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proposal, and his (Lord John's) unjust belief prevailed that the only doubt was, whether he should Whigs were an exclusive party, not then have relinquished office; wanting all office for themselves. but he had adopted the advice “I believe that opinion to have of Lord Palmerston, and deter- been unjust, and I think that the mined to continue his connection Whig party during the two last with the Government, having com- years has fully justified the opinion municated to Lord Aberdeen his I entertained. I will venture to views as to the changes in the say, that no set of men ever beWar Department, which he deemed haved with greater honour, or with indispensable to remedy its imper- more disinterested patriotism, than fections. In dealing with the those-I might indeed say the motion of Mr. Roebuck, he was, whole—who have supported the however, bound to reflect whether Government of the Earl of Aber. he could fairly and honestly say, deen. It is my pride, and it will “ It is true evils do exist, but such ever be my pride to the last day of arrangements have been made that my life, to have belonged to a all deficiences and abuses will be party which, as I consider, upholds immediately remedied;" and he the true principles of freedom; could not honestly or without be- and it will ever be my constant traying the confidence reposed in endeavour to preserve the prin. him make that statement. He ciples and tread in the paths which considered that he could come to the Whig party have laid down for only one conclusion—that, as he the guidance of their conduct.” was unable to give the only answer (Cheers.) that would stop inquiry, it was his Lord Palmerston said it might be duty not to remain a member of expected he should not allow the the Government. Accordingly, address of his noble friend to pass on the 23rd of January, he placed without some observations on the in the hands of Lord Aberdeen his part of the Government. He asresignation, which was accepted by sured him and the House that noHer Majesty. There was a report, thing could be more painful to himhe observed, that the suggestion self officially and personally than he had made to Lord Aberdeen in the step Lord John had felt it to be November, to place the seals of his duty to take. He admitted that the War Department in the hands a public man had a perfect right to
a of Lord Palmerston, had been quit office whenever he considered adopted. If so, he was glad, he that his continuance in office could said, that his retirement had con- not be reconciled with bis sense of tributed to the change.
duty. When the correspondence In conclusion, he said, “he between Lord J. Russell and Lord should look back with pride to his Aberdeen was communicated to association with many measures of him, he (Lord Palmerston), with the Administration; particularly his colleagues, urged Lord John with Mr. Gladstone's financial not to secede from the Governscheme in 1853. It had been re- ment, and he consented to remain; marked that the Whig party had but from that time his noble friend pot had its fair share in the distri.. did not revert to his proposal. bution of power in that Administra- He admitted that Lord John tion. Previously to that time an might have had a difficulty in meeting Mr. Roebuck's motion, but which might have induced his it was evident, he thought, that noble friend to adopt that course, there were in his mind sufficient but he could not do better than constitutional objections to that read the letter which he had remotion; and if he was decidedly ceived :of opinion that a different person
“Chesham Place, Jan. 23, 1855. ought to be at the head of the War Department, he should have given Mr. Roebuck has given notice of a
"My dear Lord Aberdeen, the Government an opportunity, motion to inquire into the conduct before Parliament met, of saying
of the war. I do not see how this whether the proposal should be adopted. The course he had taken motion is to be resisted; but, as
it involves a censure upon the war was not in accordance with the usual practice of public men, and
departments, with which some of was calculated to place the Govern. my colleagues are connected, my ment in a position of embarrass
only course is to tender my resigna
tion. I therefore have to request ment, in which, at the bands of a colleague at least
, they ought not you will lay my humble resignato have been placed.
tion of the office which I have the On the 25th of January, the with the expression of my grati
honour to hold before the Queen, fact of the resignation of Lord tude for Her Majesty's kindness John Russell was officially announced in the House of Lords by dear Lord Aberdeen, yours very
for many years.— I remain,
my the Duke of Newcastle. Earl Fitzwilliam insisted upon
“ J. RUSSELL.” the right of Parliament to know He then proceeded to state that the causes of which had induced two months previously he was the leader of the House of Com- aware that Lord John Russell was mons to adopt such a step.
dissatisfied with the conduct of the The Duke of Newcastle said, in war, but after the explanations reply, that Lord John Russell had which then took place, he was surnot yet made his statement in his prised at the receipt of the letter. place, and that until he had any He said he received that great comment or any attempt to elicit loss with deep regret, and reminded the cause of his resignation would the House that at the formation of be unfair to him; and the Marquis the Government he expressly stated of Lansdowne closed the conversa
that he never would have vention by observing that it was not tured to undertake the formation the duty of any other person to of an Administration, had he not state for Lord John Russell the secured the active co-operation and reasons for his resignation, which, assistance of his noble friend. he believed, would be done by the Under these circumstances, and in noble Lord himself on the day fol. ordinary times, he might perhaps lowing, and which he alone was have himself adopted a different competent to state.
course; but in the then condition On the following day, the Earl of the country, and of the war, and of Aberdeen gave a brief explana- of Her Majesty's Government, he tion of the circumstances of the felt it due to their own honour, to resignation. He said he was not their own consistency, and to their fully possessed of the motives sense of duty, to meet that motion
which was to be made that night never seen a brigade, and were unin another place, which would de- acquainted with the organisation of cide whether a censure was to be large bodies. The men, too, in pronounced upon Her Majesty's this highly-civilised country, never Government or not.
learned to do anything for themImmediately after Lord John selves. We had never entered Russell's explanation in the House upon any great war, he remarked, of Commons, Mr. Roebuck brought which did not begin with great reon his motion. He began by verses; but in the present instance stating that an army, unparalleled there had been also great military in numbers and equipments, had successes. After detailing the left our shores, and was then ad- measures adopted by the Govern. mitted to be in a condition that ment to provide adequate supplies wrung the hearts of the country. of stores for the army, he conThere were two questions,—what tended that it was unjust, without was the condition of the army information, to lay blame upon before Sebastopol, and how had absent men. The Government that condition been brought about? had no wish to conceal any portion The army had been reduced from of their conduct in this matter, and 54,000 to 14,000, of whom only every information required should 5000 were fit for duty. They were be laid upon the table of the House. without clothes, shelter, ammuni. He insisted that great delusions tion, food. What had become of upon this subject prevailed in the the 40,000 missing? [Here Mr. country. He detailed the steps Roebuck showed signs of great taken to remedy defective arrangebodily exhaustion.] How, he pro- ments by the Government, which ceeded, had that condition been had acted, he said, upon every brought about? By the incapacity practicable suggestion. He enof the administration at home and deavoured to show, upon various abroad. At Balaklava there were grounds, the inexpediency of the stores sufficient for twice the army; motion, which was calculated, in but having transported them 3000 his opinion, to paralyse the action miles, the administrators of the of the Government at home and of army were defeated hy the last the authorities abroad. The Comseven miles, and the troops were mittee would either gain no infordeprived of what they required mation, or it would be obtained at for their existence. Confessing the expense of the army.
He physical inability to continue his asked the House, if it made up speech, Mr. Roebuck moved for a mind to take this course, to avow Select Committee, and sat down. it at once by a plain and intelligible
Mr. S. Herbert, in resisting the decision. The Government stood motion, observed that the first in a precarious position; it had cause of the demoralisation of the received a heavy blow by the searmy was to be found in the system cession of one of its most importwe had pursued for the last 40 years. ant members, and he hoped the The English army was a collection Houso, considering well the course of regiments, in every one of which it ought to take, and the perils there existed a perfect regimental which surrounded the country, system; but the field officers in would decide the question at once, command of the regiments had and in plain language.
The next speaker in the debate army in the very teeth of warnings, was Mr. Drummond, who dwelt at describing the state of things he considerable length upon various had witnessed at Balaklava, and the instances of mismanagement, in defective manner in which the desupport of the charge, that an army partments were conducted.
He three times victorious had been left should vote upon this motion, he to be utterly destroyed by the gross said, as a question of confidence or incompetence of those who should no confidence, and how could he have supported it—the Earl of vote confidence in a Government Aberdeen and the Duke of New- which had proved itself so utterly castle.
incapable not only of carrying on Colonel North attributed the the war, but of managing a diplo. chief blame of the defects of the macy? This was not a moment to army organisation to the refusal of hesitate; we must have men and the House of Commons to grant they were to be found-capable of money for military purposes. carrying out a policy worthy of this
Mr. Monckton Milnes could not country. believe that a Committee was a fair Sir G. Grey said, he opposed the and proper tribunal for such an in- motion without the slightest doubt quiry, and opposed the motion as or hesitation, thinking he should constitutionally unjust.
betray his public duty by sanctionThe Marquis of Granby digressed ing å precedent for committing into the question of the policy of such an inquiry to a Select Comthe war, which he condemned, being mittee, and he was surprised that convinced that the Emperor of any one should assent to a motion Russia never intended to seize the only effect of which would be upon the Ottoman Empire, and to paralyse the exertions of the that the maintenance of the balance Government at a most critical peof power in Europe was not the riod. But he did not rest his opreal object of the war. Although position upon this ground alone; he did not approve of the Com- he had other and wider grounds. mittee, he should vote for it as a He admitted that the House was vote of want of confidence. entitled to the fullest information,
Mr. W. 8. Lindsay said, that as limited only by considerations of the Government would not adopt public interest; but this motion the measures he thought necessary involved a grave and serious cenhe should give his support to the sure upon departments of the Gomotion, but not as a vote of want vernment which was not deserved. of confidence. He should also sup. He did not assert that no mistakes port it because he believed a large had been made, or that there had portion of our noble army in the been no want of foresight; but ho Orimea had perished through neg- believed that the evils were not the lect, and a further reason for his result of incapacity or ignorance, vote was the state of the transport but mainly of the inexperience service.
arising from a 40 years' peace, and Mr. Layard, after criticising the it was unjust to lay the blame of defence of the Government, offered these results upon any man. Havby the Secretary at War, enume- ing replied to Mr. Layard, Sir rated flagrant instances of mis. George adverted to the explanamanagement with reference to the tion given by Lord John Russell,
and observed that he did not un- he asked, were to be the witnesses derstand that, when his noble friend to be examined? There ought to suggested that the offices of Secre- be a Commission on the spot. Such tary at War and Secretary of State an inquiry before a Committee of for the War Department should be that House would be utterly imcombined and placed in the hands practicable. He should vote against of a member of that House, he the motion. considered it essential to the con- After a few remarks from Colonel duct of the war. He (Sir George) Sibthorp, Sir J. FitzGerald, and admitted that, knowing what the Mr. Knightley, the debate was adfeelings of the country were, he journed on the motion of Mr. Stafcould have wished that, when the ford, by whom it was resumed on original appointment of War Se- the 29th of January. He detailed cretary was made, it had been con- in long and instructive speech ferred upon Lord Palmerston. the results of his own personal ex
Mr. Walpole said, after the perience and observation during speech of Lord J. Russell, it ap- his visit to the Crimea. At the peared to him totally impossible to outset, however, in reference to resist an inquiry of some kind, and the resignation of Lord John Rusthe only question was, what that sell, and the reconstruction of the kind should be. After the decla- Government, he said that the ration made by the noble Lord, a House should not deal with this refusal of inquiry would create Minister or that, but hold the disappointment and dissatisfaction whole Ministry responsible. He throughout the couutry. He de- had heard with indifference the nied that an inquiry would be statement of Mr. Sidney Herbert, detrimental to the public interest. that a Commission had been sent It would be precisely similar to the out to inquire into the affairs of inquiry instituted into the Wal- the hospital; because, however that cheren Expedition, except that that Commission might report, it would was conducted before the whole not absolve the Minister of War House ; but he thought a Select or the Secretary at War from the Committee infinitely preferable. As responsibility; it would only exto its bampering the army autho- pose their complete and unhappy rities, nothing could be worse than failure. He expressed his approval their present position, at the mercy of the choice of Smyrna as a site of writers of private letters charging for a new hospital, as the position the generals with incapacity. of that at Scutari, and the atmo
Mr. V. Smith, contrasting those sphere at Constantinople, were unparts of the speeches of Lord Pal- favourable to the healing of wounds. merston and Sir G. Grey which Abydos was well chosen as a spot referred to the state of the Cabinet, for a hospital ; and if the stores said that, if this was simply a ques- were ready it would not turn out a tion of confidence or no confidence, failure. But when he was there, he should be prepared to vote quite there were 400 soldiers, and only at his ease, for he could not vote two bottles of port-wine in store. confidence in the Government as it He described the bad state of the existed that evening. But he put hospital at Scutari ; men lying on that question aside, and with .re- mattresses upon a floor of unglazed spect to the proposed inquiry, who, porous tiles, stained with feculent