HC Deb 14 May 1857 vol 145 cc264-5

said, he wished to put a question to the First Lord of the Admiralty in reference to a statement made by him on a previous evening, when, stating the circumstances under which the Urgent troop-ship had put into Corunna. It was of the highest importance that statements made by a Minister of the Crown, on matters of this description, should be unimpeachable, and he was sure, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman would be obliged to him for calling his attention to a letter in The Times newspaper, in which his statement that the Urgent had put into Corunna in consequence of having met with severe gales and heavy seas was directly contradicted, and it was asserted that she went in in smooth water and calm weather. ["Order !"] If he was out of order, he would put himself in order by moving the Adjournment of the House, but he desired to have a satisfactory explanation, and looked with confidence to obtaining one from the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Admiralty.


said, he was very much obliged to the gallant Admiral for having given him an opportunity of setting himself right with the House after the attack which had been made on his veracity. He had been accused of having deceived the House by a false statement; but the only foundation for that charge was obtained by putting that into his mouth which he had never said, and of course it was easy enough to contradict a statement which had been misrepresented. He was accused of having said that the Urgent had been driven into Corunna by bad weather; but he had never said any such thing. On the contrary, he had read to the House a letter from her commander, in which it was stated that she steamed into Corunna in smooth water and fine weather. It was of the Megœra that he had said that she had been driven to enter Corunna by bad weather, and he had stated that a large merchantman which had been out in the same gale had been driven back, and had entered Plymouth under a jurymast. That statement applied to the Megœra and not to the Urgent. Before sitting down, the House would be glad to hear that he had received a letter from the commander of the Transit, written off the Cape de Verd island, in which he stated that the performance of the vessel under steam was of the most satisfactory description, the working of the machinery was good, and the speed averaged nine knots an hour, and that the health of the crew and of the men was most satisfactory.