HC Deb 30 July 1857 vol 147 cc712-3

said, he wished to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty a question on a subject which had given rise to some anxiety and curiosity in this country. He alluded to the delay which had occurred in transmitting the Indian news by telegraphic message from Trieste. He wished to know if the right hon. Baronet could explain how that delay had been occasioned?


Sir, I am not able to give any reason why the message was not received in London earlier; but I wish to state the facts so far as they are within our knowledge. The steam-vessel arrived at Trieste at nine o'clock on Tuesday morning. The Consul at Alexandria had been directed to forward the intelligence to the Consuls at Marseilles and Trieste, and that intelligence was for-warded by him to the Consul at Trieste. The Consul at Trieste forwarded a telegraphic message to the Foreign Office here at half-past ten o'clock on Tuesday morning, but that message was not received at the Telegraph Office in London until half-past twelve o'clock on Wednesday. How the delay happened we don't know, but it certainly took twenty-six hours to transmit the intelligence from Trieste to London. The East India Company received a telegraphic despatch at the same time after a delay pretty nearly equal to that which had taken place in transmitting the Government message. I have received this morning a message from Malta, via Cagliari, to the same effect as the previous one from Trieste.


said, he wished to know if the First Lord of the Admiralty had instituted any inquiry into the cause of the delay?


said, a very short time had elapsed since the circumstance occurred, but of course the Government would immediately institute an inquiry into the reason of the delay. That delay was not attributable to any accident or omission on the part of the Government.