HC Deb 17 May 1860 vol 158 cc1393-413

trusted that the House would receive a fuller explanation of the state of the law than had yet been given by the learned Attorney General on the subject of the subscription for the insurrectionists in Sicily. It was fully established that we had no legal power to turn aliens out of this country. We were, therefore, according to the Attorney General, in this extraordinary position—that while we could not expel foreigners, we were at the same time unable to enforce our laws upon them. This was a matter that concerned other countries as well as our own, and the House had been given to understand that our law could not be enforced equally on foreigners living in England, and on our own fellow-subjects. That was too important a point to be left as it stood, upon the mere casual explanation of an authority like the Attorney General, and he hoped, therefore, that that learned Gentleman would distinctly state whether he meant to propound such a doctrine to the House.


What I stated was simply this, that the rule of the common law is applicable to the subjects of England; but it has never been decided that mere foreigners resident in the country would come within the meaning of the words "subjects of the Queen." The better opinion undoubtedly is that any conduct which in the subjects of the Queen would be entitled conspiracy would in the case of foreigners receive the same designation; but it is difficult to say how far the rule is to be carried, for let me put this case—Suppose that a natural born English subject sent £100,000 to Garibaldi, undoubtedly I should consider that act a misdemeanour indictable at common law; but suppose a Sicilian refugee sent the same sum, I should have no confidence in giving an opinion that that also would be a misdemeanour at common law. In the absence of decisions the subject does not admit of a more decided opinion.


said, that before the House left this subject from which their attention had been already divided by two little episodes, he wished to call upon Her Majesty's Government to state what were their intentions with regard to this most important matter. The law had been distinctly laid down by the Attorney General, and there was no doubt that what was now being done in this country, not only by foreigners but also by subjects of the Queen, was in direct contravention of the law of nations and contrary to the law of this country. If these subscriptions had reference to the invasion of the territories of a more powerful Sovereign than the King of Naples, could there be any doubt as to the course which Her Majesty's Government would feel themselves bound or rather forced to pursue? He would suppose the case of the Ionian Islands. He had, it was true, never met a Sicilian who was not opposed to the Neapolitan Government, but neither had he ever met an Ionian who was not equally opposed to British rule. Suppose, then, that in France or Russia subscriptions were got up and announced in the public papers for the purpose of freeing the people of the Ionian Islands from the yoke of Great Britain, should we for one moment tolerate such a proceeding? Was it not right and proper, then, that we should do to others what we should wish them to do to us, and should deal with small and insignificant States in the same manner that we should be compelled to deal with great and powerful ones? He, therefore, wished to know whether Her Majesty's Government were prepared to take up this matter, to ascertain whether a prosecution could be instituted, and, if it could, to undertake it at once; because the very announcement of their determination to pursue such a course would have a moral force and a moral weight in this country, and would throughout Europe destroy the lamentable and unfortunate effect which the doubtful opinion given by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General had already produced. Before resuming his scat he could not help alluding to an observation which had, as he conceived, been improperly made by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Marylebone (Mr. James). The hon. and learned Gentleman whilst anxious to attack the Solicitor General had endeavoured to cover the unpopularity which he felt would attach to the course he was taking by the never failing expedient of making an attack upon the Pope. Now, he asked hon. Members, whatever might be their prejudices or their feelings, was that a justifiable course to pursue? What were the words that he used? He said that the army under General Lamoriciere was to be used by the Pope to massacre his subjects. What right had the hon. and learned Gentleman to speak in such a manner of General Lamoriciere, a man who was known throughout Europe and throughout the world as one of the most gallant and distinguished soldiers on the face of the earth; a man whose whole career had been one of the most noble and most brilliant that any military man ever pursued, and who had gained the esteem, admiration, and affection of all those who had served under him; what right had the hon. and learned Gentleman to presume to speak of such a man in such language? There might be differences of opinion as to the Government of the Pope, there might be persons who complained of this thing or of the other, but no man, not even his greatest enemy, accused him of inhumanity or cruelty. Why, he commenced his reign with the proclamation of a general amnesty, and through its whole course his every act had been marked by the greatest benevolence. He was now forced to collect troops; and for what purpose? Had they read one of the proclamations of General Garibaldi, in which he summoned the Italian people to unite and deliver Umbria and other parts of the Papal territories from the dominion of the Pope? When the Pope found that there was an union of powerful forces against his small State, what could he do but gather together troops to resist them? That was his object, not to massacre his subjects, nor to ill-treat those whom he had always endeavoured to benefit, but to resist those foreign Filibusters who were coming thus ostentatiously to raise a rebellion in his States. That he believed to be the real fact, and the words which had been used by the hon. and learned Gentleman with regard cither to his Holiness or to General Lamoriciere were words which ought not to have been used by any Member of that House. The hon. and learned Member for Marylebone had also erroneously stated that the Foreign Enlistment Act was passed for the purpose of meeting such a case as that of certain Irishmen enlisting in the army of the Pope. Everybody knew that during the 17th century English subjects were in the habit of serving Foreign States. In the reign of George II., on account of the Jacobite conspiracy against the English Crown, it was found necessary to pass an Act for the purpose of preventing foreign enlistment; and in 1814, at the time of the peace, there was a Treaty made between England and Spain, one of the sections of which contained an engagement on the part of this country not to assist in any way the revolted provinces of Spain. In 1819 it was found that under the law of George II. English subjects, although not able to enlist in the Spanish army, might lawfully take service on the side of the revolted provinces. Mr. Canning considered that that was a breach of the Treaty of 1814, and an Act was passed for the simple purpose of making the prohibitory law include, not only enlistment in the army of any Foreign Prince, but enlistment in the service of anybody claiming to have any authority in a Foreign country. Undoubtedly English subjects had always been in the habit of taking service with Foreign States, and that, too, without any fault being found with them. When the present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was in the Home Office, be (Mr. Monsell) had made an application to him on the part of an English officer in the Austrian army, who wished to be allowed to get rid of his English naturalization. That application was refused, as being contrary to the law of this country; but the Home Secretary never dreamt of Sliding fault with the British officer for having enlisted in the Austrian army. Any attempt to prevent Irishmen from enlisting in the army of the Pope would be contrary to our usual policy, and especially contrary to the traditions of the Liberal party, who had always been opposed to the Foreign Enlistment Act. Hitherto it had not been the practice to prevent enlistment in the army of a friendly Power. His principal object in rising had been to protest against the unjust and ungracious attack which had been made by the hon. and learned Member for Marylebone upon the Pope and upon General Lamoriciere.


said, that the House owed a deep debt of gratitude to the hon. Member for King's County (Mr. Hennessy) for bringing this matter under their consideration, in order that any doubt which arose from the ambiguous expressions of the Solicitor General, in the incautious answer which he gave the other night to a question put to him on this subject might be explained. Perhaps that hon. and learned Gentleman would have done better had he candidly admitted his mistake than by the elaborate attempt he had made to prove that right which every lawyer present knew to be wrong. Had he frankly admitted his error, the House would have granted that indulgence which it never refused to any of its Members. Nothing could be more dangerous or erroneous than the doctrine which had been laid down by the hon. and learned Gentleman. The proposition submitted to him was, whether it was contrary to the law of England for a combination of foreigners to be established in this country to raise subscriptions for the purpose of making war against a friendly power. The hon. and learned Gentleman alleged that he had been asked whether any proceeding could be taken, but the real meaning of the question was whether such a proceeding would be lawful, and the Attorney General had given the weight of his great authority in entirely repudiating the doctrine laid down by his hon. and learned Colleague. He (Mr. Malins) was, however, bound to say that the anxiety of his hon. and learned Friend to screen his colleague had induced him to express himself with considerable ambiguity, and it was because the subject was still left in doubt that he wished to state what was the understanding on that, the Opposition side of the House, as to the state of the law. He made no complaint of the terms in which the Attorney General had laid down the law. He quite concurred in his definition, namely—that where any body of men combined—combined or conspired—for the purpose of raising money to make war, or to take hostile proceedings against a friendly power, it was contrary to the common law of England; but he deeply regretted when his hon. and learned Friend went on to raise a doubt whether that general principle was applicable to foreigners resident in this realm. Now, if the hon. and learned Gentleman really entertained any doubt upon that point, it was his duty to remove it without the loss of a single day, for surely nothing could be more just than that foreigners resident in this country, and enjoying the protection of our laws, should be bound to comply with them in all respects. On Saturday morning Inst, in taking up the morning paper, his eye was arrested by an Italian advertisement from a foreign body of gentlemen resident in England inviting subscriptions to be sent to a gentleman to whom they were all in the habit of listening in another capacity—one of the most eminent vocalists we had, Signor Mario. Signor Mario was the treasurer, to whom the subscriptions for the purpose of making war on Sicily were to be sent. It was not a question whether or not the Neapolitan Government was a government to be admired. There were many governments which we did not approve. But that which would be applicable to Russia, or France, or Prussia was equally applicable to the kingdom of Naples. Naples was not a great Power, but he should regret to hear it proposed in that House that they were to adopt one principle in relation to the great and powerful nations, and another to a nation that was not great and powerful. They must act on general principles, and he was sure that no Member of Her Majesty's Government would encourage the idea that one principle was to be adopted towards the Government of Naples and another principle towards France, or any other great Power of Europe. If the Government were to see an advertisement in the papers asking for subscriptions for an association formed for the purpose of raising subscriptions to put down the Government of the Emperor of the French how long would that be permitted to go on? The Attorney General had said that if the thing had been done by Englishmen there was no doubt as to what the law would be. If the hon. and learned Gentleman entertained any doubt as to what the law was with regard to foreigners, clearly it was his duty not to permit that doubt to remain another day. His (Mr. Malins') own opinion was that the common law of England, so accurately defined by the Attorney General, was equally applicable to natives and foreigners; but if the Attorney General thought the law of England on this point was at all dubious, it was his duty at once to take steps for the purpose of removing the anomaly, he wished to know what the Government intended to do. This was a moat important debate, and ought to end with a substantial result, Was it the intention of the Government to let such advertisements as the one under discussion be issued every day without interference; If they interfered they ought to do so without hesitation and without ambiguity; no doubt ought to be permitted to hang over their decision, and the law of the country ought to be plainly and distinctly stated. If it was an offence at common law it was indictable, and the Government could readily bring it to a test by preferring an indictment against those who issued the advertisements, unless they were discontinued. The Government would thus give an evidence of good faith towards other countries, and would show a repudiation of any intention to connive at any conspiracy to upset the Government of any other country. So also with regard to the Pope's Government, they were hound to observe the same strict neutrality. It was a question between the Pope and his subjects, whether the Romagna should remain with him or be handed over to the King of Sardinia. So far as they could collect the intentions of his Holiness, he desired now to make war with those who had been his own subjects and with Sardinia, and to raise troops in all parts of the world for the purpose of restoring the Romagna to his dominions. Adhering, therefore, to principles of strict neutrality they ought not to acquiesce in the Pope enlisting troops in Ireland, and he thought the hon. and learned Member for Marylebone had done quite right in calling the attention of the House to the subject.


said, that having had some experience in the understood, but unacknowledged arrangements of the House, he was sure the Speaker would excuse him when he said that no communication from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, or from any one else by his authority, made to the Speaker with reference to himself (Mr. Newdegate), had his sanction. He mentioned this as an independent Member of the House, and as such he wished to call the attention of Her Majesty's subjects to the circumstance.


I have received no communication from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, nor from any individual in this House, with regard to the hon. Member.


said, he was exceedingly obliged to the Speaker for this announcement. He was only adverting to a matter of practice, and although others might submit to a party arrangement of the kind to which he had referred, he simply asked to be permitted to exercise the privilege of an independent Member. With regard to the question before the House, the hon. and learned Member for Marylebone (Mr. James) had very properly adverted to the enlistment that had taken place in Ireland for the service of the Pope; that subject had a direct hearing upon the question before the House. If blame attached to any person taking part in the one movement, for affording support to one party carrying on war abroad, it ought equally to attach to those supporting the other. He trusted therefore that if Her Majesty's Government acted on the suggestion to issue a proclamation prohibiting assistance being given to General Garibaldi, on whose undertaking he gave no opinion, they would proceed impartially in the matter, and not ignore any longer the movement in Ireland, promoted by persons holding authority in the Roman Catholic Church, for the enlistment of Her Majesty's subjects to serve the Pope. The Government could not forget the prompt manner in which the attempt made on the part of the English Government during the Crimean war to enlist American subjects was resisted in America, and he hoped they would not permit the agents of any Foreign Power to enlist within Her Majesty's dominions forces intended for the service of a Foreign Power making war for temporal purposes, although the head of that State was invested with spiritual authority. Not only were men being enlisted for the service of the Pope, but the days of Peter's Pence were revived—contributions were being exacted from Her Majesty's subjects under the name of a tax formally abolished by the Legislature of this country. This was no trifling matter. It was all very well for Members of the House to express indignation at what might be a rash undertaking by Garibaldi. That was a sudden movement, while the other was a protracted and organized system, and was, therefore, deserving of more attention. He had risen for the purpose of putting two questions upon this subject to Her Majesty's Government. The first was, whether it was consistent with the law of this country and with international law, that any man should levy money and men, or arms, for the service of a Foreign State within the United Kingdom, without the consent previously asked and obtained of Her Majesty's Go- vernment? The second was, whether Englishmen enlisting in a foreign service without such consent, did not, from the hour they entered that service and left this country, lose all claim to the rights of British subjects, and whether the consent of Her Majesty's Government not having boon given to their enlistment they did not stand in the position of pirates, and were not therefore at the mercy of any foe to whom they might he opposed, if captured? The Garibaldi affair was a matter of trifling importance in comparison to the Romish enlistment, to which his remarks had been directed. That was a question of serious importance.


—Sir, I am not about to enter into the question of enlistment in Ireland. That is not properly the question before the House. The original question was one calling attention to the reply given by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General respecting Garibaldi's expedition, and that to my mind appears the more serious matter. The House must feel that it has arisen from the very elaborate answer given the other evening by the Solicitor General, who has been universally thrown over by every lawyer in the House, and even by his own colleague the Attorney General. I must say, I heard that answer with great surprise, for it is no slight thing for the Solicitor General, by implication, to leave people out of doors to imagine that the subscription which has been so extensively advertised is a legal one. In one point, at any rate, this discussion has been useful—we have now ascertained from every lawyer that the subscription in aid of the Garibaldi expedition is strictly an illegal one. Whether it would be advisable on the part of the Government to prosecute, and whether they would get a conviction, is another question; but it is no doubt the place of the Government to give expression to their opinion on the subject in this House. If they are for the doctrines of non-intervention, of which I am a humble disciple, they ought to state that this is an illegal combination for assisting people in opposition to a Sovereign with whom we are on friendly terms. If we once give way to this sort of thing, on what ground can we complain of the conduct of America? Have I not heard hon. Gentlemen here using the strongest language with reference to General Walker? What was said about the attempt by American Filibusters some time ago to take the Havannah? Those are parallel instances, and if we are on every occasion to express our sympathies by subscriptions in opposition to Sovereigns with whom we are in amity, you may say what you like about the common law of England, but I am sure it is against all the principles of international law. These may not be popular sentiments, but I think they are such as ought properly to be entertained by an independent Member, who has no sympathy with Naples and much liking for the Sicilian cause, but who thinks, whatever his sympathies may be, that it is not right to truckle to mere out-of-doors feeling, and that he ought to lay down the position which he wishes this country to assume upon all occasions. Now, I wish on this subject to put a question to the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary. I have read in the newspapers with considerable surprise that the landing of Garibaldi's force at Marsala was greatly assisted by two English vessels. Whether that be true or not, I know the report is very prevalent on the Continent, because I have received communications from abroad stating that the fact clearly shows this country to be in favour of the expedition. On the Treasury bench this question has been narrowed down to the mere consideration of its legal bearing; but I think it is important that it should rest on some broader grounds. I think we ought to have a Minister of greater authority than the Law Officers of the Crown overthrowing one another, to tell us what truth there is in the statement, that the landing of the expedition has been mainly assisted by English vessels. With regard to the subscriptions, I believe there are many sympathizers with the Sicilian cause even in this House. I, perhaps, may sympathize, but my duty here is superior to my sympathy, and I certainly will not show that sympathy by breaking the law of my own country.


said, the hon. Member who had just spoken had acknowledged a sympathy which he believed was participated in by many hon. Members in that House. It used to be held, however, that illegal acts only met with approval and sympathy in Ireland; but such a doctrine could now no longer be maintained. He had recently had the honour of presiding at two meetings, and of taking part in a third influential meeting, for the purpose of expressing sympathy with His Holiness the Pope. He had never done anything of which he felt so proud, and he was sure the House would agree with him that there was a great difference between assisting a legitimate Sovereign to maintain order in his dominions and assisting a rebel mob who were endeavouring to overthrow their legitimate Government. He hoped the Government would answer the question which had been repeatedly put to them, and would state what course they intended to take in this matter. Unless they did so this debate would have had a most unsatisfactory termination. As to the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. James) that those who were going from Ireland, if any were going, were proceeding to Italy in order to massacre the subjects of the Pope, he had no hesitation in saying that was a most unwarrantable calumny on the people of Ireland. He believed that if they were going it was with no such intention. He should not take upon himself to say whether these proceedings were contrary to the Enlistment Act or not; but he gave the most emphatic denial to the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman.


My hon. Friend (Mr. B. Osborne) has asked me a question respecting the landing of Garibaldi, and respecting two British ships which are said in certain telegrams to have protected the landing of these men. Now, I received today from the Admiralty the despatch of the officer commanding one of these vessels—the Intrepid. Hon. Gentlemen should be informed that there is a considerable amount of British property at Marsala, and that from the time when a rising in Sicily was expected, and still more from the time when the report was circulated that Garibaldi was going there, applications have been made both to the Foreign Office and to Admiral Fanshawe, who commands in the Mediterranean, to send ships for the protection of British property where British subjects were to be found. Admiral Fanshawe accordingly sent the Intrepid and the Argus to Marsala. The Intrepid arrived, I think, on the 11th, but had not been there long before two merchant steamers came in with Garibaldi's force and began to land it. Captain Marryatt, who was in command of the Intrepid, has written an account of the whole transaction to the Admiralty, and that has been transmitted to me. He states that when the two vessels wore going in, two Neapolitan ships of war—a steamer and a frigate—approached Marsala; but this officer says that, although these ships might have fired upon the vessels and upon the men during their landing, they did not do so. He does not say, not knowing anything of the story that has since been raised, that the English ships did not prevent the Neapolitan vessels from firing; but he says that, although they had the opportunity of firing upon the vessels and the men, they did not do so. He says, moreover, that after the men had been landed, and the merchant steamers had disembarked all the troops of Garibaldi, the officer in command of the Neapolitan steamer came to him and asked him to send an English boat to take possession of those vessels. The English officer, Captain Marryatt, very properly declined to do so. He had no instructions which authorized him to take possession of these vessels, or to take any part in those proceedings. His instructions were, as the conduct of the British Government has been, to observe perfect neutrality in the conflict that is going on. Therefore, although this officer does not give a direct denial—not knowing anything of its existence—to the allegation that his ships, being anchored, prevented the fire of the Neapolitan vessels, we may infer from his account of the transaction that such was not the case. It does appear that the Neapolitan captain asked him to recall from Marsala any of his officers who were on shore, and he immediately put up a signal for that purpose, and when his officers had come on board fire was opened on the town of Marsala by the Neapolitan ships. That should be considered as an act of international courtesy on the part of the Neapolitan captain, but it does not at all imply that the English ships were in the way of his fire. There is no reason to suppose that the English officer in any way exceeded his duty. He was there for the purpose of protecting British interests, and he did no more. I must now say a few words—and they shall be very few—upon the other point which has been so much discussed. I shall not of course, touch upon the question of law upon which hon. and learned Gentlemen on both sides have given us admirable disquisitions, but from which I cannot ascertain that in this particular case it would be wise for the Government to institute a prosecution. It is one thing to state the general purport of the law—and no one could do so with greater clearness and authority than my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General—but it is quite another question whether, if the Government were to prosecute in a certain case, we asked him to state the proba- bility of obtaining a conviction. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Malins) says, we ought immediately to prosecute the persons who put the advertisement into the paper. I am surprised that a lawyer should say that. What evidence have we of who it was that put that advertisement into the newspaper? We must first go to the printer of the newspaper and endeavour to obtain evidence of who had sent it, and then to connect them with the advertisement and the subscriptions.


Names are given of persons by whom subscriptions will be received.


There are names given by the printer of The Times newspaper, I allow, but I am not convinced that Signor Saffi, or others whose names appear, if they were asked by some one sent by the Attorney General, would at once admit that they desired their names to be given as the collectors of subscriptions to be expended in making war against the King of the Two Sicilies. I should think it would be necessary to prove all that, and to bring evidence to show that the printer of The Times did not wantonly and without authority use the names of Signor Saffi and others, or we should all be at the mercy of the printer of The Times, who might give the names of ad the Cabinet as contributors of large sums to be used in waging war against the King of the Two Sicilies. The hon. and learned Gentleman is a much better judge than I am of these matters; but if the Government were to prosecute in such cases they would have to ask the law officers as to the means of obtaining convictions. All I can say is, that I do not remember any case of successful prosecution of persons who had been subscribing for the purpose of maintaining insurrections or war in Poland or other countries. There is one country in regard to which I recollect that I myself, together with many distinguished persons, was guilty of such an act. I refer to the insurrection in Greece. We carried on our proceedings openly. I was a Member of a Committee which met, I think, at Lord Fitzwilliam's house in Grosvenor-square, and afterwards we went to a public meeting in the City. I did not find at that time there was any great zeal for prosecuting us, and certainly I never suffered any imprisonment in consequence of my connection with those proceedings. Therefore, the question of common law does not appear to be quite solved yet, and it re- quires much consideration before the Government can feel warranted in interfering. But, after all, there is much difference of opinion upon those points. Some say, "What a wicked thing it is to assist in waging war against the King of the Two Sicilies, and in exciting insurrection against his power!" But, then, other gentlemen say, "That is not so very bad, but it is a dreadful thing to go and assist the Pope. That is a crime indeed." But really when you consider these questions of insurrection and international law, you must separate them from each other. A movement such as that which Walker attempted in South America, when he sought to invade and to obtain possession of territory, with no higher object in view than his own selfish interests, is one case; but a patriot fighting for the independence of his country is quite another case. We know that our sympathies and the judgment of history will distinguish between the cases of the filibuster and felon, and that of the hero and the patriot. We all remember that we had once a great filibuster who landed in the month of November, 1688, on the south-west coast of England. He not only received considerable support, but all the people of England flocked around him. That filibustering was completely successful. These are cases in which it is not sufficient to say that Garibaldi is a man fighting against a Sovereign whom he ought to respect, or that the Pope is endeavouring to maintain his authority by unlawful expedients. It is not enough to say these things in a glib and fluent manner. These questions, whether taken as questions of law, or politics, or morals, require much examination before you can affix either moral blame or moral praise to those who are engaged in them. I certainly would not pledge the Government to undertake a prosecution in this case. Whenever we find that the plain law is openly outraged, it is our duty, undoubtedly, to see that it is enforced. That has been done frequently in cases of breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act; but even as to that statute we have found considerable difficulties in the way of our carrying it into effect. I will not bind myself by a general declaration of what is the common law to prosecute those who are raising subscriptions for the prosecution of such an enterprise as that which has been undertaken in the kingdom of Sicily.


said, that as the House was always willing to do justice to private cha- racter, he rose to state with reference to the "blasphemous proclamation" that had been attributed to Ricciardi, that that document had never been acknowledged by that patriot or his friends. With respect also to the statement that Garibaldi was a member of a secret society which sought to attain its objects by assassination, it was the peculiar characteristic of Garibaldi that he had never joined any secret society. The fact was, that he was too noble, generous, and chivalrous to engage in any dark intrigue for the promotion of his political aims.


The noble Lord has stated that the printer of The Times might take extraordinary liberties with the Cabinet, and might, in fact, publish the name of every Member of it as having aided and assisted Garibaldi. Now, Sir, if the printer of The Times bad done that, I do not by any means think he would have made an extraordinary mistake. I believe Her Majesty's Government have done everything in their power—it may be unconsciously—to foster discontent in the dominions of the King of the Two Sicilies, and, to a certain extent, to promote and encourage the present rebellion. More extraordinary despatches than those addressed by the noble Lord to the Government of an independent Sovereign, I suppose, no one ever read. The noble Lord sitting in the Foreign Office as a kind of European schoolmaster, has regularly "birched" the King of Naples; in fact, he has done everything in his power, by the language and tone of these despatches, to discredit his authority in his own dominions, and, by anticipation, has almost justified the present insurrection. The King of Naples has been compelled to take steps and adopt measure which may be called arbitrary and harsh; but, whatever their character, they were absolutely necessary in the state of things created by the machinations of those who were conspiring against his Government. Surely, that Sovereign, when he found conspiracies hatching in Naples, had a perfect right to turn the conspirators out of the country. If there were a conspiracy in Ireland to-morrow, with a treasonable object, the noble Lord at the head of the Government would just do what the King of Naples has done in his dominions; and I may remind hon. Gentlemen that the Government of this country was not very scrupulous, on a late occasion, in putting down a conspiracy which was described as foolish and ridiculous. The noble Lord, the Foreign Minister, lectures and denounces petty Sovereigns and feeble States, but he carefully abstains from extending his censures to powerful Sovereigns, like the Emperor of the French. The spirit in which the foreign policy of the Government is conducted is that of truckling and cowardice to great Powers, and tyranny and oppression to small Powers. The noble Lord is brave when he has to deal with the King of Naples or the Sovereign of Rome, but he blanches when he has to face the Emperor of France. What is the fact? That the most abominable conspiracy which the world has ever seen is now being carried out upon the soil of Italy. Two Royal robbers—I can call them nothing else—pretending to be moved by the cries of "distressed nationalities," but really thinking only of their own aggrandisement, entered into an infamous engagement to strip certain Sovereigns of their dominions; and all the confusion and horror that reign at this moment in Italy, as well as all the evil results to the peace of Europe which may follow, are owing, and will be owing, to the infamous machinations of these kingly robbers. I am perfectly justified in believing that the robbery which has been perpetrated of a portion of the States of the Pope, of the Austrian possessions in Lombardy, and of the dominions of the Dukes, and the subsequent division of booty between these unscrupulous potentates, originated in a base personal compact between them. To what extent has this course been sanctioned by Her Majesty's Government?—and how far have the principles enunciated by Her Majesty's Government given countenance to those spoliations? Why, Her Majesty's Government have declared that it is lawful for any portion of the subjects of a legitimate Sovereign to rise up against him, cast off his authority, and transfer their allegiance to any other State or Power. Let you make it your own case. On the same principle the people of Cornwall or Devon, or the people of Wales, may throw off the yoke of the Queen, and may, by universal suffrage, express their discontent with Her Government, and their determination to be free and independent, or to transfer their allegiance to the Emperor of the French. And why, in that ease, should not the Emperor listen to the cry of a "distressed nationality?" And, I ask, if such a case as this did occur, what real difference would there be to the throwing off and transfer of their allegiance by the Pope's subjects in the Legations. Garibaldi has been spoken of as an illustrious patriot, and by many more such high-sounding epithets; but who are his accomplices, who his associates? Why the very scum of Italy—bandits and assassins, leagued together by ties of blood; and among the foremost of them is one whose deeds have been chronicled in the work of Farini, well known to its distinguished translator, the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone). Judging Zambianchi by his acts, he is proved to be an infamous villain, a sacrilegious robber, and a blood-stained assassin of the darkest hue. I shall tell the House something of this Zambianchi, who is now one of the associates of Garibaldi in his efforts to liberate Italy. He had been, before the breaking out of the rebellion of 1848, a Custom-house officer, whose duties lay at some point on the frontier of the Papal dominions. He was an infidel and a vagabond, who feared neither God nor man; but because he was an enemy of the Pope, he was, therefore, like all the Pope's enemies, a hero and a patriot. Let the House understand how this noble character, this enlightened friend of freedom, vindicated his principles and endeavoured to enforce them upon others. During the rebellion he assisted in arresting those who sought to fly from the confusion and anarchy then reigning at Rome and throughout the Papal States; and if those whom he arrested held opinions different from his own, and if he could not bring them round to his views by such mild arguments as threats and intimidations, he usually settled the controversy by the dagger or the pistol. The presence of so illustrious a patriot was naturally required in Rome, where he found a wide field of action for his zeal for free institutions. Priests and monks were the objects of his special care. He arrested them whenever he had an opportunity, and brought them to San Calisto, when he imprisoned them. There he shot some, stabbed others, starved more to death, and murdered others by piecemeal, burying them up to their chins in the earth, and gloating over their agony. Such were the scandal and horror, even in that time of licence, excited by the atrocities of this fiendish miscreant, that the revolutionary Government were eventually compelled to interfere, and put an end to his atrocious barbarities; and that interference saved eight or nine clergymen, who were found in his dungeon, and who undoubtedly would have been slaughtered as some hundred others had been. I have myself spoken to persons in Rome who had a narrow escape from the daggers of Zambianchi and his band of assassins. But, perhaps, it may be said this miscreant did not act so badly after all, because he had only raised his hands against a Catholic Sovereign, and that Catholic Sovereign the Pope. [Cries of "Oh!" and "No!"] What is the use of hon. Gentlemen saying "oh," when they constantly cheer every sentiment that breathes an opposite opinion or an opposite principle? I ask, what right has this Government, which we are assured is maintaining a "strict neutrality" in Italy, to interfere in an insurrection against the Pope? Is not this neutral Government always interfering? Because the Government of the King of Naples is a Catholic Government, rebellion in Sicily and Naples receives every encouragement from the Government of this country; and with respect to the Pope, Her Majesty's Ministers are constantly in the habit of declaring opinions and making statements most dangerous and damaging to the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, but which, I may add, they dare not utter in reference to the Emperor of the French. When the King of Naples exercised his kingly authority, in order to prevent rebellion from breaking out, he was, of course, guilty of cruelty; but when the Emperor of the French acts as the King of Naples has done, is there the same ready rebuke from the noble Lord and his Colleagues in the Cabinet? Why, I ask, docs the noble Lord do that to the King of Naples which he does not do to the Emperor of the French? The noble Lord may say, of course, as he has said before, that the Emperor went to Italy to give liberty to her people. Was there ever a more monstrous 'humbug' than that? [ironical laughter, and cries of "Hear, hear!"] I repeat, was there ever a more monstrous "humbug" than to assert or pretend that one of the most consummate despots that the world has over seen went to Italy for such a purpose? Is it consistent with reason or probability that the Emperor Napoleon crossed the Alps to confer on Italy a free press and representative institutions? Do they exist in France? But has the noble Lord ever attempted to rebuke the Emperor because they do not exist in his dominions? Nay, when the people were shot down in the streets of Paris at the time of the coup d'etat, did any rebuke of the brutal atrocities perpetrated on that occasion come from the English Government? Was there not, on the contrary, an expression of sympathy with Louis Napoleon from one whose name was almost synonymous with encouragement to revolution throughout the world? ["Oh, oh!" and "Hear, hear!"] Is this really a slander against the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston)? But certainly we have never heard of any formal expression of disgust or horror at the atrocities which were then perpetrated in Paris. I say, Sir, gentlemen should be careful in laying down and sanctioning revolutionary principles, for no man knows how soon they may be turned against yourselves. If you had a quarrel to-morrow with Prance, I cannot sec why Louis Napoleon, whoso large heart throbs with compassion for "distressed nationalities," may not fancy that he heard "a cry of agony" come from Cork, or Kerry, or Connemara; I cannot see why, according to established precedent, the plaint of that afflicted nation may not move his tender heart, and stimulate his love of universal liberty. Why should he not land some 30,000 or 50,000 sympathisers with liberty and promoters of large and liberal institutions on the shores of Ireland? You should be cautious. I, as an Irishman, would be one of the first to repel such an attempt on the part of France, for I abhor the man, and I detest his rule; and much as I am disposed to find fault with the Government of England in its dealings with Ireland, I solemnly believe it would be one of the deadliest calamities which God could permit to afflict any country, if that man, or a single soldier that fights under his flag, set a hostile foot upon its shores. Sir, I desire that we in this country should be preserved from the machinations of a man so reckless and so unscrupulous; and I, therefore, ask Gentlemen to pause before they sanction principles which they may ere long find dangerous to their own interests. We ought to be the last, as the friends of true liberty, to encourage every rascally filibuster, every foul assassin, who is now seeking to promote his own private aims and objects under the auspices of two royal robbers, whose names will be branded with infamy when the history of these times is written.


said, he rose to express his surprise at the speech of the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, and, in reference to that speech, he would first mention a conversation which he heard on the bench near him a few minutes ago. One hon. Member said to a friend who sat near him, "Of course, you are in favour of non-intervention?" and the reply was, "Of course I am." The conversation then continued in these terms: "What do you think of Lord John's view of the Sicilian insurrection?" and the reply was, "I think he is holding a candle to it." He thought himself that the noble Lord had taken up too decided an opinion on this question. The noble Lord certainly had held out very strong encouragements to those who were willing to assist General Garibaldi.


I beg the hon. Gentleman's pardon; I gave no opinion at all, either for or against the attempt. I said that all these cases must be judged by different gentlemen according to their own views and opinions; but I gave no opinion whatever.


If I understood the noble Lord aright, he compared Garibaldi to our William III., and the landing in Sicily to 1688.


I compared General Walker with William III. landing in England.


said, that was certainly such an analogy as he should have least expected to hear from the noble Lord—a comparison of General Walker with William III. But he thought, and he believed many other hon. Gentlemen were under the same impression, that the tone of the noble Lord's speech was to encourage the Sicilian insurrection. He was certainly glad to bear that the noble Lord did not allow such to have been his intention, because he thought the position of this country should be one of non-intervention. If there was any country in the world that lived in a glass-house it was our own; and if we encouraged filibusters, or any persons who believed that they were invading a country in order simply to better its government, we might have those doctrines turned against ourselves. It seemed to him that it was a matter entirely of private judgment. Many persons considered that General Garibaldi, if he succeeded, would better the condition of the Sicilians; but that in the case of General Walker, he would not have done so. He (Mr. Danby Seymour) quite agreed with those who thought that Garibaldi, if he succeeded in Sicily, and if he was able to form a stable government there, might very easily set up something better than the Neapolitan Government. But when they considered the great difficulties that must arise if Garibaldi succeeded in abstracting Sicily from the rule of Naples, and the European complications which must ensue upon that event, perhaps their best wishes might he directed to seeing a better Government in Sicily without that island being taken from those who were at present its lawful Sovereigns.