HC Deb 15 February 1856 vol 140 cc834-5

said, he begged to ask whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to take any steps to ascertain the correctness of the allegations reflecting on the conduct of certain officers in Sir John M'Neil's Report?


Sir, the House is already aware that several of the officers have announced their intention to make a statement in explanation of their conduct. I shall this evening lay on the table the answers of Lord Lucan and Lord Cardigan to the Report in question.


said, that in consequence of the answer he had just received, he would beg to give notice that on an early day he should move a Resolution to the effect that the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Supplies of the British Array in the Crimea be referred to a Select Committee of the House of Commons, and that it be an instruction to the Commission to ascertain whether the allegations made in that Report against many officers of high rank were borne out by the evidence.


said, he had already given notice of a Motion on the subject, which he had been obliged to postpone until Thursday week. He found, however, that his Motion was so low down in the list that there was no chance of its coming on. It was of great importance to many Members to know when it would come on; and, as the subject was a Government one, the First Lord of the Treasury would probably give him a day. The Government might, he thought, fairly do this, and might give him that day fortnight for his Motion.


Sir, that sort of appeal may be a very fair one towards the close of the Session, when private Members have only one day in the week open to Motions, and when the period is fast approaching the termination of the Session. But we are now just at the beginning of the Session, when hon. Members have two days in each week for their Motions, and when the business of the Government is very pressing. I think, therefore, the hon. Gentleman might as well try the ballot again, and acquire as a right what he is now asking for as a favour.


said, he thought the answer of the hon. Undersecretary for War did not meet the question of his hon. Friend (Mr. Palk). The hon. Gentleman had said that the answers of Lord Lucan and Lord Cardigan would be laid on the table that evening; but he wished to ask whether the officers implicated in that Report, and who were not Members of the Legislature, would have the same opportunity of making their defence that was extended to Lord Lucan and Lord Cardigan because they were Peers?


said, he had already stated that General Airey intended to make an answer to the charges which affected the Quartermaster General's department. As soon as these and any other replies were in the possession of the Government, they would he laid before the House.