HC Deb 20 June 1879 vol 247 cc310-1

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether he has received any official information from South Africa as to whether the remains of the late lamented Prince Imperial have been forwarded to this country; and, if not, whether it is his intention to telegraph instructions on the subject?


I have not myself received any such information; but, as I stated at an early hour this morning, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies has, I believe, received a telegram. The telegram sent to me simply stated that an ambulance and escort were being sent out in search of the body. My right hon. Friend has, I believe heard by telegram from the Cape that the remains of the lamented Prince Imperial have been recovered, and that steps have been taken to forward them to this country.


Sir, with reference to the reply of the right hon. Gentleman upon the untoward and unhappy misfortune which has befallen Prince Louis Napoleon, I wish to ask him if he can inform the House in what capacity the Prince Imperial served, and what position he held in the Army of South Africa; also if he was on the Staff of Lord Chelmsford; and if, therefore, it was by Lord Chelmsford's order, and with what view, such a small force as that with which the Prince went was sent into an enemy's country, whilst there was a Force of no less than 26,000 men massed on the frontier of Zululand?


Sir, I am not aware what position the lamented Prince occupied in connection with the Forces, and I am not aware of his having held any commission, nor am I aware of his having been attached to the Staff, although, like all the rest of the world, I was, of course, cognizant of the fact that he was with them. With regard to what the right hon. Gentleman has said about Lord Chelmsford, as to whether the Prince was sent out by his orders on the reconnoitring expedition, of that fact I am aware distinctly. Lord Chelmsford says in his despatch that he was ignorant of the fact that the Prince had been sent away with an excursion party.