HC Deb 04 March 1856 vol 140 cc1790-1

said, that from the proceedings of the Anglo-Italian Legion at Novara, some apprehension had been entertained as to the consequences of the continuance of that body in the country. He begged, therefore, to ask the First Lord of the Treasury what accounts Her Majesty's Government had received respecting the late arrest at Novara, arising from the apprehended mutiny in the Anglo-Italian Legion; also, how long the Legion was to remain in Piedmont, and its future destination in the event of peace being concluded?


Sir, it is quite true that reports have prevailed at Piedmont that there was a plot formed in one of the regiments of the Italian Legion. In consequence of that report sixteen of the soldiers belonging to that regiment were arrested, and subjected to an investigation by the Sardinian authorities. But as far as Her Majesty's Government are informed the plot was not supposed to have for its object any disturbance of any kind or an insurrection in the country, but it arose, I believe, from a report that a large sum of money had been sent from Lombardy to be distributed among the soldiers, to induce them to desert, and to pass into the territory of Lombardy. There, however, appears upon inquiry to be no foundation whatever for that report. Nothing has been discovered to confirm the notion that any such plot existed in any of those regiments, whose conduct, I am bound to say, from first to last, has been most exemplary. It was, however, thought better at once to carry into execution the arrangements which had been always intended; and as there were about 3,000 men under arms, steps have been taken to remove them to Malta, the place for which they were originally destined. Two regiments have already marched; one has embarked for Malta, and the other is about to embark. I have only to add that during their march nothing could exceed the good discipline, order, and loyalty of these troops towards the sovereign of the country in whose pay they are, and in whose service they are engaged.

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