MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can state whether Admiral Seymour withdrew from the China Squadron under his command himself and the 900 men landed from that squadron and undertook the land expedition to Peking by virtue of discretionary powers given to him, or did he so act in consequence of orders to that effect from the Admiralty; what proportion of the fighting men of the China Squadron do the 900 men represent; have any steps been taken for replacing these men by others; and, if so, when will those others probably reach the squadron.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
The Vice-Admiral's suggestion that he should take command of the expedition, a step to which he believed most or all of the foreign officers present would assent, was approved by the Admiralty, if an agreement was arrived at locally. My hon. friend speaks of the Admiral withdrawing himself from his squadron. That is not exactly the way in which to describe an expedition hurried off with the utmost energy to secure the legations and the European residents at Peking. 736 men were landed with the admiral from certain ships of the squadron 1119 on the China station, and the total complements of the ships on the station number about 7,000. As already announced, the transport "Jelunga" has been engaged to convey to the China station 860 ratings. She will sail about the 30th June.