Imatges de pÓgina
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our expeditions to have the advantage of the use of animals with which to make these necessary movements. Seamen and marines-especially seamen-were employed to a very great extent. It has necessarily very much disheartened these men to have to draw all these heavy guns and stores to, frequently, a considerable distance. They have, however, done that duty zealously and well, and would do it again, no doubt; but it must be recollected that while on shore the efficiency of the fleet, which may be suddenly called into action, is diminished by their absence, and also that these operations are conducted much more slowly than if the men had the advantage of animals; and the noble Duke opposite knows perfectly well that time, in an operation of this kind, is essential to success. Again, in any operation intended to be carried on along the shores of the Black Sea a very considerable number of animals would be required (besides those for the use of the artillery) for the purpose of facilitating the movements of the troops. If these animals were to be shoved out of the ship, and made to swim ashore through the surf as best they could, and if there was no hope of re-embarking any one of them, I still think it would be no less important that they should be made use of. It must be generally admitted, I think, that it will be impossible for any very large proportion of the force to be employed in mere garrison duty. At least some portion of our expeditionary force will be em ployed in the interior, and it is to be considered what number of animals is absolutely necessary for the purpose of enabling that force to move in a way to execute any operation required from it. I have no doubt that I may be supposed to entertain very extravagant views with regard to the difficulty of moving an army. It is generally understood that in India the baggage attending an army is unduly and unnecessarily large. But some few years ago a great general-Sir Charles Napier-went to India. He was perfectly aware of all the embarrassments which arose out of the enormous amount of baggage, and he set himself to reform that abuse. Sir Charles Napier has given to the world his reasoning upon the subject, and the amount of baggage which he considers absolutely necessary; and, without presuming to offer any opinion of my own upon the subject, I will state to your Lordships what amount of baggage he considers absolutely necessary. Now, his calculation was founded

upon the supposition that the army was a combined army of Natives and Europeans; but an army of that description requires a very much smaller amount of baggage than an army composed altogether of Europeans. Sir Charles Napier states distinctly that upon an average-of course the amount would vary according to circumstances-but, upon an average, there should be one camel to every two men. One camel was to be reckoned in the calculation as about equal to two horses; and therefore, if we are to move 15,000 men in the East, we shall require 15,000 animals. But, beyond this, Sir Charles Napier distinctly states that there ought to be a reserve of 30 per cent for contingencies; and any one who has seen the number of animals that are left upon the road upon even a comparatively short march must be of opinion that such a reserve is absolutely necessary. If, therefore, we are to move 15,000 men in any operation, we thus require 19,500 animals to enable that army to move, even upon the low and most economical calculation made by Sir Charles Napier. And then, it must be recollected that in Turkey-a country which very much resembles some parts of India-it will be necessary that the army, when engaged in operations in the interior, should move with at least fifteen days' provisions. This would require a still larger number of animals; and therefore it becomes a consideration of the greatest possible importance, for, unless sufficient means of carriage be furnished to the general, he has not any means of executing the great operations of war. I have thought it right to say this in justice to the officer in command in the East, and to the troops employed there; because, unless these means of carriage be supplied, they cannot be expected to act with that vigour and efficiency which would be desirable. The question I have to ask my noble Friend (the Duke of Newcastle) upon this subject is-what measures have been adopted for the purpose of furnishing the Army with these means of land carriage?

THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE: My Lords, I can assure your Lordships, and my noble Friend in particular, that there is no indisposition on the part of the Government, or on my part, to give to my noble Friend, and to the House, any information we possess, provided we can do so consistently with our regard for the public service; at the same time nobody knows better than the noble Earl that it is im

possible for any person, except those im- which any money is disbursed which is mediately concerned in carrying on those voted by the House of Commons for the affairs, to know what information can be furtherance of this war; and as a matter given with safety, and what information of account, I can assure the noble Earl ought not to be given. Now, as an in- that no difficulty will be thrown in the stance before I proceed to answer the way at the proper time for this informaother questions put by my noble Friend tion being given. But my noble Friend -with regard to this very question of seems to forget, when he asks for an the means at our command for the account of those sums, that this money movement of troops, I can assure my has not been already expended, that the noble Friend that, under certain circum- transports for this service have not already stances, to answer that question in the been paid for, that the whole proceeding only way an English Minister can answer is now in course of progress, and that the -that is, with entire truth-might be greatest possible practical inconvenience giving a very great advantage to the might arise from giving details which enemy, while it would effect no good in would enable those with whom the Gothis country. Suppose that, for the pur-vernment are in negotiation to deal more pose of carrying on the war, adequate pro- advantageously for themselves, but less vision had been made for the movement of advantageously to the public, than they troops by land, and inadequate provision made for their movement by water, or vice versa that inadequate provision had been made for the movement of the troops by land, while adequate provision had been made by water-would not the fact announced in this House, however great the certainty of the mistake being corrected, and the deficiency supplied, within the next month or six weeks-would not, I say, the knowledge of that fact be of the most essential importance to the enemy, as proving what operations we could undertake, and what operations we could not undertake, and enable them to provide their measures accordingly? I only say this, in reference to the inconvenience sometimes of putting questions of this kind, and in anticipation of my inability or objection on other occasions to answer them. That inability, as regards this particular question, does not exist on the present occasion, and it is for that reason that I have given the instance which I have just presented to your Lordships. I shall now proceed to give to my noble Friend such information as I can, and shall take the questions in the order in which he put them. The first question the noble Earl put was, whether I am prepared to lay upon the table of the House the details of the Estimates which have been lately voted by the House of Commons for the transport of the troops from this country to Turkey. My noble Friend said, with great justice, that the sum was a formidably large one, and that it required explanation. Now, as a matter of account, the Members of the Government will undoubtedly be bound to give a full and entire account of the manner in The Duke of Newcastle

can do at the present moment. A great part of the sum is only a matter of estimate; and with regard to those parts that could be considered more in the light of accounts, so great was the haste with which the Government had to take up a number of those ships, that it was impossible in some instances to come to an actual arrangement with the parties as to the sum that should be paid to them; and they, to meet the wishes of the Government that no time should be lost, consented, if any difficulty should arise, that the matter should be settled by arbitration. That is one case; as to another case, three-fourths of the amount have been paid, and one-fourth of the amount has been held back on account of some dispute that has arisen, and which is not yet decided. Therefore it is impossible to give my noble Friend such details as he requires, or attempt to give him any greater details than have already satisfied the House of Commons. I think my noble Friend will see that, being, as we are at this moment, in the market to deal with the persons possessing these vessels for the transport of troops, we should be neglecting the interest of the public service if we gave the details for which my noble Friend calls. I readily admit that the sum asked for is a formidably large one; but if he contrasts the expense with a former period, he should state it as the expense for conveying, not 27,000 troops, but 30,000 troops, as the truth is. My noble Friend contrasts the cost of conveying 27,000 troops to Turkey with the cost of conveying 27,000 ladies and gentlemen to India -and says that the cost for the conveyance of troops is greater than in the other

and not of the Government, that these horse transports have not sailed from this country many weeks ago. With regard to the Lord Palmerston sailing transport, to which my noble Friend adverted, that vessel took out the first detachment of artillery. It was detained from causes which it is not necessary to mention, and by the direction of the Government, for two or three days, but not longer; and that is the only instance of a sailing transport engaged to convey cavalry or artillery being detained one hour in their departure by the orders of the Government, or by any laches on the part of the military authorities. As regarded the other vessel mentioned by my noble Friend, the Tonning steamer, it took out a portion of the staff and part of a body of troops, who were conveyed to Turkey in three steam-ships. The receipt of the convention with Turkey

case. But I think his argument entirely | fault of those engaged to supply the ships, fails. The noble Earl must bear in mind that these ladies and gentlemen who go to India round the Cape do not carry with them many thousand tons of ammunition and other articles which are required in the transport of troops. Again, another most important consideration is, that the vessels which convey ordinary passengers to India return to this country laden with return freight; but these transports, engaged for the conveyance of the troops to the East, in the great majority of instances have not been taken up by the voyage (in which case the expense to the Government would have been materially reduced), but they have been taken up for a period of twelve months; and the Estimates had to be based on the supposition that the vessels would be required for the whole of that time. Thus, my noble Friend will see that the comparison he has made falls at once to the ground, under the circum-in reference to the landing of English troops stances to which I have referred. The noble Earl said that he was led to form a bad opinion of the mode in which these affairs have been conducted, and of the lavish expenditure incurred upon them, by facts that he had personally witnessed, with reference to the detention of two vessels - the Lord Palmerston and the Tonning-which he had seen at Woolwich; and he said that he was afraid the cavalry transports stood in the same category, having been taken up for many weeks, and yet only putting to sea at this moment. Now this is certainly the fact; but the Government will not have to pay for the delay-because the detention of these transports was not owing to the fault of the Government or the cavalry officers and troops, but rested with the contractors who provided the vessels. Although, undoubtedly, the ships had been taken up many weeks ago, the contracts had not been fulfilled; and this arises, I admit, from many circumstances which involve scarcely any blame on the part of the contractors. They have had many difficulties to contend with -such as the strike among the carpenters and other artisans by whom the vessels were to be fitted up, and the desertion of the sailors for the purpose either of enlisting on board the fleet, or of seeking employment in the merchant service-perhaps in ships bound to Australia, attracted by the higher wages offered to them. All these circumstances mitigated any culpability that might attach to the contractors; but I must repeat, that it has been the

in Turkey was expected whilst this portion were under orders to sail, and they were detained a week or nine days waiting for its arrival after the vessel was ready to sail, so that as regards them, I think, some demurrage will have to be paid. But as respects the remainder of the vessels, the delay was occasioned in consequence of the inability of the contractors to prepare them for sea, and not from any fault on the part of the Government or the military authorities, or of the officers and men of the regiments that were ordered away.

With reference to the second question of my noble Friend, as to the currency in which the troops in Turkey are to be paid

he is no doubt aware that there is a standing rule of the Commissariat Department; on occasion of any expedition of this sort, a general order is issued fixing the standard of the army pay, which, of course, is regulated by the intrinsic value of English coin, and its proportion to the coin of the country to which the troops are about to be embarked. With reference to the particular currency, he is no doubt aware that for a very long period the currency of the eastern shores of the Mediterranean has been almost entirely carried on in the colonnado, or pillar dollar. The diminution of this currency has of late years been very great, and even four or five years ago it was to a great extent disappearing, and the ordinary sovereign of this country to a considerable degree has taken its place in many

quiries in all directions as to the means of obtaining animals for carriage, and authorising them to make provisional contracts for purposes of transport. We, as long ago as the month of March-I forget now the exact day-had a report from one of the Commissariat officers, who stated that he had been more successful in this respect than he had at first anticipated; and every subsequent report received in this country leads us to expect that, although the means of transport in Turkey are not so good as might be obtained in other countries, there will be sufficient in point of quantity, and that there certainly will not be the difficulty originally apprehended. With the single exception of a very small transport corps organised in this country, the whole of the remainder will for the present be conducted by Turkish subjects, assisted by the Turkish Government; and only this morning a letter was received from a Commissariat officer, dated the 29th April last, in which appear these words :-"The Turkish Government acts with good faith and loyalty towards us in matters relating to transport and supplies." All the other accounts agree in en

parts of the Levant, and of course more especially so in those most frequented by British subjects. The entire supercession of the colonnado by the English sovereign has been accelerated, I believe, by the enormous drain of the former coin to China. Under these circumstances, it was felt to be desirable that the basis of the currency in which the troops should be paid should be the English sovereign, and, therefore, an arrangement has been at once made for sending a supply of that coin from this country. I believe that 225,000 English sovereigns have been sent to the Commissariat Department accordingly, and 5,000l. of English silver-the latter more as an experiment, in the direction which my noble Friend has suggested, than from any practical necessity at the present moment. This is meant as a temporary arrangement until the effect of the experiment has been ascertained; and inasmuch as the troops cannot be regularly paid in English sovereigns, it will be absolutely necessary that they should be paid in the current coin of the country where they were stationed. I am aware that my noble Friend has previously made the suggestions on this sub-tertaining a hope that the supply of transject which he has thrown out this evening to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, I have to thank him for so doing. I think there is a great deal that is very valuable in his suggestions, and therefore we have transmitted a copy of them to the Commissariat in Turkey, accompanied with a desire that they should report how far it would be possible to carry them out, and whether any difficulty attaches to the plan originally devised for paying all the accounts in English sovereigns and in the coin current in the coun-try, fixed in its proportion to the value of the sovereign.

The last question put by my noble Friend was with respect to that point which I have already touched at the commencement of my observations, namely, the means of moving our troops. My Lords, I can assure my noble Friend-admitting to the full extent all that he has said, based on the great experience and information he has obtained by his attention to these subjects that this matter has not been neglected, nor was it overlooked at the commencement of this expedition. Orders were sent out long before any troops embarked from this country to the Commissariat officers, who were early despatched to Turkey, instructing them to make inThe Duke of Newcastle

port will be sufficient, and every means are taken to provide the troops with baggage horses, which are abundant, and baggage mules, which are much less abundant and more expensive, and also with baggage waggons. On the other hand, as I have already explained to my noble Friend, we are also provided with transports for the conveyance of troops by sea. We have at our disposal permanently in those seas transports for an amount of force equal to at least 30,000 men, without encroaching on the resources possessed by our ships of war for carrying out effectually any operations which they may undertake. I hope, therefore, that my noble Friend will feel satisfied that all these important matters have not been neglected. As regards other points, I am not able to give him now the estimates for which he asks; but I can assure him that we shall have no hesitation, at the proper time, and consistently with the interests of the public service, to satisfy Parliament and the country as to the mode in which we have expended the money that has been so liberally voted by the House of Commons.

I have thus far been answering questions that have been asked. Before sitting down, I will just mention-although no question has been asked with respect to itthat I have had an intimation from noble

THE WAR WITH RUSSIA-QUESTION—

Lords that in some quarters there is an | The staff of surgeons and the supply of apprehension that the state of the health medical appliances of every kind had been of the troops at Gallipoli is such as to on the largest scale-larger than in any cause considerable anxiety. I am happy former war-and no pains, care, or cost to state that it is in my power to give the would be spared to secure the fullest and most positive contradiction to any such most effectual provision for our wounded or statements. The number of British troops sick soldiers. at Gallipoli is 5,300 men; and out of this force, by a letter I have received, dated the 25th of April, I find that there were only twelve men sick; and by another letter, dated the 30th of April, and received this morning, there were only twenty men sick. Such a small proportion of invalids in a force of 5,300 men is hardly to be found in the records of any army in the field, or even in the records of this country itself. I have thought it necessary to make this statement to your Lordships, in order to correct misapprehension.

THE EARL OF ELLENBOROUGH said, as the noble Duke had alluded to the health of the troops, he wished to say a word respecting the comfort of the wounded. He saw that the Government had devoted attention to providing waggons for a travelling hospital. He had no doubt that in passing over good macadamised roads these waggons would cause the least possible aggravation of the sufferings of the wounded; but as the troops would have to go up rocks and rugged hill country, it would be impossible that these waggons could follow them. Unless coolies were employed for the assistance of the wounded, they might depend upon it that men who had been injured would be left to die on the field of battle, and many others would have their sufferings increased.

BOMBARDMENT OF ODESSA.

THE EARL OF MALMESBURY said, he wished to ask the noble Duke whether Her Majesty's Government had received from the Admiral in the Black Sea any official account of the bombardment of Odessa; and, if so, what steps they would take for conveying the details of the operations to the public? He also desired to ask, with regard to the proceedings of the war generally, what course the Government intended to take in regard to the early communication to the public of the successive events as the information should reach the Government itself. The public anxiety as to such matters would be still greater in this war than in former wars, for now, while by means of the telegraphic despatch almost instantaneous communication would be made to this country of the occurrence of an action in any given place, no details could be expected through the same medium as to the numbers, and still less as to the names of the killed and wounded, details which, in former wars, accompanied the notification of the action itself. The anxiety of the public, or, at all events, of that portion of the public who had relatives and friends engaged in the war, would be THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE said, he in the highest degree increased by the intishould be sorry if there were any misap-mation of an action having been fought, prehension on this subject. Great pains had been taken in organising an ambulance establishment on the most approved system, and this was the first time that such a provision had been made for an English army. It was quite possible that in many parts of Turkey these waggons would not be available for the conveyance of the wounded; but at the same time it had been thought desirable to send them out, in order that they might be useful where the roads were fit for them. This part of the arrangements would not interfere with the employment of any other means of conveyance where waggons should be found impracticable; and certainly whatever fault might be found with their other measures, the medical and hospital departments had been most effectually provided.

unaccompanied by a statement of the casualties occasioned; and it was, therefore, most expedient that, without waiting for the ordinary Gazette, the fullest information that Government should from time to time receive should forthwith be published, if necessary, in an extraordinary Gazette.

THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE: Despatches have been received this day from Admiral Dundas, narrating the bombardment of Odessa, the first announcement of which was made in this House a few days ago by my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Your Lordships are already in possession, through the newspapers, of all the details which are given in the despatches of Admiral Dundas, and I believe I should be wasting your Lordships' time if I were to read the cir

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