HC Deb 23 March 1900 vol 81 c173

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether in the revised despatch of Lord Methuen, dated 15th February, any matters and incidents in relation to the battle of Magersfontein, which were the subject of previous informal communications by Lord Methuen, were omitted; and at whose suggestion were those omissions made, and on what grounds.


Lord Methuen's attention was directed by the Commander-in-Chief to the fact that his communication, as originally drafted, departed from the style and form prescribed for a despatch. A despatch (in the words of the Commander-in-Chief) should be a complete account, and should not contain reports from subordinate commanders or other documents. Paragraphs should be numbered, and all names of officers selected for praise should be in one paragraph, trivial details being omitted. It was to the form and not to the substance of the despatch that exception was taken.

MR. T. M. HEALY () Louth, N.

Will the hon. Gentleman relieve the feelings of the gallant Irishman in command of a Scotch regiment on that occasion by stating whether any reflection was conveyed against Colonel Downham in the first despatch?


No, Sir; none.