HC Deb 01 March 1855 vol 136 cc2173-6

said, he would beg to move that Sir George Brooke Peelle11 be added to the Select Committee on the Army before Sebastopol. There was no one connected with the naval profession on the Committee. The hon. Member was well known for the attention he paid to all naval affairs, and he had the utmost confidence in his judgment and discretion.


said, he had no objection whatever to the Gentleman proposed, but, as he had stated last night, he hail entered into an arrangement with other parties with reference to the appointment of the Committee, and as it was the part of an honourable man to keep by any arrangement which he might make, he would adhere to the Committee, as already appointed. He, therefore, opposed the Motion.


said, he wished to know whether the hon. and learned Gentleman was to be understood as opposing the nomination of the hon. Baronet on the part of the Government?


said, he did oppose the Motion on the part of the Government.


Then the House must understand that there was an objection on the part of the Government to have a naval Member on the Committee.


said, the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Roebuck) last night seemed to imply that there had been in the course taken by Members on the Opposition side of the House, a direct breach of agreement. That charge he most distinctly repudiated, and he could not concur in the doctrine on which the charge was founded. The hon. and learned Gentleman told them that he had formed his Committee in conjunction with the noble Lord at the head of the Government and the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli). He could not have quoted higher authorities; nor was he inclined to cavil at the names of the Members selected. He believed they were all men eminently qualified to discharge the duty intrusted to them; but he denied that Members on that side of the House were guilty of a breach of contract because they did not agree to that about which they had never been consulted.


felt bound to say, that he thought it would have been conducive to the object of the House in appointing this Committee, that of instituting a full and searching inquiry, if a naval officer had been placed upon it, and that it would have been regarded as a compliment by that branch of the service with which he had the honour to be connected; but he apprehended the opportunity for that graceful and necessary compliment had now gone by, and he no longer desired to support such a Motion.


said, he understood from the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, that he had entered into an arrangement by which six Members of the Committee were to be selected by the Government, and the other seven were to be selected with the concurrence of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, as the leader of the Opposition. If such an arrangement had been entered into, he (Mr. Frewen) considered that good faith ought to be kept, but at the same time he did not think that the compact would be broken by adding two Members to the Committee—one on each side, especially as it appeared to him very important that there should be a naval officer upon the Committee.


said, he must express his surprise that the Government were afraid of having a naval officer on the Committee. Be believed the inquiry would turn in a great measure upon naval tactics, and upon the negligence displayed in the transport service, and he did not think the Committee would possess the confidence of the country unless it included a naval officer among its Members.

Question put, "That Sir George Brooke Pechell be added to the Select Committee on the army before Sebastopol."

The House divided:—Ayes 61; Noes 99; Majority 38.

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [28th February], "That Sir John Hanmer be added to the Committee."

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.


said, Sir John Hanmer was now serving on an Election Committee which had not yet terminated; but, as a majority of the House had decided that the Committee was to be an inefficient one, he would offer no further opposition.

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at half after One o'clock.