HC Deb 20 April 1874 vol 218 cc848-9

Queen's Message [16th April] read.

£25,000, Sir Garnet J. Wolseley, K.C.B., G.C.M.G.


Sir, I rise to move that a Supply be granted to Her Majesty in order that Her Majesty may be enabled to carry into effect that object she has graciously expressed to her faithful Commons, to confer some mark of distinction on Sir Garnet Wolseley for having so successfully planned and conducted the Ashantee War. It is unnecessary, and I think the Committee will agree with me that it would be hardly becoming, that I should enter into the reasons which have induced Her Majesty's Government to advise that the recognition of the merits and services of Sir Garnet Wolseley should take the form of the Vote now before the Committee. It is enough for me to state that it takes that form merely in consideration of the feelings and wishes of the eminent individual whom it is the wish of the Sovereign of the country to honour and to reward. I would take this opportunity to announce that Her Majesty had graciously wished to confer upon Sir Garnet Wolseley an hereditary distinction, and to recommend to the House to provide the becoming means to maintain such an honour. Sir Garnet Wolseley, however, in declining it, said that the only rewards he sought in life were connected with that profession in which all his feelings and thoughts were centred, and that he looked with hope and anxiety always to professional promotion and professional opportunity. I may here observe that Sir Garnet Wolseley is a member of a family in which there are two Baronetcies, one of which is ancient, to both of which it is possible he may succeed. He has never cared to look forward to the possession of those Baronetcies, which if he were to succeed to them might interfere with the career to which he is devoted, but certainly he has no wish to add to the honours of that kind which his family already possesses. I thought it my duty to suggest to Sir Garnet Wolseley that however much I might admire the modesty of his charac- ter in common with all who are acquainted with him, and which all must recognize, still I thought that by his refusal of these honours a false impression might circulate throughout the country with regard to the intentions of his Most Gracious Sovereign with respect to him, and that an idea might be prevalent that his services had not been recognized by the Crown in the manner which they deserved; but Sir Garnet Wolseley only answered me with the simplicity of truth, and said that he really thought he had been over-rewarded. Under those circumstances, the result is that I am about to propose the Vote— That a sum not exceeding £25,000 be granted to Her Majesty to be issued to Major General Sir Garnet. J. Wolseley, K.C.B., (G.C.M.G., as an acknowledgment of his eminent services in planning and conducting the recent Expedition to Ashantee.

Vote agreed to.