§ MR. NORRIS (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can state if it is a fact, as reported, that more than 30 men who took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava are now in absolute want; if so, whether any steps have been or will be taken to afford them some relief; and if any balance remains out of the Patriotic Fund, or if there is any other fund applicable to such a purpose?
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincolnshire, Horncastle
I have no information in my possession which will enable me to say whether the fact quoted by my hon. 1819 Friend is correct, though I am making some inquiry into it. I have considered whether the Government will be justified in proposing to provide any special pension for these men. But at present I see this difficulty: that it is almost impossible to draw any hard and fast line between the survivors of the Light Brigade in this ever memorable Charge and the men who performed the duties assigned to them with great gallantry and even more hardships in the trenches before Sebastopol, or in some of the stirring incidents of the Indian Mutiny. I understand that this case is being met by a public subscription; but the House will, I am sure, agree with me that in one way or another any proved destitution in this case ought to be relieved.
§ MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no fewer than six of the survivors of the Light Cavalry Charge are at present inmates of workhouses in England?
§ *MR. E. STANHOPE
I have seen that statement in the newspapers; but I am not aware whether it is true or not.