MR. H. BERKELEY
said, he begged to ask the right hon. Secretary at War, firstly, whether any correspondence, and what, had taken place between Field Marshal Lord Raglan and Her Majesty's Government on the subject of the melancholy disaster which occurred at the battle of Balaklava, where the lives of so many of our gallant men of the light cavalry were lost, and whether there was any objection to lay such papers on the table; secondly, Whether due inquiry had been made, or was contemplated on the subject?
§ MR. SIDNEY HERBERT
said, that, before replying to the questions of the hon. Gentleman, he thought that in referring to the charge of the light brigade at Balaklava another term than "melancholy disaster" might have been used. Lord Raglan had certainly made a communication to the Government on the subject, but he was not in a position at the present moment to lay the despatch on the 1119 table. He hoped, therefore, the hon. Gentleman would not press for it now, being assured that the matter to which he had alluded had not escaped the attention of the Government.
§ MR. CRAVEN BERKELEY
said, he also wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman two questions—first, whether the order which had been published in all the newspapers, as emanating from Lord Raglan to Lord Lucan for the light brigade of cavalry to make the disastrous charge at Balaklava, was the correct order or not? It ran thus—Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front; follow the enemy, and try to prevent their carrying away the guns. A troop of horse artillery may accompany. The French cavalry is on the left. Immediate.The second question was, why the remnant of these brave men were not to have a clasp to their medal with the word "Balaklava" upon it, in addition to "Alma" and "Inkerman."
§ MR. SIDNEY HERBERT
said, he believed. that the words quoted by the hon. Gentleman were an accurate transcript of the order given by Lord Raglan; and with respect to the second question, that a clasp was granted by Her Majesty to the men engaged in the charge referred to.
§ MR. H. BERKELEY
said, he would give notice that he should move an Address to the Queen, praying that an inquiry should be instituted into the conduct of Lord Lucan for ordering the charge of light cavalry under circumstances which precluded the possibility of success, which made disaster inevitable, and which consequently led to a wanton sacrifice of human life.