HL Deb 29 January 1855 vol 136 cc1063-4

said, that as some reflections had been cast upon the noble Lord the commander of the army in the Crimea, on account of the advance of the cavalry at Balaklava, he begged to ask the noble Duke at the head of the War Department whether he had any objection to place before the House the exact terms of the order given to Lord Lucan on that occasion? Two versions of that order had appeared in the public prints—the one giving it the character of an imperative and the other of a discretionary order. It was right that the House and the public should have an opportunity of knowing all the circumstances attending that action, and therefore it was right that they should have the very words of the order before them. He wished also to know whether he had understood correctly, that the Government intended to give a clasp for the action at Balaklava?


I have to state, in reply to the first question put to me by the noble and gallant Lord, that, I shall not be disposed at the present moment to lay before the House the exact words of the order to which he refers; and for this simple reason, that in consequence of the circumstances attending it, the order led to a correspondence, which correspondence has been but very recently brought to a close. I cannot wish to bring that correspondence before Parliament in anything like an imperfect shape; and it would not be considered as altogether fair by the parties concerned if only a portion of it were produced. Under such circumstances, then, I should prefer delaying it until the whole of the statements connected with the transaction can be brought forward. In answer to the second question put by my noble Friend, I have to acknowledge that he has correctly understood the statement made by me the other night, which had reference to a question addressed to me as to the distribution of medals and clasps, and which gave rise to a very interesting discussion. As regards the Crimean medal, it is intended, as explained the other day, that all those concerned with this campaign, from the first down to the present time, should receive that medal. But there can be no doubt that with regard to clasps they stand on a different footing from medals, being given, not for a campaign, but for individual actions. All soldiers, therefore, engaged in actions will receive clasps—that is all those under arms. Of course even in such cases there must be a latitude allowed; still, speaking generally, when clasps were given, they were only given to those actually taking part in the action on account of which it was allowed. As I have already stated every soldier engaged in the action at Balaklava will receive a clasp.

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