HC Deb 01 May 1879 vol 245 cc1493-4

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether, having regard to the Letter of Service issued to His Royal Highness the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief by the Secretary of State for War in 1856, and the Order in Council of the 4th June 1870, together declaring and defining the powers and duties of His Royal Highness Commanding in Chief, and also to the powers and responsibilities of the Secretary of State for War, His Royal Highness was not exceeding the limits of his authority and encroaching on that of the Secretary of State for War, in sending to a Commander of the Forces in the field on Foreign Service a telegram, afterwards published by that Commander in General Orders, to this effect— Fullest confidence in regiment, and am satisfied that you have done and will continue to do everything that is right; and, whether, since according to the statement of the Secretary of State for War such a telegram was sent by His Royal Highness to Lord Chelmsford, any remonstrance has been addressed to His Royal Highness on the subject?


Sir, I have looked carefully over the Letters of Service and over the Orders in Council and other documents connected therewith, after seeing the Question of the hon. Member on the Paper, and I am bound to say that, after reading them, I do not arrive at the same conclusion as that to which the hon. Member has come. I do not consider that His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief was exceeding the limits of his authority, and encroaching on mine, in sending the telegram to which reference has been made. As a matter of fact, I believe I did see the telegram before it was sent. I certainly did not object to its being sent, and, under these circumstances, I may add that I have not thought it necessary to address any remonstrance to His Royal Highness upon the subject.