HC Deb 23 August 1848 vol 101 cc432-3

said, he had a notice on the Paper for an explanation of the circumstances connected with the recent appearance of the fleet under the command of Admiral Sir William Parker in the Bay of Naples; but perhaps the noble Lord could give some explanation which should obviate the necessity of his bringing forward that Motion.


said, that the reason Admiral Parker was sent with his squadron to Naples was, that it had been stated that the Neapolitan Government were about to raise a forced loan, contrary to existing treaties; but the intention of contracting that loan was afterwards abandoned. Another question had, however, arisen with respect to the use of the British flag by the Neapolitan navy in seizing certain Sicilian vessels; and upon that subject also a satisfactory explanation had been given. After that a question arose as to whether certain prisoners had not been taken on board ship, and there was a doubt whether they were taken in the waters of Corfu; and Admiral Sir William Parker, not being satisfied with the explanations given, inspected the log-books of the Neapolitan captains, and then wrote a letter to the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian islands upon the subject. When Sir William Parker last wrote to this country, he had not received any answer from the Lord High Commissioner. He begged to observe that Sir William Parker was an officer of the greatest prudence and discretion; and he thought both the Government and Parliament might fairly trust him to take any future proceedings he might think right.


said, the statement of the noble Lord was satisfactory; but he wished to put a further question to the noble Lord, relative to the existing state of things. He wished to know whether, up to this time. Her Majesty's Government had maintained a strict neutrality between the two contending parties; or whether Sir William Parker had committed any act, either towards the King of Naples or the Sicilians, which could in any respect make England a party to the contest?


said, that Sir William Parker had not received, nor had there gone out to him, any instructions for him to take any hostile measure with regard to either party. Sir William Parker had been sent out mainly for the purpose of protecting British interests.

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