficient protection they had against the weather. For this purpose the arrangements adopted in the French service were admirable, the troops being provided with small tents, which the men could carry about with them. He had received a letter from Colonel Ellers Napier, who took a great interest in these matters, which acquainted him that a tent had been transmitted to him, divided into six parts or more, of so light a nature as to be carried by a man on foot, which was capable of holding six persons, and was the invention of a private soldier, as he had been informed by General Bosquet was also the case with the tent used by the French. If we entered upon a summer campaign, we might expect great suffering again to be experienced by our army: and he must again urge the adoption of a better mode of covering the troops, especially that a better description of hospital marquees should be chosen. It was remarkable that, during the gale of the 14th November, when every one of our tents was blown down, not a single Turkish tent had been. Another point he wished to allude to was the enlistment of the new proposed corps of cavalry. Government always appeared to do the right thing at the wrong time, and in the wrong place. They were now about to send English officers to raise cavalry in Thessaly, but they might as well send them to Iceland, or any other quarter. If they wanted an excellent and efficient corps of irregular cavalry, they ought to send to Asia Minor, where it would be easy to raise such a body amongst the tribes of Anatolia. That thought was a subject well worthy the attention of the Government.


said, that in spite of the sneers which met him from hon. Gentlemen opposite (on the Ministerial benches), he wished to express his opinions fearlessly, yet briefly, upon the question which had caused so much excitement throughout the country. He wished to say that he had great confidence in the noble Lord at the head of the Government, but that he had no confidence in the Cabinet which the noble Lord had formed, for it was a Cabinet condemned alike by the country, by that House, and, with one exception, by every public paper in London, and by the whole country press. With regard to what had been said, rather disparagingly, of our officers, especially of Sir Cohn Campbell and the Duke of Cambridge, he would state his belief that there was no officer more deserving of our admiration than was Sir Colin Campbell for his conduct in the field; and of the Duke of Cambridge he would, without fear of contradiction, observe, that there was not in the whole course of history a record of more heroic conduct than that exhibited by His Royal Highness at Inkerman. He could not allow that, as to those two general officers at least, there was any want of bravery or of military skill. But then he came to the supplies sent out to our army; and on this subject he would express his belief that there was not a single house of respectability in London, in Liverpool, or Glasgow, that would not be ashamed of the manner in which these supplies had been sent out. Every merchant sent out supplies to their agents in foreign countries in a satisfactory manner. Every article was delivered by their shipmasters to the persons to whom consigned by bill of lading. Take, for example, the house of Green and Co. [Laughter.] Yes, but not "green" in their experience and mode of conducting business. The Admiralty were "green," and the Commissariat were "green." But he was referring to Messrs. Green and Co., the great shipowners in the Indian and Australian trade; and if they examined into the subject they would find that all their cargoes, for the last twenty years, were delivered in proper order, and according to their bills of lading, while, as to our storeships, nobody seemed to know where to find the articles which composed their car- goes. Well, we had a new Government. Yes! But had we new men to carry out the views and the honest designs (as he believed them to be) of that Government? Nothing of the kind. They had found it a matter of ease and comfort to take the actual staff of blundering subordinates already in existence—they went no further. Then they were threatened with a dissolution of Parliament if we opposed their measures—if we voted for inquiry. For his own part, he never could go to his constituents with more confidence than he could now. But he believed that those Members who had voted, or who should vote, in opposition to inquiry would, on going to their constituents, find themselves in a miserable position—that scarcely one of them would have a seat in the next Parliament. Speaking in the full spirit of an independent Member, he deplored the position of the noble Lord, and deplored his choice of a Cabinet which, he repeated, did not possess the confidence of the country.


said, that in reverting to the actual question before the Committee as to the number of troops, he wished to make one suggestion to the Government with regard to the estimate of casualties, which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Frederick Peel) had calculated at 20,000. The hon. Member had stated that an increase of 35,000 men would be required for the addition made to the army this year; that there would be an arrear of 5,000 voted last year, and 20,000 for casualties, making in all 60,000 men. Now, he would put it to the Government whether it was possible for them to put the list of casualties so extremely low? For the year past the casualties in the Crimea had been at least 30,000. God forbid we should have such severe suffering in the ensuing year, but it was impossible, he feared, considering the increased numbers of the army, that the list should not be a heavy one. He was sure that official documents at the Horse Guards would not bear out so low an estimate of casualties upon this number of men as the Government had calculated for. He thought it a most serious subject for the consideration of the Government how they were to raise the requisite number of men. They had already placed the casualties at 20,000, but he thought he should be within the mark when he added 20,000 more to that estimate. It was not for him to suggest how that enormous gap was to be filled up, but he thought the Government ought to state how they proposed to keep up the efficient farce of the army.


said, he was sure there was no objection on the part of any Member of that House to vote certain things for which they had been asked. But they had voted nearly the same sums last year. For instance, they voted a large sum for clothing for the army, but the army did not get it; and he wanted to know how they were in the least more sure now that the clothes for which they were now voting the money would ever arrive in the Crimea? They were also going to vote a certain number of horses. They had horses last year, and they starved their horses to death. They were now going to send horses out to the Crimea, but they had not stated, either to-night or at any other time, that they had altered anything between this day and the last twelve months by which they might assure the Committee that they were not going to starve the horses again that they were now about to send out. He was sure the Committee were not prepared to vote 9,000 horses to be sent to the Crimea to be starved to death. And yet, what machinery had the Government now got? He might ask, with the hon. Gentleman behind him (Mr. Layard), what man had they got to say these things should be done? and if he could get no proper answer, he would turn out every man of them from first to last. They required a man of strong mind to do and to act, and not a mere pack of twaddling red-tapists, who did nothing.


said, he had asked a question of the Under Secretary for the War Department relative to the summer clothing for our troops in the Crimea. This was the 19th of February, and the answer he had received was that the patterns for the clothing had not been decided upon. They had heard something about the advantages of the change which had been made in the mode of providing clothes for the troops. There seemed grave reasons to doubt whether the clothing under the new system would be better than it had been under the former system; but even if better clothing were not produced, he should he satisfied if convinced that the troops would have summer clothing, or even their ordinary clothing before the warm weather set in. There was no assurance given that the pattern for the clothing had been as yet decided upon, or, indeed, that ordinary clothing was ready; and he did, therefore, trust that the Under Secretary for War would be able to show the House that this summer clothing was in progress, for certainly it was not too much to expect that on the 19th of February the summer clothing which was required for 30,000 or 40,000 men should be in progress. The hon. Member for Northamptonshire (Mr. Stafford), who had just returned from the Crimea, said the spring came on rapidly in that quarter, and it was not too much to ask that, when the summer arrived, the troops should not be found walking about in sheepskin coats, after having been exposed all the winter in the ordinary clothing in which they went out. In regard to another point, he was told that there was, at present, scarcely any cavalry in the Crimea, and very little in England; that they were buying horses at the rate of 40l. a piece. He hoped they were not taking these horses from hot stables in England to place them at once upon picquet duty in the Crimea, for, depend upon it, if they did, their horses would die like rotten sheep. The Government should take care that the horses they were now hastily buying were put through some course of treatment to prepare them for the exposure they would have to meet. Having been a man of "stable mind" all his life, and having had a good deal to do with horses, he warned the Government that if they took their horses as they bought them, and shipped them in dealer's condition at once for the Crimea, many of them would die like rotten sheep. He understood that several regiments of irregular cavalry in India had volunteered their services; and he did not believe there was a finer or more effective body of men to be found than the irregular cavalry in the service of the East India Company. They were men thoroughly trained for their duty. Such was the evidence before the Committees on the Affairs of India, and their horses were seasoned to exposure. If the Government wanted cavalry, why not avail themselves of the services of these troops? He knew they had volunteered their services, and they were commanded by officers who would do as much credit to the service of Her Majesty as they had done to that of the East India Company. He trusted the Committee would pardon the observations he made, but the matter was pressing. The hon. Gentleman opposite (the Member for Aylesbury) had made an attack on what he called the aristocratic portion of the officers of the army, and on them he chose to visit the misfortunes and calamities which had oc- curred, and had been followed in that strain by other hon. Members on the Government side of the House. He (Mr. Newdegate), on the contrary, maintained that the officers of the British army were as superior to the officers of the armies of other nations as the British soldier was superior to the foreign soldier. They had not shown in the Crimea that they had degenerated. Wherever victory was to be won, had they not won it? Whenever brought face to face with the enemy, they had proved themselves victorious. The noblemen and the gentlemen who were officers in the Crimean army had done their duty. But, it was true, disasters and calamity had befallen that army. Let the House consider where the failure had occurred—it had not occurred in the regimental service of the army, which some hon. Members condemned as being aristocratic—failure had befallen the army for want of food, for want of the means of transport, for want of medical assistance and organisation. Were the duties of the Commissariat, the transport duties, discharged by members of the aristocracy? Was the medical department in the hands of the aristocracy? It was notorious that the conduct of those departments was not in the hands of the noblemen and gentlemen of the army. It was notorious that the failure in the Crimea was attributable to defective commissariat, to the blundering, miserable defects of the transport service, and to the gross inefficiency of the medical department. It could not be said that any one of those departments was in the hands of, or conducted by, the aristocracy. It was to the civil service, to the lapsed state, the miserable confusion consequent on, and engendered by, protracted peace, on those departments that all the suffering and misfortunes that had occurred was to be charged. It was gross injustice, therefore, to attempt to fasten odium on the aristocracy for calamities which had been occasioned by departments with which they were the least connected. He (Mr. Newdegate) merely trusted that hon. Members would speak with common fairness of the noblemen and gentlemen who, as officers of the army, had done their duty, and not attribute to them discredit for calamities for which they were in no way accountable. Recurring to his original question, he hoped the Under Secretary for the War Department would be able to give an assurance that the summer clothing was not only ordered but provided, when he should next week renew his question on that subject.


said, it was to the inaptitude of the Gentlemen who composed the important branches of the service that the failures were owing, and it was from that cause that he had to complain of the inefficiency of the staff, for it was notorious that many of the misfortunes which had occurred were attributable to that branch of the service. As soon as the French army arrived in Kamiesch Bay the staff officers made arrangements for the construction of jetties and wharfs, to facilitate the landing of supplies for the army; but at Balaklava no similar arrangements were made for conveying provisions and stores to the British troops. There was in this country an establishment ably conducted by professors of eminence, to which every officer in the army could have access by applying for it. They might there learn everything necessary to fit them for staff duties; and he believed this establishment sent out annually about thirteen officers fully qualified for every department of the army. Unfortunately, however, these officers were hardly ever appointed to staff situations; and the consequence was, that the staff of the English army was so inefficient that it brought upon it the derision of every foreign officer who might come into contact with it. He had no objection to the present Vote, for he was only surprised, considering the enemy with whom we had to contend, that the number of troops asked for by the Government was so small. He could not, however, help expressing his regret that, considering the deficiencies of the military system, the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of the War Department (Mr. F. Peel) should not have inaugurated his advent to the office by expressing his intention of introducing modifications into some parts of that system. For instance, the manner in which commissions were purchased in the service was a most ridiculous arrangement. Some steps had certainly been taken in the right direction, for a commission in each regiment was to be given to sergeants or non-commissioned officers who were recommended by their colonels or commanding officers for such a mark of distinction. That, however, was not sufficient. In the French army a certain number—he believed, one-third—of the commissions in each regiment were conferred on non-commissioned officers or soldiers, and therefore every private who entered the ranks of that army knew that if he conducted himself properly, if he distinguished himself in action, or if he did anything to deserve promotion, he would in due course obtain a commission. He (Mr. Otway) considered it most desirable that a somewhat similar system should be adopted in the British army. Some months ago he had suggested to the right hon. Baronet the President of the Board of Control the expediency of employing some of our Indian troops in the Crimea, but that suggestion was not very favourably received. He (Mr. Otway) had, however, been gratified to learn, within the last month or six weeks, that a regiment of cavalry was on its way from India to the Crimea. They would thus obtain not only efficient men, but also horses admirably adapted for service in the Crimea, for the horses of the Indian army were accustomed to exposure, and yet during the campaigns of Cabul and Affghanistan he believed the casualties among the horses of the cavalry regiments were not greater than those which occurred in regiments upon ordinary service at home. He knew it was the opinion of very distinguished officers that the Sikh and Ghoorka infantry, and the Scinde irregular cavalry, and other similar forces which existed in India, might be employed in the Crimea with great advantage, and he hoped that, at the present crisis, the Government would avail themselves of the services of such men as Colonel Outram, Major Jacob, and Major Edwards, who were experienced in warfare on a grand scale, and who were men of high reputation. He (Mr. Otway) did not, as he had previously stated, approve the system of purchase in the army, but so long as that system continued he thought some modication ought to be adopted with regard to the pensions awarded to the widows of officers who might fall in action, and who might die from disease in the service of their country. They had had to deplore the loss of more than one Member of that House who had fallen during the past year in battle or from sickness in the gallant discharge of their duty. He knew that one of those officers, a gallant and distinguished colonel of the Guards, must have paid 8,000l. or 9,000l. for his commission; and, although he did not know what might be the position of that gallant officer's family, he thought it was only just that the wives and families of officers who fell in battle or died from disease under similar circumstances should have some larger provision made for them by the State. He had been surprised to see that the vacancy thus occasioned had been filled up by the appointment of the eldest son of one of the richest peers in this country, who had received the commission without purchase. Now, he regarded that as an act of monstrous injustice. He considered that that vacant commission ought to have been given to the son of an officer who had fallen in the discharge of his duty in the service of his country. Certainly, so long as the system of purchase remained in existence, that commission ought not to have been bestowed upon any one who did not pay its full price, and the purchase money might have been handed over to the fund out of which provision was made for the widow and family of the deceased officer. It might be remembered that when the Bill authorising the establishment of a foreign legion was submitted to the House, the noble Lord now at the head of the Government urged the adoption of that measure on the ground that the services of such troops were necessary to save the lives of our soldiers in the Crimea. He wished to know how many men had been enlisted in the foreign legion? Also, who was to be the commander of that legion? He asked this question because he had heard, in military circles, that some six weeks or two months ago a very excellent officer, who had held a command in the Schleswig-Holstein army—a Baron Von Stuttenhein, he believed—had been sent for to this country, by telegraphic message from Holstein, or some place where he was residing, in the north of Germany. He understood that the Baron rushed to the railway station in the clothes in which he stood, and at once came to London, considering that his presence was required upon some business of the most pressing urgency; but he was told that this Baron Von Stuttenheim had, every day for the last six weeks, been running about between St. James's and the Department of the Secretary at War, or the Secretary of War, or the Secretary for War, and that he had never succeeded in getting beyond the porter in the hall. This gentleman, who had been sent for by telegraph, and who came away without a clean shirt, had never yet, it was said, seen anybody in the department, nor bad any steps been taken to render his services available. He (Mr. Otway) thought that, as the House had given their assent to a measure dangerous, if not degrading, to this country, on the plea of urgent necessity, which was put forward by the Government, they were entitled to some explanation on this subject.


Sir, the hon. and gallant Gentleman who began this discussion entered into an argument upon the general arrangements which Her Majesty's Government have made in regard to the war. He stated his opinion that, this country not being, as he considers, a military Power, ought not, when it was compelled to engage in war with Russia, to have attempted any operation with a military force, but ought to have confined itself entirely to naval operations by a fleet; and he seemed to think that it would have been sufficient to have sent a fleet to blockade the Russian ports in the Baltic, and another to blockade the Russian ports in the Black Sea, by which means we would have been able so to coerce the Russian Government as to compel them to accede to any terms which we might have pleased to desire. Now I must say that I entirely differ from the hon. and gallant Gentleman upon that point. It is manifest, I think, to everybody that the mere action of a naval force never could have exercised such a coercion upon the Government of Russia as would compel any decisive or peaceful result. But I deny entirely the assertion which he made, that the operations of our navy were attended by no result. The hon. and gallant Gentleman said, "You sent a magnificent fleet to the Baltic, but it came back without having done anything." Sir, I utterly deny that assertion. Why, in the first place, our fleet destroyed that which was the beginning of a great naval position at Bomarsund, intended to be even upon a greater scale than Cronstadt. I say that of itself was something to have accomplished. But does the hon. and gallant Gentleman forget that there were in the Russian ports in the Baltic from twenty-seven to thirty sail of the line; that there were from twenty-seven to thirty frigates; that there were steamers and small vessels in abundance; and that if we had not had in the Baltic a very large and formidable naval force, we should have had the whole of that Russian fleet scouring our seas, ravaging our commerce, threatening our shores, and inflicting danger and disgrace upon the country. Sir, I say it is unjust, unfair, and untrue to assert that we accomplished nothing when we cooped up that formidable naval force in its ports during the whole of the season, and saved our country from the inconvenience and detriment which would have arisen from the escape of even a portion of that fleet.

Now, with regard to the military operations which we undertook. It is plain that if you intend to bring Russia to terms you must strike a blow somewhere. Would the hon. and gallant Officer have had us send our army to wander about in the steppes of Central Russia, striking here and there, without being able to inflict any blow that would have had any decisive or permanent result? We might have gained a victory in the interior of Russia, and yet not have been a step further towards the accomplishment of any useful or decisive result. We adopted a different course. We endeavoured to strike a blow where a blow would have been most sensitively felt, and where the effect would have been the greatest if we succeeded. We undertook the war to defend Turkey against the aggressions of Russia. We engaged in it, not—as some people have foolishly said— because we had a preference for the Mahomedans over the Christians, but because we thought it of the greatest importance for the interests of the world that those vast regions now under the sway of Turkey should not fall under the dominion of Russia. That was the object for which we declared war. Well, where did the danger lie? Why, Sir, in the Black Sea. It was perfectly manifest that Austria had such an interest in protecting Turkey from any formidable invasion by land that we might safely leave the protection of the land frontiers of Turkey to the combined armies of Turkey—which, by the by, for a whole twelvemonth stood as a barrier against the forces of Russia—to the combined armies of Turkey and Austria, if the assistance of the latter should become inevitably necessary. It is clear, then, that the aggressive power of Russia as against Turkey lay in Sebastopol. There was the great fleet which had the dominion of the Black Sea; there was that great arsenal under the protection of which that great fleet floated in security, and from which it could issue forth, with the promptitude of lightning, as it were, to fall upon Constantinople; there, in short, was the centre of the power of Russia in the Black Sea; and if we were to do anything, it was there we ought to do it. The difficulties, I confess, have been greater than were anticicipated when the expedition was settled. I will not now enter into a discussion of whether those difficulties were not increased by want of arrangement, or by bad management on the spot. But the Committee ought to look with some indulgence upon the errors and mistakes of men who had not had that experience in the duties which they were called suddenly to perform which might have enabled them to discharge those duties with greater efficiency and success.

The hon. and gallant Member for Stafford (Mr. Otway) has said that we have an establishment where staff officers may learn their duties, but it is well known that the learning of them theoretically in an educational institution and the learning them practically by the actual performance of them in the field are two things as different as they possibly can be. The armies of the Continent have a great advantage in that respect over the army of England. The great bulk of those armies is always within their own country. They are assembled in large bodies. They are called out to perform great operations in the summer, and mimic war there teaches them the duties of a real campaign. Our armies have not had that advantage. The first occasion on which anything of the kind took place was in 1853, when a very small number of men were assembled in the camp at Chobham, and, therefore, we ought not to condemn too readily men who have not had practical experience in the performance of those duties which they were suddenly called upon to discharge under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty. So much for the policy of Her Majesty's Government in the conduct of the war. I contend that to have confined ourselves to a naval war would have been perfect imbecility on our part. I contend that if you were to enter into any military operations at all, the point to which those operations were directed was the point, and the only point, at which an effectual blow could be struck at the adversary with whom we were engaged. An hon. Member during the discussion made a suggestion which certainly is deserving of consideration. He stated the hardships that may fall upon officers who, returning to this country suffering from wounds or infirmities contracted in active service, may be unable, as naval officers would, to receive assistance in hospital. Whether the military arrangements would admit of that, I cannot at present say; but, undoubtedly, the suggestion is one fully deserving of the consideration of the Government. My hon. Friend the Under Secretary for War reminds me that when an officer has received a very severe wound, or lost a limb, the regulations of the service give him a gratuity of a year's pay, which is intended for the purpose of enabling him to receive that medical assistance which the condition of his wound may require. My hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth (Mr. Williams), as usual, condemned the household troops. He thought there was no use in having a body of men like the Guards, with higher pay and greater privileges than the rest of the army. Now, we are often told that we ought to imitate the military arrangements of foreign countries; and that the reason why our operations are not always so successful as they should be, is that we do not follow those examples. But if there is one arrangement which more than another prevails in all foreign armies, it is to have in each some one corps entitled to greater privileges and of greater distinction than the rest; and to so great an extent has that system been carried that recently in the French service the Imperial Guard has been reorganised—it having late years been abolished; and I myself had the satisfaction, the other day, of seeing 13,000 of the most magnificent troops, forming the Imperial Guard lately organised, reviewed in the Gardens of the Tuileries. Therefore, whether you look at the Russian service, or the Prussian, or the Austrian, or the French, you will find a body of troops corresponding with our brigade of Guards. I need not detain the House with any observations as to the manner in which those troops have performed their duty upon every occasion on which their services have been required. If upon any occasion there is a desperate resistance to be made, or a distinguished service to be performed, there you are sure to find a regiment, if not the entire brigade, of Guards in the van. That brings me to the observations of my noble Friend the Member for Totness (Lord Seymour), who thought that the household brigade of cavalry were of no use, that they were merely for show, that they never could be employed, and that both men and horses were too heavy to be of any service. Does my noble Friend forget the battle of Waterloo? Does he forget the magnificent manner in which, by the weight and strength of men and horses, that beautiful force overbore everything opposed to it on the field of Waterloo? Does he forget that, also, in the Peninsula the household brigade were employed with great distinction and success? Of course, they have not been sent to the Crimea, that being too distant a place, and the nature of the ground not admitting of the operation of that particular description of force. My hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth also said he was sorry not to see in the Estimates of the present year that consolidation of departments which we had announced as being desirable. Why, Sir, the fact is, that there is no consolidation of departments which can supersede the necessity of having a great number of clerks for the examination and settlement of the accounts of the army, of the militia, and other forces whose accounts are sent to the War Office, and, therefore, nobody ever imagined that by placing all the civil departments of the army under the control of the Secretary of State for War you could avoid having an establishment for the performance of the different services which were thus to be placed under his charge. Consequently, the House must expect that when that arrangement is completed, there will still be the necessity of providing establishments for the different services the whole of which will be placed under the control of the Secretary of State.

The hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Baillie) said we began the war without any plan of transport. Now, there he was mistaken. We began the war without a separate corps, as we now proposed to have it, specially designed to manage the land transport. The land transport was under the Commissariat, and it was found that great inconvenience and inefficiency arose from the combination under one department of two services totally distinct in their nature—namely, the service of procuring supplies and the service of transporting the various articles that were required. But I would remind the hon. Member that we had a large number of animals collected at Varna. There were 4,000 or 5,000 horses and mules at Varna, especially provided for the transport service of the army. It was not possible to carry them over to the Crimea when the troops went, and circumstances arose which prevented their being sent afterwards. But the arrangement we are proposing is not the creation for the first time of the means of land transport. These means have already been employed under the Commissariat department. It is the transferring them to a separate establishment, whose sole duty will be to look after that service, and perform it correctly; and we think great advantages will arise from that concentration of the transport service into one particular department. The hon. Member has also observed upon the calamity which befell a great number of horses which died for want of forage; and he ascribed that to the great neglect on the part of those whose duty it was to provide a sufficient supply of forage. But he is not perhaps aware that the unfortunate hurricane in which the Prince was lost destroyed twenty days' forage for the animals in the camp. Then came the badness and impracticability of the roads, and the great difficulty of bringing anything from the harbour up to the camp—a difficulty which led to this consequence, that, while there were abundant supplies at the port, those who were at the camp, and for whom those supplies were intended, were left in a state of great suffering. The hon. Member for Inverness also asked what progress we had made in raising foreign troops? It was stated, and with great force, that in the early part of the Session we urged the great necessity of passing a Bill to enable us to raise foreign troops, and I especially entreated the House to consent to the passing of that Bill, in order that we might, without loss of time, enlist foreign troops, to give assistance to our troops in the Crimea. It is perfectly true that hitherto we have not succeeded in acting upon that Bill. And why? I must tell the Committee the truth, however unpleasant it may be to some parties to hear it; but the reason why we have not succeeded is the language which—I am forced to say it—the language which was used in the debates in this and the other House of Parliament, which created such a feeling of resentment, of irritation, and of indignation throughout the Continent, that those persons who were before prepared to take letters of service to raise troops in Germany said that, under these circumstances, they were unable to raise a man. The condition, also, which was imposed on the Government, of not giving half-pay to the officers, likewise tended greatly to impede the execution of that Bill. I will undertake to say that if Parliament had not put in a clause prohibiting the grant of half-pay to the officers of the Foreign Legion, and if language of the most insulting kind had not been heard with regard to what were called the "mercenary troops"—German and Belgian "mercenaries," and Heaven knows what—raising the national feeling of the Continent against us, I have no doubt that by this time we should have had a very different story to tell of these foreign troops. It has not, however, altered the feeling on the Continent with regard to the cause in which we are engaged. They still say that England is right, and wish her success; but they say that, after the language which was held with regard to their nationality, they will not take service under our flag. I would not have made that statement, which may be considered a reproach; but having been asked the reason, I am forced to give it.

The hon. Member for Devonport (Sir E. Perry) asked a very natural question. He said that commissions are given to non-commissioned officers, and that these commissions involve considerable expense, and he asked whether any provision was made to enable the gallant men on whom these rewards were conferred to encounter the expense attending their commissions. My hon. Friend has evidently not studied these Estimates, but if he will look at page 4, he will find the sum of 5,000l. proposed to be voted specially as a gratuity to those deserving men, to enable them to meet the expense of the commissions which are given to them. As a proof that the Government is not unmindful of the services of non-commissioned officers — of those to whom commissions cannot be given—it will be seen that there is a long list of non-commissioned officers to whom gratuities for life are to be given, amounting to 2,000 or more, in the same list in which good-service pensions to officers are given. An hon. Gentleman opposite told us that the soldiers sent to the hospital are frequently, in consequence of the loss of their knapsacks, destitute of knives and forks, things which are really essential to their comfort, and that great difficulty has sometimes arisen in providing them in the hospital. That evil has been, I am happy to say, anticipated; and orders were given to purchase a large number of knives and forks at Marseilles for the use in hospital at Scutari of those soldiers who may come unprovided with these necessary articles. The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard) made some very proper remarks. He said it was essential that a new supply of tents should be provided for the use of the army in the ensuing campaign. I can assure him that that requirement will be duly attended to, and I trust they will be of a sufficiently substantial description. They will not be old tents, but new ones, perfectly fitted for the service for which they are intended. It is perfectly true that the French have been provided with a tent much more portable than that of the English; but, although it is far more portable, it is by no means so well adapted to protect the soldier against the inclemency of the weather. It is a most convenient tent for light service, but it is not above three or four feet from the ground. It barely affords shelter at the sides. It is easily carried and easily put up, but the French felt so strongly the inferiority of their tent to that of our troops, that the French general sent to France for tents upon our model, feeling that their tent was an insufficient shelter from the weather to which they were exposed. The hon. Gentleman has also made a very good suggestion with regard to the supply of light cavalry. It is perfectly true that in all probability light cavalry might be obtained in Asia Minor. I am sure, if they could be found there, it would be far better, both in point of economy and expedition, to obtain them from thence than to bring them from India, for the transport is tedious and expensive, and probably the cavalry so brought would not find itself so well adapted to the nature of the country and the service to be performed as cavalry obtained nearer the country where the operations are to be performed. With regard to the suggestion relative to bringing distinguished officers from India, such as Major Outram and Major Edwardes, I think my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Control would have a word or two to say on that point. These officers are occupying posts of great importance in India, and, I apprehend, the Governor General would not thank the Government at home if they were to deprive him of those able officers, on whose ability and services he counts in the event of circumstances arising which might require India to be defended as well as the Crimea invaded. It is unncessary for me to point out to the Committee that many circumstances may arise in which it would be necessary for the Governor General of India to be in possession of ample means to protect our territories in that quarter of the globe.

The hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond) wishes to know what better machinery we have established for sending out provisions and clothing to our troops in the Crimea? That is exactly, Sir, one of the arrangements which the Government have felt it to be their imperative duty to give their earliest attention to. We know the great importance of seeing not only that things are sent, but of making arrangements by which the things sent to the army shall reach the men and officers for whom the things are intended. The defect has not been the want of things despatched from this country. Forage, ammunition, and everything requisite has been sent from this country, and, I will venture to say, when the matter comes to be looked into, that it will be found that there never was sent from this country so large a force in so short a time, so fully equipped, so well provided with everything necessary for the comfort of the horses and men, and for the purposes of the service to which they were destined, as the army which was sent to the East in the course of the year that just elapsed. The defects are from the want of arrangement for conveying to the men and the horses the things that were sent out to them. At the same time, I must say there was great truth and force in the observations of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), in answer to the attack made on the aristocracy of the country, in which, I suppose, we must include the gentry, for I hope the aristocracy includes the two. In answer to the charge that our army had not been so successful as it ought to have been, in consequence of the great number of gentlemen who are officers in the army, I think the hon. Member made a most triumphant reply, by showing that where the system has broken down—where the evil has arisen from the want of capacity, want of energy, want of intelligence, want of an accurate and zealous performance of duty—it has happened not where the gentry were, not where the aristocracy were, not where the noblemen were, but where there were persons belonging to other classes of the community—in the medical department, the commissariat department, the transport service, which have not been filled with the aristocracy or the gentry. It is there that the system has broken down—it is there that the service has failed, and produced the suffering which we all so much regret and deplore. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire has expressed a hope that the new clothing will be provided in time for the services in the ensuing campaign. I can assure the hon. Member and the Committee that no effort shall be omitted to secure the prompt and effectual despatch of the clothing, and I entertain not the slightest doubt that the clothing will arrive in proper quantities and in due time. Most of the observations which have been made are perfectly correct. Nobody disputes the importance of having a large and effective army. If any hon. Member has objected to the amount of the force, or to anything which is required to make the force effective, I trust that between this time and the opening of the campaign Government will be able to organise a sufficient army of reserve to en- able it to put into the field an army sufficient to cope with whatever difficulties it may have to contend; and I am satisfied that if that army shall be called upon to vindicate the honour of the country and maintain its interest by the continuance of the war, we shall find that the service has been well performed—that the experience of the last few months will enable us to correct those faults and errors which have been committed, and that by the means which the Government are setting to work to reorganise and to rearrange those several departments of the service, we shall be able to put into the field an army of which the country will be proud—an army whose services will meet the thanks and acknowledgments of Parliament and of the country.


said, he regretted to have heard from the noble Lord at the head of the Government an intimation that an ex-Minister who, one would think, had been sufficiently convicted and condemned by the country, had been set forth to patch up a peace which, from his knowledge of the character of the man, he (Colonel Sibthorp) feared would not redound to the honour or interest of England. He hoped England would never succumb to the Russian, nor to any other country; and he had, therefore, hoped that the noble Lord to whom he referred had retired from public life, never again to return to it. He was surprised to hear from the noble Lord, for whom he had the greatest respect, a hint respecting a dissolution of Parliament. Old birds were not to be caught with chaff; and he (Colonel Sibthorp) would not shrink from appearing before his constituents to defend his public conduct. He was prepared to do all in his power to uphold the honour and security of the country, and would be ready to abide by the consequences of doing his duty.


said, he wished to know whether the Government intended to keep up the corps of pensioners that went out with the army in the East, and the efficiency of which had been greatly questioned?


was understood to reply that the Government had no intention to maintain the corps to which the hon. Gentleman had alluded.


said, he wished to know if any and what provision had been made to supply the 10th Hussars, now on their way to the Crimea from India, with warm winter clothing; and also, if they were to bring their tents with them, or if provision had been made to supply them with tents for themselves and their horses on their arrival in the Crimea?


said, it was not intended to send the 10th Hussars direct to the Crimea. They would remain in Egypt. until the winter was over.


said, he rose to vindicate his hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury from a misrepresentation of his expressions which the noble Lord at the head of the Government had twice put forward in the course of the evening. His hon. Friend had never attempted to draw any invidious distinctions between different classes in this country, nor had he attributed a desire and an ability to serve the country to one class more than to another, but what he had endeavoured to impress upon the Government was, that the only way in which affairs could now be conducted was by recognising and putting forward energy and ability in one class as well as in another. He certainly, so far, had not been able to recognise any disposition on the part of Her Majesty's Government to act up to the wishes of the country on this important point, and he had heard with consternation that they had discovered no better way to remedy the inefficiency which existed in our military departments in the Crimea than by sending out Commissions to inquire and report on the maladministration of affairs there. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had acknowledged that there existed great want of energy and ability in some of the departments in the Crimea; and certainly the correspondence respecting the supply of coffee to the troops proved that at least one officer out there had shown himself utterly inefficient and inadequate to the duties of his position. Of course he alluded to Mr. Commissary General Filder, to whose deficiencies in energy and ability be believed much of the sufferings undergone by our troops was to be attributed. That officer, it appeared, commenced by ordering unroasted coffee to be supplied to the troops, and though the evil effects of such a measure were obvious from the very first, though in most cases the coffee was thus rendered entirely useless, and though, moreover, he had been requested in July to report as to the comparative merits of roasted and unroasted coffee, it was not until the middle of October that he ventured to give a somewhat doubtful opinion that the evidence on the whole was favourable to roasted coffee. This was the only sample which the House had yet been able to get at with respect to the mode in which the Commissariat was mismanaged, but he thought this single sample entitled the Committee to call upon the Government to proceed at once to punish and to remove officers such as this gentleman from positions where they could do such terrible mischief to the public service.


said, he would suggest that, if a man should enlist for five years, and if at the end of that time he were in good health, it should be competent to him to enlist for another term of three years. But if one man enlisted for one year, another for two years, and a third for three years, there would be endless confusion in keeping the accounts of the army. He also gave notice that he should take the earliest opportunity to ask the Secretary at War a question, arising from the frequent complaints which had been made relative to the transmission of money from soldiers serving in the army in the East to their families at home.


said, he hoped, after the numerous remarks which had been made with reference to the supply of coffee, the Committee would indulge him with an explanation of what had really taken place. The Committee would observe by the papers on the table that in the first instance when coffee was sent to the Crimea, it was not sent as rations, but as an article of sale to those who chose to buy it. When it was sent out it was quite uncertain where it would go to, or whether it would be served as rations at all. But on the only occasion in an English war when coffee had been served as rations—he thought it was the Kafir war—it was invariably served out in an unroasted state, which was preferred both by officers and men, because it was more easily carried, and could be had in a better condition than when roasted. It was sent from this country in March, not as rations, but along with other comforts, to be sold to the troops at prime cost. It was not until, he thought, on the 28th of June that a general order was issued by Lord Raglan, which made it part of the ordinary rations of the troops. He believed it was early in July—the 5th of July—that Sir Charles Trevelyan, conceiving it possible that coffee might be served to the troops in a more convenient state, sent, of his own accord, unmoved by any representation from the East, 5,000 lbs. of roasted coffee, with a request to Commissary General Filder to report on the best mode of sending it. He believed that letter did not reach Commissary General Filder till the latter part of September or the beginning of October. The troops were moving and he did not see it till then. In October, early, Commissary General Filder wrote a private letter, and on the 6th of November a public letter was received from him by the Treasury, in consequence of which, on the very next day, the 7th, a minute was made that 225,0001bs. of roasted coffee should be sent out at once, and that a monthly supply of the same article should follow. So far as the officers at home were concerned, they could not have acted better, and, so far as Commissary General Filder was concerned, he appeared to have answered Sir Charles Trevelyan's letter in due time, as soon as an opinion could be got from officers who were qualified to offer a sound opinion. Unfortunately, about that time, there was a large demand for transports both for the French army and our own, and the ships with the roasted coffee did not sail for some weeks. The main supply, in fact, did not sail until December. It was a mistake to suppose that the French army were supplied with coffee in otherwise than a green state; but, fortunately, from their better arrangements, they were supplied with the means of roasting and grinding it. If the coffee for the supply of our army had been sent out ground and roasted, no doubt complaints would have been made of the destructibility of the article.


said, that when returns were ordered by that House, the usual practice on the part of public departments was to give exact answers to exact questions, but when he moved for a return of the coffee roasted and ground which had been sent to the army in the East, the return professed to give the quantity roasted "or" ground. It, however, now appeared that no coffee roasted "and" ground had been sent to the army in the Crimea previous to the 22nd of December. He also moved at the same time for the date of the departure of the ships containing the coffee, but the Treasury did not give that information, alleging that they could not obtain it, and the ships might be at that moment frozen up in the docks for anything they knew. The soldiers never had the means of getting fires when they wanted to roast their coffee, and they had only the fragments of Russian shells to grind it with, when the Messrs. Collier made the offer to roast and grind the coffee sent out to the troops, which was answered by Sir Charles Trevelyan in so off-hand and insolent a manner. People were afraid to go near our public offices because of the insolence of the officials; and he should like to know whether Sir Charles Trevelyan was authorised to write a letter to the Messrs. Collier couched in such exceptionable terms as that in which the offer to assist the Government was declined. There ought to be some explanation given why the Treasury refused to have the coffee ground, and yet neglected sending means for grinding it on the spot. No doubt coffee was better if fresh ground and fresh roasted, and the French were so far in advance of us that they had an efficient establishment close to their camp where the coffee was roasted and ground and issued to the men every morning. If the French could do that, it was perfectly intolerable that our departments should not be able to do the same. He really believed our brave fellows deserved more credit for the patience with which they had borne their sufferings than for their extreme gallantry in the field; and the neglect with which they had been treated was a disgrace to this country, and perfectly indefensible.


said, he could state to the Committee that the coffee was issued in a green state, that the only means of grinding it were the fragments of shells which had burst in the camp, and that, repeatedly, there was no fuel to roast it. He wished to know whether it was true or not that 30,000 barrels of porter had been sent to Constantinople, but, there being no one there to receive it, the ship had been detained and the owners were now prosecuting an action against the Government for the delay? He wished also to know whether it was true that the whole medical profession in front of Sebastopol had, one morning, resigned their commissions to Lord Raglan?


said, with respect to the porter, he could give no answer, but he would institute inquiries and inform the hon. and gallant Gentleman of the result. He was extremely sorry to hear any department charged with incivility, and, as to Sir Charles Trevelyan's letter, he had no reason to believe he was replying upon other than an ordinary matter of business. Messrs. Collier's communication did not read as a gratuitous offer, and there was no ground for supposing it was any other than one of those many applications which the Government was receiving every day. On the 7th of November the Treasury minute was issued directing that there should be ordered immediately 225,000 lbs. of coffee, roasted but not ground, to be followed by three further shipments from month to month of 75,000 lbs. of the same; and it was not until the 15th of December that Messrs. Collier wrote the letter to the Treasury containing their offer. Therefore Sir Charles Trevelyan, knowing that abundance of roasted coffee had been ordered, and that 5,000 lbs. of roasted coffee had been sent out at an earlier period (as the Commissariat Department had been advised on the authority of persons having great experience in the matter that the coffee should not be sent ground, but roasted only), declined the offer of Messrs. Collier. That offer was regarded as one made in the ordinary way of business, and, though the answer given to it was short, it did not contain, in his opinion, any incivility.


said, he thought one of the statements made by the hon. Gentleman hardly consistent with the correspondence laid before the House. The hon. Gentleman stated that the Treasury minute of the 7th of November directed that 225,000 lbs. of coffee, roasted but not ground, should be sent out immediately, but the words of the minute were as follows:—"Write to the Secretary of the Admiralty and request that he will move the Lords Commissioners to direct that early steps may be taken for providing and shipping," &c. Therefore the coffee was not immediately ordered, but simply early steps were directed to be taken for shipping it. The hon. Gentleman said that the application of Messrs. Collier to the Treasury was made on December the 15th, and that several consignments had been ordered by the Treasury to be made before that application of Messrs. Collier, but it would be seen by the 17th page of the correspondence before the House, that great remissness was exhibited in not sending out the roasted coffee as early as possible after the Treasury minute of the 7th of November, for it was not until the 16th of December that the first consignment of it was shipped, and up to the 13th of February the full amount of roasted coffee sent out by that time was not more than 211,000 lbs. It did not appear from these returns that the order for the further supply which was to go out by monthly con- signments had ever been acted upon up to the present moment.


said, the right hon. Gentleman had not sufficiently attended to the explanation which he had already offered on this subject. He had already called the attention of the Committee to the fact that, though the order was given the day after the letter was received, that order was not executed till the 16th of December, and the reason of this was that, after the battle of Inkerman, there was such a demand for ships to transport fresh troops to the Crimea that none could be got to carry the order into effect.


said, he wished to call attention to the fact that the Messrs. Collier, in their letter to the Treasury, offered to assist in roasting and grinding the coffee in any of the Government dockyards. He thought that Sir Charles Trevelyan, in his reply, might at least have thanked them for the offer.

Vote agreed to; as was also

(2.) 7,353,804l., Charge of Her Majesty's Land Forces.

House resumed.

The House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock.