HC Deb 08 February 1858 vol 148 cc861-2

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether Her Majesty's Government have received a Copy of a Despatch, dated the 16th day of January, sent by the Sardinian Government to the Government of Naples, on the question of the illegal capture of the Cagliari steamer and her crew; and if so, whether it is intended to lay a copy of that despatch on the table of the House. Also, whether the views of Her Majesty's Government coincide with those of Count Cavour; and, if so, what course they propose to take in pursuance of those views?


Sir, in reply to the question of the hon. Gentleman, I have to state that a copy of the despatch alluded to has been communicated in confidence to Her Majesty's Government by the Sardinian Government, ac- companied at the same time by documents drawn up by the Neapolitan Government, forming the act of accusation against the parties seized on board the Cagliari steamer. There is at this time a question pending between the Sardinian Government and that of Naples in regard to the capture of the Cagliari in that part of the sea where she was seized. The whole of the matter has been referred by Her Majesty's Government to the Law Officers of the Crown for their opinion as to the bearing of these facts on any rights which the British Government may have with regard to the engineers who were on board the Cagliari; but at present I am not able to state what their opinion is, nor how far Her Majesty's Government will think it right to alter their course in consequence. I am not at present authorized to lay that despatch before Parliament, but when the matter is a little further advanced we may expect that the Sardinian Government will have no objection to its production.