HC Deb 16 February 1858 vol 148 c1472

said, he wished to inquire whether the Government have taken any further steps respecting the detention and trial of the British engineers of the Cagliari steamer by the Government of the King of the Two Sicilies. He understood that since the trial had been commenced one of the men had shown a tendency to fits, and that the other had received so great a shock from his long imprisonment, and from the doom he had feared, that his reason was altogether gone, so that it had been impossible to put him on his trial at all. He should be glad to hear that something had been done for those afflicted persons, and to relieve the anxiety of their relatives and friends.


Sir, the Government have been in repeated communication with the Government of Naples on this subject, by means of our Consular Agent there, who has watched the proceedings of the Court, and given due attentions to the case. The state of the matter is this. The trial of Park is now going on. With regard to Watts, he unfortunately was hurt, both in mind and spirit, having been very much affected by the imprisonment which he has undergone, and the apprehensions which have been excited in him as to the final results. He was consequently in that state of mental excitement that it would have been quite improper to proceed with his trial. At the desire of the British Government he has been delivered over to the Consul, who has had him placed in the British hospital there, which is a well regulated establishment, and where he will be attended by British persons, medical men, and others. It is hoped that by proper treatment and care he will recover from the state that he is now in.