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1877.] "Shah" and "Amethyst" and the "Huascar."
6. Having succeeded in obtaining 61 tons of coal by 1 a.m. on the 25th, I put to sea, and proceeded northward under the full impression, from the information that I had received, that the "Huascar" having embarked Pierola, the rebel chief, and being aware of the Peruvian squadron's presence at Iquique, would at once attempt a landing either at Ylo or at Quilca, or Camana.
7. Before daybreak on the 25th I passed Pisaqua and communicated orders to "Amethyst" by flashing signal to proceed to Arica.
8. Proceeding ten knots I arrived at Arica, at 1 p.m., on the 25th, and the "Amethyst" joined me at 4 p.m. The same evening, after obtaining intelligence, the "Shah" and "Amethyst proceeded on northward, the "Amethyst" having orders as per Enclosure, No. 5.
9. At daybreak, on the 26th, the "Amethyst" reconnoitred Ylo, and the two ships continued northward at a 10-knot speed; off Mollendo detached the "Amethyst "to obtain intelligence by telegraph, and proceeded at slower speed to a rendezvous off Quilca.
10. On the 29th, the "Amethyst rejoined at a further rendezvous, Pescadores Point; I sent her back to Mollendo for further intelligence, and anchored the "Shah" on a bank, off Cumana, to endeavour to save her coal.
11. The "Amethyst" rejoined the afternoon of the 28th, with intelligence that the Pacific Steam Navigation Company's steamer, "John Elder," had sighted the "Huascar" at 3 a.m. that day, ten miles south of Pisaqua, and steering northwards. Steamed southward, and sent the "Amethyst" again to Mollendo for intelligence.
12. On the 29th the "Amethyst" rejoined soon after daylight, signalling that the "Huascar" was bombarding Pisaqua the previous morning. Started southward, 11 knots, with "Amethyst" in company; the "Amethyst" stationed to look out on the portbeam just within signal distance.
13. At 1 p.m. the same day, the 29th, we sighted a steamer right ahead, which proved to be the "Huascar," with Peruvian colours, and the Peruvian flag at the main, and cleared for action. We gave chase, and made the signal to get up steam for full speed and prepare for action.
14. The "Huascar" tried to escape towards the land, but the "Amethyst being inshore, assisted to confuse her movements, and by 2.10 p.m., having come up with the "Huascar," within
gunshot, I fired a blank gun to bring her to.
15. The "Huascar," having stopped, I sent Senior Lieutenant Ramier on board with orders, as per Enclosure, No. 6.
16. Lieutenant Ramier returned with the following reply: That the President of Peru was on board, that I was mistaken as to the "Huascar" having committed illegal acts, and that her colours would not be hauled down.
17. Having quickly hoisted up the boat, I fired a blank gun, then a shotted gun, near the "Huascar," and after five minutes, according to warning, seeing that her colours were still up, I made the signal to engage, and the action commenced at 3.6 p.m.
18. For the details of the engagement I beg to refer your Lordships to Captain Chatfield's Report, and to one from a copy of the notes taken at the time, both of June 1. (Enclosures Nos. 7 and 8.)
19. The "Shah's" firing was steady and well maintained, but not so telling as I should have wished. It must, however, be observed that the "Huascar," only three feet out of water, and frequently end-on, was a most difficult object to hit. The "Shah's" fire was also frequently stopped by my order, when, owing to the "Huascar " placing herself close under the town of Ylo, there was risk of injuring the town. The firing was also stopped for a little while in consequence of the "Huascar's" colours coming down, the halliards having been shot away, but subsequently they were re-hoisted.
20. The "Amethyst's " fire was conducted with great precision, but her armament of 64-pounders was of course useless, except to distract attention and to draw the "Huascar's "fire occasionally off the "Shah.”
21. The engagement was partly a following one and partly a revolving one, with occasional attempts on the part of the "Huascar" to ram, which had to be carefully guarded against with a ship so long in proportion to her beam, and therefore so slow in turning, as the "Shah."
22. The "Huascar" appeared to be steaming about 11 knots, and to be beautifully handled, always contriving to keep her turret guns pointing on us, except when in their loading position. That the "Huascar's" shot and shell never once struck the "Shah" (merely cutting away a couple of ropes) was singular and Providential, as her 300pounder shell entering a ship with a
large complement like the "Shah"
would have had serious results.
23. At 5.45 p.m., it being dusk, and the "Huascar" having placed herself close inshore, and in a line with the town, I caused the firing to cease.
24. The "Shah" and " Amethyst" then took up positions to watch the "Huascar," and a torpedo expedition was organised and despatched from the "Shah," as reported in Enclosure No. 9.
25. At 3.30 a.m. on May 30 the torpedo expedition returned, reporting that the "Huascar " had escaped. This she could easily do, owing to the darkness of the night, the height of the land, and her draught of water enabling her to go close to the rocks.
26. Concluding that the "Huascar " had certainly gone northward to attempt to effect a landing at Quilca, I proceeded (as soon as the steam pinnace and torpedoes were stowed) with the two ships in that direction, detaching the "Amethyst " to Mollendo for intelligence.
27. At 7 p.m. the "Amethyst" brought off news that the "Huascar" was at Iquique, and preparing to disembark. Her preparing to disembark her force subsequently proved to be incorrect.
28. The "Shah's" coal supply getting short now began to be a serious consideration, but trusting to getting some coal either at Pisaqua or Iquique the two ships at once started off for the latter place.
29. At 5 p.m., when twenty miles off Iquique, the "Shah" stopped, and prepared a torpedo expedition.
30. Soon after dark the "Amethyst" came up, and I detached her to board and obtain intelligence from a steamer seen coming from the direction of Iquique. The "Shah" then proceeded on, and when within seven miles of Iquique, being unable to wait longer for the "Amethyst" lest the moon should rise, the torpedo expedition was despatched to destroy the "Huasin Iquique.
31. Shortly after the boats had left we perceived guns, rockets, and blue lights in the direction of Mexillones. Apprehending that the "Amethyst had got on shore in attempting to intercept the steamer, the "Shah " proceeded towards the lights, getting a launch, and steam anchor and cable ready.
32. Soon, however, the "Amethyst" was perceived returning, and made the signal, "Huascar" has surrendered to-day to the Peruvian fleet.' The "Shah" then steamed with despatch
towards Iquique, making the preconcerted signal of recall to the boats with rockets and blue lights, which recall was fortunately seen in time, and the boats returned.
33. The "Shah" and "Amethyst" remained off Iquique until daylight, when they proceeded into port, the "Shah" taking up a position in the middle of the Peruvian squadron, and between the "Independencia" and "Huascar." The "Independencia shortly afterwards saluted my flag, which I directed the "Amethyst" to return, and then caused the "Shah's " shotted guns to be drawn.
34. The Peruvian squadron at Iquique now consisted of the "Independencia' (broad pennant at the main), “Union," "Atahualpa," "Pilcomayo," "Limena," and the surrendered "Huascar."
35. Having received confirmation of the "Huascar" having surrendered, I obtained as much coal as possible by 6 p.m., and having detached the "Amethyst" to resume her station as senior officer's ship on the coast of Chili, I proceeded in the "Shah" northward for Callao and Panama.
36. Before my departure from Iquique, Commodore Moore came on board to call upon and thank me for having been the means of the " "Huascar's surrendering. I, however, stopped his thanks, and explained to him most distinctly that Her Majesty's naval forces under my command had taken, and would take, no part whatever in the internal dissensions or other affairs of Peru; the action I had taken in respect to the "Huascar " having been solely on account of her having committed piratical acts against British subjects, ships, and property.
37. In reply to my inquiries, Commodore Moore informed me that the "Huascar" had landed the two English engineers at Autofagasta and shipped two French ones instead. He also informed me that amongst the "Huascar's" crew were two or three Englishmen, but that they took no part in the action a statement I venture to think incorrect; but in the absence of proof I have abstained from further complicating matters by making any demand for their delivery into British custody.
38. I had a further conversation with Commodore Moore, but of so singular a turn that I shall give its substance in a separate letter.
39. I trust that in view of the proceedings I have reported, and for the following reasons, the Lords Commis
sioners of the Admiralty will deem that I was not only justified in the course I have adopted, but that I had no alternative, viewing my duty to protect the lives, ships, and property of Her Majesty's subjects.
40. I submit that an officer holding the high appointment of Commander in Chief is bound to act according to the best of his ability in such cases without embarrassing his Government with perplexing questions, and having done so to stand or fall by the subsequent judgment of his superiors, well knowing that no Government could give him decisive orders upon the mere information which could be embodied in a telegram at this distance, even if time had admitted of waiting for a reply (when a section of the cable was not working).
41. The reasons I submit to their Lordships are as follows:-
I. The "Huascar" in boarding and detaining the "John Elder" at sea, in boarding and demanding despatches from the "Santa Rosa," in forcibly taking coal from the "Imuncina," in forcibly taking a Peruvian officer out of the "Columbia," and in forcibly compelling the engineer, a British subject, to serve against his will, committed acts which could not be tolerated.
II. The "Huascar," having no lawful commission as a ship of war, and owning no allegiance to any State, and the Peruvian Government having disclaimed all responsibility for her acts,
no reclamation or satisfaction could be obtained except from that ship herself.
III. That the status of the "Huascar," previous to action with the "Shah" and "Amethyst," was, if not that of a pirate, at least that of a rebel ship having committed piratical acts.
IV. That the status of the "Huascar," after refusing to yield to my lawful authority, and after engaging Her Majesty's ships, was that of a pirate.
V. That had the "Huascar "not been destroyed or captured, there would have remained no safety to British ships or property on this coast, not even to Her Majesty's ships, as the "Huascar" might have destroyed the "Shah or the "Amethyst," by ramming any night at any port they were found.
VI. That I trust the lesson that has been taught to offenders against international law will prove beneficial to British interests for many years to
VII. That I have carefully abstained from any interference with the interests of the Peruvian Government, or those of the persons in armed rebellion against that Government; my action in respect to the "Huascar" having been entirely for British interests.
42. Trusting that my proceedings will receive their Lordships' approval. I have, &c.
A. F. R. DE HORSEY, Rear Admiral and Commander in Chief. The Secretary of the Admiralty. (Here follow Enclosures.)
MEMORANDUM OF THE CANADIAN MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE UPON REFERENCE IN A DESPATCH OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES, TO THE SUBJECT OF THE COLORADO BEETLE.
The undersigned, in accordance with a request of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, having carefully examined the Despatches of Lord Carnarvon, respectively bearing date March 3, 1875, and August 28, 1876, has the honour to report as follows:
The occasion of considering measures for the prevention of the introduction of the Colorado potato beetle into other countries from Canada has
not yet presented itself, and the information from the German authorities, conveyed to Her Majesty's Minister at Berlin, on the capture of the insect on board ships and at Bremen, as well as other information given by newspapers relative to its introduction into Sweden, shows that the beetles had come from the United States, having been shipped at ports the neighbourhoods of which were invaded by them.
The document furnished to Her Majesty's Minister at Berlin, a copy of which forms part of the Despatch of August 28 last, contains the following remark.
"It may be considered an almost insoluble problem in regard to trans
atlantic ships' traffic to prevent by more extensive supervisional measures the introduction of these beetles in Europe."
The difficulty thus foreseen by the German authorities cannot but be selfevident when the habits and modes of progression of the insect are examined; for not only does it move by flying, and by navigating, so to speak, smooth water, but also travels on common vehicles, railway carriages, and platforms, on decks of vessels, &c., especially during the months of August and September.
In localities fully invaded, the beetles may be seen creeping on side walks, bridges, and wharves, crawling up buildings, occupying fences, lodging themselves in every crevice, penetrating houses and dwellings, ascending and occupying vehicles of all sorts, finding their way into boats and vessels, placing themselves on any and every article, and being found alive after a long sojourn in situations where there would seem to exist no chance for them to find any subsistence.
Such a short but correct exposé of the habits of the beetle as connected with the possibility of its penetrating almost anywhere, and by almost any means of transport, renders indeed insoluble the problem of absolutely preventing its inroad into new fields of devastation, no matter how remote or by what obstacles they may be separated from the regions already invaded.
It may be remarked in this respect that potatoes and their covering are neither more nor less apt to harbour the insect than anything else.
But if the absolute repelling of the invader is unfortunately beyond reach, the extent of the disaster is fortunately in a very great measure under control, involving, of course, care and expense.
The remedies which necessity has taught on this side of the Atlantic are such as to require for their application the joint effort of the community at large, kept alive to its interests and duties by the authorities, and men of devotedness to the common welfare.
These remedies are
1. Searching for and crushing every potato beetle wherever found.
2. Frequent visits to the potato fields, and searching for the eggs deposited on the under side of the leaves of the potato vine; and
3. Watching for the presence of the larvæ on the buds, and on the leaves of the plant in order to destroy them by means of Paris Green, the only sub
stance yet discovered to be effectually operative on a large scale for the destruction of the insect in its larval state. By these means, and by these means only, the invaded American States, and the western part of Canada, have been able to secure potato crops in a measure commensurate with the care and energy bestowed, and by similar means only can the invasion be retarded and lessened in its effects.
No measure has been taken in Canada, for reasons given, to prevent the falling or creeping of individual insects on board ships loading in Dominion seaports.
There is, however, almost a certainty that the environs of Montreal will be invaded next year, and with that prospect in view, general orders may be given to public officers and employés of the ports to look for and destroy any beetles which might be observed on the wharves, on sheds, on packages of goods to be embarked, or on board ships. A general appeal might also be made to all persons having to deal with the shipping for assistance in the execution of such preventive measures.
The undersigned respectfully recommends the adoption of such precautions, beyond which he does not see that there is anything within the power of the Canadian Government to do.
The whole respectfully submitted. (Signed) LETELLIER. Department of Agriculture,Ottawa, October 6, 1876.
TELEGRAM FROM MR. H. MACDONELL. Berlin, June 27, 1877.
Ministry of Agriculture as yet possess no reliable information respecting appearance of Colorado beetle at Mülheim. They have sent Professor Gerstaker, entomologist, to investigate and report. Papers state Professor Foester of Aachen, has pronounced the insect to be the Colorado beetle. Shall report any further information I obtain. H. MACDONELL.
TELEGRAM FROM HER MAJESTY'S CONSUL GENERAL AT DUSSELDORF, DATED JUNE 28, 1877.
Colorado beetle was found with larvæ numerous in a potato field near Mülheim. Yesterday, before the authorities, the field was fired with sawdust and petroleum. One beetle was seen on the wing. It is feared the plague may spread.
LETTER FROM HER MAJESTY'S VICE CONSUL AT COLOGNE, Dated June 27, 1877, AND TRANSLATION OF REPORTS FROM "COLOGNE GAZETTE AND "STADT-ANZEIGER," &c.
Cologne, June 27, 1877.
Sir, I hasten to send you the different reports on the Colorado beetle, which I have found in the different editions of the Cologne Gazette and the Stadt-Anzeiger, supposing that they will give you a better insight into the present state of the approaching plague than a personal report could do.
The Government, as well as the public, seem to take the matter seriously enough, so we will hope that their united endeavours will succeed in preventing further devastation.
It seems to be a fact, that the insect found on a potato field near Mülheim, on the Rhine, belonging to a butcher, who imports American bacon, is the real Colorado beetle. The chrysalis of the insect appears in considerable, but the beetle itself in more confined, quantities till now, on about one-fifth of the field, which measures about twenty
It was reported that the insect had appeared already on another potato field near Mülheim. This, however, has been strictly contradicted in yesterday's evening paper.
I shall follow up the progress of this lamentable discovery, and report further what may be of interest to you.
I have, &c.
(Signed) WAM. HELLMERS.
To J. A. Crowe, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty's Consul General, Düsseldorf.
DESPATCH FROM HER MAJESTY'S CONSUL GENERAL AT DÜSSELDORF.
Düsseldorf, June 29, 1877.
MY LORD,-No discovery has as yet been made as to the manner in which the Colorado beetle was imported into the field in which it was found on the 24th instant near Mülheim. The statement that the owner of the field, being an importer of American bacon, may have had Colorado beetles' eggs in his bacon cases is as yet the only plausible one that has been given. The field, which I visited yesterday, is a large one, but edged on one side by houses; one of them, I believe, the property
and residence of the importer above mentioned.
As yet no signs of an extension of the beetle-plague have been discovered; but the authorities are apprehensive that it may spread, and they have issued a notice to the following effect:-
"The potato beetle (chrisomela decemlineata), commonly called the Colorado beetle, has undoubtedly been found in a field by Mülheim-am-Rhein. The ravages which this insect is well known to cause induce the issue of the following police order :
"Every owner, user, or lessee of fields planted with potatoes is bound to give notice of the appearance of the Colorado beetle, or its brood, to the police of his place of habitation." (Here follows a full description of the beetle and its larvæ and eggs.)
"2. Whoever shall neglect this duty will be fined from 9 to 30 marks, or suffer proportionate imprisonment.
"Neglect will be held to have been shown whenever, on revision, larvæ shall have been found in any potato field.
(Signed) "GUIONNEAN." "Köln, June 27, 1877."
I have, &c.
The Right Hon. the Earl of Derby,
LETTER FROM MR. MACDONELL TO THE EARL OF DERBY.
Berlin, June 30, 1877.
MY LORD,- With reference to my telegram to your Lordship, No. 45 Commercial, of the 27th instant, on the subject of the appearance of the Colorado beetle at Mülheim, I have now the honour to report that in answer to my inquiries at the Imperial Sanitary Office, which has been entrusted by Prince Bismarck's order with the investigation of the matter, I have been informed that a report has been received from Dr. Sell, professor of chemistry, who was sent to devise the best means of destroying the insect.
Dr. Sell states that there is no doubt that the insect is really the much dreaded Colorado beetle, but that prompt means have been taken for its destruction in the field where it appeared, which is only of about the extent of one hectare.
The sanitary office have promised to furnish me with a copy of Dr. Sell's