HC Deb 01 February 1856 vol 140 cc90-2

said, he wished to inquire whether it was the intention of the Government to introduce any Bill for the alteration or amendment of the laws affecting aliens. He also wished to ask whether it was true that the release of Colonel Türr by the Austrian Government had taken place, and whether that officer was at liberty to return to the employment of the Crown of England? The noble Lord, perhaps, would at the same time have the kindness to state what steps were taken by Her Majesty's Ministers with respect to that gross violation of international law, as regarded Turkey, and insult to the Crown of England?


Perhaps the hon. Member will allow me to suggest an addition to his question.


Perhaps my hon. and learned Friend will amend my question after hearing the reply of the noble Lord.


With regard, Sir, to the first question of my hon. Friend, I have to state that Her Majesty's Government have at present no intention of proposing any new law upon the subject. As to the second question, I have the satisfaction of stating that the result of communications which have passed between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Austria has been that the Austrian Government have declared themselves ready to deliver up Colonel Türr to any military authority which may be authorised by this country to receive him, and he will therefore be perfectly free to perform any duty which may be assigned to him. With regard to the request to have the whole of the communications which have passed between the two Governments, I think the House will be of opinion that, as the matter has ended in a satisfactory manner by the liberation of Colonel Türr, it is useless going into those details. The question was not altogether so simple as my hon. Friend imagines. It was complicated by a great variety of conflicting circumstances. All I can say is, that while, on the one hand, the Austrian Government have insisted on the assertion of certain rights, on the other hand they have shown every disposition to meet the wishes of Her Majesty's Government as far as was consistent with the rights which they deemed it their duty to maintain. The result was that Colonel T—

uuml;rr was tried by a military tribunal on a charge of desertion from the Austrian army. He was convicted of that offence. The transaction was perfectly well known, and he never denied it. The conviction having taken place, the Austrian Government, in deference to the wishes of Her Majesty's Government, immediately ordered Colonel Türr to be released in the manner I have described.


Allow me now to put my emendation of the question—whether Colonel Türr is liberated without indignity?


As far as I am aware, there is nothing further than a pure and simple liberation.