HC Deb 27 July 1868 vol 193 cc1823-4

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, with reference to a Letter addressed by him to the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Surrey, dated the 21st instant, and relating to a complaint on the part of the Commanding Officer of the 7th Surrey Volunteers of conduct of Colonel Colville, one of the Inspecting Officers of Volunteers, Whether it is in accordance with the rules of the Service that an Inspecting Officer should make injurious comments as to the discipline of any one Regiment, in his official capacity, to another Regiment, and that, too, without notice or intimation to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment so spoken of?


Sir, in answering this Question, I cannot help saying that it is much to be regretted that the hon. Member in the shape of a Question has made what is, in effect, an ex parte statement; and not only an ex parte statement, but a statement in regard to a transaction still incomplete. The letter referred to in the beginning of the Question was one referring to complaints that had been made by the commanding officer of the 7th Surrey Volunteers with regard to the conduct of Colonel Colville. They were made in a very irregular manner, and the substance of my letter was to request that the Lord Lieutenant would call upon the commanding officer of the 7th Surrey Volunteers to make any complaints which he might choose to bring forward against Colonel Colville in a regular and proper manner. I have not yet received any answer to my recommendation. I have only to add that Colonel Colville entirely denies the imputations referred to in the latter part of the Question, and I am bound to say that Colonel Colville is one of the most able, valuable, and experienced of our inspecting officers.


attempted to offer some explanation, but was compelled to resume his seat amidst loud cries of "Order."