HL Deb 12 December 1854 vol 136 cc4-91

THE QUEEN'S Speech having been reported by the LORD CHANCELLOR,


rose to propose that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, in answer to the most gracious Speech they had just heard. His Grace said, that he felt deeply the importance of the duty he had to perform at such a time as this, and, little accustomed as he was to address their Lordships, he trusted to their indulgence on this occasion. In the first place, Her Majesty informed them that Parliament was summoned at this unusual period of the year in order, that by their assistance, She might be enabled to take measures for the prosecution, with vigour and effect, of the great war in which this country was now engaged, and She expressed her firm confidence that that assistance would be readily given, for there could be no doubt how of the necessity of sparing no efforts to augment the forces now engaged in the Crimea. He was sure that Parliament and the country would, with one voice, one heart, one soul, respond to Her Majesty's appeal, and that whatever supplies of money, men, or arms, the exigencies of this war, with its attendant expenditure, might require, they would be granted at once, and with no sparing or niggard hand. This would be done, well knowing that, as it had been well said, England could never afford to wage a little war, and that the more vigorously the war was carried on, the sooner might we hope to arrive at its result—a permanent and honourable peace. Her Majesty told them— The hearty and efficient co-operation of the brave troops of my ally the Emperor of the French, and the glory acquired in common, cannot fail to cement still more closely the union which happily subsists between the two nations. Her Majesty next said— It is with satisfaction I inform you that, together with the Emperor of the French, I have concluded a treaty of alliance with the Emperor of Austria, from which I anticipate important advantages to the common cause. And next that She had— concluded a treaty with the United States by which subjects of long and difficult discussion have been equitably adjusted. This latter agreement, he trusted, would strengthen the bonds which united two nations having one permanent interest and being of one common race. But, with reference to the alliance which Her Majesty and the Emperor of France had jointly concluded with the Emperor of Austria, we might well rejoice that the righteousness and justice of the cause in which we were embarked was thus bringing a great Power like Austria over to our side, notwithstanding the ties of long and firm alliance which had previously existed between her and that other Emperor, with whom we are unhappily at war. This approach, on the part of Austria, to the views and policy of our own country and France, afforded the surest—he might say the only—chance of restoring to the world the blessings of tranquillity and peace. To that great nation, with which we were now so closely, and, he trusted, indissolubly united—to whose hearty and efficient co-operation with its brave troops we owed so much—matchless sharer in all those victories which would for ever shed imperishable glory upon our united arms—honour be to that great nation, and to that great man who has been called to rule her destinies, whose great sagacity and true patriotism have convinced him that the close and intimate alliance of France with England; afforded the best security for the future peace of the world. Her Majesty, in alluding to the splendid actions of our soldiers in the Crimea, said that the exertions they have made, and the victories they have obtained, have not been exceeded in the brightest pages of our history, and had filled her with admiration and gratitude. He need but refer to the brave deeds by which our gallant Army and Navy, with those of our ally, would be immortalised. He thought, indeed, that history could afford no equal example to that of the daring valour with which the almost impregnable position of the enemy on the heights of the Alma, strengthened by every means that art as well as nature could provide, was assailed and taken. And where could we find any parallel to that desperate and headlong charge of our scanty force of cavalry at Balaklava? Where could we find a parallel, he repeated, to that resolute and indomitable valour with which our handful of brave men, attacked unexpectedly under cover of darkness and mist, fought at Inkerman, hand to hand, foot to foot, bayonet to bayonet, for hours against the overwhelming masses of a resolute and barbarous enemy? They fought, until our brave Allies, with their fiery and effectual charge, came to our assistance, and, by their force, united with our own, drove the assailants back to the shelter of their batteries. Alas! these engagements had been not only most glorious, but they had been most fatal; and many of their Lordships' House, and many a family throughout this realm of Britain, were left to deplore the loss of some near and dear relative. In their sorrow all must sympathise; but it would be some consolation to the bereaved, and they might find some comfort in the reflection, that their relatives had met a glorious death, fighting for their Queen, for Europe, and for freedom's cause. Their names shall ever be immortal in the roll of fame; all honour to the brave survivors a grateful country will not fail to pay. He was quite unable to do justice to all their deeds of heroism. From their commander—the brave companion in arms of the illustrious Wellington—the leader whose daring genius planned and executed that unrivalled movement, after the victory of the Alma, by which our armies were enabled to take up a commodious and impregnable position on the most assailable side of the fortress, had shown his generalship to be worthy of the incidents of his earlier career; and that illustrious Royal Duke, who had shown that he possessed all the skill and coolness of a great commander, with all the hereditary valour of his illustrious race—from officers of every degree, and of every military rank from highest to lowest, down to the toil-worn private sentinel, one and all had shown that "every man" had "done his duty." England still owned sons who would continue to make her name honoured and respected to the ends of the earth. And, while the Army had done all this, honour was also due to the nation, for never had there been a time when the unanimous spirit of the people was expressed with higher enthusiasm, or with a stronger sense of the justice of our cause, than the spirit which now pervaded all ranks and classes of society throughout this realm. The ranks of labour contributed their means, and day by day we saw a multitude of recruits leaving their homes and ordinary occupations to uphold our standard and to fill our camp. We saw, day by day, large contributions of money, intended not only to afford relief to the widows and children of those who fell in the war, but to afford comfort to the sick and wounded, and succour to the worn-out men of the army, whose strength was broken by their toil. All ranks, too, had united to give to the struggling soldier the comforting assurance, in the hour of trial and danger, that whatever fate befell them- selves, their wives and their children would be provided for at home. To secure this, a fund had been raised by voluntary offerings which exceeded by far any similar contribution that had ever been made. And here we owe a tribute of grateful feeling to that fine Colony across the broad Atlantic, whose people, loyal, true, and brave, have so nobly come forward to assist with their contributions the fund provided for the relief of the widows and orphans of the bravo defenders of their parent country. What esteem and gratitude do we not owe to those excellent and pious women—not only those who from holy and religious feelings devote their lives to attending and comforting the sick, but to those who, leaving all the comforts of friends and home, have freely offered their services of mercy to encounter all the drudgery of the hospitals in its most hideous form—honour, my Lords, all honour be to those angelic women, those blessed ministers of mercy, whose gentle and tender care would visit the disabled soldier, and soothe him upon his cheerless couch of pain! And now, in conclusion, let him express a hope that ere long success might crown our efforts, and that, by the blessing of Divine Providence, peace might soon again resume its wonted sway, and the gentler arts of commerce and industry, so roughly interrupted by the rude voice of war, might again flourish; and, above all, he hoped that with returning peace the blessed light of Christianity might spread its benign influence through those fine regions where it was as yet unknown, or known only to be despised. Then, indeed, glorious would have been the cause for which such great calamities had been endured, and for which our bravest and our best had bled. His Grace concluded by moving, "That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty in answer to Her Gracious Speech from the Throne."

The following is a copy of the Address agreed to—


"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to convey to Your Majesty our humble Thanks for Your Majesty's most Gracious Speech from the Throne.

"We humbly Thank Your Majesty for informing us, that Your Majesty has called us together at this unusual Period of the Year, in order that by our Assistance Your Majesty may take such Measures as will enable Your Majesty to prosecute the great War in which we are engaged with the utmost Vigour and Effect.

"We assure Your Majesty that this Assistance will be readily given, and that we fully agree with Your Majesty in the necessity of sparing no Effort to augment Your Majesty's Forces now engaged in the Crimea; while we rejoice to learn that the Exertions they have made, and the Victories they have obtained, which are not exceeded in the brightest Pages of our History, have filled Your Majesty with Admiration and Gratitude.

"We participate in the Conviction expressed by Your Majesty, that the hearty and efficient Co-operation of the brave Troops of Your Majesty's Ally The Emperor of the French, and the Glory acquired in common, cannot fail to cement still more closely the Union which happily subsists between the Two Nations.

"We learn with Satisfaction that, together with the Emperor of the French, Your Majesty has concluded an Alliance with the Emperor of Austria, from which Your Majesty anticipates important advantages to the common Cause.

"We humbly thank Your Majesty for informing us, that Your Majesty has also concluded a Treaty with the United States of America, by which Subjects of long and difficult Discussion have been equitably adjusted.

"We thank Your Majesty for the Announcement that these Treaties will be laid before us.

"We humbly concur in the hope expressed by Your Majesty, that although the Prosecution of the War will naturally engage our chief Attention, yet that other Matters of great Interest and Importance to the general Welfare will not be neglected.

"We rejoice to learn that the general Prosperity of Your Majesty's Subjects remains uninterrupted, and that the State of the Revenue affords Your Majesty entire Satisfaction; while we humbly beg to assure Your Majesty of our Desire to continue to promote the Progress of Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures.

"We humbly thank Your Majesty for the Confidence with which Your Majesty relies on our Patriotism and Public Spirit, and for the Conviction expressed by Your Majesty, that in the momentous Contest in which we are engaged we shall exhibit to the World the example of a united People; and we share Your Majesty's Opinion, that we shall thus obtain the Respect of other Nations, and may trust that, by the Blessing of God, we shall bring the War to a successful termination."


My Lords, on rising to second the Address to Her Majesty which has just been read, I cannot but express my regret that the sudden illness of a noble Earl lately called up to your Lordships' House should have deprived your Lordships of that attractive interest with which his recognised talents and original turn of mind would have invested this hackneyed task. I shall, however, do my best to follow the able and comprehensive speech of the noble Duke. Absorbed by the fearful interest of the war, he has scarcely alluded to the solution, by treaty, of our long-pending differences with America, a solution which will be hailed with joy wherever the English language is spoken, a solution which gives evidence of the wisdom of the rulers of the two countries who are now, as they have I been under former auspices, ready to submit to the decisions of reason rather than appeal to the vengeance of the sword.

The Address which I have the honour to second, pledges your Lordships to no opinion upon this subject, nor, indeed, upon the subject of the other communications made in the speech, but it does pledge you to a solemn engagement with regard to the future conduct of the war in answer to the solemn appeal which fell so impressively this morning from the lips of Her Majesty.

I believe if the question had then been put at once, there would have been an answer, as plain, as simple, as unanimous, as enthusiastic, as the response to Maria Theresa from the magnates of Hungary. Never, perhaps, at any period of our history has unanimity been more important to the vital interests of the country than it is at the present moment. It is desirable even as regards the enemy with whom we are engaged in arms.

Let us leave him no hope that, from internal dissensions, from hesitation of purpose, from doubt or distrust of the justice of our cause, we may fail to push hostilities with all our heart, and soul, and strength, without stint of men, without stint of expenditure, until we shall have obtained a righteous settlement of our claims. It is due to our faithful and gallant allies, the French people, the unflinching partners of our dangers and of our glory—it is due to the straightforward loyalty of their Emperor—it is due still more to our new allies, the Austrians, in proportion to the magnitude of the peril which they encounter in our united cause. We venture at most 30,000 men, landed on the extreme south of the Russian dominions. They are attended by a fleet in which they may be withdrawn in case of reverses. The Austrians, on their part, venture not 30,000, but 300,000 men, exposed along their whole eastern frontier to the masses of the enemy. To them there is no retreat, no security, but in victory. It is due to our brave army that lavishes its blood, performing deeds worthy of the most heroic times of chivalry; it is due lastly to the desires and demands—it is due to the example of the entire people of Great Britain, who, setting aside party differences and religious animosities, are ready to devote their lives, their fortunes, to the success of this contest, which your Lordships by your decision this night may either greatly imperil or greatly promote.

Never, perhaps, has been seen such a concurrence of noble feelings in the prosecution of a noble cause. No sex, no age, no station, has been backward in sacrifices. The old have brought their contributions, the young have enlisted, pauper school-children subscribe their mite; noble women, nurtured in luxury, have deserted their homes, their all, to attend hospitals in a barbarous land; the very criminals entreat to be allowed to starve themselves, that the widow and the orphan of the soldier may be fed.

Excuse me, my Lords, if I may, for a moment, have seemed to urge these facts as if you alone in the midst of a united people were inaccessible to the same generous influences. I have stated them because I deemed it would be grateful to you to meditate, as it is grateful to every generous mind to expatiate on whatever is great and good in the conduct of those whom he loves and prizes as his countrymen. It is with perfect security that I leave this question in your Lordships' hands. You will not exhibit this night to the world the example of disunion in this the most august assembly of the realm.


My Lords, Her Majesty has called us together at an unusual period of the year to deliberate upon subjects of the highest and gravest importance, not to this country alone, but also to Europe and the world; and if, under these circumstances, it had been my duty to raise any objection or any cavil to the terms of the proposed Address in answer to the Speech from the Throne—if it had been my intention to propose any Amendment, or to enter into any controversy—I should undoubtedly have preferred that some of Her Majesty's Ministers should have first had the opportunity of stating fully their views and of explaining the conduct pursued by Her Majesty's Government, in order that I might have had the advantage of referring to their statements. But, my Lords, upon the present occasion I have no such intention; for, under existing circumstances, even were the Speech from the Throne open to greater objections than, I am happy to say, I consider it to be, I should think it my duty to abstain from moving any Amendment, or adopting any step calculated to interrupt the general unanimity of the House. I have thought it more becoming and more convenient, honoured as I am by the confidence of a large number of Members of your Lordships' House, that I should take the earliest opportunity of declaring, on the part of the great Conservative body of this country, the view which they take, and the course which they are prepared to pursue, at this momentous crisis. Both my noble Friend who moved and my noble Friend who seconded the Address, have, so far as my friends are concerned, done us but scant justice in supposing the impossibility that, upon such an occasion as the present, there should be anything but unanimous agreement. The present is no time for discussing whether the war might or might not have been avoided. This is no time for considering whether, by a different course of proceeding, Her Majesty's Ministers might have effected the objects they had in view, without involving the country in the dangers and calamities of war. In that war we are now, as a nation, fairly embarked; in that war the nation, as one man, sympathises with the Crown and with the Government; in the prosecution of that war the nation, as one man, is pressing forward with a unanimity of feeling and an abnegation of every selfish consideration which are almost unparalleled in the history of our country; and I may truly say, that in the prosecution of this contest it is not the Government who are appealing to the country, but it is the country that is urging upon the Government the prosecution of the war with vigour. My Lords, I rejoice at the altered tone of the present Speech from the Throne as compared with the Speech prepared by the Ministers for the opening of the last Session. I rejoice that at last the gravity of the circum- stances has forced itself upon the mind of the Government; that even the noble Earl at the head of the Government—that médecin malgré lui—appears to see that there is no course now to be taken but that which is the most direct—the safest and the most honourable because the boldest—and the most consistent with the principles of justice. At the opening of the last Session of Parliament, I confess it was with surprise that I heard in the Speech which Her Majesty had been advised by Her present counsellors to deliver to Parliament, to see how little the Government anticipated the probable, nay, almost the certain, war which was impending, and how calmly and deliberately they talked about the various measures of internal improvement, or the various measures of internal innovation, which were to be introduced and carried through both Houses of Parliament during the Session. I remember that at that time the noble President of the Council, in bringing forward one of the suggested measures, and one not the least important—a projected reform in the constitution of Parliament—stated that a war with Russia need not be considered as a matter of such importance as to interfere with the ordinary deliberations of Parliament. Nay, more, the noble Lord said that he thought the period at which we were entering upon war with Russia was the period of all others to select for the amendment of the constitution of Parliament, and that it would be a splendid moral spectacle for Europe and the world to see that we considered a war with Russia as a matter of such trivial and unimportant concern that we hardly gave a side glance at the war, but turned our main attention to the arrangement of our own internal affairs, and, among others, to the revision of our Parliamentary system. Various other measures suggested in the Speech from the Throne were either brought forward or promised. Peace we were told to look forward to, and meanwhile the Government were drifting towards war. That, my Lords, was the expression of a Member of the Government. But while the Government was felt to be drifting towards war, there was no end to the promise of measures which were to be brought under the consideration of Parliament. Votes were to be taken for the war; some thousands of men were to be sent to the East, and great expectations were held out of the marvellous successes to be achieved. Now, my Lords, I rejoice greatly in the altered tone of the present Speech from the Throne. The promises of last year failed. Those promises produced no fruit. Of all the great measures which were proposed, hardly one—if one—was eventually carried. The Government were compelled to abandon the whole of them in consequence of the universal conviction that the war with Russia—the probability and almost the certainty of which was denied by the Government—was the one event upon which the hearts, the minds, and the feelings of the whole country were set, and was the subject which alone deserved serious and important attention. Now, forgive me for saying that a tone more worthy of the occasion pervades the present Speech from the Throne. My Lords, it recognises this as a great and important occasion. It recognises the war in which we are engaged as a great contest, calling for the united efforts of the whole country, and requiring that it should task its energies to the utmost. Her Majesty, devoting almost the whole of Her address to Parliament to that single and engrossing topic, expresses a confidence, which is not misplaced, that towards the vigorous and successful prosecution of the war no efforts on the part of the people, no energy on the part of Parliament, no sacrifice on the part of the country will be felt too great in order to support Her Majesty in the most just and honourable course which she is pursuing.

My Lords, before I proceed to comment upon any portion of the Speech relative to that absorbing topic, I will in a very few words, pass over the few other subjects to which the Speech refers. Of course, it must be a matter of sincere rejoicing to all to be informed, upon the authority of the Speech from the Throne, that the state of the revenue is highly satisfactory, and that the general prosperity of the country is uninterrupted. Undoubtedly, so far as the agricultural interest is concerned, the blessing of Providence, which has given us a bountiful and abundant harvest, combined—by a curious and unprecedented coincidence under such circumstances—with a range of prices higher than were ever known under any similar circumstances, has added to the means of those directly interested in the land, and has placed them in a position of greatly increased prosperity. I hope, my Lords, that the same may be the case with other branches of commerce. I learn with satisfaction that it is so from Her Majesty's Speech. But I confess that, unless I am mistaken, the present prosperity of some of the manufacturing districts is not such as to be made a subject of congratulation in the Speech from the Throne. It may be that there is a fair amount of business doing, and that a fair amount of profit is realised; but this I know, that in Manchester, and in some of the manufacturing districts in that part of the country, a number of mills are working short time, and a considerable number have stopped altogether. There is at this period less demand than I ever recollect for land for building purposes; and certainly, though I do not pretend to say—for I am thankful that it is not the case—that any great and extensive distress prevails, I should hadly have thought that our manufacturing prosperity at this moment was such as to demand peculiar notice in the Royal Speech. I may add that, for the first time for a long period, considerable facilities have been afforded for recruiting Her Majesty's military forces in Manchester and the adjoining towns, arising partly from the general stimilus which has been given to the feelings of the country on the subject of the war, but in some measure, doubtless, from a considerable number of hands being unemployed.

Her Majesty informs us that she has concluded a treaty with the United States of America, by which subjects of long and difficult discussion have been equitably adjusted. It must, of course, be a matter of satisfaction for us to know that any subjects of difference—and especially of longstanding difference—with a community connected with us by the ties of blood, of language, and, in a great measure, of laws, and with whom, upon all occasions, I trust it will be the desire, as I am sure it is the interest, of this country to keep up the most close and intimate connections, have been adjusted. That treaty will be laid before your Lordships, and until it is before us it would be improper for me to pronounce any opinion upon its merits, or as to how far it deserves the character given of it by the advisers of the Crown.

My Lords, the other subjects which are to occupy the attention of Parliament in the course of the present Session—the species of "et cœtera," which is substituted for the magniloquent promises held forth in former Speeches—are included in a very modest paragraph, which expresses a hope that, "amid the pressure of War, other matters of great interest and importance to the general welfare will not be neglect- ed." We have not received, either from Her Majesty's Government or from the Mover or Seconder of the Address, any intimation of the character of those various important measures. They are perhaps in the secret knowledge of the Cabinet; or, for ought I know, they may be hidden from the discernment and knowledge of the Cabinet itself. Upon this topic we may safely express our most cordial concurrence in Her Majesty's Speech; for I am confident that whenever "any matters of great interest and importance" are introduced by Her Majesty's Government, they will receive due consideration. That is a sentiment upon which there can be no difference of opinion.

Now, my Lords, having touched upon those questions mentioned in the Royal Speech which have no reference to the war, I proceed to that much more important and all-engrossing topic to which the greater portion of the Speech from the Throne is devoted. And, in the first place, I must be permitted to express my cordial concurrence in the language which is now in the Speech with regard to the hearty and efficient co-operation of the brave troops of our ally the Emperor of the French, and in the hope which Her Majesty entertains, as well as in the conviction which She expresses, that common dangers, common perils, common glories, and common interests, may cement more strongly the alliance which happily subsists between the two countries. My satisfaction at this recognition on the part of Her Majesty is increased by the knowledge that its importance is also recognised by Ministers, who not very long ago entertained very different views. I rejoice to think that that passage in Her Majesty's Speech has been fully concurred in by the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Admiralty and by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control. I rejoice also that the noble Earl at the head of the Government can feel and can acknowledge that there is a great important advantage to be derived from an intimate alliance between this country and France, although the destiny of France may not be swayed by the House of Orleans. The Royal Speech refers to the gallant and cordial co-operation and the - entire harmony which have prevailed between the troops of our ally and those of our own army, as well as to their heroic achievements. Private and public accounts concur in showing us that two nations, which for many years have been accustomed to regard one another with feelings of enmity, have not only laid aside altogether those feelings of enmity, but, side by side, are rivals in glory and brothers in arms on fields similar to those where they formerly encountered one another as foes, breast to breast, and hand to hand. As upon those occasions former experience led each to respect the valour of the other, so present experience leads them to regard each other as brothers in arms, engaged in a rivalry without jealousy, in the accomplishment of a common object, each doing honour to the courage and bravery of the other, and animated by a common feeling of glory. Words must fail to express the debt of gratitude which this country owes to those gallant and devoted men; but doubtless comfort and satisfaction will be carried to many a gallant heart when the assembled Parliament of England record their admiration of the deeds and their gratitude for the services of our gallant troops. My Lords, when I remember that, of that numerically small army which was sent out from this country a few months ago, probably not one in 100 of the privates, and probably not one in ten of the officers, had ever before heard a shot fired in anger; when I remember that they went forth, at the first outset of their campaign, to pine away in inaction, and that their ranks were thinned by disease—morally depressing, if anything could depress, their indomitable courage—when I remember that an army composed of such materials, so weakened, so dispirited, was led to invade the dominions of a powerful enemy; when I remember that they were led forth with the most scanty equipments, having with them nothing but what was absolutely necessary for their march, and hardly sufficient for their due provision and sustenance; when I remember that such a body of men, under such circumstances, found themselves in front of a force numerically superior, entrenched upon heights, fortified with all the skill and all the power which the might and military genius of Russia could supply, and fortified upon ground the natural difficulties of which were such as to impede even an active and unincumbered man in the ascent, although not checked by the enemy; when I remember that these heights were bristling with batteries, from which shot and shell were poured which mowed down the ranks of our men as they ascended that glorious but blood-stained hill; when I remember, too, that in the face of num- bers not inferior to their own, against all the difficulties of position, against all the opposition of the most powerful artillery, they advanced, weakened in numbers, falling by scores, but the survivors closing their ranks and pressing forward with indomitable courage; when, under these circumstances, hand in hand, that body of men, who had never before heard a shot fired, repulsed a veteran army from a position so fortified, that it had been the boast of Russia that no army could dislodge them in less than three weeks, while this great success was achieved by our raw army in the course of three hours; when we remember that within a fortnight afterwards, the position of our men being changed, they being the besieged instead of the besiegers, they were assailed by an army seven times their number; when we recollect that—although no doubt having some advantage of position—our troops were called to the conflict from successive and continuous labour at the intrenchments, suffering from cold, from privation, from hunger, in some cases from all but nakedness; when we remember that they were placed under the disadvantage of a surprise in the darkness of a foggy morning; when I find that these men, who won the heights of Alma in the course of three hours from a numerically superior army, resisted the assault of an army seven times stronger than themselves, and for eight hours maintained the unequal contest, sometimes even without ammunition, our troops, reinforced and supported by a portion of their gallant allies, maintained their position on these blood-stained heights; when I remember these deeds of arms—aye, and even the unfortunate but astounding charge made by our gallant cavalry—I say that no words can do justice to the merits of such brave and heroic soldiers. I say that when we read the history of this campaign—when we read it, not as politicians, but as men and as Englishmen—there cannot be a heart that does not throb with honest and generous pride that these much-enduring, all-daring, all-achieving men were our countrymen; that they were British subjects like ourselves; and there is hardly an eye from which a tear will not spring unbidden when we reflect that so many of them are numbered with the dead. My Lords, I will not dwell further on the subject, on the glory that has been achieved, upon the sacrifices they have made, or the sufferings they have endured. Their country will remember them. Their country will know how to value those who still remain; and, whatever may be the honours and rewards by which this country can show its gratitude to those who, in such unequalled circumstances, and under such serious difficulties, maintained, upheld, increased the glory of the British flag, those honours and those rewards will certainly be granted with no nigged hand, but with universal approbation, and with the cordial consent of a grateful country. While I am speaking of honours to be conferred upon our own gallant officers and men, I know not whether I am going beyond the limits of Parliamentary licence, and trenching upon that which is the prerogative of the Crown, if, while speaking of the honours to be conferred upon our own gallant officers—I know not, I say, whether I am trenching upon the prerogative of the Crown—but this I know that at the head of the army of our ally there is a General who has acted with ours in the most cordial and uninterrupted harmony, by whose advice we have benefited, by whose assistance we have largely profited—I know not whether I am making a suggestion which I ought not to make, when I say I am satisfied that nothing could be more grateful to the feelings of the British army and of the country at large—nothing, I think, would be more due to the gallantry and cordiality with which the whole of the French forces have supported ours throughout this great contest, than, if it were possible, to confer upon General Canrobert some mark of military honour.

I have now attempted to do justice to my own feelings with regard to the merits of this gallant army, and with regard to the sacrifices and privations which it has had to contend with. I wish, my Lords, that I could here close the observations I have to make; and I hope it may not be considered inconsistent with the determination with which I started of endeavouring not to disturb the unanimity of your Lordships, when I say that it will be necessary for me to comment to a certain extent upon what appear to have been some of the shortcomings of the Government in the mode in which they have conducted the war. My object, however, is not so much to revert to the past as to ensure attention for the future. I am deeply sensible, my Lords, of the responsibility attaching to every man who upon this subject utters an opinion, and I am most especially anxious that not a word should fall from me which might savour of exaggeration with respect to our apparent losses and the difficulties which our army has had to overcome. I am also anxious that not a word should fall from me which could give the slightest encouragement to that powerful adversary against whom we are at war, and against whom we are determined to contend to the utmost of our power, even to our last man and our last shilling. Nor do I intend to cavil at those minor details in which a better and more effective arrangement might have been made, though I must be permitted to say that when Her Majesty's Government, in order to ensure the more effectual carrying on of the war, received the assistance of an additional Secretary of State, relieved from the charge of any other department, and charged alone with the superintendence of the war, we might have expected that greater attention would have been paid to these minor details, that there would have been less omissions, and that better provisions would have been made for carrying on the war than in any former war in which this country has ever been engaged. But, my Lords, I am well aware that there must be omissions in carrying on any service of so extensive a character, and I am not disposed to cavil at minor details, or to enter into discussion upon this or that matter in which I think a better arrangement might have been made. My complaint against the Government is this—that they have from the commencement, and before the commencement of war, lived, as it were, from hand to mouth; that they have never anticipated in due time the contingencies of the struggle in which they were about to engage, that they never considered the greatness of the undertaking upon which they were entering, and that they never made adequate and timely provision to meet, not the contingent exigencies of the day, but those exigencies which the fortune of war rendered inevitable. I have always understood that one of the first maxims of war is to leave as little as possible to chance—to be prepared against every possible contingency, and to make those preparations—extravagant if you will—but certainly on such a scale as to prevent anything going wrong, which might have the effect of deranging the whole plan. I cannot but entertain a doubt, however—knowing the unwillingness and reluctance with which Her Majesty's Government permitted themselves to be dragged into the war—I cannot but entertain a doubt whether they had among them those who were capable and disposed to take a sufficiently comprehensive view of the great and important interests involved in this war, and of its mighty consequences and requirements, or that, if there was such a man, he was not able to impress the reflections of his own mind upon those of his colleagues. From the very first to the very last, there has been apparent in the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government a want of previous preparation—a total want of prescience; and they have appeared to live from day to day providing for each successive exigency after it arose, and not before it arose. "Too late" have been the fatal words applicable to the whole conduct of Her Majesty's Government in the course of the war. We were "too late" in our declaration of war. We were "too late" in deciding that the passage of the Pruth was a casus belli in the first instance. We were "too late" in sending our troops to the Black Sea, and we were too complaisant to the Emperor of Russia, who thanked us for refusing to act in concert with our French allies and send a fleet into the Black Sea at a time when the French thought it desirable. Our co-operation then would have been of immense importance, and our noncompliance, which extorted thanks from the Emperor of Russia, controlled to a great extent the action of our allies. We were "too late," my Lords, in declaring the war, we were "too late" in entering the Black Sea, and we allowed the massacre of Sinope to take place. At that time the Turks were under the pledge of protection from this country, but in the teeth of a powerful armament Sinope was taken and destroyed; the Turkish fleet was destroyed in its own waters, and we were standing idly by, not at Sinope, but in the Black Sea; and, for the purpose of co-operation, were either powerless or unwilling to interfere in time. And, my Lords, when we did go to war, what was the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government? It was thought fit—I know not for what reason—but it was thought fit, in the year 1854, to bring forward a financial Budget at an unusual period—the 6th of March. On the 6th of March the financial Budget was brought forward; and, though war was not declared until the 27th or 28th of March, it was proposed to take an increase of something like 10,000 men in the Army, and I think a small increase was to be taken in the Navy. And what was the calculation the Chancellor of the Exchequer made for the probable additional expense to be incurred in consequence of the war? The calculation was 1,250,000l., being an expense of 50l. for the transport of 25,000 troops. And where? To meet the Russians? To defend Constantinople? No; but to take them to Malta and to bring them back again. This was the declaration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—namely, that the intention of the British Government was to ask Parliament for the means only of sending 25,000 men to Malta and back again, and for such an object the income tax was to be doubled for half a year. These were the provisions made upon the 6th of March, in reference to which, when proposed in the House of Commons, it was said—" When Russia sees these preparations she will indeed be aware of the energy and determination, the vigour and decision with which this country is about to carry on the war." Why, my Lords, when the Emperor of Russia read that declaration, he could but come to one of two conclusions, either that the British Government were gulling Parliament and imposing upon British credulity, or that they were not really in earnest. These 25,000 men might go to Malta and back again; but as to interfering with any of the military operations of Russia, that was impossible. Now, my Lords, what was the force which we sent out? One remembers—and remembers with mingled feelings of satisfaction and regret—the mustering of those gallant men, the élite of the British army, from 25,000 to 30,000 strong, who were sent from this country, and with regard to whom the Government took the greatest possible credit for the unparalleled exertions they had made in sending out in the course of so short a time—namely, in the months of March, April, May, and to the beginning of June—so numerous a force. I do not deny the exertions of the Government, and I do not deny that during those three months the utmost activity prevailed in every department; but is the sending out of an army of 30,000 men from a country like this an achievement to be looked upon with national pride? I do not deny the activity which prevailed during two or three months, but why was not that activity anticipated by two or three months? What did you do? You sent out from 25,000 to 30,000 men, and, having done that, you folded your hands and said, "We have done all that is necessary." You exhausted every available means to send out these 25,000 or 30,000 men, and you then had to depend upon a raw militia and to your recruiting power for making a slight increase to the army. And when you sent out these men in conjunction with the French army, did you suppose that neither disease, nor the sword, nor casualties would have the slightest impression upon that small force of 25,000? If such misfortunes were to occur, where was a body of men to come from to reinforce them? Where were your Mediterranean garrisons? Why were they not increased beyond their ordinary and very insufficient strength? And where was your second army of reserve? Where were your reinforcements? You had them not. You had nothing in the shape of an army of reserve except the reserves you had in England, which were unavailable in case of disaster, and consequently you launched forth your army to depend upon its own resources without sufficient provision being made for them, or due foresight exercised upon the part of the British Government. Perhaps it may be said—though that would be no answer to the question—that the object for which the troops were sent out was the defence of Constantinople and the support of the army of Omar Pacha, in preventing the Russians from penetrating further into the Principalities. Setting aside the very subordinate condition in which that hypothesis places the British army, I say that, from the first, that was not the declaration of the British Government of the intention and object of the war. Nor was it possible for the war to be limited to such an object. I remember that on the 19th of June, in answer to my noble and learned Friend, who is not now in his place (Lord Lyndhurst), the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Clarendon) opportunely declared, as he had declared before, that the object of the war was not merely to afford protection to Constantinople, but to settle at once and for ever that question of Russian supremacy which had been growing in importance for years, not to say centuries—which had been forced upon us, and which was to be settled once and for ever. That was the declaration made by the noble Earl on the 19th of June; and it was made in almost similar terms on the 31st of March, the day on which the Queen's Message announcing the declaration of war was delivered. It may be said, that when the Principalities were relieved from Russian invasion, the whole course of the campaign was altered—that, in fact, the Allies assumed the offensive, and gave up the defensive. I can understand that argument, but I don't admit it, because I consider that before the siege of Silistria was raised you were bound to ulterior objects, to attain which a force of 25,000 men was entirely inadequate. But when the siege of Silistria was raised, what had you to say? The siege of Silistria was raised about the 23rd of June; the Turkish troops had been victorious, and, by their own unassisted efforts, had repelled the invaders, who from strategical reasons had retraced their steps, and withdrew from the Principalities. Then, my Lords, some alteration of your course followed upon that altered state of affairs, and indeed we have from the declaration of the Government themselves an intimation that, towards the middle of July, the expedition to the Crimea was decided upon. The noble Lord the President of the Council, on the 24th of July, made a most remarkable statement in the House of Commons, in which he declared that there could be no hope of a just and honourable peace so long as Russia was permitted to hold the menacing position she occupied in Sebastopol. I remember that when a noble and learned Friend of mine referred to the conduct of the war, and to an expedition to the Crimea, the noble Earl at the head of Her Majesty's Government reproached him as indiscreet, observing that he was only affording the Emperor of Russia an opportunity of fortifying and strengthening the works of Sebastopol. I don't think the Emperor of Russia required any such warning. On the contrary, he seems to have been much more alive to the exigencies of the case than Her Majesty's Government, and for years he appears to have been incessantly labouring in fortifying Sebastopol, and rendering it as impregnable as possible. Well, my Lords, on the 24th of July, Lord John Russell, in the other House of Parliament, announced that Russia could no longer be permitted to hold her menacing position in the Crimea, and we knew, from the explanations that took place at that period, that an expedition to the Crimea had been decided upon. And decided upon by whom? It was decided upon by the Government at home. The noble Earl opposite (Earl Granville), in the beginning of October, in an address to the Staffordshire yeomanry, was one of the Members of the Cabinet who furnished that information to the public out of doors. He said— Government did not conceal from themselves the great responsibility of their urging on the commanders of both services an attack upon Sebastopol; they were not ignorant of the opinion entertained by many distinguished officers of every country in Europe, that, if not impregnable, the attempt was of a most difficult nature; but they did feel that the independence and integrity of Turkey were a mere joke so long as that fortress was deemed impregnable. …And they (the Government) did think that, with the assistance of the French, those two forces, acting in cordial co-operation, could achieve all that it was possible for men to accomplish, Lord J. Russell on the 27th of October observed— Immediately after the siege of Silistria was raised, it became a question both with the Government at home and with the generals, what should be done on the shores of the Black Sea. I should have thought that even before the raising of the siege of Silistria, it had been considered what should be done next, supposing the siege to be raised. It appears, however, that only on the event of the siege of Silistria being raised did the Government determine what to do next. The noble Lord continued— The Government at home thought the time was come to occupy the Crimea and capture Sebastopol. The instructions of the Governments of England and France were received at Varna about the middle of July; a meeting of the generals of the allied forces took place, and the expedition was resolved upon. Thus, by the confession of two noble Lords, one in this and one in the other House of Parliament, it was the Government at home, notwithstanding the representations made by generals of high distinction, in every country, of the insuperable difficulties of an attack upon Sebastopol, who urged on the commanders of the allied forces the necessity of making the attempt. It was not the act of the generals in command of the army, but it was urged upon them by the Government at home; and, being so urged, it became doubly the duty of the Government at home to see that no single circumstance was omitted, and no provision neglected, which was calculated to diminish the difficulties with which the enterprise was beset, and which could render the task not merely practicable, but comparatively more easy of fulfilment. Well, my Lords, what steps were taken? What steps were taken from the middle of June until the end of June, when you received intelligence of the raising of the siege of Silistria, and when you began to consider "what next?" What steps were taken to reinforce your army originally of 25,000 men, for the more extensive field of operations upon which you determined to place them? I believe that reinforcements were sent out of something like 5,000 men; and from that time till the day after the battle of Inkerman — I don't mean to say that driblets here and there may not have gone out—but from that time till after the battle of Inkerman, when the 46th Regiment arrived at Balaklava, the army, which was originally composed of from 25,000 to 30,000 men, was left without reinforcements. The battle of Inkerman was fought by not more than 8,000 out of from 14,000 to 15,000 British bayonets, which constituted your whole force then left in the Crimea. In calling attention, then, to the course which Government pursued, I cannot refrain from saying that they took steps in the dark without calculating the consequences of their actions, and without making provision to secure success.

My Lords, I have now to mention a subject which, perhaps, I ought to have mentioned before. Her Majesty's Government sent out these troops originally to Varna, and I must ask your Lordships' permission to read to you a statement from an eye-witness, a gallant friend of mine, well known to your Lordships, but whose name I am not permitted to name at present, as I am anxious that in the discussion this day justice should be done to the merits of the army, and no undue reproaches cast upon them. My gallant friend says— I have no idea what line you intend to pursue, but I do hope that there is to be no reproach of delay at Scutari or Varna. From too close an economy we had given up all those necessary appendages for a field army, without which it can neither take care of itself nor move against the enemy. We had regiments and very good ones, but nothing else. No commissariat, no staff corps, no waggon train, no medical establishment for the field. All this, and, still more important, a transport system for cavalry and artillery, had to be formed and organised in a country affording absolutely nothing to help you, and I protest when I look back on the work done in the organisation of the army at Scutari and Varna, I am sure that nothing but the spirit and zeal of English officers could have carried it out. The chief blundering was in the shipment of stores without method or order, by which no one knew where to find them. One day I had 100 men searching the Turkish Custom house fir missing tent poles, which were found after eight hours' labour. What was the consequence of all this? Was the army incapable of movement? No; but it was detained in inaction, amid the pestiferous atmosphere of Varna, and there, "night by night," says my correspondent— Those dreadful graves, fifty or sixty feet long, were dug of an evening on the hill near Varna, for the poor fellows sure to die in the course of the night. Surely these are circumstances which raise to the highest pitch the indomitable courage and energies of the men. It might be necessary, my Lords, that when the army marched to the banks of the Alma, or even when it marched from Alma to Balaklava and Inkerman, it should carry with it the smallest possible incumbrance. It would hardly be possible for an army to carry with it any superfluities to the field, but certainly it ought to have had medical supplies and comforts for the hospitals at Varna and Scutari. If such advances as have been made were to be attempted, these supplies ought to have been at hand. The Government had ample means of taking them, and every arrangement ought to have been made to secure them. At one time it was denied that there was any want of medical attendance; we were told that there was a larger proportion of medical officers attendant upon our force than ever had been known upon any previous expedition sent out by this country. I remember seeing two or three columns occupied in one of the newspapers full of particulars as to the amount of stores; and when public charity and sympathy came forward with offers of assistance—of stores of all descriptions, linen, rags, and other appliances for the wounded —they were told that there was abundance of everything, that there was no want of supplies, that there was abundance both of medicines and of medical officers. Well, a lady has been sent out under the sanction of the Government—a lady to whose heroism and that of her companions it is impossible for language to do justice—who, sacrificing as they did all that can render life attractive, giving up all the comforts and luxuries of life, devoted themselves with noble self-devotion to mitigate the sufferings of our wounded and dying soldiers in the crowded and pestilential hospitals of a foreign country. What was the account contained in the very first demand made by these ladies sent out under the sanction of Government? Why, it was an ardent, an almost importunate request to the British public to send out those very articles which the Government said were already supplied in profusion; and this was accompanied by the statement that in one day eleven men had sunk from exhaustion, in consequence of not a single bottle of wine being at hand for their relief. Now, this is a subject in regard to which, I say, a heavy responsibility devolves upon the Government. I cannot tell how far these charges are correct, but I know they are in every man's mouth; and I felt, consequently, that it was my duty as a Peer of Parliament, and as one deeply interested in the welfare of the brave men whom we have sent out to fight our battles, to comment upon what is generally said; and I therefore ask the Government not only to deny, but to disprove these statements, if disprove them they can. Well, then, you have lately sent out—" too late" again!—you have sent out on the 15th of October, for the first time, a supply of winter clothing for the troops, who were absolutely in rags and about to encounter the horrors of a Crimean winter. On the 15th of October you sent out to Balaklava an abundant supply of winter clothes. You embarked them on board a magnificent vessel—how manned and commanded, I ask the noble Duke to explain? You sent out also large stores of ammunition, together with this supply of warm winter clothing, as well as a large supply of medicines and medical comforts. The medical stores ought to have been landed at Scutari; but when the vessel arrived there it was found that all these stores, although directed first to Scutari, were deposited in the hold beneath piles of ammunition and shot, so that it was impossible to get at them without discharging and unloading the whole of the ammunition and general stores. Consequently the vessel went on to Balaklava without landing them at Scutari. At Balaklava Bay, if I am not misinformed, this vessel, after losing two of her anchors, was for seven days allowed to drag outside, although having on board a cargo of inestimable value—in money value, I believe, something like half a million, but of a value at that moment not to be measured by money. Yes, I am told—but I can hardly believe it—that for seven days that vessel was dragging in thirty fathom water in the open sea outside the roads of Balaklava—that she was not taken inside; and the consequence was the loss of that vessel, of her cargo, ammunition, warm clothing, and medical stores. And now there is another question I wish to ask the noble Earl and Her Majesty's Government. I don't wish to cast any unjust or unde- served stigma upon those who are responsible to the country; but I am told (and I have it on authority which I believe to be valid) that representations had been made to the First Lord of the Admiralty to the effect that the commander of the ship to which I am referring—the Prince—to which you were intrusting such a priceless cargo, was wholly incompetent to take such a trust, and had proved himself so incompetent upon his voyage to the Baltic that, in the opinion of a distinguished officer, if that vessel were sent out under the command of that captain, she would be lost upon her voyage. Moreover, I am told that the officer whose opinion was thus expressed was asked if he would commit this statement to writing; that he did so; that that statement was handed to the First Lord of the Admiralty; and, notwithstanding such a statement was received on such an authority, this vessel, purchased by the Government, was not sent out under the command of an officer in Her Majesty's service, but was sent out under the command of that very commander of whom this character had been given to the First Lord of the Admiralty. I do not state this as a fact within my own knowledge; but I ask the noble Duke (the Duke of Newcastle) if it be so? and, if so, I ask whether, for the loss of that vessel—of her priceless cargo, and her crew of 150 men—Her Majesty's Government are not deeply responsible? But whether the facts on this point are, or are not, such as they have been represented to me, why was this vessel, with such a cargo, permitted so long to drive outside the bay? Why was she not, at any risk and at any inconvenience, taken into Balaklava, by which this casualty and the lamentable loss we have sustained through it would have been prevented? Now, my Lords, in making these comments I hope and feel that I have made them with no desire to embarrass the Government, but for the purpose of affording the Government an opportunity, if possible, of repudiating and refuting them; and, if they cannot, of strongly urging upon the Government to avoid such acts for the future. But, my Lords, when I charge the Government with an utter unconsciousness of what they were about to do, I cannot have a stronger proof of the justice of the charge than the very circumstances under which we are meeting this day. Parliament stood prorogued until the 14th of November. On the 10th or 11th—I am not certain as to the exact day—a Privy Council was summoned for the purpose of further proroguing Parliament, and a further prorogation accordingly took place from the 14th of November to the 14th of December, without being accompanied by the words, "then to meet for the despatch of business." It was thus perfectly clear, then, that on the 10th of November the Government had not the slightest inkling as to the actual meeting of Parliament on the 14th. I admit it is perfectly competent for the Government, upon any unforeseen emergency, to call Parliament together at an earlier period than that to which it is prorogued, but in this case, from the terms of the notice officially issued—from the omission of the words I have mentioned—there was a general understanding that there would be a further prorogation, and that Members of both Houses would be enabled to form their engagements accordingly, without inconvenience. Well, but on the 20th of November "a change came o'er the spirit of the dream" of the Government, and that which they evidently considered unnecessary on the 10th they deemed so urgent and pressing on the 20th that they immediately summoned Parliament together—not on the day to which it had been prorogued, but two days earlier. There was therefore, in the opinion of the Government, not an hour to be lost. Now, what was the sudden exigency which had arisen in those ten days? What had occurred in the interval to make the meeting of Parliament expedient on the 20th of November which did not make it equally expedient on the 10th? Undoubtedly, in the meantime the news of the battle of Inkerman had arrived. But am I to be told that a provision which was so urgent that the period to which Parliament had been prorogued must be anticipated in order to meet it—which was of such importance and pressing urgency that Parliament must be called hastily together in order to provide for it—am I to be told that the necessity of such a provision was simply occasioned by a battle in which, undoubtedly, you lost a large numerical proportion of your men, but which is yet not to be compared with many engagements of modern times? If you calculated that you were going to take, to keep, and to raze Sebastopol without any addition to that small force, was it only on the 20th of November, and not previously to that day, that it came into your heads that it was possible and advisable to take measures for increasing the effective strength of your army? Your Lordships must remember that the Government have not yet condescended to inform us in what manner it is intended to strengthen the army, or what they mean to do to meet the emergency. We have been told, indeed, by the organs of the Government that they have money in abundance, and don't stand in need of a loan; and it is also hinted that it is intended to take powers to enable a portion of the militia of this country to volunteer for foreign service, and occupy the places of some of our foreign garrisons. Now, if that is the case, did not the necessity for that measure exist, and was it not foreseen before the 20th of November, or was it that, after establishing a Minister of War in the middle of June, you and the rest of his colleagues threw upon him all the responsibility and labour of the war, scattered yourselves all over the country, never taking into consideration the pressing military emergencies of the country until you met in November? At all events, upon the face of the case, I cannot but think that the Government stand convicted of a want of foreknowledge of the exigencies of the country up to a very late period, as exemplified in the time to which they had prorogued Parliament, and the sudden reflection which led them to desire an earlier meeting.

My Lords, I have spoken of the gallant services of the army in the Crimea; and gallantly have they been supported—more especially on shore—by the sister service. I, however, observe no reference in Her Majesty's Speech to the success achieved by our arms in the Baltic, or to the great progress made by our exertions there towards arriving at an honourable and successful issue of this great struggle. Now, I should be sorry to say a single word of disparagement of the gallant men whom we sent out there, but, certainly, never did a mighty force—one of the most powerful armaments which this country has ever sent forth—sent, too, with no little amount of self-laudation—accomplish so little. Your Lordships will all remember a certain Reform dinner, at which much was said of the mighty deeds to be done by a Reform Admiral, and at which very considerable powers were given to the Admiral to proclaim war; and, when it was proclaimed, it was rather boastfully done. Your Lordships cannot have forgotten that order of the day—that signal which was given in language, perhaps, not so concise as that of Nelson, but in the same spirit. I am sure you recollect the injunction to every man on board the fleet to sharpen his cutlass and prepare for immediate action—to give a good account of the Russian fleets if they happened to meet them, and if they slunk in their harbours they were to be pulled out by main force. I am not about to depreciate the conduct of our fleet. On the part of individual officers an opportunity has been afforded for the exhibition of great skill and seamanship and of great valour. But as far as all the results of war go—of all that most expensive and most formidable fleet—those results are literally nil. You crumbled down a half-finished fortress which you were not able to occupy; and now one by one your ships are dropping home from the scene of their labours, but not of their exploits. Now, I need not say that I am not a naval man, and so far, perhaps, do not speak with much authority; but I apprehend that the Government ought to have known beforehand the strength of Cronstadt—ought to have been aware of the peculiar characteristics of the Baltic, which is a sea not altogether unknown to British navigators—and the peculiar strength possessed by the Russians for the defence of their forces there. What did the Government do? Why, they sent out a fleet of such superior power that it would have been an act of madness on the part of the Russian fleet to come out and meet them in the open sea; and at the same time they sent out a fleet the vessels comprising which, in consequence of their magnitude, were of such a draught of water that it was absolutely impossible, looking at the depth of water in the Russian strongholds, that they and the enemy's ships could come into conflict. The consequence of this was, that Sir C. Napier had been condemned to an ignominious inaction, which is only paralleled by that old verse, which many of your Lordships no doubt remember— While Chatham's Earl, with weapon drawn, Was waiting for Sir Richard Strachan; Sir Richard, longing to be at 'em, Was waiting for the Earl of Chatham. So stood Sir Charles, and so stood the Russian Admiral. Both were, no doubt, longing to engage, but somehow, from the nature of things, it was impossible they should come to blows. This is another instance in which the Government will be fairly charged with having condemned to ignominious inactivity one of the finest fleets sent out from this country, and this from neglecting the most ordinary precautions which the exigency of the service required. Other persons communicated with the Government on this subject, pointed out the shallowness of the water, the necessity of employing vessels of small draught of water; but the Government took no notice, or only said, "Pooh! pooh! What do they know about it?" Their views were altogether neglected, until again it was too late; and when it was too late, and a whole year had been lost, then the very vessels which ought to have been constructed at first were begun to be built. Thus the expenses and opportunities of one year were altogether thrown away, and we are, so far as the Baltic is concerned, in the exact position in which we were before. Now, I repeat that I allude to all this, not for the purpose of discouraging those gallant men who, whether in the Baltic or the Black Sea, have done their best to maintain the honour of our flag; but if we are to come to a successful issue of this great and serious war—if we are to look to conquering an honourable peace—we must strike decided blows; I say "conquering" an honourable peace, because I feel assured that without conquering a peace you will not obtain it. Depend upon it, knowing as I do the resources of the Russian Empire, and knowing the character of the great man who rules it—for he is a great man, although now employing his vast resources for unworthy purposes—you will obtain no peace unless you conquer it. You must obtain by your arms such advantages and such a superiority as to force the Emperor—reluctantly as it may be—to submit to your terms of peace; but if you do not achieve some great successes you may have a prolonged, a sanguinary, and possibly a disastrous war, but an honourable and a successful peace you cannot have.

There is only one more passage, my Lords, in Her Majesty's Speech to which I consider myself compelled to refer. Her Majesty announces with satisfaction that She has concluded a treaty in conjunction with the Emperor of the French with Austria, from which She anticipates "important advantages to the common cause." My Lords, I confess that this is a paragraph which creates some considerable doubt in my mind. There can be no doubt that if for the prosecution of the general cause of the war we have drawn to our side, instead of being in a very doubtful neutrality, the great military resources of Austria, the hearty co-operation of Austria in the war will be of the greatest importance, and of signal benefit to the Powers already allied. But, looking to the course which Austria has hitherto pursued, I must be pardoned if I hesitate to express my satisfaction at such a treaty having been formed until I, in common with your Lordships, am made acquainted with the nature of the stipulations and conditions of that treaty, the engagements into which Austria has entered, and those by which we are mutually bound to Austria. I do not deny that we ought to make every allowance for the position of Austria. She has been playing a dangerous and not very dignified game, and has been playing it with considerable dexterity up to the present time. She may now feel it her interest and safety to throw off that doubtful mask which she has hitherto worn, and throw herself frankly into the arms of the Allies, and join in a sincere confederacy with the Western Powers. I trust it may be so. Up to the present moment, however, although it was a favourite text with Her Majesty's Government that negotiations were protracted in order to secure the immense advantages of the co-operation of Austria and Prussia, I have yet to learn what practical result, what benefit we have derived, and what co-operation we have had either from Austria, or still less from Prussia. So far as I can make out the course pursued, with regard to the first of these Powers, she appears to have been doubtfully neutral, and the other doubtfully, or rather practically, hostile; and looking to the part which Austria has played throughout this campaign, I am not at all sure that she has not been in a great measure the cause of your want of success in the Crimea, and of the lamentable loss of life there. It was not till after the success achieved by the Turkish arms at Silistria that Austria volunteered her intervention; but when the siege of Silistria was raised—when the Russian army was in full retreat—when Omar Pacha, at the head of a triumphant army, might have found occupation for a large portion of the forces of the Czar's army—at that moment Austria came in with her intervention, concluded a treaty with Turkey, the effect of which treaty was to give her the occupation and control of the Principali- ties, to cover, in point of fact, the Russian retreat, to prevent the Turkish advance, to produce the demoralisation of that hitherto successful army, and set at liberty the whole of those forces which the Russians had concentrated in Bessarabia. The Czar was thus enabled to throw these forces upon our troops, which were already outnumbered by the troops they were besieging, and this fresh reinforcement, raising the armies opposed to them to four, five, and six times their numbers, was poured upon them mainly, as it appears to me, in consequence of the intervention of Austria. Well, when I consider that this has hitherto been the effect of the intervention of Austria, I may be permitted to doubt the effect of the advantages of the treaty which we are told has been entered into—at all events, until the terms of that treaty are before us. We may possibly have entered into what, for anything I know, may be exceedingly inconvenient engagements, and bound ourselves to conditions which it may be very difficult to accomplish; but which we should in honour be bound to carry out. I know not what are the stipulations which have been made, but I am sure that Her Majesty's Government will feel—and it is the only point in which I shall attempt to state an objection, not to the Address itself, but only to the terms of the Address—that it is unreasonable to call upon the House of Lords to express their satisfaction at a treaty the contents of which are known only to Her Majesty's advisers, who may, indeed, fairly express their own sentiments on the subject, but who must feel it impossible to call upon us to do so, inasmuch as for good or evil we know not one single sentence of what it contains. I feel quite confident that, having made this suggestion, the Ministry will look upon it as so reasonable that they will consent to modify so far the terms of the Address as not to call upon the House of Lords to express satisfaction at the conclusion of a treaty of which they know nothing, but couch the Address in the ordinary form, and declare the gratification of your Lordships that Her Majesty should, in conjunction with Her ally the Emperor of the French, have concluded a treaty with the Emperor of Austria. I do not move this in the form of an Amendment, but am quite certain the Government will themselves see the reasonableness of making such an alteration as will relieve us from all difficulty whatever with regard to the unanimous adoption of this Address. My Lords, I feel it to be of deep importance for the prosecution of this war that we should have not only, as we have, the cordial, deliberate, steady, reflecting sanction of the people of this country, but also that we should have the opinion of Parliament expressed in the most unmistakeable terms; that no questions of difference as to the mode in which the war has been or may be conducted should interfere with the unanimous declaration of Parliament that we will give to Her Majesty every support in our power; that the world at large may see the spectacle of a great nation sinking all political animosities, all party contention—uniting heart and hand, with all the means at their disposal, with all the influence they can exercise among their fellow-countrymen, to prosecute the war, and—even although they may not entertain confidence in those who have the management of that war—giving them to the full extent all the support they can require. And I think I am speaking the sentiments of the country and of my own friends and supporters when I say that, so far from grudging them any supplies, any support which is necessary for the successful prosecution of this great and important war, it will be the country which will urge forward the Ministers to spare no pains, to omit no exertion, to make every sacrifice and every effort for the purpose of securing a just and honourable peace, in consequence of a successful and vigorously prosecuted war. And to those gallant men who are at the present moment, under circumstances of considerable difficulty, gallantly fighting the battles of their country, who have now to a certain extent been reinforced, and who have exhibited indomitable perseverance and a noble courage under all the circumstances of difficulty and discouragement to which they have been exposed—to them I would say, yet a little more patience, a little more courage, a little more perseverance; the end is not yet, but the end is approaching; the eyes of the country are upon you, and the united hearts of your countrymen are with you; their sympathies are with you in your unparalleled exertions; men, women, and children are collecting stores to alleviate your distress, to minister to your comfort, and to assuage your sufferings; fresh reinforcements are at hand, and your unflinching courage and perseverance during your obstinate resistance shall serve as a model to them, exciting them to emulate your glory and prove themselves worthy of being your fellow- soldiers. Go on, I would say, in the gallant course which you have commenced, and believe that the hearts of your countrymen are with you, that there is a tear for those who have fallen in their country's service; and when you return from this expedition, which, with all its difficulties, with all its glories, and with all its labours, must and will be successful, your example will inspire others, and you will be the men who will have brought peace to Europe and maintained untarnished the honour of the British flag, who will have defended the weak from the power of the oppressor, and who will deserve and will receive the blessings of England and of the world.


My Lords, whenever upon former occasions it has been my duty to follow the noble Earl who has just addressed your Lordships, I have always felt the position in which I stood, and the difficulty against which I had to contend in endeavouring to reply to arguments brought forward by so able and practised a debater; and, unquestionably, on the present occasion, so rightly characterised by the noble Earl as one of momentous importance, I feel this difficulty to be so much greater than it has ever before been, that I must beg the indulgence of your Lordships whilst I endeavour to reply to the statements of the noble Earl as to the conduct of the Government, and more particularly as to the administration of the department of which I have the honour to be the head.

My Lords, let me at the outset say that I rejoice that the noble Earl, in the speech which he has addressed to your Lordships—although, indeed, I think that in the latter part of that speech he rather departed from the spirit of its commencement, and entered somewhat into unfair and party attacks—I rejoice, I say, that in that speech the noble Earl has informed our powerful enemy that the only cause of disunion which can be found in your Lordships' House is the question whether Her Majesty's Government have been energetic enough in carrying on this war. I rejoice in this, because at a moment like the present the interests of a humble individual like myself, or of any Government, are small indeed when compared with the interests of this great country. Better that we should suffer in the estimation of every man in this country, or in the world, than that the Emperor of Russia should be under the smallest delusion as to the sentiments of the country or of this House. My Lords, in the answer which I hope to make to the speech of the noble Earl, I am not about to attempt what might be called an "out-and-out" defence of the policy of the Government, or of the administration of the department to which I have the honour to belong. I am far too sensible of my own shortcomings, and of the difficulties of administration, to be prepared to say that everything that has been done has been done in the best possible way, that no mistakes have occurred, or that if we were now to begin again as on the 29th of March—the day on which war was declared—with the knowledge and experience we have acquired, we should do the same things exactly in the same manner; but, on the contrary, I can say that some things not done then would now be done, and some things done then would now be omitted or amended. Before, however, I proceed to comment on the principal charges of omission or commission brought by the noble Earl, I must, in justice to the Government, endeavour to recall to the attention of your Lordships the circumstances attending the declaration of war and the measures adopted by the Government since the commencement of hostile operations. The noble Earl opposite appeared to appeared to me to be somewhat inconsistent in the charges which he made against the Government; for he began by saying that it was clear that at the commencement of warlike operations we had some other object in view than the mere defence of the Turkish territory and the assistance of the Turkish forces; but shortly afterwards, when it served his purpose, he endeavoured to prove that until the siege of Silistria was raised we had no notion as to what was to be done next. My Lords, I say without hesitation that the first presumption of the noble Earl was the correct one, and that we had from the very first a double object. One of those objects undoubtedly was the support of Turkish interests and the protection of Constantinople from any possible attack by the Russian forces at that time in the Principalities; but the second object was, that if war should once be declared, and if we should be compelled to send an army to the East, we would not be satisfied with the mere expulsion of the Russian troops from the Principalities—we would not be content with the status quo—but would endeavour to obtain such security for the future as would prevent the recurrence of the evils which had involved us in war, and the renewal of any attempt on the integrity mid independence of the Turkish empire. Let me add, my Lords, that in keeping in view this double object, the policy of Her Majesty's Government has been identical with that of the Government of the Emperor of the French; and, let me tell the noble Earl, that not merely from the first moment of warlike operations, but from the very commencement of the negotiations which preceded the declaration of war, our policy has been in entire accord with that of the Emperor of the French, and our union with that great empire has been most complete. I must say, my Lords, that I rather pity the noble Earl for his not very dignified attempt to sow dissensions between Her Majesty's Government and that of the Emperor of the French, by resuscitating on this occasion some miserable election speeches delivered long ago by Members of the Government; for the noble Earl knows as well as I know that there never was an alliance more firm, and never a determination to maintain it more fixed in the minds of every Member of a Government than is this alliance and our determination. And when the noble Earl turns round and taunts my noble Friend at the head of the Government with having at last, at a moment like the present, discovered that an alliance with France is worth having—even with others than Orleanists—he must be well aware that the policy of my noble Friend and of the Government has always been to strengthen and cement that alliance: that, as when Louis Philippe was on the French Throne, we were faithful to our alliance with the French people, so, and, perhaps, even more so, is it fixed now in consequence of the resolute character of the Emperor of the French and the open-handed spirit of confidence he has shown. My Lords, I have already stated that the policy of the Government as regarded the war was twofold in its purpose, commencing with the immediate protection of the Turkish empire; and, in the second place, having for its object the prevention of a recurrence of evils similar to those which have led to the present war; and, I apprehend, that the noble Earl might have discovered that fact for himself if he had considered the steps taken by the Government at the commencement of the war in a quarter of the world to which he had referred at the conclusion of his speech—of course I allude to the Baltic. The noble Earl has commented with con- siderable severity upon the result of the operations in the Baltic, and upon the conduct of my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Commander in Chief in that sea; but, my Lords, I think that even if the results which were anticipated from our operations in that quarter have not been achieved, nevertheless they undoubtedly have not been unattended with beneficial results. It is true that Cronstadt and Sweaborg have not fallen, and that the Russian fleet is yet intact—but let your Lordships bear in mind the results to the pride and position of Russia—that fleet yet intact has never been able to take the sea, and the trade of Russia has been entirely suspended. ["No, no!"] Noble Lords opposite say "No;" but I am not alluding to trade carried on overland through a neutral State, but to the trade with which a fleet could interfere, and I repeat that the trade of Russia in the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland has not only been crippled, but has been completely suspended. It is not unnatural that the public should look somewhat slightingly upon the capture of Bomarsund, partly on account of the facility with which the operation was completed, and partly owing to the far greater magnitude of the other siege operation we have undertaken; but if your Lordships will consider, and if the public will consider, not what Bomarsund was, but what it was rapidly becoming, I think that both your Lordships and the public will be of opinion that a great object has been attained by its destruction. It was a fortress to which in a few years Sweaborg and Cronstadt would have been as nothing, and in its harbour and under its guns the whole fleet of Russia would have been able to lie in security. I have no hesitation, my Lords, in saying that had Bomarsund not been destroyed, in a few years the Gulf of Bothnia would have become a Russian lake, and Stockholm would at any moment have been at the mercy of Russia. I say, then, that the noble Earl was not justified in commenting upon the operations in the Baltic in the manner which he has thought fit to adopt. But I will now pass to another subject.

The noble Earl commented upon the Budget which was proposed to Parliament at the commencement of the war, and he said that the Government had prepared an estimate for merely sending 25,000 soldiers to Malta and back again, and the noble Earl dwelt upon a phrase which appeared very agreeable to him, "Malta and back again." I do not know where the noble Earl found any such phrase in any speech of a Member of the Government, or whether it is only a picture of his own imagination; but I can safely assert that it never was intended that the troops who were sent to Malta should come back, unless the Emperor of Russia should abandon his views and sue for peace before they got any further—a contingency which was considered by no means probable. The number of troops originally sent out was between 28,000 and 30,000, and part were despatched to Malta before the commencement of hostilities, not to remain there or to be brought back, but to facilitate the conveyance of the whole force to Turkey. When the noble Earl also laughed at the supposed boasted activity of the Government, which he said consisted in the operation of sending a body of 25,000 men, in a period commencing with March, and extending over April, May, and even the beginning of June, I beg to acquaint him that he is entirely mistaken. The whole force was sent to Turkey, with the exception of some regiments of cavalry, before the end of April, and Lord Raglan, on the 22nd of April, received from me instructions to move forward his forces towards Varna. That force, in conjunction with the army of the Emperor of the French, was, in the first instance, ordered to Gallipoli. This was done, acting on the opinion of military men, who recommended that we should take up a position at Gallipoli, with instructions to the commanders of the united forces to throw up new works, and to occupy a position between the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea. The march of the Russian forces across the Danube took place, and on the 22nd of April orders were issued to move troops to Varna for the support of that place, and subsequently for the support of Silistria. I may here mention that about this time a new complication in the aspect of affairs appeared in Greece, which threatened to embarrass the operations of the other nations engaged in the contest; and I think that it was on the 20th of May that forces, both English and French, were sent to the Piræus to secure that neutrality on the part of Greece which had already begun to be somewhat doubtful. The noble Earl then came to that part of his case in which he thought it favourable to his views to represent that it was only after the siege of Silistria was raised that we contemplated the invasion of the Crimea; and in support of that state- ment, he quoted passages from speeches made by the noble Lord the President of the Council and my noble Friend near me (Earl Granville). The noble Earl said that it was only after the siege of Silistria was raised that we began to inquire what was to be done next, and that the generals received orders to proceed to the Crimea; and he proceeded to say that it was in spite of the representations of the generals that that order was given by the Government at home, and without due deference to military opinion, which, he was persuaded deprecated the undertaking. Now, let me inform the noble Earl that he is in error in the whole of that statement. From the very first the invasion of the Crimea was contemplated, and I only wish that it were consistent with my duty to lay before your Lordships the despatches between Lord Raglan and myself with reference to the conduct of this war; but I think, my Lords, that you, would agree with me that this is not a fitting time for the production of such documents, and that if, during the conduct of the war, I were to produce them, it would be dangerous for the public service; but the production of these documents would prove that which I now ask you to believe on my authority, that on the very day on which the first official instructions were first given to Lord Raglan, instructions were also given him in a separate despatch to make inquiry with reference to the condition of Sebastopol, the forces in the Crimea, the means of invasion, and the best mode of carrying it out; and when the noble Earl says that the orders for the invasion of the Crimea were given in spite of the opinions of the generals, I admit that the orders were given by the Government at home, but I deny that they were given in spite of the opinion of any generals, but, on the contrary, as far as any military opinions were received, they were in favour of undertaking the expedition, and all the information we were able to acquire—I admit it was less than we could have obtained in any other country—tended to show that the operation was one proper to be undertaken. Well, my Lords, the noble Earl proceeded to say—upon the authority, I believe, of some speech he had seen in a newspaper—that it was not until the end of July that these orders were issued—and in that statement he is again in error. The siege of Silistria was raised about the 22nd of June, and the moment that intelli- gence was received, the Cabinet met and decided that now, as the first object of their policy was accomplished, and any immediate march of the Russians into the Turkish territory prevented, the moment had arrived for attempting the second object of the war, and for striking a home blow at the power of Russia; with the view of depriving her of the means of aggression which she had employed against the Turkish empire. On the 29th of June—only seven days after the raising of the siege of Silistria—directions were given in a despatch to Lord Raglan to undertake the expedition to the Crimea. The noble Earl has commented on the allegation that, when the expedition was ordered, we did not strengthen the forces under the command of Lord Raglan to the extent we ought to have done; but I cannot forget that at the time of which I am now speaking—the end of June—there was not a voice in this House or a voice in this country, which, although raised in condemnation of acts of the Government, did not assert that our forces were sufficient to accomplish the object in view, and did not deprecate delay, for which it was said there was no reason. Let me call your Lordships' attention to the circumstance that the noble Earl, in dealing with the question of the insufficiency of the force employed, has entirely thrown out of the account the fact that the expedition was not undertaken by our own army of 30,000 men alone, but that it was undertaken in conjunction with a great military Power; and certainly, in speaking of the sufficiency or insufficiency of a force, we ought to speak of it in the aggregate. But, my Lords, the first step which we took in directing that expedition was to send out to Lord Raglan such reinforcements as were in a condition, at that moment, to take the field effectively. So long as the defence of the Balkans was the only consideration, we thought the force under Lord Raglan sufficient for the purpose; and, believing that it might be possible to carry on operations in conjunction with France in other quarters, we had reserved at home a fourth division of infantry as well as some companies of artillery. The moment, however, it was determined that the forces were to be concentrated in the Crimea, that reserve division was sent out under the command of that gallant officer Sir George Cathcart. Three companies of artillery, two regiments of cavalry, and a second battery train of forty-two guns—a previous battery train with the same number of guns, with an abundant supply of ammunition, having been before sent out—were added to the force. Here let me point out, in reference to the insufficiency of stores complained of by the noble Earl, that I believe there never were in any former war two battering trains sent out in so complete a state of efficiency, or with anything like so large a supply of ammunition. I can only say that I believe, if you look back to the annals of the Peninsular war, you will find no example of such a force. I can only say that as regards the amount of ammunition sent out, those who were considered to be most competent to give an opinion having given it in conjunction with my noble Friend the Commander in Chief, I issued directions for doubling the amount which they had recommended.

The noble Earl touched lightly upon a point which has been more vehemently complained of out of doors—namely, the delay which took place between the 29th of June and the embarkation of the troops from Varna; but he read a letter from an officer, who said that it would be most unjust to accuse the troops or any one concerned in the movements of the army on account of the delay which had taken place. My Lords, I say at once that by me certainly no blame whatever shall be cast upon any portion of that army. I believe that no blame belongs to them; and certainly I am not the man to blame them. But, my Lords, if the noble Earl means to say that, because no blame attaches to the army, it therefore does attach to the Government, will he be good enough to look at the facts of the case, and, having studied them, then pronounce an opinion? If he do so, I cannot help thinking that it will be somewhat different from the opinion which he so recently expressed. In the first place, the operations of the Turkish army on the Danube necessarily, and without any blame to the allied Generals, entailed seine delay; for the late Marshal St. Arnaud had thought it desirable to send forward a portion of the French army in the direction of the Danube, and those operations of course caused some delay; but that was of minor importance. The preparations which had to be made for embarking so very considerable a force as the united armies unavoidably occupied a considerable time. I believe that at no former period has so large a fleet of transports ever been con- gregated for the passage of an army from one shore to another as was collected upon that occasion; but though the officers employed in that service had used their best exertions, sufficient time had not elapsed to enable them to provide such a number of flat-bottomed boats, and other materials and appliances for embarkation and disembarkation, as was necessary. With the greatest energy and activity, Sir Edmund Lyons, Sir George Brown, and other officers, were employed for nearly a month in obtaining those materials and planning those operations the neglect of which might have occasioned the embarking and disembarking of the troops to be attended with very different results from those which actually ensued. By far the most serious cause of delay, however, was the breaking out of cholera in the camp; but when the noble Earl states that the army was quite wasted by cholera, and that orders were given to go to the Crimea only after the army had so suffered, I must tell the noble Earl that he is wrong again, both in his facts and dates. The order was given to go to the Crimea before the breaking out of the cholera, and it was subsequently to that event that this frightful malady afflicted our troops and caused increased delay. The way in which it afflicted our army may have been somewhat exaggerated by the noble Earl when he drew that sad and touching picture of the graves prepared in the night for the burials in the morning; but, at the same time, I readily admit that the calamity was most serious. It caused a considerable number of deaths in our force, and a still greater number, I regret to say, in that of our French Ally. But that was not the worst effect. Those who died were few in comparison with those who were debilitated and incapacitated for a time from any exertion, however slight. The army was barely recovering from that disaster when the fleet was prepared for embarking a portion, at any rate, of the troops, and a sudden blast of that malady at night appears to have blown from the shore, and to have struck those ships which were ready to embark our troops. Adopting what is considered the best practice in such cases, they put to sea; but I believe that in one ship, in one single night, nearly 100 men perished of that fell disease. They put to sea with a view of stopping the disorder. A gale came on, and in the eveinng they were obliged to close the hatches. The result was that the malady increased, and I need hardly tell your Lordships that additional delay was the consequence. My Lords, let me say, in passing, that I, for one, greatly doubt whether the misfortune of that delay—except as regards its cause—was so great as has been represented. The climate of the Crimea is very peculiar, and during the summer months that of the neighbourhood of Varna is far more salubrious than a portion of the Crimea. So I am informed, at least, by a medical man who is very conversant with the subject; and I greatly doubt whether, if we had gone to the Crimea at an earlier period, we should have escaped that great calamity, the cholera, which befell us in Bulgaria. My Lords, as regards the deficiency of preparation which the noble Earl charges against the Government, I really do not know to what the noble Earl refers, except what he has specified, the paucity of men. I can only say that those preparations were not only immense, but minute; I can only say that the transports collected and sent out for the purpose were such as I believe in no former period of this country it would have been possible to have obtained, and which we were only able to procure in consequence of the immense increase of steam navigation within the last two or three years; I can only say, as regards the quantity sent out from this country of stores and ammunition of all kinds, that no practical man has ever expressed an opinion of their inadequacy; but, on the contrary, as I said of ammunition, so I say of medical and other stores, that the quantities which were pronounced by those best able to judge to be sufficient were in most cases doubled, and in some cases trebled, by us. I said at the commencement of my observations that I was not about to tell your Lordships that there were no mistakes—that I was not about to tell you that every arrangement had been perfect. I say, then, that it is not sufficient to prove that this immense amount of ammunition and stores was sent out if it were not available at the moment where it was wanted; and here I readily admit that mistakes have been made, and that there have been defects, which, I hope, in the future progress of the war, may be avoided. But the noble Earl really speaks of this expedition to the Crimea as if the force which was carried across those seas was of so small and trivial an amount that it was not worth speaking of. He forgets the great opera- tion of embarkation, and he forgets the still more admirable and successful manner in which that great armament was disembarked. The English force alone was 27,000 men, and the French force amounted to 24,000 men. I am speaking now of the two forces which were carried across at the same time, and which were disembarked within a few- hours of one another. Besides these there was, I believe, a body of 8,000 Turks attached to the French army. My Lords, that body of nearly 60,000 men landed at once on the shores of the Crimea; and I believe that the records of history do not show any undertaking upon such a scale so successfully accomplished throughout. Then came the battle of the Alma. The noble Earl, with his accustomed eloquence, has dwelt upon the courage and enduring gallantry of our troops. I will not at this moment break in upon the answer which I am making to the noble Earl by attempting to add anything to what he has said upon that subject. Then followed that flank march to Balaklava which was so justly characterised by the noble Duke who moved the Address. But I now come to the charge of the noble Earl with reference to the want of reinforcements. I have already stated that when the expedition to the Crimea was decided upon, the original force of Lord Raglan's army, which amounted to something not much short of 30,000 men, was increased by about 7,000 additional troops.

The noble Earl said that no reinforcements were subsequently sent, except a few driblets, until after the battle of Inkerman. The noble Earl is again not accurate. I do not wish to quibble upon figures; I do not wish to take advantage of small mistakes on the part of the noble Earl. I will endeavour to explain to the House why it was impossible to send out larger reinforcements at that moment, even if reinforcements had been considered necessary; but I say that the noble Earl, nevertheless, is not correct, and that reinforcements were prepared as soon as the force of 7,000 to which I have referred were sent off, and that before the news of the battle of the Alma had reached this country a force of between 6,000 and 7,000 more men was under orders to proceed to the Crimea. The Prince steamer carried the first portion of those reinforcements as well as the stores to which I shall presently allude; and if the remaining reinforcements did not proceed with the rapidity with which previous ones bad been sent out to Lord Raglan, it was because the whole available steam transport service at that moment in the country had been sent out to the Crimea. Others were coming in, no doubt, from our Colonies and from distant parts, and as they came in they were taken up by the Government; but at the moment when those 7,000 men were ready to be embarked, steam transports were not at hand for their conveyance. The noble Earl says that throughout these transactions there has been a want of prescience on the part of the Government,—that our policy has been one of hand to mouth,—and that we never anticipated from one day to another what we should be called upon in the future to undertake. My Lords, the noble Earl seems to forget that no country can possibly enter upon war at its commencement in so perfect a state for carrying on that war as it will become in a short time—in some months, or a year or two, perhaps—after that war has been commenced. Not even the most military nations of the Continent can do this; and still less a country like this, which has never kept up a large standing army, but whose army has generally been in great part scattered over the whole surface of the globe—a large portion in the Colonies, and only a fraction, so to say, within the precincts of this island. Well, but did we show that want of prescience which the noble Earl ascribed to us? What were the steps which were taken by the Government when I held in conjunction the offices of Colonial Secretary and Secretary of the War Department? Upon the first declaration of war I sent out to all the Colonies to withdraw as many regiments as possible from them, with the view of strengthening the home force. Ten regiments of infantry were at that time ordered home, besides several companies of artillery, and I may state that, at this moment—to show that there was not that want of prescience and foresight, but that, on the contrary, we have already profited by that prescience—at this moment, some of the regiments which, a few months ago, were in the Colonies, having been recruited—inadequately, I admit, on account of the exigencies of the service—since their arrival here, are now upon their way to reinforce the army of the Crimea. But I readily admit—and when your Lordships look at the extent and distance of the Colonies you will not be surprised at the fact—that some of those regiments have not yet arrived, and that even after they shall have arrived, it will be impossible for some time to recruit them properly and to make them fit for foreign service. I have alluded to the impossibility of commencing a war with such forces as, no doubt, it might be desirable to pour into a country with which you are engaged in hostilities. With reference to this subject, I ask you to look at the position of our great and powerful military ally. France has now collected a very powerful army; but was it not the fact that at the commencement of hostilities she was unable to send those reinforcements which she is now pouring in? Look again at another Power, which I rejoice to think we may also call our ally. Look at the great military Power of Austria. What have they been doing during the last four or five months? Were they in an effective state to take the field at the time when war was declared by this country? Certainly not; and if they had been obliged, as we were, to send a force into the field, is it not notorious that they would have been obliged to send one much more inadequate and much less fitted for the service in view than they will now be enabled to do? My Lords, if that is the case with great military nations—nations whose whole military system is based upon conscription—what must it be with a country whose military system rests entirely upon voluntary enlistment? This country never undertook a war under the circumstances in which the present war has been undertaken. On former occasions we had a mixed system; but now it is entirely and simply voluntary. On former occasions we had the power of impressment as regards the Navy, and we had the ballot as regards the militia. True it is that have the power of the ballot still with regard to the militia; but I rejoice to think that at present, at any rate, it has not been found necessary to call it into operation; and I say that it is a proud thing for this country, so long as we are enabled to maintain our position in Europe, to assert our rights, and to espouse the cause of justice on behalf of others, without compelling men to enter into our armies and to fight our battles. But of course, when it has been the policy of this country to keep a very limited force—when the economical feeling of the House of Commons has placed great restrictions upon expenditure in all the military departments—it is not wonderful that at the commencement of a war our forces should not be of such an amount as the energy and zeal and keen anxiety of the country might desire; or that those recruits whom we should be able at first to collect should not be sufficiently trained to send out to serve with those more practised and admirably disciplined troops which at the beginning proceeded to the Crimea. I have no difficulty in saying, moreover, that for an occasion such as this, the voluntary system has this inconvenience. It has been practically found hitherto, and it is now more especially evident, that men in this country are more anxious to enlist when success has been somewhat retarded, when increased energy appears to be necessary, and not when all is proceeding with every probability of an early and successful issue, This theory, if theory it be, has been completely established by the experience of the last few months. At the first declaration of war recruits came forward freely; but they soon relaxed, and during the summer months they were few indeed in number—so much so as to cause very considerable anxiety on the part of the Government. But as soon as it appeared evident that the siege of Sebastopol was likely to be protracted, and that the undertaking was one of greater hazard and difficulty than had been supposed—from that moment, when the energy of the people was aroused, the zeal and readiness of the young men of the country to enlist also increased, and week by week it has been progressing, until last week, I believe, we more than doubled the number offering in any previous week since the commencement of the war, and enrolled six or sevenfold the number which we had the power of recruiting some five or six weeks ago.

My Lords, the siege of Sebastopol commenced, after a considerable amount of necessary preparations, upon the 17th of October, and it soon afterwards became apparent, from the intelligence which reached this country, that that siege was likely to be more protracted than I readily admit the Government at first expected. I say I readily admit—if that be any blame to the Government—that we did hope and believe that long before the time at which we are now assembled that fortress would have fallen; and if we erred in that expectation—if we were over-confident—I believe that we erred in common with many men of great experience in war, and men whose opinions were well worth having—and we erred in our confidence in common with the public at large both in this coun- try and in France. My Lords, from the moment it appeared that that siege was likely to be protracted, every exertion was used by the Government to obtain reinforcements, and to send them with as little delay as possible to the Crimea; and here, again, I am about to admit that, under any other circumstances than those which existed those reinforcements ought not to have been sent, because the regiments which have gone out have arrived too recently in this country to be effectively recruited, and men have gone out in those regiments who have not been trained so efficiently as we could wish, and who have not become habituated to the life on which they are about to enter. I do not hesitate to say—your Lordships may blame me if you will—I do not hesitate to say that it has been my duty to order those troops to proceed to the East with very great regret, and the Government has only done so because it felt the exigency of the moment required that every possible exertion should be made to succour our brave army, at whatever sacrifice. And, my Lords, when you blame the Government for not having sent these reinforcements sooner, let me tell you this, that the generals on the spot who are most competent to judge did not desire to have recruits, such as we have now sent, prematurely. They would rather they had been reserved for the next campaign, unless those events had arisen which rendered it necessary—which induced Lord Raglan to press for them—which induced the Government to send them without any delay. My Lords, that events have turned out differently from what was contemplated in more respects than one I have already admitted. Undoubtedly, we did not expect the Russian power in reinforcing her troops before Sebastopol would be so great as it proved to be. We did not doubt her military power. We were aware of that; but we did not expect than an army could be moved from Odessa to Sebastopol with the marvellous rapidity with which that movement was effected; and, probably, some of your Lordships will be surprised to hear that, through the extraordinary efforts of the Russian Government, by the means they were able to command of an unlimited number of cars and cattle, their marches were effected at such a rapid rate that on one day a march of forty-two miles was actually effected. Now, I may be imprudent in making these confessions, but I wish to deal frankly with your Lordships. I have said we do not profess perfection. I am ready to admit that errors, if errors they are, were committed. We did not calculate on the powers of the Russian Government to send reinforcements to Sebastopol in time for the battle of Inkerman, and I believe, my Lords, that there are few in this country—few in any other country—who did expect it. If the siege had been protracted some three or four weeks longer, we might have expected them; but certainly we did not expect them at the time of their arrival. I can only say that we did not form our opinions on any haphazard or guesswork, but we took the best opinions we were able to obtain in this country—of those who could inform us as to the means and capabilities of the Russian forces and the character of the country they would have to traverse.

What have been the reinforcements which in reality have been sent out from this country? The noble Earl and the country at large have greatly underrated them. Since the month of June more than 20,000 men have been sent from this country to the army under Lord Raglan, and in the course of the last two months (the greater portion being within the last three or four weeks) 12,300 men have been sent—of course being a portion of the 20,000. I believe your Lordships will be surprised when I tell you that the whole number of men which from the time of the commencement of hostilities up to the close of the year (for few more have to be sent out before the close of the year) has been sent out, including officers, will have exceeded 53,000—when you consider this, too, is an army in reality sent out almost on a peace establishment, for the war establishment has hardly come into operation. The noble Earl thinks I have given him an advantage in that admission. What I mean by a peace establishment is this; that the increase of the army has hardly become available subsequently to the 29th of March, when the declaration of hostilities was made, and I consider all this has been done on an establishment not yet raised to that strength to which I hope before many months it will be raised. When you reflect that not many months ago we were told on high authority that, in the event of that, I am sure I may now call it, bugbear invasion, not 10,000 men of our regulars could be brought to defend our own shores, and how we have been able to send out this large force to the Crimea, I do not think the exertions of this coun- try ought to be underrated, or that, in reality, so little has been done as has been represented by the noble Earl. My Lords, even looking back at operations conducted by this country at a time when we had been longer at war, I doubt greatly whether on any former occasion within the same space of time so many British troops have been sent out under the command of any English general. The noble Earl alluded, in the course of his speech, to the inadequate supply of stores of all kinds which have been sent out to Sebastopol. I feel I should be trespassing too long on your attention, otherwise I have returns here which will show the enormous amount of gunpowder and guns which has been sent out for the service of this army.


was understood to say, he had not charged the Government with having failed to send out gunpowder and guns.


But the noble Earl is aware that Government has been taxed with neglect on this point, though not by him or in this House; and, if I touch upon a question not alluded to by the noble Earl, I think your Lordships will not feel I am dealing unfairly by you if, at this early stage of the debate, I enter into details with which it is my peculiar province to be intimately acquainted, and which any other Member of the Government may not have so readily at hand, for the purpose of refuting any accusation which may subsequently be made. With regard to the provision of ordnance, sixty-two position guns were sent out at the commencement. I have already said two complete battering trains of forty-two guns, with an enormous supply of shot and shell, were sent out; seven nine-pounder batteries, with two troops of horse artillery, were also sent; and I believe, on no former occasion was the same amount of ordnance supplied to any British army in so short a period. This statement will bear, perhaps, on the face of it snore tangible proof of the exertions which have been made to leave no arm of the service unsupported. The small-arm ammunition sent out, on the whole, amounts to the enormous quantity of 22,933,000 rounds, of which 18,000,000 rounds were for Minié arms. I can only say, if you are not satisfied with these exertions, we are still sending more, and, if ships can be obtained, we shall continue to send more ammunition of all kinds. What I have stated to your Lordships, however, does not represent the whole force at the disposal of Lord Raglan, even as regards guns and ammunition. From Malta, besides what I have mentioned, there have been sent forty-two large guns and mortars, 9,000 shells, and something like 27,000 round shot, principally of very large size.

I now come to a matter of charge on which the noble Earl commented with considerable severity. He said we had shown no foresight as to the requirements of the troops in clothing, and that on the 15th of October the first supply of warm clothing arrived in the Crimea. The noble Earl is quite right with regard to that single fact; but I think the noble Earl will not deny that if the supply sent out in the Prince, taken with the supply sent contemporaneously in other steamers, had all arrived at its destination, there would not be much to complain of with regard to the privations of the army, considering the character of the climate, and the period of the year when warm clothing becomes necessary in the Crimea. I have no hesitation in saying that supplies of warm clothing were sent out in time, and, but for that great calamity which befell the Prince, the whole army would have been supplied before any suffering from cold could have arisen. I should say that orders for the supply of warm clothing were given by myself in the months of July and August, and, as soon as steamers were provided and the orders executed, it was despatched to its destination. The quantity which was sent out and lost in the Prince alone consisted of 35,700 pairs of woollen socks, 53,000 woollen frocks, 17,000 flannel drawers, 2,500 watch-coats (double coats to go over the ordinary great coats), 16,100 blankets, and 3,700 rugs. I am quite afraid of wearying your Lordships, but it may be desirable, with a view of showing the care that has been taken of the army, to state the sum total of the supplies, sent out for its service, some, of course, very recently, because fresh supplies were ordered on the less of the Prince becoming known. The number of worsted socks is 150,000; of woollen frocks, 90,000; of flannel drawers, 90,000; of boots, 91,397 (pairs); of shoos, 13,000; of woollen gloves, 80,000 (pairs); of overcoats, 30,000; of fur caps, 35,000; of leather gauntlets, 20,000; of long woollen stockings, 80,000 (pairs); comforters, leather mits, and other articles in proportion. Also 40,000 railway wrappers, 40,000 waterproof capes, 12,000 buffalo hides, 12,000 pairs of seal- skin mits, 40,000 fur coats, besides horsecloths and a variety of other articles. That your Lordships may see that the Government has not been neglectful, I may mention that before we were aware that the Prince was actually lost—when we received the rumour of her loss by the telegraph—we immediately sent agents to Glasgow, Nottingham, and Leicester, and the woollen manufacturing districts, for the purpose of buying up all stores of the kind upon which they could lay their hands, so that if their loss should be confirmed, we might be able to replace them. Before authentic intelligence of the fate of the Prince reached us, those stores were in a great measure replaced, and within two or three days of their arrival, the greater portion was embarked, and on their way to their destination. They consisted of 54,896 woollen socks, 24,200 woollen frocks, 34,100 flannel drawers, 3,475 watch-coats, 39,550 blankets, 22,800 rugs, and 14,457 great-coats. The whole of these articles have been supplied and sent out since intelligence of the loss of the Prince has been received. The greater portion of the vessels have sailed, and many that have not sailed will sail within the next two or three days at the utmost. This, however, is not all that the Government has done with a view to securing the health and comfort of the troops by supplies of warm clothing. As soon as it became apparent—I will not say apparent—but as soon as it became probable—that the troops would have to winter in the Crimea without the protection of roofs over their heads, orders were issued for a supply of sheep-skin coats for the clothing of the whole army. It was found to be an article not much used in this country, and only 5,000 could be supplied in England; but larger quantities were procured from France, the Austrian provinces, and other places, and so confident were we that Parliament would not grudge any expenditure, that I sent, through my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to Lord Stratford, at Constantinople, to endeavour to buy up 25,000 sheep-skin coats there. I would not have entered into all these details if the noble Earl had not endeavoured to raise an impression that the comfort, safety, and protection of the army had been neglected. Great, indeed, would be the responsibility of any Government guilty of conduct so cruel and so disgraceful to humanity as that which has been surmised. Huts, also, have been ordered for the troops, because tents must be utterly inadequate, and I am happy to say that, independently of those already provided from Turkey and from Malta, a certain number have been supplied from Trieste. Huts for 11,500 men have been already sent from this country, and huts for 3,200 more are in vessels which will sail in the course of the next day or two. A further supply will speedily follow. The noble Earl alluded in one part of his speech, to the condition of the army, stating they were nearly in rags. This is, undoubtedly, the fact; that, in consequence of the hard labour to which the troops have been exposed in the trenches and elsewhere, the uniforms with which they left this country have been completely worn out. But this consequence was anticipated, and before any representations were made from those in authority in the Crimea, complete new suits of uniform were ordered for the whole of the army—not the regular uniforms supplied at stated periods, but a third suit in addition to those usually given, which have been supplied gratuitously, without any deduction to which the soldier is ordinarily subject. Those uniforms have all arrived in the Crimea by this time, presuming that calamities, which no human power can control, have not occurred to some of the vessels. The greater part we have heard of having arrived, and in all human probability the whole must be there by this time. The Government has taken upon itself to act towards the army on a scale of liberality heretofore unusual, confident that Parliament and the country will approve of what has been done in this respect. Besides these clothes being given without deduction, extra rations have been served out of all descriptions—meat, spirits, and vegetables— and no deductions have been made for these extra rations.

Let me here remark upon some words which fell from the noble Earl—that the army was half starved. Now, that I must entirely deny. I admit that accidents have occurred; I admit that everything has not been perfect; but this I say—and I say it fearlessly—that no army ever was better fed than this army has been; and that is universally admitted by all the officers and men with whom there has been any communication. My Lords, I can confidently assert there has not been even a single day—unless it was the day when the first march from the place of disembarkation took place—when regular rations have not been supplied to the troops; and, if they have more frequently been salt rations than might have been desired, I think your Lordships will admit the peculiarity of the service, and the position of your army, justify the circumstance; and it is, perhaps, only wonderful that the Commissariat has been able to supply so large a quantity of fresh provisions—which have been served out to the army, I believe, generally speaking, not less than three or four times a week.


said, he had not remarked on the general condition of the army with regard to provisions. He had stated only that a considerable portion of the troops engaged at Inkerman retired from the trenches, and had not had any food, before engaging in the battle.


I misunderstood the noble Earl. Of course, the fact is undeniably true, and does greatly enhance the conduct of the men on that occasion. The men, most of them, had come from the trenches; the remainder of the 8,000 troops engaged were called from their quarters so unexpectedly that they had not received their breakfasts, and, until a late hour in the afternoon, they were fighting without having had any food. My Lords, I believe that it is unnecessary to make any statement with reference to the Commissariat beyond what I have already said as to the supply of rations, and the condition of the army. That there were, in the first instance, mistakes, was unavoidable; but I believe, on the whole, the Commissariat has done its duty well, and given satisfaction to the army it has served; and I believe, also, that those who most desponded of the operations of that branch of the service, have since most readily admitted that its performance has exceeded their expectations. I have here a return of the quantity of commissariat stores sent out, and the number of officers employed, but I will not trouble your Lordships with them, because I confidently expect that the blame supposed to have attached to that department, at the commencement of operations, was blame—so far as it was just at all—only called forth by the novelty of the duty and the exigencies of the service, and subsequently most amply atoned.

The noble Earl commented with much severity on the medical department. Here, again, let us bear in mind the position in which this department was at the commencement of the war. I am not about to defend it—quite the reverse—but I say that its defects were consequent on that ill-judged economy which prevented an efficient medical department being kept up in time of peace; and that the blame ought not to be attached to those under whom the medical department had acted, and still less to the medical department itself. I ask your Lordships to consider in how different a position our medical department has had to conduct the business of the war compared with that of our gallant Allies. When the war broke out, the French had an organised hospital corps; we had none. We had not even a code of hospital regulations. The whole thing had to be created denovo; and under these disadvantageous circumstances, it is almost wonderful that greater errors have not been committed, and that greater calamities have not occurred. My Lords, I regret to think that more suffering has, under these circumstances, been entailed upon our gallant men than might have occurred under a different system; but if the noble Earl wishes to represent that the Government is to be blamed for any want of care or forethought in this respect, let me mention a few facts which will exonerate us from any such charge. Your Lordships will remember that in February or March last Mr. Guthrie addressed a letter to the newspapers with respect to the number of army surgeons to be sent out, stating that the number of army surgeons with our troops in the Peninsula was quite insufficient, and that we ought to add a third assistant surgeon to every regiment sent out. I consulted with Dr. Smith—the head of the medical department—who was adverse to an increase of the regimental surgeons, and who was of opinion that the best mode of strengthening the medical department was by adding to the medical staff, and not to the regimental surgeons; experience having shown, as he stated, that the greatest requirements were in the hospitals, where the regimental surgeons were not available. I had to decide between these two opinions, and I came to this conclusion—that both were right, and that the best way was to increase the number both of the regimental and the staff surgeons. The staff was, therefore, increased, as was recommended by Dr. Smith, and the regimental staff was increased in the mode pointed out by Mr. Guthrie. Now, my Lords, what is the number of medical officers at the present moment serving with the army? The number of staff medical officers is 280, of regimental medical officers 192, and of Ordnance medical officers fourteen—making 486; or, including nine staff medical officers who are ready to join the army, giving a total of medical officers of the army in Turkey of 495. This gives, according to the present estimated strength of the army in the East, one medical officer to every seventy-seven men—being about double the number of medical officers that served with the army in former wars. I do not compare what has been done now with what was done fifty years ago with a view to show that there is nothing more to be done to complete the medical administration of our army. On the contrary, I believe that there is a great deal yet to be done, and that, while we have improved on the system of former wars, a great improvement—I am speaking, of course, of our medical department—may be made in our present system. The noble Earl said that the charity of this country had been called into requisition to supply the deficiency of hospital stores in the East. That the charity of the country has been called forth is a fact at which I, on the part of the Government, rejoice; but that it has been called forth by any insufficiency of supplies sent from home, I cannot admit. That the charity of the country has been called into action by the insufficiency of supplies upon the spot, where, and at the moment when they were wanted, may be true, and the report that the stores wanted in the hospital at Scutari were at the bottom of the ship that was lost the other day, while those which were at the top were obliged to be taken on to Balaklava, is but too true; and I am bound to admit that the same thing has occurred in two or three instance. The supply of beds and bedding sent to the army in the East was calculated upon the number of 16,000 patients. That this supply was all sent out at the commencement of the operations I will not asserts. As we began the war without a hospital corps, the greater part of this supply had to be contracted for, and some of the supplies were not delivered so fast as they ought to have been, although they were supplied before they were wanted. Now, take an article upon which a great deal has been said. The quantity of lint sent to the army was 26,564lbs. Now, my Lords, I dare say that this immense quantity of pounds will not convey to your minds a more accurate impression of the real quantity sent out than it did at first to my own. It will, perhaps, give your Lordships a better idea, when I state, from a computation which has been made, that this quantity of lint would cover no less than thirty-six acres of ground. Then the bandages of calico and linen were 117,500, and of adhesive plaster 20,550 yards were sent out. I think your Lord- ships will now believe that great exaggerations with regard to these deficiencies have been current, and will believe that they have all been on a much larger scale than the noble Earl supposes. The noble Earl said, that when the nurses arrived at Scutari they were unable to supply port wine to the sick.


I said that eleven died in one night from exhaustion in consequence of the want of such nourishment as they ought to have had. This statement appeared in a letter from one of the nurses.


I have not seen the statement, hut if it has been made by one of the nurses it must be believed, because I cannot think that any one who has gone out in the self-sacrificing spirit which has distinguished those noble women would place her hand to any statement that was not literally correct. But your Lordships must not suppose that there has been that neglect on the part of the Government in the supply of this article that might be inferred from this statement. The quantity of port wine sent out for use to the hospital at Scutari was 4,880 dozen, and the greater portion of this supply ought to have been in store long before the arrival of the wounded patients from the battle of the Alma; 1,200 gallons of brandy were also sent out, and 31,1801bs. of sugar, and all other articles of medical comfort, as they are called, have been sent out in similar proportion. My Lords, that those who have visited these hospitals should have been painfully struck with the scenes of suffering in them is not to be wondered at. An influx of thousands of wounded men must strike every bosom with horror, and I fear that snfficient precautions had not been taken for the disembarkation of those men from the ships that brought them to Constantinople, so as to save them a great amount of suffering. But those who have in the hospitals of this country witnessed any sudden influx of wounded persons under similar circumstances, and the confusion which arises, will make some allowance for the authorities of this establishment, though it will not diminish their sympathy for the sufferers. I am bound to say that I think the management of the hospital at Scutari has been influenced too much by those feelings of attention to economy which, although right under ordinary circumstances, are wrong under circumstances such as the present. I think also that there has not been that complete organisation in this establishment without which it could not be expected to work effectively. But, my Lords, what are the steps which the Government have taken to rectify these errors? Instructions were sent out as soon as any deficiencies were complained of to get, at any cost, the supplies requisite for the wounded. For the better administration of the hospitals, a general officer was directed to proceed to Constantinople to take charge of the hospitals and their military affairs, with a view of improving the organisation of its medical system, and the Government have also sent out a commission of three gentlemen, two of whom are medical men, for the purpose of inquiring into all the complaints which have been made on this subject, not so much with the view of condemning or punishing individuals, as to ascertain the facts, and to rectify all just cause of complaint. I am sorry to find that an impression has gone forth that this commission has only been issued by the Government in order to bolster up a defective system, and to make up a case that is to be laid before Parliament to show that no blame is to be attached to any one. Now, my Lords, I think I have proved to your Lordships that no such idea could have actuated the Government, and that no such disposition animates the gentlemen on the commission. And whatever their report may be, the only desire of the Government in appointing the commission is that the public services shall thereby be benefited. I regret to say that one of the gentlemen forming this commission (Dr. Spence) perished on board the Prince, He was the individual whose appointment to this commission gave colour to this rumour, because when in this country he was assistant to Dr. Smith. To show that there was no such desire on the part of the Government or the commission, the two survivors, who were empowered to fill up any vacancy that might occur in their number on the death of Dr. Spence, with the view of laying bare everything that was wrong, and of rectifying what was defective, pro- posed to the Rev. Sidney Godolphin Osborne, who happened to be then at Scutari, that he should be joined in that commission. I do not think that any one will deny that this gentleman is a most ardent investigator of abuses, and that in his hands the deficiencies of the Government and of the medical department are not likely to receive too lenient a construction. That rev. gentleman was at Scutari upon a charitable commission, which he is discharging most ably and admirably, and he declined to serve on the medical commission, and I therefore mention the fact, only in order to disabuse the public mind of any error as to the principle upon which that commission was constituted.

My Lords, the next and most important matter to which I shall advert, is one to which allusion has been made both by the noble Duke (the Duke of Leeds) and by the noble Earl opposite. When, at the commencement of the war, the practice of the French to employ female nurses in their hospitals was spoken of, the opinion of the medical men and of the medical department was given against the employment of female nurses. I did not feel myself at liberty to act at variance with that opinion and the experience on which it was founded, although I now feel that that experience was based upon a totally different state of things, and that those opinions were formed upon circumstances which did not in the least resemble the present. The reason why, in former times, nurses were found unsuited to the care of English soldiers was, because the women selected for that service were not, as now, women of education and of pious feelings, who volunteered their services, but women hired for the service, who, both abroad and at home, grew callous, and manifested a harshness and want of sympathy with the sufferers that rendered them unfit for the due performance of their duties. My Lords, when complaints first reached this country of the state of the hospitals at Scutari, we again directed our attention to the plan of sending out nurses, and we intrusted the organisation of that establishment to hands which, humanly speaking, must ensure success. I cannot give too high praise to those ladies who have so nobly volunteered their services—the names of Miss Nightingale and of those ladies who have nobly stepped forward in the cause of Christian love, will be handed down to posterity in company with those of the gallant men who have been wounded in the service of their country. They have left comfortable and, in many instances, luxurious homes, for the purpose of adopting a profession which is most distasteful to women of delicate minds, in the hope of assuaging the sufferings of our gallant countrymen, and of fulfilling a Christian duty. I believe that through the instrumentality of these ladies more will be done to re-establish the efficiency of our hospital establishments than has ever been done by the medical men themselves, although there never have been greater exertions, greater self-denial, or greater zeal, shown by the members of that profession, with hardly a single exception, than have been evinced by that large class who have had to undertake these onerous duties. A charge has been made by the noble Earl with reference to that ship whose loss has been attended by such serious consequences to the comfort of the army in the Crimea. He said he had been given to understand that the Admiralty had been warned as to the efficiency of the officer in command of that vessel. [The Earl of DERBY: I did not state it of my own knowledge.] No, I stated the noble Earl said he had been given to understand that the captain of the Prince was unsuited to his duties, and that the Admiralty had been warned that the vessel would be in the greatest danger if it were sent to sea under the command of that officer. Complaints were also made relative to the time that had elapsed between the arrival of the Prince and the disembarkation of her cargo, during which interval she lay in the roads without having her cables clinched, and without disembarking the valuable cargo she had on board. Now, I will only say, that when I heard of this delay in the discharge of her cargo, I wrote at once to Lord Raglan. The first impression on my mind was, that great blame was attributable to some department, and I directed that immediate inquiry should be made into the cause of that disaster and delay. No answer, of course, could be received by this time; but I am bound to say, in extenuation of the conduct of the captain, that I have been informed, on the authority of one who was present during the storm, that the state of the sea during the whole of those days was such that the vessel could neither be brought into the narrow harbour of Balaklava nor discharge her cargo, and that she was only enabled, with the assistance of small steamers, to disembark that por- tion of the 46th Regiment which she conveyed to the Crimea. With regard to the other statement, of the incompetency of the master, I never heard, until the noble Earl made that statement, one word on this subject. I was not aware that any such accusation had been made; but when I heard it, I requested a noble Friend to leave the House and endeavour to obtain the facts for me. He has just placed in my hands the following statement, which will, I think, place the conduct of the Admiralty in a very different light— The Admiralty were informed by a naval officer that he distrusted the ability of the master who commanded the Prince, upon which an inquiry was instituted, and the directors of the steam-ship company under whom the master of the Prince had been employed declared they had the greatest confidence in him. The result of the inquiry being favourable to the master, he was continued in his command, but two naval officers were placed in the vessel—Commander Bayntun, as skilful an officer as is to be found in the service, and a lieutenant. Both of them were on board at the time of the accident. I think, therefore, however deeply we may lament the loss of the Prince, that this House will not condemn the unfortunate officer who was in command of the vessel; still less will it condemn the Board of Admiralty, who appear to have taken every possible precaution, first, in ascertaining the character of the captain; and secondly, in endeavouring to obviate the possibility of accident by giving the commander the assistance of two naval officers.

Now, my Lords, before I conclude, I think I ought to remark that, from what the noble Earl has said, he appears to have lost sight of the power and strength of our Allies. He seems to have forgotten that we are not fighting alone, but that there is a large French army, and a considerable body of Turks. My Lords, we have, on the part of this country, done everything that we could to facilitate the operations of our Allies—and most rightly have we done so, for we owe to her generous confidence much of the assistance we have derived from France on every occasion. But the means of transport in the power of France being so much inferior to those possessed by this country, we are at this moment conveying 8,000, or, I believe, nearer 10,000 troops of the French army in British transports from Toulon to the Crimea. We have conveyed other French troops from other ports, and shall continue to render such assistance, feeling confident that in no way can the ships of this country or the money of this country be better applied than in assisting that gallant army to arrive at its destination to fight in the common cause to which we are committed.

I am really almost afraid to state what we have done, lest it should create—what the occasion forbids—a smile, when I mention the attempts which have been made in other ways by the Government to facilitate these operations and to assist our army. We have sent out increased means of conveying heavy guns and various stores which it has been found so difficult to carry up to the works, even during the dry season, and now, of course, much more difficult at this period of the year. We are sending out a complete railroad, stationary engines, and other appliances for the purpose of saving the physical exertion of the men, and allowing guns of large calibre to be carried to their positions, which otherwise, I believe, it would be impossible at this period of the year to do. I must, however, mention that we have not undertaken to carry this out ourselves. We are quite aware of the way in which Government undertakings sometimes fail in comparison with private enterprises. We have called in the assistance of most competent persons to carry this plan into effect. And now let me say to the country that the two gentlemen, Mr. Peto and Mr. Betts, who have undertaken the task, on my first proposing it to them, at once said, "Every exertion in our power shall be used—all our property which may be required, rails, engines, everything, shall be placed at your disposal. One condition alone we make; that is, that we shall not derive one farthing of profit from this affair in any way. "They said, "It shall not be undertaken as a contract; we will act as your agents, and do everything for you, sending to the Treasury the bills which, under ordinary circumstances, would come to us." I feel bound in justice to make this statement; it is what might have been expected from the known character of those gentlemen; it is, moreover, only what we have met with daily in lower grades of life and among those of lesser means. I mention this to their honour, but also as a sample of the spirit and energy of the country. As Messrs. Pete and Betts, with large means, have acted, so, I am convinced, would act the humblest man in vindication of the cause he believes to be right, and for the support of those who fight for that cause. My Lords, although I have seen this morning a document bearing the authentic stamp of the party of which the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) is the head, in which "the critical position of our affairs connected with the war" is mentioned—I refer to a circular addressed to Members of the Parliamentary Opposition—I say of these affairs I, for one, do not despair. Things may be at first critical, as they are, and as all affairs in the course of a war will be; but I hope none of your Lordships nor the country will believe for a moment that the Government is at all dispirited—that we have no expectation of success. But what is still more important, let not your Lordships for an instant imagine that these brave men, with the gallant General at their head, are at all dispirited or discouraged. If I had not already trespassed on your Lordships so long with dry details, painfully to myself, but not uselessly, although I am aware tediously, I should be unwilling on this occasion to attempt any elaborate eulogium on that gallant army. My Lords, I feel they are above all praise of mine. I believe the records of war do not show greater deeds of valour, greater constancy, greater endurance, greater patience under privation and suffering, and greater courage in the moment of action. The same, too, must be said in a different degree of the naval force. Without the assistance of our fleet the efforts of our army would have been in vain, and whatever assistance our fleet could give to aid the efficiency of our army has been cheerfully given. Times have been in the history of this country when there has existed a jealousy between the two services. Thank God it exists not at this moment. I trust it never will again. So far from jealousy, the navy has shown—I speak not of the admirals nor of the captains, but of every man on board the ships—so far from jealousy, their whole anxiety has been to assist in every way the sister service. They have known that the ships of Russia were not for them to assail; they knew that those ships were placed beyond their power by those who feared to come out to face them; they knew that in alliance with France they could, if an opportunity had been afforded, have added another page to the book of fame, and proved that they, captains or men, were not degenerated from their ancestors—that they were still rivals of the fame of the sailors of Nelson—they knew that every one of those Russian ships which are now either tilted over in the harbour in order to bring their guns to bear on the allied armies, or sunk at its mouth, would, if they had ventured upon the ocean, have become an honourable prize to them and their friend and ally. But, finding this opportunity of obtaining glory denied to them, the navy has lost no occasion of slaving and toiling for the assistance of the army. To them is owing the manner in which the army was embarked. To them is due the success of the disembarkation. Let me not pause here. To them it is owing that, after the battle of the Alma, when heaps of our wounded lay on the field for miles, and when the means of conveying them were not sufficient, the navy assisted to bring them to the ships, and treated those soldiers during their passage in the ships to the hospitals with that same tenderness which has distinguished them towards their comrades in cases of cholera, attending upon them with an interest and with a kindness which reflects immortal honour on the service. I rejoice to think the seamen and marines of the fleet have been enabled to join, notwithstanding, in the siege of Sebastopol, and on land and in the trenches they have shown they are as gallant and as determined as their ancestors ever were.

My Lords, let me say one word more with reference to our Ally. From the first moment of this great enterprise all fears of mutual distrust and mutual differences have disappeared, and the greatest concord and friendship have existed between Lord Raglan on the one side, and Marshal St. Arnaud, so long as he was spared to us, and since then with General Canrobert, on the other; and not only between the generals, but among the officers, and even the private soldiers, has this spirit been exhibited. Side by side they have fought; side by side they have passed the weary moments of disease; and I believe never, under any circumstances, have two nations, even between whom long years of amity had existed, shown more true concord, more true co-operation, than has been evinced by these gallant allies and friends. My Lords, we can now refer with some exultation to the observations which we have heard of late years—to those prophecies that the military character of this country had perished through the long peace; that the enjoyment of luxuries and refinements and the acquisition of wealth had so weakened our energy and reduced our power that when war should come we should succumb to the first attacks of an enemy, and that we could never again make head against a foe who had been trained under a more military system than ourselves. My Lords, I think we have shown that such is not the case—that luxury has not weakened the character of the aristocracy or the gentry of this country. I think we have proved that years of peace have not enervated the spirit of the other classes of the community—that instead of being enervated, they have been elevated by the knowledge and civilisation which have spread among them.

My Lords, the noble Earl made an eloquent reference to the losses which we have sustained in these dreadful battles. It has been my painful duty on more than one occasion to break the sad tidings of the loss to affectionate relatives—to those who were always watching for reports of those who were most dear to them; and I have no hesitation in saying I have felt as keenly as any one the publication of those Gazettes which carry grief to hundreds of homes in this country. This very day there has been a Gazette with a number of men mentioned whose relatives—mothers, sisters, wives—have been anxiously waiting for the last three weeks for tidings. If I do not dwell upon this subject it is not that I do not feel as keenly as any one—that I do not sympathise with those who now mourn their losses, but that even at this moment the impression should not go forth that there was any spirit of weakness in this country. I believe those who are bereaved of their relatives are proud that they have fallen gloriously in the service of their country. In alluding to the army I must not forget to mention the absence of crime among it, which has been remarkable; and I think that fact must give the highest satisfaction to those noble Lords and others who occupy seats in this House and elsewhere who, during the last twenty years, have devoted their attention to the amelioration of the condition of the soldier in all respects. I think the conduct of the men in this war has shown the wisdom of the course which had been taken. We now see that the old theory, that men who are unfit for any other vocation make the best soldiers—that men devoid of religion, of faith, and of honour are the best fighters—has been refuted. We have seen our men fight as men never fought before, and yet they have shown by their letters home and by their conduct in the camp that they are men endowed with the highest feelings of piety and religion—that they are men as little given to the commission of crime of any kind as any class of men in the kingdom. What has been their, patience! We are frequently told that it is an Englishman's privilege to grumble. But it is we who grumble. It is we, who indulge in luxury and comforts at home, who are apt to grumble at little reverses and misfortunes. But what has been the conduct of these men, exposed as they have been to the chances of the climate, disease, and death? They have shown much enduring patience. Nothing can be more touching than the remark of a stalwart soldier, lying wounded in the hospital, on the arrival of the nurses—" This is indeed like England. Now we know our country cares for us poor wounded soldiers." That single reflection was a consolation to him for all he had undergone. Moreover, our soldiers had received such provocation as, thank God, no army before has received at the hands of any civilised enemy. This enemy which our men met, not content with the legitimate use of their weapons, had the barbarity—the atrocious villainy I will call it—to murder in cold blood the wounded soldiers as they lay helpless on the field; and not the ignorant serfs alone did that, but men holding the position of officers. Our men have had to tight the savage and uncivilised Kafirs, but in no instance have they experienced such barbarism as with the Russian soldiers. I believe that our men, influenced by a spirit of Christianity, have forbore to revenge themselves, and thus have shown themselves superior to the soldiers of him who is fighting, according to his own statement, as the special champion of Christianity.

I hope, before I quit this part of the subject, I may be allowed to say one word respecting my illustrious friend the Commander in Chief. Your Lordships have no conception of what that noble General has done. No one but one who has been in constant communication with him can form any adequate notion of his merits. I believe, highly as he is respected by the country, his merits will not be known until some future day, when not only his despatches, but his private letters, which at present are in my possession, and, of course, must for a long time remain there or with my family, are published. It would be almost insulting to speak of Lord Raglan's courage, for that he possesses with all his officers; but he has shown greater qualities than this; and a friend who has seen him on the field speaks of the "divine calm" which prevails in Lord Raglan's mind, whether under a shower of balls or when shocked by the news of such disasters as the wreck of our transports. It may be my duty on an early day to refer to the services of Lord Raglan, and therefore I shall say no more of them at present—but I could not avoid some slight allusion to them. The noble Earl opposite has put a question which he said might probably be beyond the province of a Member of this House, whether as we are now about rewarding the services of our army, and the admiration of our Sovereign has been expressed at their deeds, some expression of the admiration of our Sovereign and Her people for the army of our brave Ally should not be conveyed with it. I know not whether it be beyond the province of the noble Earl to make the suggestion, but it obliges me to make a statement. Her Majesty has not required the suggestion of anybody in the matter. A fortnight or three weeks ago I received Her Majesty's commands to convey privately to Lord Raglan Her intention to confer the Order of the Bath on General Canrobert, and to convey that determination either to the Ambassador of the Emperor of the French, or to the Emperor himself. The official notification has only been delayed because it was thought the compliment would be more highly appreciated if offered at the same time that it was conferred on our own gallant soldiers.

My Lords, the noble Earl has spoken—and I have more than once heard—of the resolution of this country to prosecute the war with energy. I am confident that that resolution exists. I look around me, and in every direction, and among all classes in this country, I see an ardent desire manifested for the energetic prosecution of the war—I see hardly a dissentient. In that country which we were once told never sympathised with us in any of our difficulties—I mean the sister country—we see the same feeling exhibited; and if we look to the Colonies, we find in each and all the most gratifying testimony of approval and support. We have lately received a most gratifying proof of the existence of this feeling in the Colonies, in the contributions to the Patriotic Fund, which have been forwarded from Canada; and I rejoice that these contributions were not remitted solely to this country, but that they were sent, in equal proportions, to France. That cir- cumstance shows the complete union of the French and English population of Canada, and the complete identification of that Colony with the struggle in which we are engaged. The army have done their duty, and the country is prepared to do its duty likewise. The blood of our soldiers must not have been spilt in vain. I am not afraid that we shall suffer any harsh judgment for our acts. The people of this country are generous and just, and I can only say—and I say it with truth—that I for one rejoice in the pressure which is placed upon us from every part of the country and by the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Derby) and many noble Lords who may, perhaps, follow him in the course of this debate, because I see in it a proof that there is everywhere a determination to carry on this war with vigour, and that any exertions on our part to ensure that object will be seconded by the Parliament and the people. I am deeply sensible of my own personal position with respect to these matters. I am conscious that there are many who could better have undertaken the heavy duties which have devolved upon me. Often have I reflected upon the position which I, a civilian, have been called upon to occupy in carrying out the arduous operations of the war, and I have felt that, with the exception of my noble and gallant Friend on the cross-bench (Viscount Hardinge), there are at the present moment in this country, and in an official position, which entitles me to claim their opinions and advice, to assist and guide me, none of those experienced generals who learnt the art of war under that great man who has so lately departed. Those officers have gone into active service with the army, and we have therefore been placed under the greatest disadvantage with regard to the small amount of military experience in our military offices—with the single exception of my noble and gallant Friend the General Commanding in Chief (Viscount Hardinge)—which we have had to assist us. I can assure your Lordships that we have no object but success, and to attain that object we are determined to make every exertion. Reverses in war must come; we must expect them; and I feel confident that the country will not be dispirited by them. I will promise that they will not cause the Government to flinch. If reverses come, I believe that the country and the Government will alike be urged to fresh efforts. It is said that an English army never knows when it is beaten, and I am confident that if we should fail of complete success it will be found that that characteristic of our Army still exists.

I ought, before I sit down, to explain to your Lordships the objects for which Parliament has been called together, at this unusual period, for a short season. The noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Derby) rightly anticipated that one of the measures which the Government are about to propose is a Bill to enable the militia regiments to volunteer for service abroad. The object of that measure will be obvious at once—namely, to enable us to remove to the seat of war those regiments which at present garrison Gibraltar, Malta, and the Ionian Islands. By such means I hope that in a very short time we shall be enabled considerably to strengthen the army under Lord Raglan. As that measure will be immediately laid before the House of Commons, and will, I hope, soon afterwards, come up to this House, I will not now enter into any further details upon the subject. I shall have the honour of laying upon the table of your Lordships' House a Bill to enable Her Majesty to drill and pay, within this country, foreign troops to a limited extent. Your Lordships are aware that, under existing Acts of Parliament, although we may pay foreign troops on foreign service, we cannot drill or train foreign troops in this country. We believe that, as in the last war, so on the present occasion, it is very important that the Government should have this power. It will only be necessary to give it to a limited extent, inasmuch as the forces so drilled and trained will be sent out from time to time to join our army in the East, and therefore the numbers under training in this country at one time need not be very considerable. Another measure, which, however, does not require the assent of Parliament, but which the Government have decided upon and have already commenced, it is right that I should mention to your Lordships. It is that of increasing the organisation of the army by adding four companies to each regiment of the army sent on foreign service, thus rendering the number of companies in each of those regiments sixteen. I will explain the object of this measure. In conducting a war at the distance of upwards of 3,000 miles from this country, of course very great inconvenience is felt in sending out reinforcements of all kinds; it is therefore most desirable that, for the future conduct of the war, we should have an army of reserve in some form or another, and the most fitting place for at least a portion of that reserve would, in our opinion, be Malta. I do not mean to say that we may not be obliged to resort to other places; but our general proposal is, that, while eight of the sixteen companies shall form the fighting companies, as at present, for foreign service, four companies shall be advanced from the depôt at home to the depôt of reserve at Malta or elsewhere, while four more companies remain, as at present, in depot at home. There will be this further advantage in the plan—that whereas at present, as we have only four companies in depot at home, both subalterns and men are necessarily sent out to the army at too early a period of their training, the four companies of reserve will insure a more efficient training, and render their services more valuable when they join the army. We propose, in adding these four companies to the battalions, that, with the view of encouraging enlistment from the militia, commissions should be given, one in each battalion, to militia officers, upon condition of their bringing a certain number of men with them from their regiments. I think noble Lords will see that this measure holds out considerable encouragement to enlistment, while at the same time it does not inflict any hardship upon the officers of the army. Another, although a small addition to the army, which we propose, is one of considerable importance in my estimation. We propose to add to the two Rifle Brigades, as they are now called, a third battalion to each. The Rifle Brigade at present consists of only two battalions, and the 60th Regiment of Rifles of two battalions. The value of that arm of the service has been shown in the present war, as well as upon former occasions; and we believe it will be very desirable to increase the force by one battalion each. Every effort has been made, and will continue to be made, to bring the greatest amount of force to bear. I sincerely trust that it will not be necessary to depart from that glory of England—the system of voluntary enlistment. We have resorted to various modes of enlistment, and of encouraging enlistment. My noble Friend the General Commanding in Chief has, with the consent of the Government, given to each battalion serving under Lord Raglan two officers' commissions for sergeants. One of these commissions was given after the battle of the Alma, and another has since been given. I believe this measure will prove a very considerable encouragement to the soldier. It is a system which I am confident will be generally approved and found to work well, notwithstanding that in some quarters, undoubtedly, prejudices still exist against it. Lord Raglan has also been empowered to grant good-service pensions to non-commissioned officers under his command; and I can only say that, in conjunction with my noble Friend (Viscount Hardinge), I shall make every exertion to increase the efficiency of the force.

My Lords, I must apologise for having trespassed at such length upon your Lordships' attention; but as the noble Earl opposite entered into all those points of reprehension of the Government which have been rife during the recess, I felt that it was my incumbent duty upon this, the earliest occasion, to give such explanations as might be in my power of the circumstances to which he has alluded here, and to which others have referred elsewhere. I have not endeavoured to extenuate faults, but, at the same time, I have endeavoured to lay before your Lordships what I believe to be a correct statement of the exertions which the Government has made. This, I am bound to say, that if blame attaches anywhere, it does not attach to any one of the army, officers or men, who are serving in the Crimea. I can assure your Lordships that, if we possess the confidence of Parliament, we will prosecute this war with a firm resolve and with unflinching perseverance. My Lords, I do not understand the phrase of "moderation" or of "moderate counsels" in war. I believe that any such counsels as counsels of moderation in war are counsels of imbecility. I have said that we will prosecute this war with firm resolve and with unflinching perseverance. While, on the one hand, we will not refuse to entertain overtures of peace, we shall not assent to any which are not only honourable but safe. My Lords, we place the fullest confidence in the armies; we trust with entire confidence in a noble people; and firm in the alliance and the friendship of a brave, a generous, and a powerful Ally, we have no fear of the issue of this contest; but, believing in the justice of our cause, and with a humble but firm confidence in Him who rules the fate and decides the destinies of nations, we have the highest hope of bringing the contest to a satisfactory issue. It is not for us to determine the time when it will be possible to close a war like this; but with these aids and assistance we confidently hope to bring the mighty contest to such an issue as may assure for a series of years the repose, the civilisation, and the prosperity of those countries of Europe which have been so unfortunately plunged into confusion by the pride and ambition of one aggressive Sovereign.


My Lords, having been one of the very few of your Lordships who objected to the whole of that policy which has brought us into the present war, I think I should state upon this occasion that I cordially concur in the Address which has been proposed, and which I trust will be unanimously adopted. For though my opinion of the original impolicy of the war—I might use a much stronger word—is not altered, but confirmed by all that has since taken place, I thought from the first, and I think now, that, being once embarked in the contest—having once taken that line which, unfortunately, as I think, was chosen—there is no alternative but to carry on the struggle with the utmost energy and firmness. I therefore cordially join with your Lordships in voting the Address to Her Majesty, of which, if I rightly understand it, the main object is to pledge this House to second to the utmost of its power the efforts of the Government in carrying on the present contest. I am also glad to take this opportunity of saying that, while I deeply deplore all the misery which the war has carried into so many families, the waste of human life, and the employment for mutual destruction by Christian nations of those resources which might have been made to contribute so much to the general improvement and happiness of mankind, I still gladly acknowledge that, in the midst of all the evils of war, some good has undoubtedly arisen. I cannot but rejoice that, in the course of this contest, it has been proved to all the world that the British nation has not degenerated from its ancient courage. Tales had been circulated, both in this and in foreign countries, that we were so intent upon the arts of peace and the pursuit of wealth that, if the occasion called for it, we could not sacrifice that beloved wealth, or peril the lives which had been made easy and prosperous by the arts of peace, in carrying on any contest in which the nation embarked. It has been said, too, that the form of our Government would prevent the general union of the whole nation so as to put forth its strength in any struggle in which it might have the misfortune to engage. I am glad that, by this war, such idle and unfounded delusions have been dissipated; that it has been shown that our soldiers are not less, but, if possible, more, heroic than in former time; that the country, when, rightly or wrongly, it has believed that justice called it to enter into a quarrel, will put forth its strength without stint, and without regard to the sacrifices which the struggle may impose upon all ranks of the people; and that our free Government, instead of being an obstacle to the exertion of the full force of the nation, is, on the contrary, that which gives it double energy. I rejoice that all these things have been shown, because I believe that they afford no slight guarantee for the future tranquillity of the world, when the present contest shall have been brought to a close. I should now have sat down, were it not that, very unexpectedly to me, the whole policy of the Government, the whole manner in which the war has been conducted by Her Majesty's Ministers, has been so elaborately discussed by the noble Earl opposite and by the noble Duke at the head of the War Department, who followed him; and the noble Duke more especially, in the course of his speech, has expressed opinions which seem to me so erroneous that I feel it to be necessary— not to follow him in the long examination into which he entered as to all the acts and measures of the Government—but to make a few remarks upon some of the statements which have fallen from him. I think the noble Duke is entitled to credit for the candour with which he has admitted that mistakes have been committed by the Government in the conduct of the war. I, for one, should never have found fault with the Government for mistakes of detail. Every man of common intelligence must be aware that when the country had been so long at peace, and when, after forty years without experience of war, we are at once engaged in such a contest as is now going on, it was unavoidable that mistakes, and great mistakes, should be committed. I should not, therefore, think the Government liable to any great blame if they had only fallen into errors of detail; but when the noble Duke challenges the House, as he has done in his speech, to approve the general conduct of the war by Her Majesty's Government, I cannot help saying that I think your Lordships and the country have no right to be satisfied with it. I think there has been one great and fatal error which has run through the whole of their proceedings—the error well described by the noble Earl opposite, who said that everything had been done "too late." In comparing the speech of the noble Duke with the statement of the noble Earl opposite, it is impossible not to see that he has failed to rebut its main allegations; he has not been able to show that there are not good grounds for believing that in the first instance the Government were not aware of the magnitude of the task they had undertaken—that they did not consider sufficiently what would be the nature of the contest in which they were engaged, and that they did not, with that foresight and with that judgment which we ought to expect in the rulers of a great empire, form the general plans on which they were to act. Some observations which had fallen from the noble Duke have, I think, shown where the original error was. I was more than once struck, during the course of the noble Duke's speech, by his reference to the wars of former times. He said the Government had sent out to Sebastopol a battering train of more than double the power which the Duke of Wellington had ever had under his command, and that there were means placed at the disposal of the commanders in the Crimea far beyond those which any British general had ever before possessed. The noble Duke said he had consulted with those who were experienced in war, and had met all they had pointed out as necessary. I fear that here is the noble Duke's error. He has looked at times past without considering how great are the changes which have taken place in the world in the course of the last half-century. Does he forget how greatly the country has increased in population since the time the Duke of Wellington conducted that memorable contest in the Peninsula? Does he forget that our increasing population is as nothing to our increasing wealth, and that even the increase of our national wealth is an inadequate measure of the great increase in our resources? When the Duke of Wellington was in Spain, steam power had not been successfully applied to ocean navigation. When the Duke of Wellington was in Spain, all those wonderful improvements in mechanical science which railroads have called into existence were entirely unknown. Science has since those days doubled, and trebled, and quadrupled the powers of man; and, under these circumstances, was it safe to follow the beaten I track, and to apply, as the noble Duke says he has done, to professional men, who could tell him the provisions of former wars, who could point out to him what was done in former times, and call upon him to follow the example? A very different course should have been taken. All the resources of modern times should have been called into vigorous exercise. The Emperor of Russia, as the noble Earl has well said, has shown himself alive to those resources; and indeed, the noble Duke says he never gave the Emperor of Russia credit for being able to make those prodigious exertions he has done, and for being able to make in a fortnight a march which it was thought he could not accomplish in six weeks. It appears to me that throughout the war our measures have not been duly considered, and adopted in sufficient time; and there has been the great error. The noble Duke says he has applied to some gentlemen connected with railroads who are now going to send out labourers and all the materials for the construction of a railway from Balaklava, in order to provide greater facilities for carrying guns and stores to the army. Now, my Lords, is it not rather late in the day to commence this kind of work? and was not the idea an obvious one from the first? The Government surely knew that they had artillery and stores to carry up to positions where they could be employed against the town, and they also knew that on every railway in the kingdom science had discovered modes of economising labour, and of giving greater effect to works of this description. If these measures had been adopted earlier, let us consider for a moment what might have been the result. We all know what was our position at the battle of Inkerman. It is utterly impossible to describe adequately the merits of the soldiers engaged in that struggle, and to express our feelings as to the heroism with which they encountered the difficulties of that day; but, at the same time, our reflections are mixed with pain, and not unalloyed with indignation, that our troops should have been exposed to so arduous a contest with odds so much against them. They were contending with—I am afraid to say how many to one—five or six to one, at the very least; and had they been repulsed, and had that position been taken by the enormous army which Russia brought into the field, I firmly believe that the capture or destruction by the enemy of the whole allied army would have been the probable consequence. We were fighting for our very existence, and, by a miracle, the heroism of our troops, favoured by Providence, prevailed. But is it right that so great, so extreme a danger should have been incurred, and that the most valuable blood of the country should have been shed like water, under difficulties so great, and in circumstances in which success was so nearly impossible? When I passed through Newcastle on Saturday I was told that some of the steam colliers belonging to that port had just been taken up for the public service, and were then preparing to carry the workmen who were to be employed in constructing the railway at Balaklava. It seems, therefore, that they are going out now, in the middle of the month of December; but if they had been sent out earlier a great risk might have been escaped. Before the battle of Inkerman, we are told, the necessity for additional works of defence to strengthen the position attacked by the Russians had been seen, and that, in point of fact, the reason for not executing them was, that the troops were too hard pressed by their labours in the trenches—that their numbers were so small that they were already overworked; and it being therefore impossible to impose this additional task upon them, reliance was placed upon the natural strength of the ground. If the assistance which now, so late in the day, is being sent out had been at hand, the position might have been made so strong that the enemy would never have risked an attack upon it. Then, again, it was only a week or ten days ago that the first ships conveying wooden houses for the troops to winter in left the shores of this country, and as, at the very earliest, they cannot be put up before the middle or end of January, a considerable portion of the winter will have passed over by that time. Surely the wintering of the troops was a matter which might have been foreseen by the Government; for, even if Sebastopol had fallen, the probability was that the town would have been destroyed in the struggle, and that some place or other would be required in which to lodge the troops. Even if they should have been withdrawn from the Crimea altogether, it was extremely improbable that provision could be found for them in any place it might be desirable they should be taken to, and huts for the troops to winter in would still have been necessary for their health and comfort:—and, therefore, months ago there were no reasons why these measures should not have been adopted. The noble Earl opposite has referred to the fleet in the Baltic, as showing a general want of plan for the conduct of the war. I do not see that this charge has been at all answered, for though it may be true, and I dare say is so, that it was impossible that more should be effected there, surely, before it was determined to send so large a fleet to the Baltic, it should have been considered what it was to do when it got there. If upon deliberation it was held that a blockade of the Russian fleet was all that could be accomplished, a smaller force would have sufficed for this purpose, and then some of the means there uselessly employed would have been set free for other objects. There were many other objects to which the means wasted in the Baltic might have been applied with more advantage. For instance, instead of fitting out so much larger a fleet of ships of the line than was wanted in the Baltic, why were steam gunboats not built at an earlier period? I have heard many naval officers discuss the measures that have been taken, but I never heard one who did not say that the moment there was a question of carrying on war, either in the Baltic or the Black Sea, the first thing to be looked to was a large flotilla of steam gunboats Now, it is true that steam gunboats have been built, but when? I believe it was not till the mouth of June that they were ordered, and though it was then shown that they can be built rapidly, they have been too late for the present season. The want of them should have been foreseen; and, the moment there was real cause to apprehend a quarrel, a large flotilla of steam gunboats should have been built, regardless of the expense, and despatched to where their services would have been of the most value. The importance of these gunboats cannot be overrated. For instance, if we are to judge from General Canrobert's despatch, the Russians have received considerable supplies from Asia, which have been conveyed across the Sea of Azoff. Our large ships cannot go into that sea; but if we had had forty or fifty gunboats, each mounting one gun of large calibre, the Sea of Azoff would have been effectually closed against Russia. What I feel is, that the whole subject has not been considered together; that a general scheme of the manner in which the war was to be conducted was not framed in the first instance, upon a careful review of all the information accessible to Government, and of all the circumstances of the country and the times in which we live. Instead of this having been done, if we look to the measures which have been adopted, we shall find great activity indeed in meeting wants when they are actually felt, but no foresight in providing against them beforehand—no anticipation of exigencies likely to arrive—and no taking of measures so that when the want arose the supply might be there. Instead of this, you first had to feel the want, and then to take measures to provide against it. There are some remarkable proofs of the absence of such a well-considered plan as would have ensured a uniformity of principle and consistency in all the operations of the war. Take one example. Some time ago Odessa was bombarded, but the batteries only were attacked, and it was said as a reason for sparing the town that it would be a dreadful thing to carry on war by a wanton destruction of private property; but in the Gulfs of Finland and Bothnia a different principle has been adopted, and the Government has thought fit to sanction the destruction of private property, and to incur a risk far greater—namely, of arousing the hostility of a people whom it was their interest to conciliate. This was done because it was considered necessary to destroy the resources of an enemy in time of war; and, if that was a sound principle, was it not also equally sound to destroy the large resources and all the wealth that had been accumulated at Odessa? I have not the slightest doubt that the corn, and other stores at Odessa, were the very means which enabled the Emperor of Russia to carry his forces to the Crimea in a manner which has so much surprised her Majesty's Government. Though I feel it is assuredly a very dreadful thing to carry on war by destroying private property, still, I am afraid we cannot carry on war without it, and, when the expedition to the Crimea was despatched, I cannot understand why measures were not taken to prevent the resources then at Odessa from being made available to the Russians. After the Russians had sunk several of their ships in the mouth of the harbour of Sebastopol, our whole fleet was no longer of any real use off that port, but, by an attack upon Odessa, it might have made a most valuable diversion, which would have prevented our troops having so large a force to contend with. Having made these observations, I will only add that I really do not desire to criticise minutely and to point out all the faults which one might easily find in the conduct of the Government in the management of the war. All I wish is to show that there has been a want of foresight and judgment in some of their past operations, in order that they may be induced now to look a little further before them, and to take their measures accordingly. If they do this, it is all I desire from them, and my first wish would be to strengthen them as far as possible. This would certainly not be a proper opportunity for me to say a word with regard to the measures which are coming before us hereafter, and I have but one single observation to make on that part of the speech of the noble Duke. He says it has been determined by Government to reward the troops in the Crimea by giving to every battalion engaged one commission for each of the two battles of the Alma and Inkerman to non-commissioned officers. I entirely approve that determination, and I think it only fair and right to the noncommissioned officer. But it has hitherto been the custom, when sergeants have distinguished themselves, to give them ensigns' commissions, and that plan has not answered. I appeal to those who know the state of the Army, and who are acquainted with the manner in which the system of promoting non-commissioned officers has acted, to confirm what I say. A sergeant, when promoted, is required to live as an officer with the mere pay of an ensign, and, what is more—he is generally somewhat more advanced in life, has seen more service, knows more of the Army, and has been used to have more responsibility placed upon him than the ensigns Of eighteen or nineteen with whom he is associated, who have no responsibility, and who, in fact, are only beginning to learn their profession. Therefore, seeing the manner in which the system of promotions hitherto carried out has acted, I trust the noble Duke, in giving to sergeants a well-merited reward for their conduct in the field, will depart from former precedent, and give them commissions as captains of regiments. By doing this a real and substantial reward will be given them; they will be placed in a position of respectability, and with it the means of supporting that position. To follow the old system will place them in a position which has led to the ruin of many, for I have known many instances of ser- geants who have been promoted to ensigncies who have been ruined by their false position.


said, he thought Her Majesty's Government had no reason to complain of the tone and temper of the discussion which had taken place, and felt assured that the remarks which had been made upon the conduct of Government by the noble Earl opposite, and his noble Friend who had just sat down, evinced nothing of a factious spirit. His noble Friend (Earl Grey) said he was desirous of abstaining from entering into details, and wished only to notice general points in which a want of foresight had been exhibited. His noble Friend had, however, in his opinion, noticed nothing but details; and had entirely lost sight of the greater and more important features of the case, as it presented itself to the notice of the Government and of the country. The first point noticed by his noble Friend had reference to the intimation given by the noble Duke the Secretary for War that he had accepted the offer of a contractor for the formation of a railway between Balaklava and the camp of our army. His noble Friend asked if this was not a very obvious idea, and if it would not have been just as easy on the part of the Government to have provided for such a work long ago. Now, if Government had made any such provision at first, they would have been laughed at, and most deservedly too, for nothing but circumstances, which no human foresight could possibly have foreseen, could have rendered it possible that such a railway could be constructed. The fact of our army having landed at many miles distance from Sebastopol and the uncertainty of the direction of their operations after the landing should have been effected, showed at once how absurd it would have been to have contemplated any operation of such a nature. Nothing but the unforeseen circumstance of the flank march upon Balaklava, and of our having possession of the harbour there, could have rendered such an expedient possible. And, indeed, when we were in possession of Balaklava, he doubted whether by any aid the guns could have been placed in position earlier than in seventeen days, by which time they were actually employed. Another point of great importance, commented upon by both the noble Earls, was the preparations made for the despatch of the Baltic fleet. But there was one circumstance wholly kept out of sight by both. There was an old proverb, "Out of sight out of mind." Now, the Russian fleets had been so completely kept in their own harbours that everybody seemed disposed to forget that they existed. It ought to be remembered, however, that at the beginning of this war England was unprovided with a sufficient number of line-of-battle ships to meet the Russian fleet in the Baltic, and, consequently, if the Government had neglected to prepare men-of-war, and had devoted their attention to gunboats only, these would have been soon destroyed by the fire of the enemy's heavy ships. When our fleet first sailed to the Baltic the number of line-of-battle ships under Sir C. Napier did not exceed eighteen, while the Russians numbered twenty-seven; and so great was the disparity in number that he remembered a naval officer remarking that he supposed, of course, the Government counted upon a junction of a number of French ships. That junction, however, as their Lordships would remember, did not take place until some time afterwards. Although, then, it was a matter of obvious propriety to have both line-of-battle ships and gunboats for operations in the Baltic, yet the time of the Government was wholly occupied in preparing the former, in order to render the British fleet able to cope with that of the enemy; and had the labour in dockyards been diverted to the building gunboats they would not have been able to get the fleet ready for sea. The noble Earl, in his remarks on the forbearance of our navy at Odessa, had not been more fortunate. It might be a matter of opinion whether that town ought to have been destroyed, but his own impression was that if such a course had been taken the greatest possible damage would have been done to the Crimean expedition. There was good reason to believe that, although the newspapers of this country published at an early date that the expeditionary force was intended for the Crimea, the Russians did not believe we should be such fools as to publish our real intention to the world. They believed, on the contrary, that the expedition was meant for Odessa, and they congregated a large body of troops in its neighbourhood for the defence of that town, failing to send them to the Crimea. In this way the enemy were prevented from sending large reinforcements, which would have been long before on their march to Sebastopol had Odessa been attacked, as suggested. He declined altogether to go over the debates of last year in answer to the assertion of the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) that war ought to have been declared earlier. He could only express his own gratification that no stone had been left unturned to secure the great objects which this country had in view by a course of negotiation; but although war was not formally declared until the 27th March, still active preparations for both Army and Navy were going on previous to that date. With regard to the noble Earl's attack upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer's financial arrangements in March last, as merely contemplating the sending of 25,000 men to Malta, and bringing them back again, their Lordships must remember that those were but interim arrangements, and that the more complete estimates connected with the war were brought before the House at a later period of the Session. The noble Earl appeared to think that, the army of Omar Pacha having repulsed the Russians, the inactivity of our army at Varna was very highly to be deprecated, and that the expedition to the Crimea was, more or less, a mere afterthought. Their Lordships must, however, recollect that, although the winter campaign had been more or less a defensive one upon the part of the Russians, a few days before the declaration of war in this country the army of the Russians had assumed the offensive, had forced the line of the Danube, and had advanced almost to the fort of Kostendje. Omar Pacha expressed anxiety for the safety of Varna itself. Under these circumstances, looking at the insurrection in Greece, and to the manifestation of sympathy among the Christian inhabitants of Turkey in favour of Russia, he thought the Government was justified in sending out the troops with a view, in the first instance, to the defence of the line of the Balkan. If the troops had been sent in the first instance to Sebastopol, such a course could not have failed to be considered in the highest degree rash. He believed that, in spite of the brave defence made by the Turkish garrison of Silistria, that place would have fallen before the repeated attacks of the Russians unless our army had been at Varna, giving the Turks the moral support of their presence, and unless certain arrangements had taken place with Austria, which he believed had had a material effect upon that portion of the campaign. As to the occupation of the Principalities by Austria, a very erroneous idea pre- vailed in this country with regard to it. The noble Earl opposite forgot that the convention between Austria and the Porte was entered into on the 14th of June, several days before the final assault on Silistria failed, and he could not doubt for a moment that considerable effect was produced on the Russian armies in the Principalities by the fact of that treaty having been concluded. The siege of Silistria, be it remembered, lasted upwards of two months; during that period Omar Pacha had a large force concentrated at Shumla, yet prudently declined a battle — a fact which proved that he did not consider his army able to contend alone with the Russian forces. If, therefore, the allied army had gone at once to the Crimea, it was by no means improbable that Omar Pacha would have been overwhelmed by the superior forces and superior numbers of the enemy. It was evident, indeed, looking to all the circumstances, that the Government, could not have undertaken the expedition to the Crimea until the siege of Silistria was raised. As to the treaty with Austria, on which the noble Earl commented, it had always appeared to him (the Duke of Argyll) that there were two great general views, one of which we must take, of this war. There was the view, which he was sure not one of their Lordships held, that the object of this war was some such vague one as had been mentioned on various platforms out of doors—some object of warring against despotic Governments, and of supporting what were called "oppressed nationalities." But if their Lordships did not adopt this view, they must heartily embrace the other—namely, that the only and single object of the war was to resist the progress of the dominion of Russia in the east of Europe, and that we must pursue that object in an unselfish spirit, as one in which the interests of all the rest of Europe were immediately concerned. He contended we ought to urge this object of the war on the existing Governments of Europe, and that we ought not to be discouraged in our efforts by any amount of reluctance or slowness of which otherwise we might have a right to complain. That was the course which the Government had pursued, and he thought it was a wise course; and though, perhaps, he was disposed to agree with those who thought the policy of Austria might have been better if a more frank and open part had been taken at an earlier period of the contest, yet he thought we were bound to let other nations judge for themselves of their own interest, and that we should not meanwhile use towards them the language of distrust and suspicion. He trusted that the measures of the Government in this direction would at last be crowned with a very considerable degree of success. The noble Earl (Earl Grey) had begun his speech by declaring that nothing which had occurred had shaken his original opinion of the impolicy of the war. Now, he (the Duke of Argyll) must express the very different impression which he had received from watching the progress of events during the last few months. He was convinced that if ever there was a war of European interest—if ever there was a war which was above all things in the interest of those Powers connected with the east of Europe—this was that war. This, too, was evidently the conviction of the Powers in question; but, notwithstanding, they were lagging behind us in the honourable course of asserting the independence of Europe and resisting the aggression of Russia. Why were they so lagging? Did it not prove that there existed that overweening influence on the part of Russia which his noble Friend was disposed to deny? He confessed that the impression he derived was that the fear of that Power was in every Cabinet, and was oppressing all the Courts of Europe. The day, however, had now come when a united stand ought to be made against her oppressions, and it was the duty and privilege of the two great Western Powers to take the lead in that great contest. So far, therefore, from being shaken in the least as regarded the justice and expediency of the war, the first of which not even the noble Earl had impugned, he was confirmed—and he believed, with some few exceptions, the people of this country were confirmed—in the belief that this was a war not only of justice, but of expediency.


thought that the result of the discussion in which they were engaged had been to leave their Lordships very much in the same position as they had been at its commencement—namely, to leave undisturbed the opinion that at the outset of the present contest the Government were not prepared to carry it out to the great extent which the occasion demanded. His noble Friend the noble Duke opposite had, indeed, made the admission that there had been considerable shortcomings upon the part of Her Majesty's Ministers, and, among other things, had informed the House that when the war in which we were involved had been entered into, the invasion of the Russian dominions constituted a portion of the design which the Government had in view in its prosecution. Well, but if that were the case, was not he (the Earl of Hardwicke) justified in saying that Ministers had made no adequate preparation for the attainment of the great object which they professed to have in view? But it appeared that when the design of invading Russia was formed, the Government were of opinion that the Russian forces in the Crimea could not have been reinforced with such rapidity as was actually the case. Now, that was an important admission and one which showed that the Government had not obtained sufficient information upon a point of considerable importance. They ought to have been aware that the Russian army in the Principalities having been set at liberty by the intervention of Austria, might, without difficulty, turn themselves to the prosecution of any operations which they might think fit. The greater portion of that army, thus released from the necessity of carrying on a contest with the Turkish forces, were in fact within twenty days march of the Crimea; and yet Her Majesty's Ministers had no idea that the troops in that quarter could be speedily reinforced. It might be true, as the noble Duke had stated, that upon no former occasion had so large an army been sent out for the purpose of military operations, as that which had lately been sent to the East. Such might have been the case; yet larger reserves had invariably been collected upon previous occasions than had been maintained in the present instance. He had risen principally to thank the noble Duke for having said a word in favour of the navy; for though the term "forces" was used, it was generally thought that the term applied to the army in the Crimea, and not to the navy. The noble Duke had done justice to the navy in the Black Sea, and he (the Earl of Hardwicke) begged to differ from his noble Friend near him (the Earl of Derby) in the opinion he entertained of the Baltic fleet. The noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) had stated that gunboats alone would have been of no use in the Baltic; but he (the Earl of Hardwicke) would remind the noble Duke that between Cronstadt and St. Petersburg there was a flat of water ten or twelve miles long, about nine miles in breadth, and five feet deep; and he thought that a squadron of gunboats would have operated with great effect on Cronstadt, and even upon St. Petersburg. It would he too late next year for any operation of that sort. For himself, he never expected that Sir Charles Napier would attempt to deal with the strong fortresses of Cronstadt and St. Petersburg; but he knew well that if the Admiral met the Russian fleet in the open sea, he would have given an account of them. He was not one of those who thought that wooden ships could have any great success against stone walls and casemated batteries. He absolved his gallant Friend who commanded the Baltic fleet from anything like misconduct or neglect; but, on the contrary, he thought that he had very ably conducted our fleet without disaster, and believed that if he had attempted any attack upon the stronghold, disaster was likely to have ensued. If he had any fault to find with his gallant Friend it was that there had been rather too much jollifying before he went out, so that the public had been led to believe that something great was to be done. In the failure of the attack by the fleet on Sebastopol, Sir Charles Napier had a complete answer to any remarks that might be made on his conduct. Having said this much on that point, he wished now to ask what they were fighting for—what was the object of the war? The original object was to drive the Russians out of Turkey, and to keep them out; but by the invasion of the enemy's country and the attack upon Sebastopol, the character of the war had been entirely changed. The liberties of Europe were not now invaded, for the Emperor of Russia had been driven out of Wallachia and Moldavia, and was confined to his own territories. He wished success to our arms for the honour of the country; but in his opinion, even if Sebastopol were taken, they would be further from peace than they were now. They might hold the Crimea as a material guarantee, and blockade the Russian ports. But could they do it long? He did not think they could. They might depend upon it, that by and by the taxpayers of this country would seek to be told for what purpose the war was carried on. By permitting the Emperor of Russia to cross the Pruth and occupy the Danubian provinces they had committed him with his own subjects. His own opinion was, that they would have more difficulty in making peace than they imagined, unless they distinctly stated what their object was in detail. Not one word had been said by the Government with respect to the treaty with Austria, of which they were called upon to express their approval. He protested against being called upon to agree to an Address pledging the House to agree with what they knew nothing. If the Government were going to enter into a bargain with Austria to support her in Poland, Italy, and Hungary, in consideration of the support she was about to give France and us in this war, they might be assured that the people of this country would not for a moment support any such bargain.


said, he wished to make a few observations with regard to the present position and prospects of the War. But, in the first place, he wished to say that he agreed most cordially with all that had been said as to the admirable conduct, the brilliant valour, and steady devotedness, which had distinguished both the naval and military service, and the army more especially, because upon it had devolved the greater share of the labour. It had been reserved for them, in connection with our gallant ally, to exhibit to the world some of the most distinguished excellences which had marked different epochs in the world's history—the steady devotion of the heroes of antiquity—the isolated daring of the days of chivalry—in combination with the resources of modern science and skill. In common with the people of this country, he thought it could not be denied that we had a just cause of quarrel in this war; but he would not say that he had so clear a conviction of its necessity, and he had felt that the tone prevalent in the expression of public opinion at the commencement partook too much of what he called swagger, and too overweening a confidence in the certainty of success. Feeling, however, that they were now embarked in a war which could not be said to have been undertaken from either ungenerous or self-interested motives, he thought it must be the wish of them all that while it lasted it should be carried on with all possible vigour, in order to ensure at the earliest moment an honourable and durable peace. The spirit and energy of the country were heart and soul in sympathy with the brave defenders of our cause. There was no danger of any Ministry that could exist in the country now failing either in vigour or constancy in supporting to the utmost of its power our gallant forces, nor was there the least danger of the Government assenting to any conditions inconsistent with the honour and credit of this country and of its allies. He hoped the Government would bear in mind that, though a portion of the public of this country might put itself forward to discourage any notion of peace, except upon extreme conditions and subversive bases, they might depend upon it that the calm, sober, reflecting, conscientious feeling of the country would be ultimately—he believed at once—with those who, on the indispensable conditions of the terms of peace being fair, safe, and honourable, should attain them at the earliest possible period. He believed that the Government, now that they were upon the alert, would carry on the war with all possible vigour.


My Lords, I should be sorry to detain your Lordships at this late hour for any length of time, but I wish to advert to some expressions which have fallen from the noble and gallant Earl opposite (the Earl of Hardwicke), and to refer to an objection taken by a noble Earl who spoke earlier (the Earl of Derby) to an expression in the Address. The noble and gallant Earl said, that this war was undertaken in defence of the liberty of the Turkish empire; but, he added, you have changed the whole character of the war, and this expedition to Sebastopol has removed you from the possibility of obtaining what you desire. Now, I humbly beg to remind the noble Earl that if there be one point more than another more vital to the safety and independence of the Turkish empire, and more clearly injurious to the power of Russia, it is the destruction of the fortress of Sebastopol. Therefore having driven the Russians out of the Principalities, the next direct object of the war, which everybody must have had in view from its very commencement, and from which we could only have been restrained by a doubt of its practicability, was an attack upon and destruction of Sebastopol. Notwithstanding the mistake in the eager desire and expectation with which this country viewed the first landing in the Crimea and its immediate consequences—a mistake in which all Europe shared at the time—still I think that there are good grounds to hope that success will attend our efforts. I totally disagree from the noble Earl in thinking that the prospect of peace wil be diminished by that success. Quite the contrary; I feel satisfied that nothing could contribute so much to the probability of obtaining those terms of peace which my noble Friend near me (the Earl of Carlisle) has alluded to as the signal success which I hope we may achieve in this undertaking. The noble Earl also referred to the mention of the treaty with Austria in the Speech, and said that he was unwilling to express satisfaction at a treaty of the contents of which he was ignorant, and which might bind us to terms of a highly objectionable nature, such as would not be sanctioned by the people of this country; and he talked of our supporting Austria in Italy, Poland, and Hungary, and denounced any such object as a part of that engagement. The noble Earl may make himself perfectly easy upon that score, as no engagement of such a description either exists or ever entered into our minds. It is unnecessary, however, to say this, as I presume that your Lordships do not think it possible that we should have made such an engagement. But the noble Earl who spoke early in the evening (the Earl of Derby) did not, I think, correctly understand the import of the sentence in the Address to which he objected. We do not propose that the House should express any satisfaction with the treaty. We propose only that the House should "learn with satisfaction" that Her Majesty has made a treaty from which She anticipates important advantages. That is all the satisfaction. It is not that we are "satisfied" until we know what it is, but that we "learn with satisfaction" that the Queen has entered into a treaty from which She anticipates advantage. Now, my Lords, I think that you may safely express as much satisfaction as that without committing yourselves to a particle of satisfaction with the treaty itself.


The phrase, as interpreted, then, is, that we are exceedingly glad that Her Majesty and Her Majesty's advisers approve of the treaty which they have made.

Motion agreed to, Nemine Dissentiente; and a Committee was appointed to prepare the Address: The Committee withdrew; and, after some Time, Report was made of an Address drawn by them, which, being read, was agreed to, and Ordered to be presented to Her Majesty by the Lords with White Staves.

House adjourned to Thursday next,