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to the past, of his Government. He had given a catalogue of the improvements he intended. Admitting them to be good, what was to be thought of the predecessors of that Cabinet, who, to the last hour of their existence, denied the necessity of that reform, and opposed all inquiry into abuses now so openly admitted? The mysteries of mismanagement were such that the most eminent statesman of the day had declared that he could not fathom them. The House had voted for inquiry after long consideration, and by an unexampled majority. How could it stultify itself, and rescind resolutions so solemnly arrived at? If the vote had alone produced so long a list of improvements, what might be expected from inquiry itself? For himself, he should use every means to sustain the vote already given. Inquiry, and that by Parliament, was, in his opinion, urgently necessary. for the Opposition, it could not more cordially give its assistance in furthering the war, to any Ministry, than it had to Lord Aberdeen's, who had entered into the war with unprecedented advantages, and came out of it with a crushing majority against them. He hoped that those who, a fortnight ago, were unparalleled blunderers, might now be converted into profound statesmen.
could only promise them the same support he had already given, so that if they fell by some fresh disaster, they might not attribute their fall to faction, but to the recognition by the country of their utter incapacity.
Mr. Roebuck said that the committee for which he had moved had already been decided upon. The only argument against it, was
the existence of a new Administration, with new views; but although they had a new Ministry, they had not new ministers. The House having decided on inquiry, the noble Lord asked it to stultify itself, and to allow the Government to do that which a short time before it had declared it incompetent to do. He could not see any antagonism between inquiry by the House and reform by the Government. He did not believe that the right reforms could be effected by official men. Nothing but the authority of the House could enable the official chief to overcome the vis inertia in the atmosphere of office. He should move his committee, as an assistance to the noble Lord in infusing new vigour into the constitution of the country, which he could not do with his unaided efforts, and because his duty to the House prevented him from withdrawing it.
Mr. Muntz said that he also should abide by his vote. What, he asked, would have been the consequence, if the House had never given that vote?
Mr. T. Duncombe said that if Mr. Roebuck did not adhere to his motion, he would greatly disappoint the country. The noble Lord had offered his own Government as a committee after the House had just condemned it. He had told them of certain reforms to be done by Lord Panmure. He believed Lord Panmure would disappoint both his colleagues and the public. His vote of inquiry was not intended as a vote of censure, but to discover where censure was due. He believed that the fault was more abroad than at home, and the proper offender should be found out and punished.
Mr. Horsman reminded the House that it stood in a very serious position. Had we, he asked, a Government which deserved the confidence of Parliament? Such a Government should have union within, and confidence without. But the present Government was not more united than the former, and the same familiar faces afforded no ground for any increase of confidence. His conclusion was, that the House could not recede from the position it had taken up three weeks ago.
Mr. E. Ball dilated on the disasters and disorders that had attended our military operations, and declared that the House was bound to prosecute the suggested inquiry. Mr. Phinn pleaded for some concession to the recognised good intentions of the new Government, and recommended the House not to abandon, but to postpone the procedure of the inquiry.
The discussion was kept up for some time by Mr. H. T. Liddell, Mr. Vansittart, Mr. Laing, Lord Ebrington, Mr. Danby Seymour, Admiral Berkeley, Lord Hotham, and Admiral Walcott.
It embraced various topics connected with the prosecution of the war, and was at last terminated by the House going into committee.
Thus terminated the crisis. The new cabinet was, in reality, the old one reconstructed with some partial changes, and redistribution of offices.
The principal personages were the following:
Lord Palmerston, First Lord of the Treasury; Lord Cranworth, Lord Chancellor; Earl Granville, President of the Council; Duke of Argyll, Lord Privy Seal; Earl of Clarendon, Foreign Secretary; Mr. Sidney Herbert, Colonial Secretary; Sir George Grey, Home Secretary; Lord Panmure, Secretary for War; Mr. Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Sir James Graham, First Lord of the Admiralty; Sir William Molesworth, Public Works; Sir Charles Wood, President of the Board of Control; the Marquis of Lansdowne, without office; Lord Canning, Postmaster-General; Mr. Cardwell, President of the Board of Trade.
Lord Panmure introduces an Act for Limited Service in the ArmyMr. Layard calls the attention of the House of Commons to the condition of the nation-Speeches 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 Com mittee-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 it-Nomination of the Committee Members constituting it-Reconstruction of the Cabinet -Lord John Russell a member of it-Death of the Czar Nicholas Profound 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 Points-Earl Grey moves his Resolutions relative to the War Department-Speeches of the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Hardinge, and the Earl of Ellenborough-Discussion 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 Administration Admiral 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 Palmerston-The 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.
mure made a detailed statement N the House of Peers, on the 16th of February, Lord Pan- respecting the War Department,
similar to that made by Lord Palmerston. He observed that the great mortality which had prevailed in some regiments might possibly be explained by the fact that in those regiments a number of young and unseasoned soldiers had been enlisted. To meet this defect in the system of recruiting, he laid a Bill on the table, the object of which was to enlist older men for a period of two or three years, and thus to secure the services of older and stronger men. Great complaints had been made against the Commissariat, and, though the Government would not condemn any man without a hearing, they were resolved on a rigid inquiry, and, for this purpose, were about to despatch to the seat of war Sir John M'Neill, whose services and extensive experience in the East were a guarantee for his fitness to undertake the task. At the same time, the hospitals at Scutari were to be thoroughly cleared and remodelled, and a new hospital was to be established at Smyrna for convalescents. A commission of sanitarians was to be sent out to inquire into the condition of the camp under that point of view. The transport service was to be remodelled; a direct communication was to be established between Scutari and England, to bring home the sick and wounded for treatment in this country; Major-General Simpson was to be sent out as chief of the Staff, it having appeared that neither his age nor health precluded him from filling the appointment; and Sir John Burgoyne was recalled to fill his old post of Inspector of Fortifications, his duties before Sebastopol having devolved on General Harry Jones. He had now placed the House in possession of what the
Government had done, and of what it intended to do, and he should only conclude by moving that the Bill be read a first time.
After a discussion, in which the Earls of Shaftesbury and Harrowby, and Lord Panmure took part, the Bill was read a first time.
On the 19th of February, in the House of Commons, Mr. Layard, upon the motion for a Committee of Supply on the Army Estimates, at great length called attention to the condition of the nation, alleging the probability of some arrangement between Mr. Roebuck and the Government which would preclude discussion, as a reason for the course he took. The country, which stood on the brink of ruin
which had fallen into the abyss of disgrace, and become the laughingstock of Europe-would not be satisfied unless an opportunity was given for the expression of opinion. The late Government had been censured by the House, and had gone out in consequence; yet the existing Government was almost identically composed of the same individuals. How far did the Members retained deserve the confidence of the country? Starting from this position, Mr. Layard freely dealt out censures upon the acts of the late and the measures of the existing Government. The blockade had been carried out so as to cause immense mischief; the transport service was in hopeless confusion; the diplomacy had been mismanaged; nothing had been done to carry out the Foreign Enlistment Act; the French, by taking contracts offered to us, had obtained the command of the supplies in Asia Minor; and, after permitting the Turks to be insulted by British officers, we had taken 20,000 into our pay. Such were the "ante
cedents" of that Government. With regard to the future-the inquiry would be injurious to the public service, if honestly worked, and especially if it sat in judgment on the existing Cabinet; but it could only be rejected on the ground that there were new men and a new programme. To show that such was not the case, Mr. Layard condemned the recent appointment of Commissioners, and urged that no inquiry was needed, as the facts were so well known. The country was sick of commissions; it wanted “a man.” The plan which should be adopted was that of the French National Convention: who, on the failure of their army, sent out their own members, men who had no party considerations, who cared not for aristocratic influences, who "went out determined to sacrifice those who were guilty, regardless of persons, and who did so. The result was, that in a few months that army achieved deeds which were unparalleled in the history of the world." The system at the Horse Guards, the fear of responsibility, an undue regard for family consideration, which led to the neglect of merit, and the passing by of men like the officers of the East India Company, who had seen war,
General Peel said, that he was not in the least surprised at the feeling of despondency abroad, after Lord John Russell had spoken of the state of the army as he had done, and after the publication of other accounts. It was their duty first to inquire into the cause of evils, and then to condemn those who had brought the evils about; but the House of Commons reversed that principle, and condemned before they inquired. He had voted against the inquiry, not from confidence in the Government, but because the proposed tribunal of inquiry was unconstitutional and impracticable. The causes of the evils were so plain that no Committee was needed to inquire into them. The Government commenced a great war with inadequate means; and with those inadequate means they attempted more than any army could possibly execute. All had been called upon to do more than they could, from Lord Raglan down to the smallest drummer-boy. The men had died because they were overworked and underfed; there had been less mortality among the officers, because they were not called upon to perform manual labour, and were better fed. The men who were well clothed were healthy enough. These evils arose from sending out at first more troops than the reduced state of our peace establishment admitted of. It would have been better to have sent out ten or fifteen thousand men, and to have attempted what ten or fifteen thousand men could accomplish. When the siege began, the numbers of the French and English were nearly equal, and the siege operations were divided between them. After the battle of Inkerman, our position was different.