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CHAPTER II.

Lord Panmure introduces an Act for Limited Service in the Army

Mr. Layard calls the attention of the House of Commons to the condition of the nationSpeeches of General Peel and Lord Palmerston

-Observations of Mr. J. G. Phillimore, Mr. Warner, Major Reid, and Mr. Murrough-Resignation of Sir J. Graham, Mr. Gladstone, and Mr. S. Herbert-Their Speeches explaining their conduct-Speech of Mr. Bright-Debate on the nomination of Mr. Roebuck's Committee-Mr. Gaskell, Mr. Drummond, Mr. Scott, Mr. Laing, Sir J. Pakington, Mr. Walpole, Mr. Disraeli, and Mr. Muntz speak in its favour; and Lord Seymour, Mr. Lowe, Mr. Wortley, Mr. Gladstone, Lord Palmerston, and Sir G. Grey against itNomination of the Committee-Members constituting itReconstruction of the Cabinet - Lord John Russell a member of it-Death of the Czar NicholasProfound sensation occasioned by its public announcement - Discussion on Mr. Roebuck's proposal for a Secret Committee-The principal speakers are Lord Seymour, Mr. W. Patten, Sir J. Pakington, Sir J. Graham, Mr. Layard, Lord Palmerston, Mr. Disraeli, and Mr. H. Drummond-In the House of Lords the Duke of Richmond draws attention to the Light Cavalry charge at Balaklava-Observations by the Earl of Ellenborough-Statement of Lord John Russell respecting the Four PointsEarl Grey moves his Resolutions relative to the War DepartmentSpeeches of the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Hardinge, and the Earl of EllenboroughDiscussion in the House of Lords on the Army Service Amendment Act-Speeches of the Earls of Ellenborough, Malmesbury, and Grey, and of Lord Panmure-In the House of Commons Mr. Lindsay originates a discussion on the Army AdministrationAdmiral Berkeley, Mr. F. Peel, Lord Hotham, and several other Members address the House-Debate on Lord Goderich's Motion respecting promotion in the Army-He is supported by Mr. Otway, Mr. Warner, Captain Scobell, Mr. J. Ball, and Sir De Lacy Evans, and opposed by Mr. F. Peel, Lords Seymour, Elcho, and Lovaine, Sir J. Walsh, Mr. S. Herbert, and Lord PalmerstonThe motion negatived-Debate on Mr. Malins' Motion relative to Sir C. Napier and the naval operations in the Baltic-Reply of Sir J. Graham - Admirals Walcott and Berkeley, Captain Scobell

, Mr. M. Gibson, Mr. Whiteside, the Attorney-General, Lord Palmerston, and others address the House-Further discussion of the proceedings of the Black Sea Fleet, upon Mr. Scott's Motion-Statements of Mr. F. Peel and Lord Palmerston, in reply to Mr. Stafford's inquiries respecting the

Hospitals for the Crimean Army. IN N the House of Peers, on the mure made a detailed statement

16th of February, Lord Pan- respecting the War Department,

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similar to that made by Lord Pal- Government had done, and of what merston. He observed that the it intended to do, and he should great mortality which had prevail. only conclude by moving that the ed in some regiments might possi. Bill be read a first time. bly be explained by the fact that After a discussion, in which the in those regiments a number of Earls of Shaftesbury and Harrowyoung and unseasoned soldiers had by, and Lord Panmure took part, been enlisted. To meet this de- the Bill was read a first time. fect in the system of recruiting, he On the 19th of February, in the laid a Bill on the table, the object House of Commons, Mr. Layard, of which was to enlist older men upon the motion for a Committee for a period of two or three years, of Supply on the Army Estimates, and thus to secure the services of at great length called attention to older and stronger men. Great the condition of the nation, alleging complaints had been made against the probability of some arrangethe Commissariat, and, though the ment between Mr. Roebuck and the Government would not condemn Government which would preclude any man without a hearing, they discussion, as a reason for the were resolved on a rigid inquiry, course he took.

The country, and, for this purpose, were about which stood on the brink of ruin to despatch to the seat of war Sir - which had fallen into the abyss John M.Neill, whose services and of disgrace, and become the laughextensive experience in the East ingstock of Europe-would not

be were a guarantee for his fitness to satisfied unless an opportunity was undertake the task. At the same given for the expression of opinion. time, the hospitals at Scutari were The late Government had been to be thoroughly cleared and re- censured by the House, and bad modelled, and a new hospital was gone out in consequence ; yet the to be established at Smyrna for existing Government was almost convalescents. A commission of identically composed of the same sanitarians was to be sent out to individuals. How far did the Meminquire into the condition of the bers retained deserve the confidence camp under that point of view. of the country? Starting from this The transport service was to be re- position, Mr. Layard freely dealt modelled ; a direct communication out censures upon the acts of the was to be established between Scu- late and the measures of the existtari and England, to bring home ing Government. The blockade the sick and wounded for treat- had been carried out so as to cause ment in this country; Major-Gene- immense mischief; the transport ral Simpson was to be sent out as service was in hopeless confusion; chief of the Staff, it having ap- the diplomacy had been mismapeared that neither his age nor naged ; nothing had been done to health precluded him from filling carry out the Foreign Enlistment the appointment; and Sir John Act; the French, by taking conBurgoyne was recalled to fill his tracts offered to us, had obtained old post of Inspector of Fortifica- the command of the supplies in tions, his duties before Sebastopol Asia Minor; and, after permitting having devolved on General Harry the Turks to be insulted by British Jones. He had now placed the officers, we had taken 20,000 into House in possession of what the our pay. Such were the “ antecedents” of that Government. General Peel said, that he was With regard to the future—the not in the least surprised at the inquiry would be injurious to the feeling of despondency abroad, public service, if honestly worked, after Lord John Russell had spoken and especially if it sat in judg- of the state of the army as he had ment on the existing Cabinet; but done, and after the publication of it could only be rejected on the other accounts. It was their duty ground that there were new men first to inquire into the cause of and a new programme. To show evils, and then to condemn those that such was not the case, Mr. who had brought the evils about ; Layard condemned the recent ap- but the House of Commons repointment of Commissioners, and versed that principle, and conurged that no inquiry was needed, demned before they inquired. He as the facts were so well known. had voted against the inquiry, not The country was sick of commis- from confidence in the Governsions; it wanted a man.” The ment, but because the proposed plan which should be adopted was tribunal of inquiry was unconstithat of the French National Con- tutional and impracticable. The vention : who, on the failure of causes of the evils were so plain their army, sent out their own that no Committee was needed to members, men who had no party inquire into them. The Governconsiderations, who cared not for ment commenced a great war with aristocratic influences, who “ went inadequate means; and with those out determined to sacrifice those inadequate means they attempted who were guilty, regardless of per- more than any army could possibly sons, and who did so. The result execute. All had been called upon was, that in a few months that to do more than they could, from army achieved deeds which were Lord Raglan down to the smallest unparalleled in the history of the drummer-boy. The men had died world.” The system at the Horse because they were overworked and Guards, the fear of responsibility, underfed; there had been less moran undue regard for family con- tality among the officers, because sideration, which led to the neg- they were not called upon to perlect of merit

, and the passing by form manual labour, and were of men like the officers of the East better fed. The men who were India Company, who had seen war, well clothed were healthy enough.

these were the causes of the These evils arose from sending out then intolerable state of things. at first more troops than the reLord Palmerston, whom the whole duced state of our peace establishHouse were ready to support when ment admitted of. It would have he took office, no longer gave satis- been better to have sent out ten faction. The country wanted to or fifteen thousand men, and to see whether it could not be govern- have attempted what ten or fifteen ed by “something new;" it did thousand men could accomplish. not want to see the same parties When the siege began, the numin power over and over again. He bers of the French and English implored Lord Palmerston once were nearly equal, and the siege more to reflect, for by continuing operations were divided between in his then course he would lose them. After the battle of Inkerall confidence and all support.

man, our position was different. The French force increased, ours were 35,000 Russians in hospital, diminished, yet we continued to sick and wounded ; and, however conduct the same amount of siege- the sufferings of our troops had works as the French ; and while been increased by want of arrangeour men passed three nights out ment, they had arisen in great part of four in the trenches, the French from the nature of the servicepassed only one night out of four. the inclemency of the weather, and Then Lord Raglan called for rein- visible causes in the power of no forcements; and those sent out man to control. So far from feelwere so young and unseasoned that ing ashamed, he felt proud of events they rapidly died off, or became from the merit of which Mr. Layunfit for service. But when the ard sought to detract. Tell us of Government looked elsewhere for the aristocracy of England !—wby, men fit for immediate service, and in that glorious charge at Balakproposed to employ foreigners, the lava, leading were the noblest and House made it a party question. wealthiest in the land, following General Peel defended the exist- were the representatives of the ing system. To complain of regi- people of this country-neither mental officers as unfit for staff the peer who led, nor the trooper employment when they have never who followed, being distinguished been allowed to qualify themselves, the one from the other. Mr. Lay. was the same as if a man who ard said it was trifling with the only kept a gig should turn round interests of the army to send out upon his servant and complain be- Commissioners, who would apply a cause he could not drive a four-in- remedy at once. What does he hand. Representative government recommend? A Committee to send was an admirable thing, but it was forth a blue-book, and Commissionnot all that was required to carry on ers after the manner of the Coma great war. It might be a fine mittee of Public Safety in the thing to have a morning state of French Revolution, empowered to the army laid duly on the break- execute summary justice. “Why, fast-table: that, as was said of the you might take the honourable Light Cavalry charge at Balaklava, Gentleman at bis word, and if you might be very magnificent, but it were to add this instruction to the was not war.

Committee, that the members Lord Palmerston protested thereof proceed instantly to the against the language of Mr. Lay- Crimea and remain there during ard, who said the country had been the rest of the session, perhaps disgraced, and had become a laugh- that would be satisfactory." (Laughingstock to Europe, and who min- ter.) Mr. Layard said that Lord gled with his observations "vulgar Palmerston, between Friday night declamation against the aristocracy and Monday, had fallen in the esof this country." Deeply lament. timation of the country, because ing the sufferings of the army, he he did not frame a different Cabisaid it would be a great mistake to net. If Mr. Layard would be good suppose that the suffering had been enough in succession to the Memconfined to our troops. Without bers of the proposed Committee to speaking of the French, who had add those of the proposed Cabinet, endured a good deal, he knew, on the House could judge between pretty good authority, that there them. But he was sure that, when

the people saw a Government con- I had not undertaken the task. Í stituted upon the failure of two feel proud of the support which other attempts to form a Govern- my honourable and noble friends ment, they would feel that the men have afforded me. I throw myself who had undertaken the task had with confidence upon the genedone so because they felt the coun- rosity of the country, and of Partry should not be left without a liament; and I am convinced that, Government. War would be car- if we do our duty-and we shall ried on with adequate vigour. If do our duty as long as we have the the opportunity for concluding a support of the country to enable safe and honourable peace should us to do it—if we are enabled by be real, the Government would the support of the country to do avail themselves of it. But if that which we conceive to be our “the adversary has not been duty, in spite of temporary rebrought to that temper of mind verses, in spite of the momentary which will induce him to consent aspect of affairs—we shall succeed to those conditions upon which per. in carrying matters to a successful manent peace can for the future be issue, be it for peace now, or be it established, why then, Sir, we shall for peace hereafter; but, whether appeal with confidence to the coun- by negotiations now, or whether by try for support in those greater force of arms afterwards, we shall exertions which a continuance of be able to place this country upon the contest may impose upon us as that proud footing of future sea necessity; and, whatever may be curity which its greatness and its said by the honourable Member for power so well entitle it to occupy." Aylesbury, or by others who may (Loud cheers.) rise after me in debate, I feel con- The debate was continued for a fident that this country will give short time, and Mr. J. G. Philliits support to a Government which more urged inquiry, and vindicated honourably and honestly stands for- representative institutions from the ward to do its duty in a moment of charge that they were ill adapted emergency; a Government which for carrying on war. Mr. Warner has not forced itself upon the thought that Lord Palmerston's country by any vote or motion in explanations were unsatisfactory, this House, or by any Parliametary and the measures he proposed not maneuvre; a Government which those he expected from him; but has arisen in consequence of the if he would undertake to inquire failure of others who might, if into the grievances of the army, they had chosen, have undertaken Mr. Warner would rather it should the work, but who shrank from be done by the Government than doing it at the time when the offer the House of Commons. Major was made to them. I do not men- Reid denounced the Horse Guards tion this as reflecting blame upon as “rotten,” and Mr. Murrough them, but simply as the fact which bluntly characterised Lord Palled to the formation of the present merston as “an old man whose Government. Two endeavours hands are tied by red tape.” The having been made to form a Go- House then went into Committee. vernment, and those two endea- Lord Palmerston's Government vours having failed, I should have had existed barely a fortnight when thought myself a degraded man if another Ministerial crisis occurred,

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