Order read, for resuming adjourned Debate on Question [28th April]—
That, while this House feels it to be its duty to express its admiration of the gallantry of the Turkish Soldiery, and of the devotion of the British Officers, at the siege of Kars, it feels it to be equally a duty to express its conviction that the capitulation of that fortress, and the surrender of the army which defended it, thereby endangering the safety of the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey, were in a great measure owing to the want of foresight and energy on the part of Her Majesty's Administration.
§ Debate resumed.
§ MR. J. G. PHILLIMORE
said, that much as he admired the ability with which the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen had introduced the subject of this debate, yet he must regret that the hon. and learned Member had not chosen a more convenient opportunity for the display of his great forensic powers. The hon. and learned Gentleman ought to recollect that although it was an allowable artifice for an advocate to hide all parts of the case that made against him, such conduct was not admissible in a senator, more especially when he was called upon to exercise functions of a judicial nature. The hon. and learned Gentleman had given a vote on the subject of the Turkish loan, which had more influence on the fate of Kars than any rhetorical display. It mattered comparatively little that any hon. Gentleman should make a patriotic speech, but it mattered much that no vote should be given in which Russia could rejoice. Yet, I do not blame the hon. Member and his party, so much as the right hon. Member for the 1719 University of Oxford and his adherents. I say with regard to them, that their vote on the Turkish Contingent was one of the most unpardonable instances of reckless faction that ever disgusted the people of this country. The hon. and learned Gentleman had entered into considerable detail with regard to the conduct of Lord Clarendon; he would not follow him through all, but he would endeavour to show that the charges against Lord Clarendon were founded on entire misrepresentation. The first topic insisted on by the hon. and learned Gentleman was, that General Williams was sent out without any ostensible character. The fact was that he was sent out with all the ostensible character the English Government could give, and Lord Clarendon left no effort unexhausted to obtain from the Turkish Government the recognition necessary to his efficiency; if that had been obtained the calamities might have been averted. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that, as far as he understood, the quarrel between the Ambassador and General Williams was at an end in March, and that they then had come to an understanding. Even if such was the case, it would have been much to Lord Clarendon's credit that he had succeeded in reconciling two such important public servants. Lord Clarendon saw that a quarrel existed, and did all in his power to reconcile them; but surely that ought not to be a charge against him. The hon. and learned Gentleman had also complained of the rebuke administered to Lord Stratford. What did the hon. and learned Gentleman mean? Did he wish to have Lord Stratford recalled or not? Lord Stratford's abilities were great; his knowledge of the people and the language was unrivalled. He was thoroughly conversant with the peculiar manners of the Court; he held the thread of affairs in his hand, and no Minister in his senses would have attempted to recall him; but it was their duty to show him that the Government was dissatisfied with his apathy, and his hostility to General Williams. Lord Clarendon did so; a long time must have elapsed before any other Minister could have taken a step at a time when every minute was most important. The hon. and learned Gentleman had likewise referred to the question of the removal of the troops; surely no man would have undertaken the responsibility of recalling a single soldier from the main seat of war, Sebastopol, to 1720 send him to Asia Minor; no Minister would have so imperilled the main object of the Allies. The hon. and learned Gentleman said Lord Clarendon sent three men and a doctor. What did those three men and the doctor do? Did they not make an heroic resistance? It was much to the credit of Lord Clarendon that he should have chosen such a man as General Williams. History showed how much a single man had done; one man saved Syracuse—one man saved Carthage. Change Kings, and we will fight the battle over again, was the exclamation of the Irish soldiers at the Boyne. It was impossible to send numerical assistance, so moral support was sent. The names of Lake, and Teesdale, and Thompson would never be forgotten so long as commanding energy and fortitude the most heroic were entitled to respect among men. The hon. and learned Gentleman had next referred to Lord Panmure; but the hon. and learned Gentleman had misquoted him, and represented him to have said that the cause was desperate. Lord Panmure said no such thing; on the 14th of July, he wrote:—Moreover, from all the information which has reached me, I have every reason to believe the army of Batoum to be in a deplorable state. I know the contingent to be scarcely organised; of the Bulgarian troops you can have no knowledge, and I presume that Beatson's Horse are as little reduced to control and discipline as your own troops. In short, I am assured that it would be madness to attempt to succour Brigadier General Williams in this way.That was very different from saying that General Williams's situation was desperate. The noble Lord the Member for Colchester (Lord J. Manners) blamed Lord Clarendon for having encouraged General Williams to a desperate resistance, but the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) said how pusillanimous it was for Lord Clarendon to recommend him to fall back on Erzeroum. Lord Clarendon never recommended him to fall back; he directed him, if driven from Kars, to retreat to Erzeroum. The hon. and learned Gentleman had talked of the relieving army not having landed at Trebizond: in his (Mr. J. G. Phillimore's) opinion it showed the capacity of Lord Clarendon that he had discovered the proper course. If he was wrong in recommending the Turkish troops to land at Trebizond, he was wrong with General Williams, he was wrong with the Russian commander, General Mouravieff. Dr. Sandwith, in his book, relates that the Russian general 1721 smiled when he told them of Omar Pasha having landed at Soukum Kaleh. Omar Pasha was a gallant soldier, but he made a mistake. There could be no doubt that the cowardice of Selim Pasha was the real cause of the fall of Kars. He was surprised to find the noble Lord the Member for Colchester deny this, and he must say he thought the conduct of Lord Stratford and General Mansfield extremely improper in attempting to screen this man; his character was long known. On the 7th of August, 1854, Consul Brandt wrote, "Selim Pasha ran away without fighting." On the 15th of September, 1854, before operations commenced, General Williams wrote—The Mushir does not seem disposed to vindicate the disgrace caused by the cowardly abandonment of Bayazed by Selim Pasha.On the 22nd of November, 1855, Consul Brandt again wrote—Selim Pasha's character is well known; it makes me fear the Seraskier has no wish of saving from destruction General Williams and his little band of heroes:and, in another letter he attributes the surrender to the dilatory proceedings of Omar Pasha and the cowardice of Selim Pasha; and yet Lord Stratford de Redcliffe and General Mansfield attempted to screen this man. Even if at the last moment he had made a proper use of his troops, Kars would have been saved; yet they were told Lord Clarendon was to blame for this capitulation. Lord Clarendon from the first showed a most ardent desire to obtain from the Turkish Government such a recognition of General Williams as would enable him to place the army on a proper footing. The noble Lord the Member for Colchester challenged them to point out any misconduct of Lord Stratford after the early part of last year; it would be easy to do so. There were two points to which General Williams's attention was particularly directed. As early as the 29th of January, 1855, the gallant officer wrote, imploring Lord Stratford to obtain for him the appointment of Ferik, and the other was to obtain for him the control of the supplies of provisions to the army. On the 1st of May he wrote to Lord Stratford—Several weeks ago I addressed your Lordship on this vital point, but I have not received a line in allusion to it.Notwithstanding all this the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen asked them to censure Lord Clarendon and acquit Lord Stratford. The hon. and learn- 1722 ed Gentleman said, that from the moment the quarrel was at an end Lord Stratford exerted all his influence and all his ability on his behalf. The complaints of General Williams during the siege showed how far that was the case. It was impossible for any officer to be placed in greater difficulties than was General Williams when he first joined the Turkish army. It had just suffered a defeat; although set down at 22,000, it only mustered 14,000; they were without pouches, shoes, or stockings. From that time forward he wrote letter after letter to Lord Stratford without getting an answer, not one word to encourage his efforts, to cheer his prospects, to express sympathy and consolation, for efforts and sacrifices that make every English heart beat high at their perusal, and to assure him that there was a fair prospect they would not be made in vain. That was one of the two points in which he (Mr. Phillimore) contended Lord Stratford's conduct was utterly indefensible. Another thing was this: Why should it be necessary for Lord Clarendon to be continually fighting the battle of General Williams? Why should it have been necessary for General Williams to be continually writing to Lord Clarendon to fight battle after battle? There was evidence of this in every page of the Blue-book. But why should it have been necessary, if the British. Minister at Constantinople had done his duty? The question really for them to consider was this: What would have been the effect had General Williams received proper support from the British Ambassador at Constantinople from the time he entered upon his functions of British Commissioner? That was the true question before them; and it was impossible to evade it. Well, then, the Blue-book contained abundant testimony that nothing had been wanting on the part of the Government at home. All that foresight, energy, and industry could do was done by Lord Clarendon; but unfortunately for this country it also contained equal proof that the most obvious duties were neglected by the British Ambassador at Constantinople. He could hardly conceive any situation more interesting than that of General Williams, while the manner in which he acquitted himself in that situation was worthy of the highest admiration. For his own part, he declared there are no passages in the lives of those great men who have been raised up as examples and models to mankind, 1723 that he read with more admiration, or dwelt upon with more delight, than those which show them in the circumstances in which General Williams was placed, over-matched by superior strength, surrounded by difficulties, pressed by exigencies, and rising superior to them all, like him, struggling against a thousand adverse circumstances, and like him invincible. Certainly the nation will inquire how it came to pass that, after such unprecedented efforts of valour and endurance, a contest ended in surrender that might have closed in victory. They will ask how it came to pass that they were disappointed in the belief that there would be at least one exception to the fatality which seemed to mar all our efforts, by sea and land, in one of the least glorious wars in which England ever was engaged. If these calamities flowed from the caprice of fortune they must be endured, if even from want of prudence or foresight (though negligence in persons undertaking high functions is criminality) they might be overlooked for the sake of distinguished services by a generous nation; but if it be the effect of perverse malevolence, of supercilious temper, of personal animosity, it ought to be punished by some signal mark of national indignation. Be he who he may, Minister or Magistrate, Governor General or Ambassador, the servant of a free country who has sacrificed a great national interest, to the indulgence of petty resentments and vindictive passion, ought to be taught that the hand of justice is above him. If this be done by the Crown it is well—if not, I tell the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen, in spite of his strange theories on Constitutional Law, which are so plainly contradicted by the brightest pages of our history, that the Commons of England have duties to perform which are not satisfied by mere expressions of barren regret or unavailing lamentation. It is by the neglect of these duties, by impunity given to such clearly-proved misconduct, that councils incur disgrace—and, as the recent history of France too plainly proves, that Ministers become odious, and that dynasties are overtaken by destruction. And, now, Sir, I would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman, whether he really imagines that he can persuade any body of reasonable men, however decided their political opinions may be, that have carefully perused the papers before us, any assembly in whom party rage has not extinguished all perception of right and wrong, that the fair 1724 effects of those papers is to exonerate Lord Stratford from the greatest share of the blame, and to show that Lord Clarendon was comparatively deficient in temper, zeal, intelligence, and industry. If it were possible for this House to pronounce so extravagant a sentence, to give so wild a vote, it would be more disgraceful to those who gave it than to Lord Clarendon—it would recoil upon ourselves. It would be like that disgraceful vote of a factious Parliament, by which Lord Somers and Lord Godolphin were impeached. The hon. and learned Member has stated that the Amendment of which I have given notice, was given for the purpose of enabling Ministers to "ride off." I will not, by bringing forward that Amendment, expose the liberal party, of which I am an humble Member, to such an imputation; much that I desired to accomplish by it has been done in this debate. The House has expressed, in a way not to be mistaken, and which the noble Lord at the head of the Government has not attempted to mitigate, that condemnation of Lord Stratford's conduct, which it was my object to elicit. For the present I am satisfied. I will not allow my Amendment to stand between Ministers and the triumph which they deserve, and which, unless this House is transported by factious violence beyond all bounds of justice they will undoubtedly achieve; neither will I by any act of mine prevent the defeat which they deserve, and will soon undergo, who, while they palliate acts that are indefensible, have brought forward against those who have honourably served their country, accusations which are contradicted by the very papers to which they refer, by the very men with whom they would appear to sympathise, and which they have neither the means, nor, as it would almost appear, the intention seriously to establish.
§ MR. KER SEYMER
said, he was quite aware that when the two parties were drawn up in hostile array, and the affray had already begun, any one who should interpose between the combatants, and advise them to lay aside their weapons and return home, if not in peace, at least without finishing their battle, might be undertaking a very thankless task. That task, nevertheless, he was himself now about to perform; for he intended to move, as an Amendment to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen, the omission of the words after the word "Kars," in order to insert the following— 1725It—the House—is of opinion that it is not expedient to offer any judgment on the causes and consequences of the capitulation of that fortress until the House has had an opportunity of considering the terms of the Treaty of Peace and the Protocols of the Conferences recently held at Paris now laid upon the table.He proposed to enable the House to vote on this Amendment. He entirely concurred in the first part of the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman, believing it impossible to estimate too highly the merits of General Williams and his brave associates. Having travelled through the country which was the scene of the war, and held communication with the Turks, perhaps he might be allowed to state a few of the peculiar difficulties that were to be encountered. The amount of peculation among the higher order of Turkish officers was almost incredible, and the difficulties with which General Williams had to contend at Erzeroum and Kars, at the commencement of his career, were nearly inconceivable. The Blue-book showed that one Pasha made £30,000 sterling by robbing the soldiers, for a long period, of a meal of rice twice a week; and another was found drawing rations for nearly 30,000 men, while on the muster-roll only 13,000 or 14,000 actually appeared. The apathy and procrastination of a Turkish official were almost beyond belief. The traveller had to drink the Lord knows how many cups of muddy coffee and smoke an infinite number of pipes before he could get such a personage to proceed to business. When he did get to business he soon grew tired of it, and his answer invariably was, "Please God, we will see about it tomorrow." In fact, there were no bounds to the procrastinations of the Pashas; and their universal maxim was never to do today what could be put off till to-morrow. In the face of such apathy, how could the fall of Kars be wondered at? It was disheartening to have to do with such men; yet General Williams was continually in contact with them, and he had an additional source of discouragement in the thought that he had been abandoned by one who ought to have stood firmly by him—the Queen's Ambassador at Constantinople. However the facts of the case might be, appearances were certainly such as to warrant that suspicion; but, amid all their dangers and difficulties, General Williams and his comrades presented a valiant front to the foe, and when the starving garrison was at length compelled to lay down arms and to march captive 1726 into the Russian camp, they, though vanquished, had earned for themselves such a meed of glory as few conquerors have the happiness to achieve. The conduct of the Russians was equally honourable to their valour and humanity. Their perseverance in continuing to besiege the fortress after they had sustained a signal defeat was creditable to them as soldiers, while their kindness to those whom the fortune of war had thrown upon their mercy reflected the highest honour on them as men. Their commissariat, too, appeared to have been in a state of efficiency that contrasted very favourably with our own in the Crimea, and that it should have been so at such a season of the year was not a little remarkable, for the severity of the winter in those regions might be inferred from the fact that at Midsummer he had himself seen snow on the hills that overlook Erzeroum. The hon. and learned Member for Leominster (Mr. J. G. Phillimore) had undoubtedly exercised a sound discretion in not pressing an Amendment which contemplated the appointment of a Committee, for in cases like the present little good resulted from such tribunals. We had had a Crimean Committee and a Crimean Commission; and a second Commission was now sitting on the proceedings of the first. The Sebastopol Committee was an inevitable necessity. Public opinion imperatively demanded it, and never did that House more faithfully interpret the feelings of the country than in assenting to its appointment; but the present was not a case of similar urgency. No military operations were now in jeopardy; no army was perishing for want of the necessaries of life, nor were there any considerations of public policy to warrant them in referring the question to the decision of a Committee. The withdrawal of the Amendment was, therefore, a judicious and commendable proceeding on the part of the hon. and learned Member. With regard to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, his conduct, he must confess, did not admit of defence. It was deeply to be regretted that an infirmity of temper in that able and experienced public servant should have induced him to forget not only what was due to an officer in the position of General Williams, but also what was due to himself as a gentleman—for no gentleman should leave a courteous communication unanswered. At the same time, he was willing to believe that Lord Stratford de Redcliffe was no indifferent spectator of the fall of 1727 Kars, but that, on the contrary, he had been sincerely desirous to avert that calamity. His difficulties, however, were neither few nor trivial. As long as his correspondence with the Sultan's Ministers was carried on by means of writing, he probably succeeded in making himself understood, but when he came to oral communication he was at the mercy of an interpreter, and his language, however earnest and eloquent, must have reached Turkish ears in a very mild and diluted form after being filtered through the oily lips of a Levantine Dragoman. Thus much he would say in justice to Lord Stratford. With respect to the Motion before the House, its introduction could not excite surprise. The loss of Kars was felt to be a disgrace to the country, and it might have had an injurious effect on the operations of the war. But since notice of the Motion had been given there had been a great change in the aspect of public affairs. We were now happily at peace. The treaty, with the protocols of the Conference lately held at Paris, had been laid upon the table, but as yet the House had scarcely had time to glance over those documents. Of the value and import of those great State papers they had not yet had an opportunity of forming an accurate estimate. What effect the fall of Kars had had on the Conferences they were as yet unable to determine. It was conceivable that it might have had no other result than to save the pride of Russia in enabling her to talk of "exchanging" the fallen fortress in Armenia for the ruins of Sebastopol, Kinburn, and Kertch—places which, in all probability, we would not, under any circumstances, have cared to retain. But it might be otherwise. It might turn out that the fall of Kars had had an important influence on the peace, and that, had it not been for that event, we might have obtained better terms. If so the whole question would have to be opened. But, pending these revelations, it was for the House to determine whether there was, on the face of the Blue-book, such an overwhelmning case against the Government as should warrant them in rushing to the conclusion that the calamity was to be attributed to the present occupants of the Treasury bench, and to none besides. Speaking of this important event, General Mansfield, an officer of great experience, had expressed himself as follows—If I may be allowed to offer an opinion on the real cause of the disastrous issue of the 1728 Turco-Asiatic campaign, I should say that it must be found in the nature of the alliance, which absorbed all the really available means of action, whether French, British, or Turkish—in the invasion of the Russian soil, to the exclusion of attention to the hostile operation on Turkish territory. The contest pursued in the former required every practicable means to ensure success—perhaps, it may be said, even military safety The garrison of Kars performed a great duty in arresting the march of the Russian columns till the resources of the Allies could be turned to Asia, either in consequence of a development they had not already reached, or of liberation from the Crimea. Some months since I ventured to predict, in private conversation, that we should have to be satisfied with such an issue of the operations of the last year; and that, assuming the Allies to be prepared to take advantage of what has been thus achieved by the devoted garrison, we should have no reason to be disappointed when viewing the two theatres of war as one comprehensive whole. I have no reason to depart from the opinion then expressed.There appeared to him to be much good sense in those observations. He could not shut his eyes to the fact that, open the Blue-book where they might, it contained abundant evidence of Turkish procrastination, peculation, and apathy. At the same time, he would not deny that very great energy on the part of the Government might have saved Kars. £50,000 sent direct to General Williams might have had the happy effect, and it was a proceeding which a very zealous Government would, probably, not have hesitated to adopt. What he (Mr. K. Seymer) wished the House to consider was, whether there had been made out a case which called so loudly for condemnation that, before they knew what had been the effect of the capitulation—before they were in a position to consider the whole conduct of the Government in reference to the conclusion of peace—they ought to adopt a vote of censure in the terms proposed by his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Whiteside). He felt so strongly the propriety of not at that moment adopting such a course, that he should certainly take the sense of the House upon the Amendment he had given notice of.
Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "Kars" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words—
It is of opinion that it is not expedient to offer any judgment on the causes and consequences of the capitulation of that fortress until the House has had an opportunity of considering the terms of the Treaty of Peace, and the Protocols of the Conferences recently held at Paris, now laid upon the table," instead thereof.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, the elaborate speech in which the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) introduced this Motion to the House diverged into so many branches, and adverted to so many subjects, that it is difficult to comprehend it in any general description; but, so far as it dealt with a direct crimination of Her Majesty's Government, it was founded on the assumption that Her Majesty 's Government were responsible for the conduct of the war in Asia Minor. If we do not assume that the Government of this country is responsible for the management of the campaign in that country, and for the defence of Kars, all the accusations against the Government contained in the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman fall to the ground. Sir, if there were the institutions of a free country in Turkey, if such a thing as an Opposition was permitted to exist in a Turkish Divan, and if Lord Panmure filled the office of the Seraskier, and Lord Clarendon that of the Turkish Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman would be perfectly relevant to the question; but it appears to me that that speech was, as directed against Her Majesty's Government, wholly irrelevant. The only way in which the hon. and learned Gentleman was able at all to fix upon Her Majesty's Goverment a responsibility for the defence of Kars was by adverting to their appointment of General Williams as British Commissioner to the Turkish army. Now, Sir, the powers of General Williams were much criticised by the hon. and learned Gentleman. It was said that they were indefinite and insufficient, and that Her Majesty's Government did not obtain for him from the Government of the Porte sufficient authority to enable him to carry out his views. It may be said that the Government erred in interfering at all for the defence of Kars; but they undertook the task because it was their belief that great importance attached to the operations in Asia Minor, and they did all that they could do to assist the Turkish Government to defend that fortress. They deputed as Commissioner to the Turkish army General Williams, as to whoso ability, energy, and military capacity no two opinions can exist in this House, or among any body of Englishmen who will read either this Blue-book, or any of the numerous publications in 1730 which his conduct is illustrated. For his appointment, therefore, no blame can attach to the Government; nor can they be censured because they did not furnish him with an authority which could emanate only from the Porte. The French Government might, had they pleased, have sent a Commissioner to the Turkish army, but they did not do so. From the first they did not attach so much importance to the operations in Asia Minor as did the Government of this country, and they limited their attention more exclusively to the operations in the Crimea. Nothing, then, can be more unjust, nothing can be less consistent with truth than to impute to Her Majesty's Government any neglect or any oversight with regard to the operations in Asia Minor. All that can be justly said is, that, by doing the utmost which was in their power, appointing a Commissioner to act in concert with the Turkish authorities at Kars, they made themselves apparently responsible for a defence to which they were unable to contribute troops or other efficient assistance. General Williams by being thus sent was placed in no anomalous position as Commissioner to a foreign army. We sent a Commissioner to the French army, who was in constant communication with the French headquarters, while at the same time the French Government sent to our army a Commissioner, who communicated with Lord Raglan, and afterwards with General Simpson. Although the position of these might seem anomalous, and might be subjected to the criticism of the hon. and learned Gentleman, it was precisely similar to that of General Williams, who was also Commissioner with the army of an allied Power.
Circumstances, however, gave to the position of General Williams an importance which that of the other Commissioners did not possess. He was a man of extraordinary energy and practical ability; he found himself acting in concert with Turkish officers who were destitute both of these qualities and of all others, the possession of which was most important to the commanders of a besieged fortress. It was owing to that circumstance that his conduct attracted so much attention, and that he was enabled to assume something like the command of the fortress of Kars, and of the garrison which defended it; and it was this circumstance also which had led the hon. and learned Gentleman to make it appear almost as if Kars was defended by 1731 an English army, for the failure of which the English Government was responsible. Now, Sir, nothing could be more remote from the truth or more at variance with fact. From the beginning the English Government, as I have previously stated, attached to the operations in Asia Minor much more importance than was attached to them by our Allies, the Emperor of the French and the King of Sardinia; but we did not think it prudent, acting in concert with our Allies, and looking to the main object of the campaign, to divert our attention from the Crimea. There was great justice in the opinion of the French Government that the Crimea was the principal point to be considered, and that the operations in Asia Minor were of only secondary importance. Yet any one who had listened to the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman yesterday would have supposed that Asia Minor was the main theatre of operations. He said that Kars was the key of the communication with Constantinople, and if any practical inference was to be drawn from his speech it was that, from the beginning, the war in Asia Minor ought to have been made the primary object; that we ought to have at once withdrawn troops from the Crimea to have carried on the operations in that country, and to have resisted the course of General Mouravieff. Is there the slightest reason, Sir, for acceding to that doctrine of the hon. and learned Gentleman? What are the rules for the conduct of a campaign which have been laid down by the greatest masters of the military art, and have received signal illustration from the practice of Napoleon? Are they not reducible to this single principle—"Strike at the key of your enemy's position; strike at his heart, and let the extremities take care of themselves?" What was the heart? what was the centre of the Russian power in that region? Can anybody doubt that it was Sebastopol, and not Kars? Can anybody doubt that the English and French Governments were perfectly right in making Sebastopol the main object of the campaign; and that if they had weakened the army which besieged that place, before it was taken, they would have sacrificed that object, and would have thrown away the means by which the key of the Russian position was to be taken, in order to fritter away their strength in assaulting outworks? Sir, I cannot conceive that there can be any difference of opinion upon a question, the 1732 answer to which is so manifest to all persons who judge either by the reason of the thing, or by the opinions of great military authorities. All the military authorities agree that the main object of the campaign was to take Sebastopol. We had staked our reputation on its capture, and every one remembers that when the negotiations were going on at Vienna last year, both this House and the country were most reluctant that any terms should be accepted while that great stronghold of the Russian power in the Black Sea remained untaken. Her Majesty's Government, therefore, would have neglected their first duty had they withdrawn troops from before Sebastopol for the secondary object of relieving Kars. Upon this policy Her Majesty's Government, in concert with their Ally, the French Emperor, consistently acted; but when Sebastopol was taken a movement was at once made in the direction of Kars. This, however, was unfortunately too late; the place fell, but still the principal object of the campaign had been attained.
I do not wish to go at any length into the question of the comparative advantage of the two roads by Kutais and Erzeroum, of which we heard so much last night. Unfortunately Omar Pasha was not in time to relieve Kars, but the great principle on which the campaign was conducted was nevertheless unimpeachable. The hon. and learned Gentleman says, however, that when General Mouravieff obtained possession of Kars he was master of the road to Constantinople, and all Asia Minor was at his mercy, and he calls upon this House to censure the Government for having allowed him to gain so great a military advantage. But what are the facts? General Mouravieff obtained possession of the road to Constantinople in November last; but what use did he make of it? None whatever. He remained perfectly inactive at Kars, and this great military success was not of the slightest advantage to him. Suppose we had had another campaign this spring, to what use could he have turned his conquest? The road to Kars is much shorter for the French, English, and Turkish Governments than for the Russians. The distance which Russia would have had to move her troops to give the necessary strength to Kars would have been enormous. If the difficulties of land transport decimated the Russian troops before they reached Sebastopol, how much more would 1733 they have suffered from the difficulties of a march over the Caucasus! The most easy military operation would have been all that was needed to recapture Kars, to deprive the Russians of this mighty advantage, and to drive them back beyond the Caucasus. Whether we look, therefore, at the probable or the actual result of the fall of Kars, it must be admitted that, in a strategical point of view, it was not of first-rate importance. It was clearly secondary to the capture of Sebastopol, and when that great stronghold fell, the Allies would naturally become masters of all that part of the Russian Empire.
It may be said, however, that the capture of Kars was of great importance in a political point of view. Russia took Kars, it is said, from the Ottoman Empire, and thereby acquired an opportunity of extorting concessions from the Allies which we should not have granted had that town not fallen into her hands. Therefore, it is argued, though it may not be important in a military point of view, in a political point of view it is of the utmost importance. Now, Sir, I shall meet that charge as distinctly as possible. The first plan for the pacification of Europe was digested and reduced to writing at Vienna in the beginning of the month of November by the French Ambassador and the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Thus sketched out, it was sent to Paris for the consent of the Government of the French Emperor, and it was then transmitted to Her Majesty's Government for their consideration and approbation. It underwent certain alterations here, but in substance the plan proposed by Austria and France to Her Majesty's Government was adopted by them, and may be seen in the protocols now lying on the table, in the shape of the preliminaries of peace which were "initialed" at Vienna. Now, Sir, those preliminaries were originally sketched out before Kars had fallen—at any rate, before any news of its capture could have been received. The House therefore is in possession of a plan of pacification which was agreed to by the three Governments of Austria, France, and England, which was reduced to writing, and which received a definite form, before the capture of Kars was thrown into either scale. That preliminary plan, and the treaty itself, afterwards signed by the Plenipotentiaries at Paris, both lie on the table, and I defy any man on a comparison, of the two, item by item, and article 1734 by article, to show that the treaty falls short in any respect of the preliminary articles. On the contrary, I maintain with the utmost confidence that the treaty goes beyond the preliminary articles that were agreed upon at Vienna, and that it will be found to contain more conditions favourable to this country, and to impose upon Russia more securities and guarantees for the future tranquillity of Europe. If, therefore, the result of this examination did convince the House, as it must, that the treaty, so far from falling short of the preliminary articles, goes beyond them—if it be the fact that those preliminaries were put into shape without reference to the capture of Kars by the Russians, then, I ask—not only any candid, fair, and honest person, but any man of common reasoning powers—whether it can be said that the capture of Kars had any political effect? I would also ask hon. Gentlemen, after they have had time to read through the protocols laid on the table, to state whether they could find in them any trace of any concession having been made by England or France on account of the capture of Kars? I positively affirm that no such trace can be found, and I deny that any concession was made in consequence of the capture of that place. I assert positively also that the doctrine we held was that from the very beginning the integrity of the Turkish Empire was the principle which was to be asserted by us as the basis on which any pacification was to be consented to. We said that any question relative to the bargaining about Kars was inconsistent with the principle of the integrity of the Turkish Empire, and we would not consent to its being thrown into the scale. Of course, with respect to the temper of the Plenipotentiaries—with respect to any disposition to conciliate which might have been shown in the negotiations, I am ready to admit the frank and straightforward manner in which the representative of Russia gave up the point and did not insist on any equivalent for the cession of Kars. Sir, I have no doubt whatever that that tended to the successful and harmonious result of the negotiations; but what I maintain is, that no person who scrutinises these protocols will be able to find any proof that we made any concession in the way of territory or otherwise in consequence of the capture of Kars by the Russian army. In fact, if hon. Members refer to the treaty of peace, they will find nothing said about equivalents. 1735 We do not say, we restore such and such places, and you restore such and such other places. On the contrary, there is a distinct article—the third, in which the Emperor of Russia cedes the territory of Kars; and, with the permission of the House, I will read it:—Article 3. His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias engages to restore to His Majesty the Sultan the town and citadel of Kars, as well as the other parts of the Ottoman territory of which the Russian troops are in possession.Now, Sir, that stands as a distinct article of the treaty, and it is not said that Kars is restored in consideration of any restoration of territory by either France or England. In the first scheme of the treat, as drawn up, it was proposed to restore those portions of the Russian territory in the Crimea and neighbourhood held by the Allied troops, without the smallest reference to the province of Kars. Well, I think that, unless what I have stated can receive some answer, the House must be satisfied, whether looking to the military or political importance of the capture of Kars, that the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) is full of an exaggeration which no rhetorical ability such as he unquestionably possesses can excuse; and also that it was founded on the pervading fallacy that the English Government, by the simple appointment of a Commissioner, exercising voluntary functions in assisting the commander of the Turkish garrison of Kars, thereby rendered themselves responsible for the issue of the war in Asia Minor.
The noble Lord the Member for Colchester (Lord J. Manners), not confining himself to the question of the responsibility of the English Government for the capture of Kars in consequence of the appointment of General Williams, said, last night, that we had prevented the Turkish Government from taking such steps as they might otherwise have taken for the relief of the place, by our remissness in not furnishing them with advances from the loan, guaranteed by this country and France, and assented to by this House last year. As that is a matter of which I have had some knowledge, perhaps the House will indulge me while I explain what has really taken place with respect to advances of the Turkish Loan. The Bill giving the guarantee of England, in conjunction with that of France, for the Turkish Loan, was passed last Session and received the Royal Assent on the 14th of August. 1736 The management of the terms of the Loan was placed by the Government in very competent hands—those of Sir Alexander Spearman, who acted as the Commissioner for the Government on that occasion, the preliminary arrangements being made by the Turkish Ambassador, who had of course the supreme management of the whole transaction. The loan was contracted on the 20th of last August. Of course, I need not tell the House that after the terms of a loan have been arranged an interval is necessarily allowed for the payment of the first instalment. That interval, however, was short in this case, and on the 25th of August 100,000 sovereigns were delivered to the War Department for shipment to Turkey. On the 31st of August another sum of 100,000 sovereigns was delivered for shipment, and on the 8th, 13th, and 15th of September, three other sums of 100,000 sovereigns were severally delivered to the War Department for shipment, making 500,000 sovereigns delivered for shipment to Turkey by the 15th of September. That showed, therefore, that there was no remissness on the part of the Government of this country, as far as they had any share in the matter, their share, indeed, being only secondary. These facts any hon. Gentleman may gather from the Return on the table of the House. Sir, when the French Government agreed with the English Government to give a joint guarantee in respect of the loan of money borrowed on behalf of the Turkish Government, it was made the subject of an express stipulation on the part of the French Government—which was quite willingly acceded to on our part—that the money thus guaranteed should not be paid over at once to the Turkish Government without security that it should be applied for the purposes of the war. It was intended exclusively for assisting Turkey in the conduct of the war in which we were all in common engaged, and there was a strong conviction on the part of the two Governments of France and England that no facilities should be given to the Turkish Government to apply this loan to any other purpose than those strictly connected with the war. It was felt by the Governments of France and England that, as they were taking upon themselves a liability for its payment, they had a right to be satisfied with regard to its due application. I need not say that the financial system of Turkey is that of an Oriental 1737 country, and not like the system of civilised countries in Western Europe. Great laxity undoubtedly prevails, as any one may be convinced of who reads the Kars correspondence. The Turkish Government cannot always place confidence in their own agents, but are liable to be deceived and plundered by their own administrative functionaries. It can hardly, then, be disputed that the precaution taken on the part of the French and English Governments, not to give their guarantee unless they were satisfied that the loan would be banâ fide applied to the purposes of war, was a reasonable precaution. That being the case, the two Governments each appointed a Commissioner, and the Commissioners were sent to Constantinople in order to arrange, in concert with the Turkish authorities, the securities to be given for the due application of the money to the purposes of the war. This condition was willingly assented to by the Turkish Government, and on the arrival of the Commissioners at Constantinople they drew up a memorandum containing their recommendations, in which they proposed the Turkish Government should acquiesce, with respect to the expenditure of the money, as remitted from time to time. The memorandum embracing these proposals was submitted to the Ambassadors of England and France at Constantinople and approved by them; and, as so approved, was submitted to the Government of the Sultan, being transmitted to one of his Ministers on the 20th of September. The House will therefore see that no unnecessary delay on this point took place. However, no answer was received from the Turkish Government for some time, and after some weeks Fuad Pasha wrote to request an interview with the Commissioners. This interview took place two or three days after the receipt of the application, but not, however, until the 24th of October did the meeting take place. The memorandum was fully discussed, and an agreement was come to on all parts of it with one important exception. The Commissioners thought it their duty to require that some evidence should be given that the money transferred to the Turkish Government should be accounted for in some detailed manner. The Turkish Government pretended that they ought to follow their ordinary practice, which was merely to show that a gross sum had been transferred to the Receiver of the Army, and that that should be accepted as evidence of its application to 1738 military purposes. All the evidence that that would have given us, however, of the due application of the funds would have been that they had sent £200,000 or £300,000 to some pasha or person who had charge of the Military Department. That proposal, therefore, did not appear satisfactory, and Fuad Pasha accordingly proposed a further meeting of the Commissioners, in order that they might have the opportunity of examining the Turkish system of accounts. That meeting did not take place immediately. It was postponed by Fuad Pasha on various grounds from day to day, and it never took place until the 24th of November, which was the very day, accidentally, on which the capitulation of Kars took place. I think, therefore, that the House will see, whatever delay may have occurred in the arrangements, with regard to the payment of money to the Turkish troops, that it was in no respect owing to any remissness on the part of the English or French Governments; but that they acted, on the contrary, with the greatest promptitude; that the English Government lost no time in promoting the negotiations for the loan, that their Commissioner gave the most active assistance towards obtaining it, that when obtained it was shipped in English vessels to Constantinople at the earliest period, that Commissioners were sent by the English and French Governments to arrange with the Turkish Government the terms of the expenditure, and that those Commissioners were at their post, and were ready to act. After an unsatisfactory discussion the sum of £500,000 was transferred on the 1st of December to the Turkish Government. On the 17th of December an answer to the memorandum was sent in, containing a general assent to the principles therein laid down, but containing also a full statement of exceptions to its contents. The House will observe that up to this time no specific demand for further advances had been made either to the Commissioners or to the Ambassadors. What I have stated to the House is an exact statement abstracted from the Reports made by the English Commissioner at Constantinople; and I think the House must see that if the money remained locked up at Constantinople, it was owing exclusively to the unwillingness of the Turkish Government to submit to those reasonable precautions for the due application of the money, which in the first instance they had signified their intention to agree to, and not to any remissness on 1739 our part, which led to the evil of which the noble Lord (Lord J. Manners) made complaint. I should add, that the memorandum underwent some modifications, and that ultimately as modified it was agreed to in the month of January. The Turkish Government, therefore, had no insuperable objections to those conditions; but the habit of delay and procrastination, which seems to belong to their mode of managing public affairs, was unfortunately exhibited upon that occasion.
The Turkish Government, however, I ought to mention, did obtain advances from the Messrs. Rothschild by means of bills drawn upon them, which were paid in London, £283,000 being paid upon the 21st of September; and two sums for £200,000 and £100,000 respectively, being paid, on the 1st and 3rd of October. In point of fact, therefore, they obtained in that indirect manner a considerable portion of the loan, and were consequently not so destitute of means as the noble Lord the Member for Colchester appeared to imagine. Another expedient for supplying the Turkish Government with money was suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen, who said that we might have resorted to a subsidy of £100,000— that Her Majesty's Government would have had no difficulty in raising that sum, and that if in the course of the summer £100,000 had been placed at the disposal of the Turkish Government, it would have enabled them to relieve the garrison of Kars. I do not, Sir, see the hon. and learned Member in his place, and, of course, I do not wish to say anything in his absence that I would not say in his presence. I may observe, however, that the hon. and learned Member, in the course of his speech, dealt largely in vituperative epithets, which he addressed to all persons connected with the Government. Among those vituperative epithets was one which he repeated frequently—the epithet "contemptible." Now, Sir, I cannot but think that, if Her Majesty's Government had come to this House last summer, and had asked for a subsidy of £100,000 to be advanced to the Turkish Government to assist in conducting the campaign in Asia Minor, the word "contemptible," even though not strictly applicable to such a proceeding, would at least unquestionably have been applied to it pretty freely by hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. The hon. and learned Member referred in the course of 1740 his speech to the example of subsidies in the late war, and he said that in the conduct of the war against Napoleon this country was free with its assistance to the armies of foreign States; that when acting with Austria, Spain, and other countries, we showed no niggardliness in assisting them. I do not wish to go into the general question of the policy of subsidies. I know what strong objections to that policy are entertained in this House. I myself think that it is a policy of very doubtful expediency. At the same time I cannot but feel that during the late war we did unquestionably excite resistance to the power of France, and did furnish ourselves with allies to a great extent by means of our lavish system of subsidies. But, Sir, it was, as I have said, a lavish system, and it involved the advances of large sums of money, which enabled our Allies to bring great armies into the field. We did not send £100,000 only to Austria, or Russia, or Prussia, to enable them to contend against the colossal power of Napoleon, and I cannot but think that it is a gratifying circumstance that the hon. and learned Gentleman, having now the advantage of taking a retrospective in place of a prospective view, has nothing more to tell us than that we ought to have advanced £100,000 to the Turkish Government for the relief of Kars. Supposing that we had agreed to advance £100,000 at the time proposed, we should have taken the same securities, I presume, even for that limited sum, which we have taken for the larger sum which we guaranteed in August last. If we had done so, no doubt we should have been met with the same difficulties in coming to an arrangement as we actually did experience, and probably Kars would have been taken before we had settled in what manner the £100,000 was to be expended. Supposing, however, that those difficulties had been overcome, and that we had said, "We don't care about vouchers or audits; we give you £100,000, and we trust to you to expend it in a proper manner," is there anybody in this House who has read this Blue-book who does not believe that in such a case there would have been the greatest possible danger of that money being intercepted by some pasha, by some fraudulent contractor, or by one of that crowd of harpies who seem to surround the head-quarters of the Turkish army, and who prevent all the supplies of the army reaching their destined channel, and being applied in a bonâ fide manner 1741 to the purposes for which they were intended? I cannot think, then, either that the noble Lord the Member for Colchester has succeeded in showing that any blame attaches to the British Government with respect to the application of the proceeds of the Turkish loan; or that the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) of a subsidy of £100,000 would have been of the smallest advantage in carrying on the campaign in Asia Minor.
I will now say a few words on the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dorsetshire (Mr. Ker Seymer) who spoke in a tone of so much moderation and good sense. The hon. Gentleman has given the reasons why he is unwilling to support this Motion, and he has moved an Amendment which amounts in fact to moving the previous question, for its effect would be that the House would give the go by to the Resolution moved by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen, and hon. Members would not have the opportunity of pronouncing an opinion, "Aye" or "No," upon it. I cannot omit observing that the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) has a strong family likeness to a Motion of which notice has been given in another place. The Motion to which I allude is not identical with the hon. and learned Gentleman's in phraseology, but bears so clear a resemblance to it, that the person who prepared the one had evidently the copy of the other before him. I do not know the cause, but making allowance for the difference in the style of composition, the difference between them is exclusively verbal, and in substance they agree. I will read the Motion to the House. On Friday the Earl of Malmesbury was to move in the other House—That, while this House feels it to be a duty to express its admiration of the gallantry of the Turkish garrison and of the self-relying courage of Major-General Sir William Williams and the British officers at the siege of Kars, it feels it equally a duty to declare its conviction that the surrender of that fortress and of the army which defended it—disasters which endangered the safety of Asiatic Turkey and affected our influence in the negotiations for peace—are in a great degree owing to the want of foresight and energy in Her Majesty's Government.If any one will compare that Motion with the Motion that is now before this House he cannot fail to discern a very close resemblance between the two. I understand, however, that since the commencement of the proceedings of the two Houses of Par- 1742 liament to-night the other Motion has been abandoned, and that it is not likely that the sense of the other House of Parliament will be taken upon it. But the question has already been made the subject of a direct Motion in this House. The hon. and learned Gentleman has supported it in a speech of great elaboration, full of minute details, fortified by frequent reference to the correspondence presented to the House, and he has called upon the House to pronounce a direct verdict upon his Motion. Her Majesty's Government feel it their duty to meet that Motion with equal directness. They believe that it is altogether unsupported by the evidence laid upon the table. They believe that it has been wholly unsupported by the truth, and facts of the case; and they are desirous that the question should be fully and fairly discussed and sifted. They do not shrink from the closest and most jealous scrutiny, and they court the decision of the House upon the Motion as it was originally made. I am not able, therefore, to support the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dorsetshire. I quite recognise the conciliatory spirit in which that Motion has been made, but it merely holds out a postponement of the Motion. The hon. Gentleman says, "Let us first examine the treaty of peace and the protocols." I say that they are soon read, that the treaty may soon be examined, that there is nothing to prevent hon. Members from coming to a decision immediately, and that there is no reason why the House should postpone its judgment on this matter. When the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Whiteside) addressed this House for so long a period last evening, he intimated no doubt as to the sufficiency of the evidence to justify him in pronouncing a condemnation of the Government. I say, on the contrary, that there is ample evidence upon which to pronounce an acquittal of the Government. I trust that the decision to which he has referred may be given. I hope that hon. Members will put themselves in a judicial frame of mind, such as beseems this question, and that they will not vote upon this as upon a party Motion; and I feel confident, if that is the case, that this Motion will result in an entire and complete acquittal of the charges brought by the hon. and learned Member against Her Majesty's Government.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
Sir, I do not wish to detain the House by going at 1743 any length either through the correspondence contained in the Blue-book, or into the complicated question to which it relates. Notwithstanding the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I think I may venture to say that the able, and powerful, and eloquent speech of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Whiteside) remains yet wholly unanswered. It does, therefore, appear to my mind almost unnecessary and superfluous for any Gentleman on this side of the House to go again over any part of the ground which has been occupied with such signal power and success by my hon. and learned Friend. But there are parts of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer which I feel it impossible to pass by without some notice and comment. The right hon. Gentleman is the first Member of the Cabinet that has risen to reply to the powerful statement of my hon. and learned Friend, and certainly, although I confess I felt some difficulty and doubt in my attempts to foresee what ground Her Majesty's Government would take on this subject—what means they would take to ward off the charges which have been brought against them, of serious and deep culpability in respect to the one disastrous event in the late war—namely, the fall of Kars—I never did for a moment suppose that any Member of the Government would take the extraordinary line which has now been taken by the right hon. Gentleman. Sir, there was one passage in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in which I am happy to say in the outset I cordially concur with the right hon. Gentleman—I allude to that just and well-merited tribute which he paid in terms not warmer than is deserved to the admirable conduct and bravery of the gallant officer, General Williams. Nor let this praise be confined only to General Williams, for every Englishman who took part in that memorable but disastrous siege is fully entitled to the deep and lasting gratitude of this country. My hon. and learned Friend last night alluded to the fact that the only contribution which the Government had sent towards the defence of Kars were four officers and a doctor. I confess, Sir, I feel some regret at the terms which my hon. and learned Friend here used. When my hon. and learned Friend alluded to the merits of General Williams, we should recollect the no less merited distinctions of Colonel Lake, Mr. Teesdale, and the other 1744 officers by whom he was surrounded. When he spoke of the four Englishmen who had deserved well of their countrymen in the affair of Kars, a right hon. Friend near me and myself whispered to my hon. and learned Friend that there were five Englishmen who well deserved our praise and approbation. My hon. and learned Friend misunderstood us, and made a reference to the secretary of General Williams. But the fifth Englishman to whom I was desirous of doing justice, was Dr. Sandwith. Sir, I am sure that the House will feel with me, that in paying a just tribute to those admirable men who bore so heroic a part in the defence of Kars, no slight merit is due to Dr. Sandwith, and I am happy now to bear my humble tribute of admiration to the generous conduct of General Mouravieff, in at once liberating Dr. Sandwith, in consequence of the praiseworthy manner in which he had devoted himself to the care of the Russian prisoners. I am sure that every one who hears me, who has the good fortune like myself of having made the acquaintance of Dr. Sandwith, must be struck with the modesty, intelligence, and good feeling with which this gentleman refers to that memorable and disastrous siege.
Now, Sir, let me turn to the other parts of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in which he took some pains to explain the extraordinary fact, that no payment of the Turkish loan was made to Turkey until the month of December. The right hon. Gentleman also adverted, as perhaps, under the circumstances, it was natural for him to do, to the fact that the party sitting on this side of the House had expressed last year their strong disapprobation of the policy of the Turkish loan. Now, Sir, although we certainly did express our doubts of the policy of a loan which dealt with millions of the public money, I do not think that that fact at all precludes us now from stating our opinion as to the management of that loan. The time chosen by the Government for effecting that loan was, like every other measure of the Government in relation to the war, too late. Without entering into the policy of raising lurge loans of money for Turkey, we are of opinion that the judicious expenditure of a sum of £50,000 or £100,000, placed in the hands of General Williams, might have enabled that gallant officer to avert the misfortunes which had happened, and might have saved Kars from falling into the hands of the Russians. 1745 I would not have adverted to this point had it not been for what has fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, although it gives me an additional reason for holding the Government culpable for the fall of Kars. The right hon. Gentleman, to my great surprise, devoted much of his speech to prove that the capture of Kars had no influence upon the terms of peace, and he read certain passages from the papers which were laid on the table this morning with the view of establishing that position. Now, in answer to that part of his speech, I will only say that I will not allow the right hon. Gentleman by such references to draw me into a premature discussion of the terms of the peace. That, Sir, is not the question before us. When the right hon. Gentleman made reference to the protocols laid upon the table this morning, he must have felt that we are not discussing the question how far the fall of Kars had influenced the terms of peace. The right hon. Gentleman, however, will find it difficult to persuade the House or the country that the terms of the peace just concluded have not been influenced by the unfortunate disaster of the fall of Kars. That portion of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman which has induced me to rise at this period of the discussion, and which I cannot refer to without astonishment and the strongest possible dissent, is that extraordinary declaration which he made When he said that the Government were not in any respect responsible for the defence or the fall of Kars, and that it would be inconsistent with truth to attribute to them any oversight in the affairs of Asia. Sir, I took down the words of the right hon. Gentleman as he spoke them, and they were these, "No blame can attach to Her Majesty's Government if the fortress of Kars were not properly defended. We were not responsible." And again he said, "It would be inconsistent with truth to attribute to the Government any oversight with respect to the affairs of Asia." Now, it appears to me—and I am sure the House will agree in the statement, that almost every line of the Blue-book contradicts that extraordinary statement. I need not go further than the instructions given to General Williams in the very first page of this book. I will read the concluding passage of the second instructions, sent by Lord Clarendon on the 2nd of August—You will have learnt from Mr. Consul Brandt's despatches the state of disorganisation in which 1746 the Turkish army in Asia has for a long time been, and it will be your first duty to endeavour, by all means at your disposal, to ameliorate its condition; and as it may be necessary, with a view to that object, to call the immediate attention of the Porte to matters connected with the state of the Asiatic army, communications in regard to which will not admit of being delayed for previous reference to Lord Raglan in the Crimea, you will be authorised in his Lordship's absence in that quarter to communicate, under such circumstances, directly with Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople, taking care, however, to apprise Lord Raglan, with as little delay as possible, of the representations you have submitted to Her Majesty's Ambassador for the consideration of the Porte, and transmitting to his Lordship copies of your despatches to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, and of his Excellency's replies.Now, Sir, I rely upon every word of the instructions given to General Williams, as well as upon the hypothesis of the right hon. Gentleman himself, to prove that Her Majesty's Government were responsible for the defence of Kars. I want to know how the right hon. Gentleman will account for the instructions that were given—of the reports that were to be sent to Lord Raglan, to our Ambassador at Constantinople, and to Lord Clarendon. With what objects were all those reports to be sent? With what object was the Secretary of State to urge upon the Minister at Constantinople to interfere in respect to General Williams? How are we to account for the whole conduct of the Government in connection with the war in Asia, except upon the ground that the Government should make themselves responsible in a great degree for all the transactions of that war? Her Majesty's Government evidently felt that they were acting as the allies of Turkey; that they had undertaken the guidance of the war, and that they would be held responsible in Turkey and throughout this country and Europe for the good conduct and management of the war. One of the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman was, that, after all, the defence of Kars was comparatively unimportant, and that the main interest of the war was centred in Sebastopol. The right hon. Gentleman said that Sebastopol was the central point of Russian power, and he used the expression that one of the best known maxims in war was to strike at the heart, and to leave the extremities to take care of themselves. Well, but if Kars and Erzeroum were taken, what was to prevent the Russian forces marching on Constantinople? Was Constantinople the heart, or one of the extremities, of the Turkish Empire? I con- 1747 fess I never heard a speech with greater astonishment than this of the right hon. Gentleman, in which he says we must strike at the heart and not at the extremities, and that, therefore, the important fortress of Kara, the outwork of the Turkish Empire in Asia, was not important, because he considered it was one of the extremities. Why, it was the direct route by which the Russian forces could traverse the whole of Asia, and could approach the Bosphorus itself.
The whole argument of the right hon. Gentleman was to exonerate the Government from the culpability which attaches to them on account of the fall of Kars. It seems to prove to me that the right hon. Gentleman felt the conduct of the Government in this matter to be so involved that it was only by denying their responsibility—by trying to throw off from their shoulders the burden which they knew they had to bear—they could hope to avoid the censure of the country for the manner in which they had conducted the war. I will not detain the House by going through the whole of this extensive case, and shall, therefore, not touch upon that point which has been so much spoken of— namely, the conduct of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe towards General Williams. That conduct has been much censured both here and out of doors, and has formed the subject of a large portion of the able speech of my hon. and learned Friend. On that portion of the subject I will only say that I will not attempt to vindicate the conduct of the noble Lord in neglecting General Williams to the extent he did. I have no doubt that the effect of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe's conduct was very much to impair the position and to diminish the power of usefulness of General Williams. I have no doubt, Sir, that General Williams felt himself much weakened by the want of support which he had a right to expect from the English Ambassador at Constantinople. But at the same time, however, I feel myself bound in truth to say I am not of opinion that the conduct of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe to General Williams, although I think it objectionable, had any material effect in causing the fall of Kars. I think that the fall of Kars is to be attributed in justice and truth to the subsequent conduct of the Government, and I think I can show to the House by a brief reference to only two despatches—first of all, that the right hon. Gentleman is left wholly without any 1748 justification for his statement that the Government had assumed no responsibility in regard to Kars; and secondly, that the fall of Kars is not to be attributed, as the hon. Member for Dorsetshire (Mr. Ker Seymer) said, to the unfortunate corruption of the Turkish Pasha, but that the main cause of it was the vacillation and want of vigour and prudence on the part of the Ministry in England. I will first of all refer to the despatch written by Lord Clarendon to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe on the 13th of July, and then the answer to that despatch written by Lord Stratford de Redcliffe on the 30th of July. In adverting to the despatch of Lord Clarendon of the 13th of July, I must, of course, refer to two very important and able despatches written by Lord Stratford de Redcliffe on the 28th and 30th of June, to which the despatch of Lord Clarendon on the 13th of July was an answer. In those two despatches of the 28th and 30th of June, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe brings before the Government, in the strongest and clearest terms, the alarm which had arisen at Constantinople in consequence of the increasing difficulties of the garrison of Kars, and he submits to the Government the proposal of a plan arranged at Constantinople for the relief of that fortress. Now, I must beg the House to bear in mind this sentence of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe—On the other hand, there is ample evidence of a necessity, which must be met at no small risk, and with more or less of sacrifice.Throughout this part of the correspondence there is no fault to be found with Lord Stratford de Redcliffe. Whatever were his omissions, he here certainly urges the Government in England, by every consideration which could affect the policy of this country, to lose no time in sending relief to Kars; and he also urges them to take proper measures for relieving the anxiety of the Porte in regard to the pending fate of Kars. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, in the same despatch, writes the passage to which I have referred, and then states—The Turkish Ministers have invited me to meet in Conference on the subject, and the circumstances are too urgent for me to decline the invitation.My next Report will inform your Lordship of the result; I am, meanwhile, anxious to apprise Her Majesty's Government of the situation without loss of time.The next despatch to which I wish to refer is that of the 30th of June, which 1749 states the result of the Conference. I beg to call the attention of the House to a particular message in this despatch, which bears upon the important matter connected with the charge preferred against the Government. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe writes thus:—It was clear to all present that whether the Russians besieged or burnt Kars, the Turkish army required an effort to be made for its relief with all practicable despatch, and that of three possible modes of acting for that purpose the only one likely to prove effective was an expedition by Kutais into Georgia. To send reinforcements by Trebizond would be at best a palliative.The despatch then goes on to state the way in which the Porte proposed to raise the necessary forces, &c. It says—These several forces, completed according to the figures, would present a total of 44,000 men, not perhaps to be reckoned with prudence at more than 36,000 effectives.A portion of the army—namely, 10,000 men—were to be the British Contingent under General Vivian, who was to have the command of that force, and whose conduct throughout the whole affair, according to these papers, appears to me worthy of the highest credit.
Now, this leads me to comment upon a misstatement which, I think, was made by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General last night in his reply to the speech of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Whiteside). The Attorney General said that the French Government had objected to the recommendations contained in this Turkish plan. Whether this be the case or not I cannot pretend to say; but this Blue-book contains no evidence of the French Government having expressed any opinion whatever upon the Turkish plan. The plan to which the French Government expressed objection was a subsequent plan; a part of which was, that the Turkish troops in the Crimea should be withdrawn from the Crimea, for the purpose of being sent to Kars, and that plan was equally objected to by the English officers. They stated two grounds of objection: the first was that General Vivian's Contingent was not sufficiently disciplined to enter upon such a service; the second was, that they thought the right way to relieve Kars was by way of Trebizond and Erzeroum, and not by way of RedoutKaleh and Kutais. I will now call your attention to the first of those two despatches, the one which chiefly establishes the charge against the Government—namely, that the fall of Kars was to be 1750 fairly charged upon the conduct of Her Majesty's Ministers. General Vivian made no objection to this plan; he only made the very proper condition that there should be provided sufficient means of transport; and certainly I do not think that the Government can with justice claim the opinion expressed by General Vivian as supporting their views; on the contrary, his language was that which any British officer of spirit and experience would have held. Now, what was the reply of Lord Clarendon, written on the 13th of July, to this proposal? My hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Whiteside) last night spoke in strong words of this despatch, and I will not reiterate the arguments which he employed. My hon. and learned Friend, quoting the words of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord J. Russell), reminded Her Majesty's Government that the Prime Minister must be held responsible for all Government despatches. Now I must say that this despatch written by Lord Clarendon to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe is one of which the Government ought really to be ashamed. I have no desire to speak with the least disrespect of Lord Clarendon. Nay more, Sir, I am quite willing to admit that many of that noble Lord's despatches as Foreign Minister—many even in this book—are written in a spirit and style which do him much honour; but I cannot say that of this despatch before me. I think, Sir, it is no credit to the Government, and that the spirit in which it is written is utterly unworthy of the subject of which it treats. In this despatch the noble Earl seems to have invented every imaginable ground of despair for the purpose of rejecting the only plan that had been devised by the Porte for the relief of Kars. It says:—The plan proposed by the Porte for the relief of the Turkish army at Kars, as sketched out in your Excellency's despatches of the 30th of June and 1st instant, has been attentively considered by Her Majesty's Government; and I have to state to your Excellency that it appears to be objectionable for the following reasons:—It would be in the greatest degree imprudent to throw on an unwholesome coast, without means of land transport, without any certainty of provisions, without an assured communication with the rear, without an accurate knowledge of the country to be traversed, or the strength of the enemy to be encountered, and with the probability of a hostile population, 40,000 men, hurriedly collected from various quarters, imperfectly disciplined, doubtfully armed and equipped, and as yet unorganised, and to expose them at once to all the hazards and difficulties of a campaign against a Russian army.1751 Why, Sir, I assert that the greatest part of these dangers are mere assumptions on the part of Her Majesty's Government. There is no proof whatever that these dangers existed. The Government assumes that there is a want of transport—they assume that there would be no certainty of provisions—they assume that there would be no means of communication with the rear—they assume that there would be, on the part of those commanding the expedition, no knowledge of the country to be traversed. Why, Sir, if there be one thing more remarkable than another in those despatches, it is the evidence they afford of the total ignorance of Her Majesty's Government of the nature of the country through which it was proposed to send these troops. To what else than that ignorance can be ascribed the Government's obstinate preference of the Trebizond route to Kars to that by Redout-Kaleh? They saw on some soiled map that Tiflis, Erzeroum, and Trebizond formed a triangle, and starting at Trebizond they concluded that it was just as easy to go one way as the other, without really considering the difficulties which the country by this route would have presented. I cannot see any other way by which to account for their perseverance in favour of the Trebizond route. But I cannot imagine why, because they wanted knowledge themselves with respect to the country, they should have assumed an equal want of knowledge on the part of the troops and their commanders.
Let me now, Sir, speak of another sentence in this despatch; for I think it is without exception the most trifling and most unworthy sentence that I ever read in the despatch of a British Minister. Lord Clarendon writes—"They would fall ill between Redout-Kaleh and Kutais, and be defeated between Kutais and Tiflis." That, Sir, is one of the most extraordinary attempts at prophesy that any Minister ever attempted to indulge in. I think, Sir, that I am not going too far when I say that it was trifling and unworthy of a Government in Downing Street to undertake to prophecy where the Turkish army would "fall ill," and further to prophesy—not where the enemy would give them battle, not where they would have a chance of victory—but where they would be defeated. Really, Sir, if it had been the object of the Government to dispirit the efforts of the Turks, to prevent them from maintaining 1752 anything like the spirit necessary to meet the emergency that had arisen, I cannot imagine any language better calculated to effect that object than that which I have just read to the House. Having conjured up every difficulty that could be imagined—having assumed facts of which they had no knowledge—the Government then undertakes to prophesy that sickness would fall upon the army; and, next, to foretell where that army would—not, as I before observed, meet the enemy with the hope of triumphing over him, but meet him to be themselves to a certainty defeated. Sir, with respect to the rest of that despatch I shall refrain from making any comment. Those portions of the despatch having reference to what General Williams was to do in case of a difficulty—to his falling back upon Erzeroum and then on Trebizond—were commented on so well and so ably by my hon. and learned Friend last night, that it would be idle in me to enlarge on that topic. I shall now advert, Sir, for one moment to the reply which Lord Stratford de Redcliffe sent to that despatch; for I think it is one of the severest and most condemnatory despatches which any Government ever received from one of their own agents. The despatch addressed by Lord Stratford de Redcliffe to Lord Clarendon on the 30th of July last commences thus:—The unfavourable judgment passed by Her Majesty's Government on the plans which have been lately under discussion, with a view to the relief of the Sultan's army at Kars, has naturally increased the Porte's embarrassment. It was my duty to make it known to the Turkish Ministers, not only as an opinion, but, with respect to General Vivian's Contingent, as a veto. A most serious dilemma is the immediate result. Her Majesty's Government not only withhold the contingent, but express a decided preference for the alternative of sending reinforcements to Erzeroum by the way of Trebizond. This opinion is not adopted by the Porte, or indeed by any official or personal authority here. The Seraskier, Omar Pasha, General Guyon, our own officers, as far as I have means of knowing, agree with the Porte and the French Embassy in preferring a diversion on the side of Redout-Kaleh, as offering better chances of success, supposing, of course, that the necessary means of transport, supply and other indispensable wants can be sufficiently provided. France is at the same time decidedly adverse to any diminution of force in the Crimea; and Omar Pasha, ready to place himself at the head of an Asiatic expedition, requires for that purpose a part of the troops now there.What, Sir, does Lord Stratford de Redcliffe add to these words? He says—Such being the present state of the case, I am precluded from contributing to the Porte's 1753 extrication from its difficulties, otherwise than by countenancing some new location of the contingent, which, without exposing the corps to a premature trial, might enable a force of the same amount to be detached for service elsewhere. No final decision has yet been taken by the Porte. My colleague the French Ambassador has written for General Pelissier's opinion, and Omar Pasha is still in attendance on his Government.These, Sir, are despairing words. ["Hear, hear!"] I can really speak of them in no other terms than as despairing words. The despatch ends in these words—words so eloquently alluded to by my hon. and learned Friend last night:—Meanwhile the advices from Kars are not encouraging, and time of precious value is unavoidably wasted in doubt and uncertainty.Sir, I rely upon those two despatches to prove the case made by my hon. and learned Friend. In my opinion, Sir, those two despatches distinctly show that Her Majesty's Government were the parties who really caused the loss of Kars. It is true they afterwards changed their minds—it is true that they afterwards consented to a diversion being made by an attack on Georgia; but when was that? Not for more than two months after the occurrences to which I have just been alluding—not for more than two months after they had rejected the organised plan of the Porte—a plan approved of by the Sultan and his Ministers—approved of by the French and English Ambassadors—approved of by all the military authorities. In two months after they had taken upon themselves this active responsibility, they changed their minds, and consented to an attack on Georgia. But it was then too late. Let me, Sir, ask the House whether I am right or wrong in charging the Government with responsibility in this affair? Let me ask whether it be possible for the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the face of the despatches which I have just read, to contend that Her Majesty's Government are in no degree responsible in regard to the measures taken for the defence of Kars, or for the conduct and support of the Turkish army in Asia. Sir, after this language on the part of the Government—after they took upon themselves the responsibility of distinctly refusing permission for the carrying out of the plan of operations which had emanated from the Porto, and was concurred in by Ambassadors, the military officers, and every one else at Constantinople—after writing by telegraph that that plan of relieving 1754 Kars was disapproved of by them—I do not understand how it is possible for Her Majesty's Government, when a charge like this is brought against them, to say that they were not responsible for the defence of Kars—that it was an affair of the Turks—one in which they were in no way mixed up, and for the results of which they are not in any manner responsible.
There is, Sir, one other point to which I shall for a moment advert, that is, the language of Lord Panmure in speaking of that very plan of operations. In that noble Lord's despatch to General Vivian, dated the 14th July, 1855, Lord Panmure, alluding to that plan, says:—I place such reliance on your professional ability, that I feel no anxiety lest you should undertake any expedition of a nature so wild and ill-digested as that contemplated by the Porte.In another part of the same despatch, his Lordship characterises this plan as "madness." Now, the House is aware, that at the very moment when this despatch of Lord Panmure was being sent off to General Vivian, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe was forwarding to this country General Vivian's statement, that he "did not entertain any doubt of the success of the plan, providing that sufficient arrangements were made for carrying it out." This was the plan that Lord Panmure was at the same moment condemning as "ill-digested" and "mad." Sir, there is only one other point to which I beg to advert, because the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer alluded to it in his speech this evening, in a manner that has caused me considerable amazement. The right hon. Gentleman in alluding to the peculiar partiality of Her Majesty's Government to the Trebizoud route, said, "I do not mean to go into the question of the comparative advantages of two roads."—[The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: I said the two roads.] I am quite I willing to accept the correction. The right I hon. Gentleman said, he would not go into the comparative advantages of the two roads. Why, Sir, the question of saving Kars turned on the comparative advantages of "the two roads." I was quite astonished last night to hear the hon. and learned Attorney General say, that there was high authority in favour of the Trebizond road, and that General Williams approved of it, I was equally astonished to I hear the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate state, that that road by way of Trebizond was perfectly good for artillery, 1755 and that every military man knew it. I beg to assure my right hon. and learned Friend that I have every respect for him; but when I heard that statement, I must say that I thought it the most audacious statement that I ever heard put forward in any debate in this House. I suppose my right hon. and learned Friend feels that when pleading a cause, he is at liberty to say anything, otherwise I rather think it may well be suggested that the right hon. and learned Gentleman living in London could not have been as good a judge of that matter as the Turkish Ministers. I rather think, too, it will be admitted that General Williams ought to be some authority on the subject. I believe that Omar Pasha ought to be the same; and he, in the strongest terms, states that the Trebizond road is totally unfit for artillery; that so far from being fit for artillery, it was in so bad a state, that two or three months would be consumed before it would be possible to relieve Kars by that route. He says, "It is not possible to relieve Kars by way of Trebizond." Let me now show you that the hon. and learned Attorney General was not justified in attempting to make the House believe that General Williams was entirely in favour of Kars being relieved by way of Trebizond. I beg to call the attention of the House to the fact, that on the 10th of August, General Williams uses these words in writing to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe:—I trust the Allies will, by a prompt diversion in Georgia, oblige General Mouravieff to retire; otherwise, nothing can save Kara from falling into his hands.Sir, how is it possible to contend in the face of that language, that General Williams was in favour of relieving Kara by way of Trebizond? Again, in October, General Williams writes:—Under these circumstances, I address these few lines to your Lordship, with a hope that such representations may be instantly made to General Omar, to act with vigour and decision against Georgia; otherwise, in spite of our brilliant victory, we must ultimately fall into the enemy's hands.Sir, I felt it my duty, in consequence of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, to direct the attention of the House to those facts; and I hope I have succeeded in satisfying the House that he was not justified in assuming that Her Majesty's Government were not responsible for the events of the war in Asia, Minor, 1756 and particularly for the occurrences that took place at Kars. I maintain that they made themselves responsible. I maintain that by the despatches they themselves wrote they assumed a responsibility. I believe, Sir, that by the directions they gave, and the course they adopted, they have rendered themselves responsible for that disastrous event which casts a stain and a shade over the operations of the army engaged in sustaining the cause of the Allies in Asia Minor; and believing that, Sir, I shall give my support to the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Enniskillen.
§ MR. LAYARD
said, he must claim the indulgence of the House for a short time while he endeavoured to place the facts before them in such a manner that they might be able to form a clear judgment upon the question at issue. He would not detain them longer than was necessary, for he thought it was too much the habit of that House to spend too much time in words and too little in acts. A Resolution had been moved by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside) in a most able and vigorous speech, and the Government had certainly been very strongly attacked. On the other hand, he must confess that the speeches he had heard from the Treasury bench had been somewhat weak, and had almost converted him in an opposite direction. He thought it a pity that the cause of the Government had been intrusted last night to a lawyer who had not quite got up his brief, and he (Mr. Layard) would venture very humbly to say that he believed he could have made a much better defence for the Government, although it was not his habit to speak in favour of right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury bench. He would, however, endeavour to take a little away from the stronger element, and to add a little to the weaker side, and he thought that by that proceeding he might be able to remove some of that mystification in which the question before them was at present involved. He might remind the House that, not one year ago, not two years ago, but even three years ago, he ventured more than once to claim their attention to the events which were passing in Asia Minor. Indeed, he did so as often as he could without running the risk of obtaining in the House the very unpopular character of a "bore;" but the subject appeared to him of such extreme importance that, in urging it upon 1757 the consideration of the House and the Government, he was closely upon the point of becoming a "bore." He had always regarded the condition of Asia Minor as a matter of the utmost importance, for two reasons: on the European side Turkey, although certainly exposed to attack by Russia, could be protected by her Allies, and even by an empire which, although not actually her ally, would have been sorry enough to see Russia within the Turkish territory—he meant Austria. On the Asiatic frontier, however, Turkey was completely exposed. She had on that side neither allies nor friends, but she was confronted by a Christian population, which could easily be acted upon by Russia, and which might become a very formidable element in sustaining a Russian invasion. The army of Turkey in Asia Minor was disorganised, it was badly officered, and the troops were greatly in arrear of pay. Unfortunate divisions had also sprung up between some of the commanders, and, among others, between General Guyon and a Polish officer in the Turkish service. He (Mr. Layard) was glad, in mentioning the name of General Guyon, to have the opportunity of paying a tribute of admiration to the great talent, experience, and skill of that gallant officer. He had seen letters in the handwriting of General Guyon written many months ago, predicting what would happen in Asia Minor; and if he (Mr. Layard) had not known that they had been written so long ago he would have supposed they had been written within a few days, so accurately did they describe the present state of the country. If that frontier had been defended, the mountain passes might have been held without difficulty, and the Koordish tribes would have furnished a valuable body of light troops, both cavalry and infantry, who would have been formidable opponents to the Russian cavalry, which played so important a part in the operations of the campaign. In that direction Turkey and her Allies could, if it had been deemed necessary, have acted upon a country lately subdued by Russia, which, moreover, was not favourable to her rule, and the population of which might easily have been induced to rise against their conquerors. He (Mr. Layard) had always thought from the very commencement of the war that operations might have been conducted in that quarter with great effect, and he had not yet seen anything to cause him to change his opinion. He did not, 1758 however, go the length of some hon. Gentlemen opposite, who held that if Kars had been taken the road of the Russians to Constantinople would have been open. Any military man would at once see that that was not the Russian plan of march to Constantinople. The Russians had a far safer system of operations before them. What Russia would have done, would have been to occupy the plateau, and conquering to the south, they would have obtained a large tract of territory, which would have been in their hands a material guarantee, and a set-off against conquests on the part of the Allies in Europe or elsewhere. He felt strongly the importance of energetic operations in Asia Minor on account of the opinions he had sometimes heard expressed in that House, that our Indian territories might easily be invaded by Russia. He regarded the expression of such sentiments in that House as most impolitic and most imprudent. There was no doubt that, if the Russians had gained any signal success on the Asiatic frontier, they might have created a state of things in Central Asia which might have been very formidable to the Indian Government. He thought, however, that it was unwise to bring forward such topics in that House—first, because, in the present state of affairs, he did not believe there was any ground for apprehension; and, secondly, because the agitation of the subject gave European Powers a continual excuse for saying—"We will not do anything in Asia, for this is a question merely affecting the dominion of England." He had been very much astonished to hear the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer say, that the fall of Kars was not important politically. Why he (Mr. Layard) could not imagine a political question of more importance than such a success on the part of Russia on the frontiers of Asia Minor. The fall of Kars in itself might not be of paramount importance, but he believed that the effects of the success of the Russians on that occasion would be felt long after the memory of this war had passed away. It would long be remembered by those wild and barbarous tribes inhabiting countries which bordered upon our Indian territories, and who were the constant causes of annoyance and alarm to the Indian Government. General Williams had undoubtedly been treated with great kindness by the Russian Government, because that policy suited their interest. He had no doubt that 1759 General Williams would be paraded through the whole of Georgia and Russia, not with the least view of causing him pain, but to show that an English general had been taken prisoner. Eastern nations would naturally associate the capture of an officer of such rank with a Russian victory. The fall of Kars, however, he asserted, was no victory, it was the result of starvation; but Asiatic tribes could not draw that distinction, and seeing General Williams thus paraded they would naturally suppose that a victory had been gained over England. He (Mr. Layard) had called the attention of the House to this question two and three years ago. He appealed to hon. Gentlemen opposite to assist him; but did they do so? That was a moment when something might have been done. They might have compelled Her Majesty's Government to say to France, "The House of Commons requires us to adopt this line of action; the country expresses a strong opinion on the subject; and whether it is satisfactory to you or not, this is the policy we must pursue." He thought the Emperor of the French was far too well acquainted with the constitution and manners of this country, and with the influence of public opinion, not to have listened to that argument. He, however, appealed in vain for support to hon. Gentlemen opposite, yet the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen came down and made a war speech. If he might be allowed a common simile, the position of an independent Member was like that of a dog in a race-course; he was shouted at by both parties, but when the race was coming off, lest he should trip up a favourite horse, some one whistled him inside the ropes. With the single exception of Lord Ellenborough, in another place, he had never heard a word about Kars from Gentlemen on the other side, when he (Mr. Layard) spoke in reference to that fortress. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) had now made an admirable speech. But why did he not, two years ago, point out all those facts? He was afraid there was a greater desire in some quarters rather to beat the Government than to beat the Russians. Now of the two he preferred beating the Russians. The hon. and learned Gentleman had made a very admirable war speech, showing how Russia commanded Khoa, how she could intercept the commerce of Great Britain at the fall of the Araxes into the Caspian; and how Persia, owing a great debt to Russia, might be 1760 brought to the side of that Power. Had those evils been put an end to by the treaty? Would the hon. and learned Member support him in objecting to the treaty of peace on that ground? If those things were so perilous at the beginning of the war, they were surely just as perilous now, when Russia held exactly the same position with regard to Persia as she did three years ago. The hon. and learned Gentleman divided his speech into three parts, but the second was very much longer than the other two parts put together. The second part was an attack, not upon the present, but upon the late, Government of Lord Aberdeen, and that was really the strongest part of the case. He could have understood if the hon. and learned Gentleman had said—"I make this attack now because Lord Clarendon, who was the Foreign Minister of Lord Aberdeen, is still the Foreign Minister of Lord Palmerston;" but the hon. and learned Gentleman carefully cut the ground from under his own feet by saying, "When I speak of Lord Clarendon, I do not mean Lord Clarendon, but Lord Palmerston, as all these despatches were sanctioned and read in Council." The principal charge against the present Government was, that Lord Stratford de Redcliffe was continued at Constantinople after what was termed his misconduct. But hon. Members should recollect that all the misconduct took place before Lord Aberdeen retired from office. The reconciliation and the celebrated despatch of the 8th of December were before Lord Aberdeen went out, and the hon. and learned Gentleman demonstrated that since the reconciliation Lord Stratford had conducted himself with the utmost propriety, and had rendered the greatest service to the country—in fact, that Lord Stratford had done everything, and the present Government had done nothing, He (Mr. Layard) felt some difficulty in speaking of Lord Stratford. He was in a somewhat delicate position. He owed Lord Stratford a great deal. He looked upon him as a most valuable public servant, as a man of indefatigable industry, as better acquainted than any one with Turkey, and as having done great things in and for Turkey. He would not attempt to justify that for which Lord Stratford had expressed his regret in these despatches. To say the least, it was unfortunate that Lord Stratford did not answer General Williams's letters, as it prevented General Williams having that power 1761 and authority which he would have otherwise exercised; but, when they remembered the immense amount of business, even under ordinary circumstances, with forty Consuls, Vice-Consuls, and consular agents in Malta, the Ionian Islands, Egypt, and the Barbary States, and the additional correspondence with the Generals in the Crimea and the Government at home, he thought very little could be urged against Lord Stratford on that score. In not getting General Williams recognised by the Porte, Lord Stratford had committed a grave error, and as that error had been acknowledged in the despatches, he thought they had censured Lord Stratford much more severely than he deserved. There was a little matter in which the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) had behaved very ungenerously with reference to Count Pisani and M. Etienne Pisani, two persons whom he had rolled into one. Count Pisani was at the head of the Chancellerie at Constantinople, was one of the oldest and most valuable of our public servants, and performed his duties admirably. M. Etienne Pisani was one of the dragomans, and the imputation against him, that he would not communicate messages as they were communicated to him, was unfair. He certainly recollected an instance in which M. Etienne Pisani did not do much for the flowery eloquence of Lord Stratford, for he summed up a speech of the noble Lord's in terms not very flattering to himself (Mr. Layard) by saying, "Your Majesty, this is a man who has dug up old stones." The hon. and learned Gentleman had likewise attacked the whole diplomatic service at Constantinople. He (Mr. Layard) did not agree in the employment of natives of the country as dragomans; but he must inform the House, that instead of being overpaid they were miserably underpaid, and he would like to see them better remunerated. He did not pretend to say that the Government was without fault, but the whole circumstances had been tremendously exaggerated. The hon. and learned Gentleman had spoken of the craven conduct of the Government in advising the abandonment of Kars. Now, his own opinion was, that it was a very great mistake to defend Kars, and that they ought never to have made the attempt. Kars was not in the high road, was not a strong place, was artificially fortified. The object of defending a place was, by a small force, to check the ad- 1762 vance of a large army. Now, the whole of the Ottoman army in Asia Minor was shut up in Kars. If that army fell, the whole country was at the mercy of the enemy. Most fortunately, by the gallantry of General Williams and the matchless bravery of those who were with him, Kars held out. Between Kars and Erzeroum there was a long line of mountains. His opinion, and he found it shared by high military authority, was that the army ought to have fallen back on that line, leaving its rear open to receive supplies and reinforcements; and that it could have defended itself against the Russian army was proved by the fact that Mouravieff left Kars, thinking to get to Erzeroum, but found the position so strong, though defended only by a handful of men, that he could not force it. It was very true that holding Kars kept the enemy in check, and, probably, he was wrong. General Williams, who was on the spot, and consequently had additional means of judging, held a different opinion, and, probably, General Williams was right. Still, it was unfair to impute a craven motive to any one for thinking that Kars ought not to have been defended. There were two ways of relieving Kars. It might have been relieved by a joint movement, either from Batoum and Trebizond, or from Re-dout-Kaleh and Kutais. In the early part of the siege the former was the proper plan, and General Williams himself recommended it on the 30th of June. That gallant officer said, "I trust that the authorities of Constantinople will see the necessity of sending succour to Asia, both by way of Trebizond and Batoum." The Government adopted that opinion, and that it was a true one there could be no doubt. The hon. and learned Gentleman said it would take four months to march from Trebizond. That was not the case. He had frequently travelled over those roads, and they were perfectly practicable for light troops in three or four weeks. The conveyance of artillery would have taken longer, but then the Turks had abundant artillery at Erzeroum. He had done the journey with a large caravan in less than two weeks. It must be recollected that Mouravieff was not besieging but blockading Kars; and, in order to make the blockade effectual, his forces must have occupied an area of at least twenty miles. Not knowing from what quarter the Turkish troops were coming, he must have concentrated, and thus have 1763 left the way open for the escape of the besieged, He justified this attack in September by saying that he expected the Turks would advance from the side of Batoum and Erzeroum, but, unfortunately, the opportunity was lost. Then, when despatches arrived day after day, describing the exhausted state of the garrison and the hopelessness of holding out much longer, there was but one course to adopt. Then, at the last hour, was the time for a diversion on the side of Kutais. If Mouravieff had heard that troops were advancing on his rear, every military man would have indulged the hope that he would have given up the siege; but Mouravieff knew the country, he knew the difficulty of such an advance, and he proved his great military capacity by still holding on to Kars. The hon. and learned Gentleman referred to the campaigns of Paskiewitch, but the reason why Paskiewitch did not go to Trebizond was, that he did not want to go there; he remained at the key of the mountain passes of Erzeroum, because from that plateau he was able to send his troops to the south and to hold some of the most important and fertile of the Turkish provinces. The subject, after all, was really a question of dates. In the first instance, the proper course was an advance by Trebizond and Batoum, but when the opportunity for the advance was lost the only thing that remained was a diversion by Kutais. He regretted to have heard reflections cast upon Omar Pasha. He had known Omar Pasha for many years, and had accompanied him on one and part of a second campaign. Omar Pasha had rendered distinguished services to the Porte, and had certainly gone through this war with as much credit as any man. One part of the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech—that relating to Lord Panmure's answer to Lord Ellenborough in the House of Lords—had, until he thought over it, made an impression on him. Now, he was not going to defend Lord Panmure; he did not feel the least admiration for his public conduct since the commencement of the war, but he must confess that Lord Panmure was right in stating, in August last, that Turkey was able to maintain herself in Asia Minor. Now, of that statement the hon. and learned Gentleman had complained. If he had been in the situation of Lord Panmure, and he had been asked in August what was the state of the army in Asia, he should certainly have said that it was immensely strong—that it 1764 was supplied with provisions, arms, everything, for ten months. [Laughter.] Why, if Lord Panmure had said that the garrison was starving, that it had no provisions, no artillery, no money, he would only have encouraged Mouravieff to persevere in the siege. He would now proceed to point out what he thought were the faults of the Government. The original mistake, the cause of all the evil that had happened, must undoubtedly be attributed to Lord Aberdeen. ["Hear, hear!"] He would state his reason for making that assertion. The Resolution of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) was not directed against the preceding as well as the present Government, and by voting for it he must, therefore, commit himself to a censure upon the present Government for conduct for which he had always blamed Lord Aberdeen's Government. He had held the same language for the last three years; he had always said that Lord Aberdeen was wrong; that, upon a question of principle, the defence of Asia Minor should have been the very first consideration of the Government. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement that night, that Kars was of secondary political importance, had, therefore, as he had previously stated, greatly astonished him, and had done more than anything to shake his belief that the present Government had made every effort to save it. There might have been political reasons to prevent Lord Aberdeen from taking precautions to defend the frontier of Asia Minor when the war first broke out, but the present Government could not be held responsible for the neglect of those precautions. Turkey should have been supplied with money, British officers should have been sent; but a different policy—in his opinion an erroneous policy—had been adopted. He regretted the hon. and learned Gentleman's expression that "four men and a doctor had been sent out." He might take upon himself the glory of having introduced Dr. Sandwith to Eastern life, and could, therefore, bear testimony to his abilities. But those officers were not sent out by Lord Palmerston—they were sent out by Lord Aberdeen. When we had Georgia and Circassia to act upon, our Government allowed favourable opportunities to slip by until it was too late for a bonâ fide campaign in Asia. A most incompetent officer was also sent to Circassia, and he (Mr. Layard) had warned the Government of the inefficiency of that officer at the time of his appointment; 1765 but as he was now no more, it would be very improper to bear hard upon him. He had no wish to exculpate the present Government at the expense of their predecessors, and he thought what the House should do was to see on whose shoulders the blame really lay. Her Majesty's present advisers were, in his opinion, in fault on several matters. And first, in regard to the loan to Turkey, they ought to have supplied the Government of that country with money. The explanation of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer failed to exonerate the Ministry on this point. There could be no doubt that, had General Williams been adequately furnished with funds, he could have provisioned Kars, procured baggage animals, raised troops, and done many other most important things requisite for the defence of Asiatic Turkey. Another great cause of our disasters was the mischievous interference of the War Office in military affairs. What we wanted was a great commander. It was a monstrous way of carrying on the war to be constantly telegraphing to our generals to do this to-day and to cease doing that tomorrow. Our commanders were thereby reduced to mere puppets, although, being on the spot and cognisant of their own resources, they must have known what ought to be done far better than the authorities at home. The unfortunate Turkish Contingent was ordered hither and thither, nobody being able to tell what would be its ultimate destination; and it was only natural that Lord Stratford, puzzled by such contradictory directions, should be at a loss what to do. For that state of things the present Government were greatly to blame. Our conduct towards the Turks also called for remark. Our Ambassador was placed in a difficult position. Having a great policy to keep steadily in view, he had daily demands to make on the Turkish Ministry on questions of high political moment; and it could not but seriously detract from his influence with the Porte to have to say, "You must dismiss this Pasha and put that one in his place." The Turkish agents might have been very culpable, but we ought to place ourselves in the position of their Government, which being after all independent, must be allowed to have had some self-respect left. What would have happened if a British Commissioner like General Williams had interfered with our other Allies, and demanded the dismissal of General Bosquet, 1766 or General Canrobert, for example? If that had been done, affairs never could have been satisfactorily conducted. It was to be regretted that an eminent Pasha, an able man who had been educated in this country, had been loaded with insult. The hon. and learned Member for Leominster (Mr. J. G. Phillimore), when he accused Selim Pasha of cowardice in running away and leaving his guns, confounded one Pasha with another bearing the same name. He (Mr. Layard) confessed that since he had read the Blue-book his opinion of the conduct of Lord Clarendon had undergone a very considerable change. The Foreign Secretary might not, in some cases, have taken the right step, but he appeared to have done his best to support General Williams. He (Mr. Layard) could safely say that since he had had a seat in that House he had never given a factious vote; and he hoped he should receive credit for sincerity in stating that he thought the charge preferred by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Enniskillen against the Ministry was far too wide. It was unfair to assert that the fall of Kars was solely attributable to the want of foresight and energy on the part of the British Government alone. That proposition entirely passed over the French Government, which might, after all, have had some share of the responsibility for that event. Had the Motion been couched in other language he might have regarded it in a different light; but, taking it as it stood, although he believed that the Government had committed serious mistakes, and he had never sought to conceal that opinion, yet he could not conscientiously vote on that occasion with the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen.
§ MR. MAGUIRE
said that, feeling convinced that the debate would be adjourned, he trusted the House would listen to one who was not merely in name, but in reality, an independent Member. He occupied the singular, or, at least, the rare position of one who could stand up there and speak the truth—[Laughter]—surely he would be allowed to finish the sentence thus interrupted—the whole truth, without any qualification or mental reservation. The question which had been under discussion for the last two nights had not been fairly and manfully treated. The great offender in this matter was Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, and in attempting to justify his conduct, the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard) had inflicted a heavy blow upon 1767 his own public character—a character which he had made by courage and independence. The hon. Gentleman would damage the last but not the present Government, and endeavoured to depreciate the Duke of Newcastle to serve Lord Panmure. A word as to the contrast between Lord Panmure and the Duke of Newcastle. For the latter he had no personal respect whatever. He meant no personal "leaning," because the noble Duke had endeavoured to trip him up in the borough he had the honour to represent. He bore the noble Duke no malice, and he would do him the justice to admit that in tone and spirit his despatch contrasted most favourably with the wretched and contemptible document that bore the signature of the hon. Member who spoke generally from the obscure corner of the Treasury, and who was rarely seen but often heard. The Duke of Newcastle, in his despatch to the Ambassador, insisted on the adoption of prompt and vigorous measures of reform; but the effort of Lord Panmure, even when the Turkish army was in the greatest peril, was confined to a recommendation that when the Porte had nothing else to do, it would attend to it. Such a despatch was most absurd and lame. The hon. Member for Aylesbury had adopted the extraordinary course of defending the conduct of Lord Stratford. [Mr. LAYARD: No, no.] The hon. Member could not deny his own words. The hon. Member for Aylesbury described Lord Stratford's conduct as "unfortunate." How delicate! And, remembering his former relations with that noble Lord, complained that he had been too severely dealt with. By whom had the noble Lord been thus harshly treated? By which side of the House?—by what party, or by what individual? The House had yet to learn. Too severely dealt with, forsooth! What treatment could be too severe for conduct such as his? The people of this country viewed his proceedings with scorn, with indignation, with disgust, and they would denounce it with rather less of Oriental reserve than suited the delicate nerves of the hon. Member for Aylesbury. To refrain from painting Lord Stratford's conduct in its true colours was to damage the character of General Williams. For that intrepid officer he (Mr. Maguire) entertained feelings of the most unmitigated respect and admiration—[Laughter]. Oh, they might laugh at the phrase, but he was indebted for it to the Oriental vocabu- 1768 lary of the hon. Member for Aylesbury. No language could adequately express his admiration for General Williams. That gallant public servant had set an example to the generals not of the Crimea only, but of the whole world. He was a glorious fellow—he was a hero; and, placed by his side, the poor little Simpsons were dwarfed to such puny dimensions as to be scarcely visible. His was as brave a heart as ever beat in human bosom; and had it not been for Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, he would have been the saviour of Kars. Lord Stratford had it in his power to render essential service to the beleaguered garrison; but, to his eternal dishonour, he had failed to do so. If ever there was a man in a position to enlist the sympathy of the world it was General Williams, before the capitulation of Kars. He was breathing an atmosphere of villany; he was surrounded by the greatest scoundrels that ever disgraced the form of humanity—[Laughter]. They might laugh; but it was no laughing matter to General Williams to be in such company. Perhaps hon. Gentlemen thought his language was over strong. If so, then he would state one or two facts which would show that no strength of language could do adequate justice to the rascality of the superior officers of the Turkish army. One of them drew rations for 33,000 men when he had only to provide for 14,000, and this when provisions were actually falling short. Then look at the state of things at Olti; no less than 500 of that doomed garrison died of disease, and the sick were lying on rotten straw, their bodies devoured by vermin—they being starved and robbed by their officers. The results of this villany were to be traced in the condition of the entire army. General Williams was sickened at the sight, and called upon the Porte to mark with its indignant reprobation the perpetrators of such iniquity. And how did Lord Stratford receive the representations of this dauntless soldier—this immortal hero, with whose name the world was ringing, and whose gallantry and self-resource were the themes of universal admiration? He wrote a letter which was intended as a stab at General Williams, but which was enough to load his own name with infamy. It was thus that, in writing to Lord Clarendon on the 1st of March, 1855, he had the presumption to express himself—"Observing in your Lordship's instructions to General Williams, that he is directed to maintain the 1769 most friendly relations with the Turkish officers"—Turkish officers, indeed! Why, they were the most atrocious miscreants that ever polluted the earth with their presence—drunkards, traitors, debauchees, robbers—the incarnation of everything that was abominable under the sun. But to return to Lord Stratford. He went on to say—I venture to ask whether the tone which he has assumed towards them [meaning these wretches], the abruptness of his charges, the violence of his threats, the dictatorial spirit which, according to his own account, has generally characterised his proceedings, can be said to correspond with that intention, or to favour those dispositions to reform which it is our object to produce no less at Kars than throughout the Turkish empire?Never was there anything more outrageous than these charges. They had General Williams's despatches before them. What "threats" did they contain?—what "violence?"—what "charges?" Where were the evidences of a "dictatorial spirit?" Of these things there was not a vestige in the despatches of General Williams. He had never uttered one word too strong for the terrible exigencies of his case. The hon. Member for Aylesbury thinks that Lord Stratford could not have insisted on the removal or disgrace of the guilty officers, who were betraying, not merely the cause of their master the Sultan, but of the Allies as well. One passage from a letter by General Williams would at the same time answer the hon. Member, and refute his friend Lord Stratford. How dignified, and at the same time how crushing, was his reply to Lord Stratford's nonsensical allusions to Bacon, Pepys, and Marlborough? Writing to Lord Clarendon on the 25th of January, 1855, he observed:—With reference to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe's historical allusions on this vital point, I would beg to remark that, although the crimes of Bacon, Pepys, and Marlborough were parallel and identical with those which now brand the characters of the greatest and least of the public men in Turkey, the circumstances which relate to the repression and punishment of them are by no means so; for, if we take the last and greatest of these guilty Englishmen above mentioned, we find his glory and his avarice associated with the history and fortunes of the greatest nation upon earth. England was not then supported in the arms, as it were, of France and Turkey, and could not have been peremptorily called by great patrons and Allies to put her house in order and repress corruption, as Turkey now is by France and England; and had this warning voice been heard, and responded to, we should have been spared this desperate struggle.1770 The Turkish officers by whom in this desperate struggle General Williams was surrounded were scoundrels whose iniquity exceeded belief, yet the hon. Member for Aylesbury had the courage to stand up in that House and assert that an appeal to the Porte to dismiss such ruffians was a parallel case with an application to the French to recall Bosquet or Canrobert! Where was the analogy between the thieves and rascals who preyed on the vitals of the Turkish army, and the gallant leaders of our noble French allies, without whose aid we should have been powerless in this war? Had we called for the dismissal of Bosquet and Canrobert, how well might the French have retorted with a demand that we should send home Simpson. Turkey was, as General Williams said, in the arms of England and France; and the Ambassador of England should have spoken, not with the tone now adopted by the House of Commons against his own conduct, but with a voice of thunder, in behalf of the country and the interests which he represented. Let hon. Members refer to the despatches of Dr. Sandwith, and see how corruption had eaten into every department, and let them then say if a delicate remonstrance would have suited the emergency. What was the result of the course which was pursued by the Ambassador and the Government? Dr. Sandwith, speaking of the medical stores, said, that there were amomg them pots of pomatum, eau-de-cologne, hair dye, and obstetric instruments; and that, on examining a package of drugs which had newly arrived, he found in addition to adulterated powders and various quack nostrums, a packet of window curtains and other articles, which were doubtless intended as bribes to the apothecaries, whose duty it was to examine the stores. The Pasha had received money for the repairs of the hospitals of Olti, but, as in other and similar cases, he put it in his capacious pocket, while his men were dying by hundreds. Other grounds of complaint against Lord Stratford de Redcliffe were to be found in the fact that he did not exert himself to procure the removal of a certain quarantine, which was kept up, not for sanitary purposes, but to carry out this abominable system of peculation and robbery, and which obstructed the passage of supplies from Persia to Kars and Erzeroum; and that he did not obtain for General Williams that control over the provisions which was necessary to enable him to do 1771 any good, and for which the General was ultimately indebted to a Turkish officer. General Williams complained that he had written several weeks before on this subject to Lord Stratford, without having received his answer, or any notice whatever of this most important matter. The fact is, by his neglect and his discouragement, Lord Stratford endeavoured as much as possible to damage the position of General Williams. When the army was in want of powder and shot, of effective sabres, saddles, and other accoutrements, of a better organisation, and of more honest commanders, there appeared for it a saviour in the person of Selim Pasha, whose arrival was heralded by a despatch not very dissimilar to some that we had seen in this country. By this despatch it was ordered—how much to the advantage of the army the House would at once perceive—that the colour of the edging of the clothing should be red instead of yellow; that the officers should wear black cravats; and, most important of all, that the tassel of the fez should in future hang on the left side. It was against such discouragement, such neglect, such corruption and treachery, that General Williams and his gallant assistants had to contend; and it was solely and entirely owing to him and them that the Turks were enabled to make so glorious a defence as they did on the 29th of September—a victory which was one of the most splendid of the war, and the most disastrous to the enemy. But, being neglected at Constantinople and elsewhere, what could he do? Williams was starved, not beaten out of Kara; and that disaster, in my conviction, lies mainly at the doors of the man whom the hon. and Oriental Member for Aylesbury defends, and who, for party reasons, each side of the House treats so gingerly. Lord Stratford treated too severely! Whose hand has struck this blow. Not the Government's; for if they lean too heavily on their Ambassador, the natural question arises'—why did you retain him in his office? And as for the Opposition, they seem to care more about damaging the Ministry than Lord Stratford. The Government are not without blame; but the original and the greater responsibility rests on the head of him whom we are told was so powerful and so influential with the Porte. The result of all this mismanagement and neglect was exhibited in the deplorable condition of the garrison and inhabitants of Kars at the time of the capitulation. On this subject 1772 Mr. Consul Brandt said, in a despatch to Lord Clarendon, dated November 28:—When General Williams learnt on the 23rd, by a communication from me, that Selim Pasha would not advance, he saw that all hope had vanished. The soldiers were dying by 100 a day of famine. They were mere skeletons and were incapable of fighting or flying. The women brought their children to the General's house for food, and there they left them, and the city was strewed with dead and dying.In another despatch he gives this heartrending description of the state of the people and garrison of Kars:—General Kmety says that the position of the garrison and city was such that any conditions, however hard, must be accepted. Human nature could neither resist longer nor endure more. Scarcely 1,000 men of the whole garrison were in a state to use their weapons, and not many more could have sustained a march pursued by an enemy. Had a retreat been attempted very few would have survived it; those who escaped the arms of the enemy would have died of exhaustion. The women crowded round the General's house with their starving children crying for food, and throwing down their little ones at his gate would not depart but with food. Himself, whom it had been their delight to salute and recognise as he passed, they no longer noticed kindly, but hurried by with an ominous half-averted scowl; the same look was perceived in the soldiers; and how must this have lacerated a breast which always overflowed with tenderness towards suffering humanity.The House could not too strongly express its admiration of the heroism and devotion of this gallant General; but it would be an insult to his reputation to palliate the conduct of Lord Stratford in not affording him every assistance in his power under the difficult and trying circumstances in which he was placed. Lord Stratford, in his conduct to General Williams, had been guilty of treachery to his own Government and country. To gratify a base personal feeling, he had sacrificed a cause which he was bound to uphold, and he had shown himself totally unworthy of the high position in which he was placed.
§ SIR WILLIAM HEATHCOTE
said, the position of the question had been so very much altered in the course of the evening by the Amendment moved by his hon. friend the Member for Dorsetshire (Mr. Ker Seymer), and so few hon. Members were present in the House at that moment, that he would ask the House to bear with him while he pointed out that it would be more for the honour and credit of the House why they should adopt that Amendment rather than vote for the affirmative or negative of the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. 1773 Whiteside). The hon. and learned Member for Leominster (Mr. J. G. Phillimore) withdrew his Amendment, and upon that being done, his hon. Friend the Member for Dorsetshire moved that the latter part of the Resolution should be left out, retaining only the graceful compliment to the gallant army which defended Kars, upon which the Resolution was based. His hon. Friend the Member for Dorsetshire thought it was not expedient to decide upon the subject until time had been given to consider the terms of the treaty and the protocols which preceded it, and which had only just been laid upon the table. The effect of the Amendment before the House would be to take the vote not upon the Resolution, but to divide upon what closely resembled "the previous question." He confessed he should be exceedingly glad if the House would come to that decision, and thus save itself from giving a direct vote on the Resolution. He was very unwilling to consent to a vote of censure on the Government, because he was not aware, and could not be aware until he had read the papers, how far the surrender of Kars had been followed by important consequences. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was based very much upon those papers, and he contended very strongly that the protocols showed that no damage had been sustained by the surrender of Kars. Now that might be true, or it might not—he doubted it himself—but every one would naturally be anxious to read for himself, and to see how the case really stood. No doubt, with our alliances and all the complications ensuing from them, there must have been great difficulties to contend with, and he thought it would be more generous to refrain from expressing censure on the Government. He was afraid, too, that the Motion would be premature at the present moment. An erroneous impression would be given to the result if they proceeded to a division on the present occasion. There were many hon. Members who would feel themselves obliged to vote against the Motion on the grounds he had already indicated, but who still were not prepared to acquit the Government of all blame. The Government, however, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, declared that they would not accept this Amendment. He was sorry to hear it. He should have been very glad if he could have avoided giving a vote on the main question, but if the 1774 Government drove him into a corner and forced him to give a vote, he could not conscientiously give a vote of "Not guilty." If he looked at their conduct before the siege was commenced, he could not see that they had exerted themselves to throw those supplies into Kars which would have enabled it to hold out against the enemy. The correspondence showed that they had paid considerable attention to the subject, but the more their "foresight" was proved their claim to "energy" became less, because the more their attention was roused the less they seemed to have done. Lord Stratford had pointed out to them that all remonstrances with the Porte were useless, that men and means were wanting; yet, still all they did was to send remonstrance after remonstrance, none of which produced any effect. Neither when Kars was actually besieged did their conduct appear in any better light. All they did was contumeliously to reject the proposal made by the Porte; then followed a series of vacillating orders, which produced nothing; and after all they resorted to that very plan which was rejected by them when first proposed. He could not, therefore, acquit the Government of all blame, and as, no doubt, there would be many hon. Members who thought as he did, he considered that it would be far better to adopt the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dorsetshire.
§ MR. WARNER
said, that no parallel could be found to the conduct of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, unless it were among those high military authorities, whom we now, as it seemed, delighted to honour, because they had sacrificed our army in the East by their incapacity and stolid presumption. He could not, however, vote for the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen. He hoped the House would not get rid of it by a side wind. It was a direct attack upon the Government, and should be met with a direct aye or no. He for one thought the Government had done all that could be done for the defence of Kars. It was no such easy matter as some seemed to think, to control the intrigues of a barbarian court. This had been experienced in India, though there we had Residents of far higher intellectual calibre to that of our European diplomatists. The hon. and learned Member had failed to bring home to the Government any one of his charges. He should give his vote against the Mo- 1775 tion, believing it to be totally without foundation, and one which could have no result which would be creditable to those who supported it.
§ MR. SERJEANT SHEE,
having been called on by Mr. Speaker, said, he must apologise to the House for addressing them before the hon. Baronet the Member for Hertfordshire, who, he was quite assured, they would much more willingly listen to than himself. But they must remember that the hon. Baronet could at any time ensure himself an opportunity of commanding a hearing, whereas it was with the utmost difficulty that he (Mr. Serjeant Shee) could realise such an opportunity. Having very carefully read over all the papers before the House, he flattered himself he could form a very fair opinion of their general effect and bearing, and pronounce impartially between the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside) and the noble Lord at the head of the Government. He held it to be undeniable that that noble Lord had conducted a most extensive and terrible war to a most successful issue—to a most glorious conclusion. The noble Lord had fully accomplished what he thought that House must unanimously acknowledge to have been most mighty objects; and were the noble Lord now to accede either to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen (Mr. Whiteside), or to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dorsetshire (Mr. Ker Seymer), he (Mr. Serjeant Shee) should hold the noble Lord to be a traitor to his own reputation and to the confidence and respect of his country. The House, not less than the country at large, after the spirit, the energy, and the consummate ability which the noble Viscount had exercised in carrying through that war, and meeting its exigencies, must surely desire to award to him a full measure of its warmest support on an occasion like this, when the whole of his conduct must be considered to have been directly challenged. Now, he had listened with the utmost attention to the hon. and learned Gentleman's very able, but he could not say very candid or convincing speech. But before hearing that speech he had had the advantage of carefully perusing all the documents in the Blue-book, and he was bound to say that a more unfair, a more 1776 unjust, a more inefficient summary of such papers than that given by the hon. and learned Gentleman in his speech he had never heard in that House. Every point which could at all tell in favour of Her Majesty's Government the hon. and learned Gentleman had either most disingenuously tortured, or most palpably suppressed. One instance of this kind had been so remarkable that he (Mr. Shee) could not abstain from bringing it under the notice of the House. It was sufficient, however, to say he now referred to that passage which had been already adverted to by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), when he said he could convict Her Majesty's Government of the most barefaced duplicity, with reference to the proceedings in Asia Minor. The hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen had affected to treat this matter, in noticing it, as if he had adopted the same view as the right hon. Baronet had taken of it. The hon. and learned Gentleman's speech was one of such unmanageable length, that it was useless for him to attempt to secure the patience of the House whilst he grappled with it; but it was otherwise with the pith of that speech which had been réchauffé by the right hon. Baronet. The right hon. Baronet argued that by the neglect to relieve Kars in time, the Allies had incurred a terrible responsibility. Their neglect might have enabled the Russians to reach Constantinople, and surprise and capture the Sultan in his own harem. Why, where was the danger of any such result; or in what manner could the fall of Kars have affected the practicability of a march by a Russian army on the capital of Turkey? Was Kars the high road to that capital? But the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Layard), however, had disposed of that imaginary responsibility in a very summary manner. He had shown that the journey from Kars to Constantinople was one not to be so very easily made, even by caravan—the mode of conveyance that the hon. and learned Gentleman or the right hon. Baronet need employ if either of them were to attempt the trip. For the march of an army, and the passage and transport and carriage such a body would require, these difficulties would have been found absolutely insuperable. Besides, they were increased by the fact of the numerous friendly Powers, as well as the geographical and even maritime obstacles 1777 interposed between the shores of the Black Sea and those of the Bosphorus. The House could hardly have forgotten that when, some fifteen or seventeen years ago, an Egyptian Prince, Ibrahim Pasha, at the head of a well-equipped force of from 15,000 to 16,000 men, had moved in the direction of Constantinople as far as Koniah, a handful of troops detached by the Emperor of Russia at that time was found sufficient to compel the Egyptians immediately to retrace their steps, instead of their reaching the Turkish capital. The hon. and learned Gentleman then strangely enough proceeded to argue that Constantinople at no time was, nor was likely ever to be, endangered by such a disaster as that at Kars; but more than this—the Russians never imagined it was. Their object in making the demonstration which afterwards resulted in the siege and capture of Kars by the forces under Mouravieff was not so much to obtain the possession of that fortress (at least originally) as for the express purpose of a diversion, and intended to detach a portion of the English, French, and Turkish army from Sebastopol. If the British Government had been so unwise as to withdraw any of their army from Sebastopol, to send it into Asia Minor, they could not have played more effectually the game of the Russian Emperor. The right hon. Baronet said the Government had opposed the diversion proposed by the Turkish Government by Redout-Kaleh in June, and that they afterwards jumped at it when made in August or the end of July. Now, the hon. Member for Aylesbury had given one answer to that objection—namely, that it was a question of date, but it was also a question of plan and circumstance. The right hon. Baronet said that the plan of the Turkish Government was approved by every one but Lord Clarendon, but Lord Stratford himself stated the objections which were made to it by military men upon the spot. The plan, too, was not only disapproved by Lord Stratford and Lord Clarendon, but was most distinctly and emphatically disapproved by General Vivian, who was to command a force of 20,000 men in the expedition. The plan was also expressly disapproved by Omar Pasha. With re-regard to the second question, General Vivian said that 10,000 of the Contingent would probably be the best troops that could be sent, yet up to that time they were but partially clothed and equipped; 1778 they were under officers unacquainted with their language, who were compelled to employ interpreters, and, should the latter desert them in action, inevitable confusion would be the result; the prestige of the English officers would be destroyed, and it would be difficult to induce the Turk again to trust to English guidance. If our Government had approved the proposed plan in the teeth of such a statement from so efficient an officer as General Vivian, instead of being exposed to a trumpery censure like the present, they would have been liable to impeachment, if the expedition had failed. General Vivian proceeded to say, that it would be impossible to march beyond Kutais before the end of the season, and that it was extremely doubtful whether the occupation of that place would have the desired effect of relieving Kars, adding that the position of the army at Kutais during the winter would be very hazardous. It would have been impossible for our Government, with this despatch of General Vivian before them, to approve the proposed plan at that time; and he could not understand how such an important document had escaped the notice of the right hon. Member for Droitwich. But the view which he was now taking did not rest on the authority of General Vivian alone. The plan was also opposed by Omar Pasha himself. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, in a despatch dated the 13th of June, stated that the proposed expedition to Redout-Kaleh was to consist of 45,000 men composed of forces collected from various quarters. About a month later, Omar Pasha, who was tired of his inactivity at Balaklava, and anxious to carry on the same course of successful warfare in Asia Minor by which he had so much distinguished himself upon the Danube, proposed to leave the Crimea with his disciplined troops and make an effort to relieve Kars. But the allied commanders had so much reason to apprehend a repetition of the fierce onslaught of Balaklava, and of the still fiercer onslaught of Inkerman, which would have tried and broken down any but British courage, that they wished to retain Omar Pasha and his troops to keep in check the Russian battalions, and without his knowledge, when he resolved to go to Constantinople to humour the Ministers there and gratify his own desire for service in Asia Minor, they sent two officers with him for the purpose of making their opi- 1779 nion prevail over his at the Ottoman Porte. On his arrival at Constantinople he found the Turkish Government anxious to adopt his plan for the relief of Kars; but he distinctly stated—and the statement was a very important one—that he would not go to Asia Minor with such troops as those which it had been proposed to place at the disposal of General Vivian, and corroborated the opinion expressed by that officer, that the expedition should not be attempted with any but the best soldiers. Omar Pasha supposed the case of the army at Kars having been destroyed before his arrival in Asia, and of the Russians having advanced beyond that place, and he then observed that, in such a case, he, being with an army composed of different materials, and in which he could not place entire confidence, should find himself with his army in a similar difficulty to that in which the army in Kars was actually placed, and that great danger would accrue not only to the Turks, but also to the whole alliance. Omar Pasha declined to peril his reputation and the safety of the country on the terms proposed to him. These facts—which the hon. and learned Gentleman who had called on the House to act judicially, and had protested that he had no party feeling, took care not to bring under the notice of the House—were a conclusive proof that, at the time when our Government objected to the plan, they were right in so doing, although they gave qualified assent to it afterwards, when the circumstances were changed. He, therefore, appealed to the noble Lord at the head of the Government to have nothing to do with the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dorsetshire, but to have a distinct vote taken upon the question which had been raised by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen, upon which the noble Lord might be sure of a large and overwhelming majority.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
Sir, I cannot help expressing some surprise at the Motion which has just been made. The subject has now been discussed for two nights, and I think the House must have pretty clearly made up its mind. Although there may be Members still left of sufficient talents to adorn the subject, and whose research may no doubt be useful as a guide to the House, yet upon every occasion of a great and important debate, 1780 it is impossible that every man who may be entitled to speak should have an opportunity of doing so, and I think the feeling of the House, I am sure, if it is to be collected from the expressions which have fallen from hon. Members, is, that we ought to-night to come to a decision on the subject. I can quite understand that that party who have in another place shrunk from the discussion of this subject, daunted by the speech of the mover of this Resolution—daunted evidently by the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen—I can quite understand that the party who have shrunk, I say, from this discussion in another House may wish to shrink and escape from it in this. We will not lend ourselves to such an intention. We are here, ready to continue to the latest hour of the morning the discussion, so far as it may go; but I will take the sense of the House to-night, in the conviction that that sense will be in favour of the Government.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, I myself came down to the House in the hope and expectation that a division would have been taken on the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Whiteside) to-night; but, after the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ker Seymer), I saw directly that there was a new feature introduced into the debate, and that there was less chance than I could desire of the division taking place to-night ["Oh, oh!"] Let me recall the attention of hon. Gentlemen who treat this point with so much levity to what is the real cause of our not dividing to-night. It is that Gentlemen put important Amendments on the paper without due reflection and without intending to act upon them. This course of proceeding disturbs the mind of the House, and prevents that arrangement of debate which it is by mutual consent convenient generally to adopt. It is notorious to everybody that if the hon. and learned Member for Leominster (Mr. J. G. Phillimore) had not given notice of an important Amendment—which it appears now that he never intended to bring forward —my hon. Friend the Member for Dorsetshire would yesterday have brought forward his Amendment; we should then have had the questions fairly before the House; they would have been discussed, and we should have divided to-night. I think, therefore, that the tone of the noble Lord is not authorized by what has occurred. 1781 The position in which we now find ourselves is entirely attributable to one of his own supporters having given notice of an important Amendment which, as it appears, I was not made in any spirit of seriousness, and which has led another Gentleman now to move an Amendment which otherwise would have been brought forward yesterday. Sir, I shall support my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire (Sir B. Lytton), in his fair and reasonable proposition that this debate should be adjourned; and as the noble Lord boasts of his power of sitting up, I tell him that he will find me ready also in my place, and that I will not rest till I obtain for my hon. Friend that opportunity of recording his views upon this subject to which I conceive he is fully entitled. If the speech of my hon. Friend would conclude the debate, I am sure that he would not flinch for a moment from coming forward; but allow me to say that there is another individual—the noble Lord—to whom I should listen with much interest; and, if I may refer to a| much humbler individual, I think that I myself might prefer some claim to make a few comments on the question before the House. Perhaps, too, the hon. and learned Gentleman who has been the subject of so much criticism this evening may not wish to relinquish his legitimate privilege of reply. Is it unreasonable, then, in these circumstances, to ask the House at half past twelve o'clock to adjourn the debate? But that is not all. Are we not to be favoured with the opinions of the noble Lord the Member for London? (Lord J. Russell.) The counsel which he gave and the policy which he expressed have been brought forward as the very foundation of the policy which the Government have pursued; and are we not to hear from himself the views of the noble Lord? There are also other distinguished statesmen in this House whose opinions upon this subject may be looked forward to with great interest, and therefore I think that the noble Lord at the head of the Government has assumed a tone not at all befitting the occasion. It is not altogether an unusual tone with the noble Lord, but in my opinion it is a most unwarrantable one, and I assure the noble Lord that it is a tone to which I for one never will succumb.
§ Motion made and Question put, "That the debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 173; Noes, 243—Majority 70.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Hale, R. B.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Hall, Gen.|
|Alexander, J.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Annesley, Earl of||Handcock, hon. Capt. H.|
|Bailey, C.||Harcourt, Col.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Hardy, G.|
|Ball, E.||Hayes, Sir E.|
|Baring, T.||Heathcote, Sir W.|
|Barrow, W. H.||Henley, rt. hon. J. W.|
|Bateson, T.||Herbert, Sir T.|
|Bellew, T. A.||Hervey, Lord A.|
|Bennet, P.||Hildyard, R. C.|
|Bentinck, G. W. P.||Hill, Lord A. E.|
|Bernard, Visct.||Horsfall, T. B.|
|Bignold, Sir S.||Hume, W. F.|
|Blake, M. J.||Jones, Adm.|
|Blakemore, T. W. B.||Kendall, N.|
|Blandford, Marquess of||Kennedy, T.|
|Bond, J. W. M'G.||King, J. K.|
|Booth, Sir R. G.||Knatchbull, W. F.|
|Bowyer, G.||Knight, F. W.|
|Bramley-Moore, J.||Knightley, R.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Knox, Col.|
|Buck, Col.||Lacon, Sir E.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Langton, W. Gore|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Laslett, W.|
|Burrowes, R.||Lennox, Lord A. F.|
|Cabbell, B. B.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|Cairns, H. M'C.||Liddell, hon. H. G.|
|Cecil, Lord R.||Lisburne, Earl of|
|Christy, S.||Lushington, C. M.|
|Clinton, Lord C. P.||Lytton, Sir G. E. L. B.|
|Clive, hon. R. W.||Macartney, G.|
|Cocks, T. S.||MacEvoy, E.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||MacGregor, J.|
|Coles, H. B.||M'Mahon, P.|
|Compton, H. C.||Maguire, J. F.|
|Conolly, T.||Malins, R.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Manners, Lord J.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||March, Earl of|
|Dod, J. W.||Maxwell, hon. J. P.|
|Drax, J. S. W. S. E.||Meux, Sir H.|
|Duncombe, hon. A.||Michell, W.|
|Duncombe, hon. W. E.||Montgomery, H. L.|
|Dunne, Col.||Mowbray, J. R.|
|Egerton, Sir P.||Mundy, W.|
|Emlyn, Visct.||Murrough, J. P.|
|Evelyn, W. J.||Naas, Lord|
|Farnham, E. B.||Napier, rt. hon. J.|
|Farrer, J.||Newark, Visct.|
|Fellowes, E.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Filmer, Sir E.||Newport, Visct.|
|Fitzgerald, W. R. S.||Nisbet, R. P.|
|Floyer, J.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Follett, B. S.||North, Col.|
|Forester, rt. hon. Col.||Northcote, Sir S. H.|
|Forster, Sir G.||Oakes, J. H. P.|
|Franklyn, G. W.||Ossulston, Lord|
|Gallwey, Sir W. P.||Otway, A. J.|
|Galway, Visct.||Pakington, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Palk, L.|
|George, J.||Palmer, Robt.|
|Gilpin, Col.||Palmer, Roundell|
|Gladstone, rt. hon. W.||Peacocke, G. M. W.|
|Gladstone, Capt.||Phillimore, R. J.|
|Goddard, A. L.||Portal, M.|
|Gordon, hon. A.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Greenall, G.||Robertson, P. F.|
|Greene, J.||Rust, J.|
|Grogan, E.||Seymer, H. K.|
|Guinness, R. S.||Smijth, Sir W.|
|Smith, A.||Vernon, G. E. H.|
|Somerset, Col.||Vernon, L. V.|
|Spooner, R.||Walcott, Adm.|
|Stafford, A.||Warren, S.|
|Stanhope, J. B.||Whiteside, J.|
|Stanley, Lord.||Whitmore, H.|
|Starkie, L. G. N.||Wigram, L. T.|
|Stracey, Sir H. J.||Williams, T. P.|
|Stewart, Sir M. R. S.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Stuart, Capt.||Woodd, B. T.|
|Sturt, H. G.||Wyndham, Gen.|
|Sullivan, M.||Wyndham, H.|
|Swift, R.||Wynne, rt. hon. J.|
|Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.||Yorke, hon. E. T.|
|Tyler, Sir G.||TELLERS.|
|Vance, J.||Jolliffe, Sir W.|
|Verner, Sir W.||Taylor, Col.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acton, J.||Dent, J. D.|
|Adair, H. E.||De Vere, S. E.|
|Adair, Col.||Devereux, J. T.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Dillwyn, L. L.|
|Anderson, Sir J.||Drummond, H.|
|Atherton, W.||Duff, G. S.|
|Baines, rt. hon. M. T.||Duncan, Visct.|
|Ball, J.||Duncan, G.|
|Baring, H. B.||Dundas, F.|
|Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.||Dungarvan, Visct.|
|Barnes, T.||Dunlop, A. M.|
|Bass, M. T.||East, Sir J. B.|
|Baxter, W. E.||Ebrington, Visct.|
|Beamish, F. B.||Ellice, E. (St. Andrew's)|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Esmonde, J.|
|Bell, J.||Estcourt, T. H. S.|
|Berkeley, Sir M.||Euston, Earl of|
|Berkeley, hon. H. F.||Ewart, W.|
|Bethell, Sir R.||Ewart, J. C.|
|Biddulph, R. M.||Fenwick, H.|
|Biggs, W.||Fergus, J.|
|Black, A.||Ferguson, Sir R.|
|Bland, L. H.||FitzGerald, Sir J.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||FitzGerald, J. D.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||FitzRoy, rt. hon. H.|
|Brand, hon. H.||Foley, J. H. H.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Forster, C.|
|Brotherton, J.||Forster, J.|
|Brown, H.||Fortescue, C. S.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Fox, W. J.|
|Bruce, H. A.||Freestun, Col.|
|Buckley, Gen.||Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.|
|Burke, Sir T. J.||Gifford, Earl of|
|Byng, hon. G. H. C.||Goderich, Visct.|
|Castlerosse, Visct.||Goodman, Sir G.|
|Caulfield, Col. J. M.||Gower, hon. F. L.|
|Cavendish, hon. C. C.||Greene, T.|
|Cavendish, hon. G.||Gregson, S.|
|Challis, Mr. Alderman.||Grenfell, C. W.|
|Chambers, M.||Greville, Col. F.|
|Chambers, T.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Cheetham, J.||Grey, R. W.|
|Clay, Sir W.||Grosvenor, Earl.|
|Cobbett, J. M.||Hadfield, G.|
|Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.||Hall, rt. hon. Sir B.|
|Collier, R. P.||Hankey, T.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Hanmer, Sir J.|
|Cowan, C.||Harcourt, G. G.|
|Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.||Hastie, Alex.|
|Craufurd, E. H. J.||Hastie, Arch.|
|Crossley, F.||Headlam, T. E.|
|Dashwood, Sir G. H.||Heard, J. I.|
|Davie, Sir H. R. F.||Heathcote, hon. G. H.|
|Deasy, R.||Heneage, G. H. W.|
|Heneage, G. F.||Portman, hon. W. H. B.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Power, N.|
|Heywood, J.||Powlett, Lord W.|
|Hindley, C.||Price, W. P.|
|Hogg, Sir J. W.||Pritchard, J.|
|Holland, E.||Ramsden, Sir J. W.|
|Horsman, rt. hon. E.||Raynham, Visct.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Ricardo, O.|
|Hutt, W.||Ricardo, S.|
|Ingham, R.||Rice, E. R.|
|Ingram, H.||Richardson, J. J.|
|Jackson, W.||Ridley, G.|
|Jermyn, Earl||Robartes, T. J. A.|
|Keating, H. S.||Roebuck, J. A.|
|Kershaw, J.||Russell, Lord J.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Kingscote, R. N. F.||Russell, F. W.|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Sawle, C. B. G.|
|Kirk, W.||Scholefield, W.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Scobell, Capt.|
|Langton, H. G.||Scully, F.|
|Layard, A. H.||Seymour, H. D.|
|Lee, W.||Shafto, R. D.|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Shee, W.|
|Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. C.||Shelley, Sir J. V.|
|Lindsay, W. S.||Sheridan, R. B.|
|Lowe, rt. hon. R.||Smith, J. B.|
|Luce, J.||Smith, M. T.|
|Mackie, J.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Magan, W. H.||Somervill, rt. hn. Sir W.|
|Marjoribanks, D. C.||Stafford, Marq. of|
|Martin, J.||Stanley, hon. W. O.|
|Martin, P. W.||Steel, J.|
|Massey, W. N.||Strickland, Sir G.|
|Milligan, R.||Strutt, rt. hon. E.|
|Mills, T.||Sutton, J. H. M.|
|Milner, Sir W. M. E.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Moffatt, G.||Tanered, H. W.|
|Monck, Visct.||Thompson, G.|
|Moncreiff, J.||Thornely, T.|
|Monsell, rt. hon. W.||Thornhill, W. P.|
|Morris, D.||Tite, W.|
|Mostyn, hn. T. E. M. L.||Traill, G.|
|Mowatt, F.||Uxbridge, Earl of|
|Mulgrave, Earl of||Vane, Lord H.|
|Muntz, G. F.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|Napier, Sir C.||Vivian, H. H.|
|North, F.||Waddington, D.|
|O'Brien, P.||Walmsley, Sir J.|
|O'Brien, J.||Walter, J.|
|O'Connell, Capt. D.||Warner, E.|
|O'Connell, Capt.||Waterpark, Lord|
|O'Flaherty, A.||Watson, W. H.|
|Oliveira, B.||Wells, W.|
|Osborne, R.||Whatman, J.|
|Owen, Sir J.||Whitbread, S.|
|Paget, Lord A.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Palmerston, Visct,||Wilkinson, W. A.|
|Patten, Col. W.||Willcox, B. M'G.|
|Paxton, Sir J.||Williams, M.|
|Pechell, Sir G. B.||Williams, W.|
|Peel, Sir R.||Wilson, J.|
|Peel, F.||Winnington, Sir T. E.|
|Perry, Sir T. E.||Wise, J. A.|
|Philipps, J. H.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Phillimore, J. G.||Wyvill, M.|
|Pilkington, J.||Hayter, W. G.|
|Ponsonby, hon. A. G. J.||Berkeley, G. C.|
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."1785
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he stated that he was ready to remain in the House till any hour in the morning for the purpose of going on with the debate, but the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) had taken a different ground, and said he would sit to any hour for the purpose of moving adjournments, which was not a very profitable employment of the time of the House. Having taken the sense of the House on the question of adjournment, he thought the House had given an indication of its views on the main question—and therefore he should not now object, not to the adjournment of the House, but of the debate. If the hon. and learned Gentleman would withdraw his Motion, and move the adjournment of the debate to Thursday, he would on that day move that it have the precedence of the Orders of the Day, and they would then be ready to hear the hon. Member for Hertfordshire (Sir B. Lytton) which would, of course, give the House great pleasure.
§ MR. MALINS
said, on that understanding, he would withdraw his Motion for the adjournment of the House.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ Debate adjourned.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the debate be adjourned till Thursday next."
THE MARQUESS OF BLANDFORD
said, he must appeal to the noble Lord at the head of the Government on behalf of Members, like himself, who had Bills on the paper for Thursday, which would be displaced by the adjournment of the debate till that day. He would suggest that the debate should be adjourned until Friday.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he could not consent to that, especially when urged by one who had voted in favour of the adjournment of the debate.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "Thursday," and to insert the word "Friday," instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'Thursday' stand part of the Question.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Debate adjourned till Thursday.
§ House adjourned at a quarter before One o'clock.