HC Deb 12 April 1853 vol 125 cc1017-8

said, he would now put the question of which he had given notice to the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) relating to the expulsion of Mr. Crauford from the Tuscan dominions. Mr. Crauford was the brother of an hon. Member of that House, the Member for Ayr, and had for some time administered the duties of an office under the Government at Corfu. On the 17th of February last this gentleman proceeded to Florence, on his way home to England, and purposed remaining in that city for a few days till the steamer was ready to leave Leghorn. On the evening of the 21st of February, about twelve o'clock at night, he was returning to his house in Florence, when, to his great surprise, he was accosted by two police officers, who informed him that the orders of the Government were that he should leave the Tuscan dominions in twenty-four hours. Next morning he called upon our Chargê d'Affaires there, who at once represented the case to the Tuscan Government; but all his representations were unavailing, and Mr. Crauford was further informed that if he hesitated to quit the Tuscan dominions within the time prescribed, or at least by the first steam-boat, force would be resorted to to compel his departure. Now Mr. Crauford had been visiting persons of the highest respectability in Florence, amongst others the Attorney General of Tuscany and other persons, who it was to be presumed enjoyed the confidence and respect of that Government. Mr. Crauford had done nothing whatever to give any offence to the Government of the Grand Duke of Tuscany; he had not even been caught reading his Bible. Under these circumstances, he wished to ask the noble Lord whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government had been directed to this case; whether any remonstrance bad been made to the Government of Tuscany upon it; and, if any correspondence had passed, whether the noble Lord would have any objection to lay it upon the table of the House?


said, it was perfectly true that Mr. Crauford was expelled by the Tuscan Government from the Tuscan dominions. It appeared that a suspicion was entertained that he was engaged in some revolutionary attempt—a suspicion which was entirely unfounded. His noble Friend the Secretary for Foreign Affairs (the Earl of Clarendon) made a remonstrance upon the subject, and stated that Mr. Crauford had only gone to Florence on his way to this country. And upon this statement the Tuscan Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his regret at the occurrence, admitted that the suspicion was unfounded, and said that Mr. Crauford should be at liberty at any time, on his return to Corfu, to pass through Tuscany without molestation. With regard to the production of the correspondence, there was some difculty connected with the subject that rendered it inconvenient to do so; and such a course tended not unfrequently to prevent the amicable arrangement of questions of this sort.