§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, he hoped he might be allowed to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies, accompanied by a few explanatory remarks. His question would have reference to the immense accumulation of troops in British pay now at the Cape. It would appear from the answer given yesterday to the hon. and gallant Officer opposite (Sir De Lacy Evans) that the whole of the German Legion had been, from the day of their arrival at the Cape down to the present day, in receipt of full pay, at the expense of the British Treasury, just as if they had been all the time in front of an enemy. According to the understanding with the Governor of the Cape, as explained by the right hon. Gentleman, these Legionaries were not to be put on full pay except in a case of emergency. At the same time they were informed that the colony was in a state of perfect peace—in fact, that, according to the last reports of the Governor, the colony had never been in a more perfect state of quiet, and that there was not the slightest risk of disturbance arising. He thought, therefore, that they ought to be furnished with a little more information upon this subject, and to be told the exact date at which the Legion was put upon full pay, as well as the causes of their being so. They had grumbled and not unjustly—["Order, order!"]. Well, to put himself in order he would move the adjournment of the House. It certainly might be considered a matter of importance that at a moment when the country was being stripped of its natural means of defence the House of Commons should know why so many as fifteen regiments were maintained at the Cape—a force exceeding three times the largest force maintained hitherto even in time of war in the colony. They had grumbled a great deal, and not unjustly, at the mode in which the Legion was disposed of—namely, at a rate exceeding £20 per head—while other branches of their army were dispersed at a rate of £2 per man. However, it was concluded that when the Legion reached the Cape there would be an end of all expense on their account. Nevertheless, from the very day of their arrival they were put on full pay, and they were added to the force 2080 maintained in the colony. There were at present stationed there several infantry regiments, the Cape Mounted Rifles, Artillery, and then 2,300 of the German Legion, which was equal to three full regiments. When Sir George Cathcart left the Cape, he said that four regiments were as many as England ought to maintain there even in time of war; and that if the country was put in a proper state of defence before three years elapsed, the four regiments might be dispensed with. Well, then, at the present moment no less than three times the proper complement of troops was maintained at the Cape, but upon what pretest was that done? It was said, indeed, that orders had been sent out for two regiments to be sent on to India. Now he must own that he had very little confidence that any troops would leave the Cape for India, but if there did, that not above one-third of the number that might be sent would be ordered on by the Governor. Why, at the very least, the Governor ought to send on six regiments to India. He (Mr. Adderley) believed, however, that certain ingenious plans of his own with reference to the government of the colony stood in the way of the Governor's forwarding troops to India. Those plans, however, had been previously tried in New Zealand and proved to be utter failures, and he felt sure that the Governor was entirely deceived in his views as to the present disposition of the tribes towards the British Government; but, be his plans what they might, he would ask the House was there not an inconsistency in their at one time granting £40,000 for the civilization of the tribes, and next day granting £200,000 to keep them down with German bayonets. He thought, then, he was asking for very little in saying that before they separated they ought to be told distinctly the date at which the German Legion was put upon full pay, and the cause of their being put upon full pay. He would likewise ask the right hon. Gentleman to state how many regiments had been liberated for service in India in consequence of the embodiment of the German Legion at the Cape.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, that he did not complain of the hon. Gentleman asking the question without notice, considering the period of the Session at which they had arrived, but he could not but regret that he should have taken the opportunity 2081 of entering into subjects not necessarily connected with it, and should have reiterated statements formerly made by him with respect to the general policy of Sir George Grey in dealing with the native tribes. He (Mr. Labouchere) would not follow the hon. Gentleman's example in that respect, beyond saying that he altogether differed with him in opinion. He believed that the policy Sir George Grey was pursuing at the Cape towards the native tribes would prove as wise and as successful as it was able and energetic. With regard to the German Legion, it had been called out and embodied very soon after its arrival, and Sir George Grey's motives in taking that step were twofold, partly to maintain the discipline and military character of the men themselves, and partly because at the time of their arrival the state of the Cape, with reference to the Kaffirs, was not so tranquil and peaceful as it had since become. He had stated on a previous occasion that as it had turned out, it was extremely fortunate that the German Legion had been sent to the Cape, and were ready on their arrival to take the place of the regular troops, because it enabled Sir George Grey to remove a considerable portion of the latter to India. The hon. Gentleman assumed that the Governor of the Cape would, in breach of his duty, unnecessarily detain troops that were wanted for active service elsewhere. He (Mr. Labouchere) was under no such apprehension. It was true he had not the pleasure of personal acquaintance with Sir George Grey, but he had had occasion to observe his public conduct in very responsible positions for some years past, and had ever found him actuated by a high sense of public duty and great public spirit. He had no doubt, therefore, that he would in the present emergency fully obey the instructions sent to him, and readily afford to the Indian Government all the assistance in his power by sending out any men he could spare, and who were not, in his opinion, absolutely necessary for the protection of the colony for whose safety he was responsible. The first order given to Sir George Grey in reference to sending out troops to India was to send out two regiments immediately. Since then the Government had been made aware that the Governor of Bombay had applied to Sir George Grey for reinforcements. He had not yet heard what answer had been given to that application, but instructions had been sent out, expressing the confi- 2082 dence of the Government that the Governor of the Cape would comply with the request of the Governor of Bombay, as far as it was in his power, and that it was the wish of the Government at home that he should afford as much assistance in sending on troops to India as he could consistently with the safety of the colony. The communication with the Cape was not very regular, and he had not as yet received any report of what Sir George Grey had done in consequence of those instructions and requests, but he had no doubt that he would furnish all the assistance to the Indian authorities in the present emergency that was in his power. It was a most fortunate circumstance, as it appeared to him, that there was this large body of troops collected at the Cape when the outbreak in India occurred, for apart from the opportunity it afforded of detaching a considerable force immediately to the point of danger, it was to that circumstance, he believed, that they had not at this moment to meet a Kaffir war superadded to the mutiny in India. He believed that Sir George Grey was perfectly right in saying that the colony was never more tranquil than it was at the present time, and that state of tranquility would enable him to afford valuable aid to the Indian Government by sending out immediately a body of most efficient troops. He might mention that a high military authority had lately assured him that a regiment that had served at the Cape was of more value for the Indian service than two regiments sent out from this country in the ordinary course.
§ SIR DE LACY EVANS
remarked, that they had yesterday been informed that these 2,300 German Legionaries had only recently been added to the military forces of the country; now it appeared that they had been a long time embodied. How was it that the House had not been made acquainted with this addition to the military charges of the country, of which no account appeared in the Estimates?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, that the information in the possession of the Colonial Office on the subject was not very precise at first, and it was deemed desirable to have fuller details before laying the matter before Parliament.
said, that he would beg to remind the House that about two months ago he had put a question to the noble Lord at the head of the Government with respect to three regiments which had 2083 already served at the Cape some years beyond the usual period of service. Well, he was told on that occasion that the state of affairs at the Cape rendered it absolutely necessary that the three regiments in question should be kept at that station beyond the usual period of service. It was now said, however, that excessive tranquillity reigned over everything at the Cape, and that ample reinforcements could be spared thence for India. Well, that being so, he hoped that in the instructions sent out to the Governor orders would be given to forward on to India the 45th, the 91st, and the 73d regiments, all of which had spent some years beyond the usual time at the Cape.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that it rested with the Commander in Chief, and not with the Governor, to designate the regiments to be sent.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, he would ask how many regiments the Government of Bombay had asked for from the Cape?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, the Bombay Government had asked for two regiments, and he believed a large number of horses would be sent from the Cape.
§ SIR DE LACY EVANS
asked, whether the expediency of adding to the Company's European regiments had been taken into consideration?
MR. VERNON SMITH
said, that this point had been considered, but at present it was not thought desirable to add to the European regiments of the East India Company.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.