HC Deb 26 July 1860 vol 160 cc209-10

said, he put a question the other night to the Secretary of State for "War with regard to some letters from the Bombay Government and other matters relating to the administration of the War Department. The right hon. Gentleman did not recollect the dates of the Correspondence; and he therefore begged now to give notice that he would put his question to-morrow, and specify the dates of the several papers which he wished to see produced. [Sir CHARLES WOOD was understood to intimate to the hon. and gallant Gentleman that he might put his question at once.] He had, therefore, to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether he had not received from the Secretary of State for India in Council a letter from the Bombay Government, dated 25th of February, 1860, with an enclosed letter from the Inspector General of Ordnance in Bombay, dated 30th of November, 1859, together with the copy of a letter from the Bombay Government, dated 12th of March, 1860, with an enclosure from the Inspector General, dated 15th of December, 1859, all relating to stores sent from this country to India r He had also to ask whether there will be any objection to laying Copies of this Correspondence on the Table of the House, together with Copies of any Correspondence concerning the recall by the Council of India of certain Storekeepers recently sent to India by the Secretary of State for War.


I thought, Sir, that my hon. and gallant "Friend was going to put a question as to a misapprehension which arose respecting the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, and not to put so extensive a question as the one he has just read. The answer given by my right hon. Friend the other night has led to considerable misapprehension. I supposed that the question of my hon. and gallant Friend referred to a letter relating to some Artillery Stores which were sent out to meet the demands of the service in India. On that subject a letter was written to the War Office on the 12th of May, to which we have not yet received an answer. My right hon. Friend stated the other night that he had addressed a letter to us in November, to which he had not received an answer. The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) took notice of that, and said that it was much after the fashion of the India House. Literally, my right hon. Friend was correct. No answer was sent to his letter, but the reason was that a joint Committee of Officers of the Indian and War Departments was appointed, which fully investigated the subject to which that letter referred—namely, the mode of supplying stores to India, and placed it upon a proper footing—that Colonels of regiments, instead of making requisitions home, shall make them to the local Governments, by whom the stores needed shall be obtained from this country. With reference to the subject of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's question, I can only say that during the war stores were sent out with the Royal Artillery which are not now required. That probably was owing to the pressure of the mutiny, and would not have occurred in ordinary times.