HC Deb 08 May 1863 vol 170 cc1397-499

said, he rose to invite the attention of the House to a despatch from Mr. Consul Bonham that had been laid upon the table relating to their commerce with Naples. In that despatch he was more than once referred to, but he did not complain of the Government printing a despatch which contained at least a sharp criticism, if not an attack upon himself. But he did find fault with them for not producing other despatches from Naples, some of them written by the same gentleman who had written the despatch upon the table, which showed that he (Mr. Hennessy) was right and Mr. Consul Bonham was wrong in the statements each had respectively made. From time to time he had called the attention of the House to the decline of British trade with Naples, and especially to the decline in 1862, as compared with 1861. It was with that subject that the despatch of January 23, 1863, dealt, and Mr. Bonham stated that his (Mr. Hennessy's) statements were wholly incorrect and inexplicable. It also contained a statement that there had been an increase of trade. He appealed from Mr. Consul Bonham to the President of the Board of Trade. The Trade and Navigation Returns for the year 1862 furnished a detailed statement of the trade at Naples, and at page 9 he found that the import of the only article specified in the Returns—wine—had diminished from 332,210 gallons in 1861 to 211,494 gallons in 1862, showing a diminution of over 100,000 gallons. Then as to the exports to Naples, the first item was cotton manufactured piece goods of all kinds, plain, printed, and coloured. In 1861 the export of these goods to Naples and Sicily amounted to £744,505; in 1862 it had fallen to £436,457; showing a loss of 40 per cent, whereas the loss within the same period upon the exports of cotton manufactured goods to other countries was only 22 per cent. Then with regard to linen manufactures, while the trade with all other countries in the world had increased in 1862 to the extent of 40,000,000 yards, with Naples and Sicily it had fallen from 2,186,621 in 1861 to 1,512,172 yards in 1862. The next item was the trade in iron, bar, angle, bolt, and rod. Mr. Bonham said that there was great difficulty in obtaining correct returns from the Custom House at Naples, but every one who knew the port of Naples and witnessed the crowding and confusion on the quays must know that the trade was improved. But here, instead of that vague assertion, were the figures of the Board of Trade; and he found that in 1861 the total amount of their trade with Naples and Sicily in the articles he had just mentioned was £107,754, whereas in 1862 it was only £96,872, though with every other country their trade had increased. So with woollen and worsted manufactures, the amount of their trade with Naples and Sicily was in 1861, £216,845; in 1862, £164,760; though our trade had largely increased with all other countries. These were the only items specifically mentioned in the pages of the Board of Trade Return; but at the end was the sum total, being the amount of the declared value of British and Irish produce and manufactures exported from the United Kingdom to each foreign country, and from that it appeared that the value of all our exports to Naples and Sicily in 1861 was £2,071,521, while in 1862 it had fallen to £1,321,339, showing a total loss of three-quarters of a million. These data contradicted Mr. Bonham, and they were authentic. In conclusion, for the purpose of clearing up the matter, he begged leave to move for any despatches received by Her Majesty's Government relating to Southern Italy, in continuation of the papers which were last year presented to the House.


, * in seconding the Motion, inquired why the Government refused to produce the despatches referred to by his hon. Friend, The condition of Southern Italy was growing gradually worse, and it was due to the House and to the country that proper information on the subject should be laid before them. He assured the Government that his only wish was to arrive at the truth in this matter. It might be said, in opposition to a discussion of this kind, "What right have we to interfere with the internal affairs of a foreign kingdom? The question of Italy is settled; King Victor Emmanuel is in possession of his own; we have no more right to debate in this House the local administration, or the police system of his kingdom, than the Chamber of Deputies at Turin would have to entertain similar questions affecting England." That was the old worn-out argument. But his answer was that the de facto Government of Italy and Her Majesty's Government were precluded by their acts from stifling discussion upon any such pretexts. Popular sympathy in England had been excited in favour of the new Kingdom of Italy because it was believed that all the ills and wrongs of Italy had proceeded from bad government, which, under Piedmontese rule, would be forthwith redressed. Inspired by this feeling, the English people had unmoved seen many great changes. The disastrous war of 1859—the Treaties of Vienna torn to pieces—the dethronement of the Grand Dukes by intrigues—the sad surrender of Savoy and Nice to France—the seizure of the Pope's dominions, and the invasion of Naples, without a pretext for war, or even a declaration of war, thereby establishing a precedent under colour of which the Federal Americans might at any moment invade Canada. These gross infractions of the law of nations were excused because an impression prevailed that the policy of Count Cavour was a panacea for all political disorders, and that peace and contentment were the necessary consequences of its success. The Italian Government then was on its trial. Having attained then present position by violation of all inter national law, they could not plead inter- national law in bar of any examination of heir conduct—they were bound to prove they had acted up to their principles, or to forfeit that confidence which the people of England had perhaps with too great readiness reposed in them. What had been the course which Her Majesty's Government had pursued in regard to all questions affecting Italy? Everybody conversant with the conduct of the Members of the Government, both in and out of the House, must frankly admit, that while they studiously kept back important information which they possessed, the question of "Italian unity," "the French occupation of Rome," "the maintenance of the Pope's temporal power;" and kindred subjects had been continually in their mouths. They had not confined themselves to generalities—they had descended to particulars. They had attempted, moreover, to show the precise cause of evil, and a fixed idea seemed to pervade their minds that all the disorders which afflicted Italy were solely due to the French occupation of Rome and the protection of the King of Naples by the Pope. When this question was introduced to the House last year by the hon. and learned Member for Dundalk (Sir George Bowyer), the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the noble Viscount at the head of the Government, followed each other in quick succession, and endeavoured to browbeat those who entertained an opposite view of the question. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard) maintained the most extravagant propositions—that the brigands were entirely harboured at Rome; that brigandage was confined to the frontiers of Rome; that there was no brigandage in Calabria, in Otranto, or Bari; that the conscription was popular; that the National Guard was entirely on the side of the Government; that the brigands committed the greatest outrages, while the Piedmontese soldiers were merciful. The Chancellor of the Exchequer followed on the same side, and committed himself to the statement that "it was marvellous how little cruelty had been proved against the soldiers of Italy;" and finally, the noble Lord at the head of the Government concluded the debate by saying— I do not want to dwell on the enormities committed by those who were sent from Rome under the sanction of the head of the Roman Catholic religion and of the unhappy and exiled sovereign who lives under the protection of the Pope. I will not go into these atrocities. I will simply say they were such as ought to deter any one from advocating a cause stained by such cruelties. If the Southern part of Italy is disturbed it is not by internal insurrection—not by the people themselves, but totally and entirely by emissaries, the scum of the earth, sent there on purpose to murder, plunder, destroy by fire, and even to burn people alive." [3 Hansard, clxvi. 966.] He (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) would not comment on the taste of that statement respecting the head of the Roman Catholic religion; but if the observations of the noble Lord were in good taste, they were certainly unjust. He now asked what evidence there was for those statements. He knew that his hon. Friend the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in a most eloquent speech, quoted several long and very tedious extracts from Consul General Bonham; but if hon. Members examined those extracts, they would find that they were chiefly made on hearsay, and in one instance Mr. Bonham actually declined to give the name of his informant, though that informant was an English gentleman. The conclusion that he (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) arrived at from a perusal of the despatches hitherto produced, was that the statements of Sir James Hudson and Consul General Bonham were not to be entirely relied on. Twice in that House he had convicted Sir James Hudson of not having given to Her Majesty's Government information which he ought to have communicated to them; he (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) therefore accepted Sir James Hudson's evidence with great caution, and was perfectly prepared to give his reasons for so doing. More than a year had now elapsed since the Italian debate, and yet the last despatch bearing on this subject from Consul General Bonham was only under date of April 2nd, 1862. The general reports of the condition of Southern Italy, and the letters of correspondents published in the French and English newspapers being contradictory of the reports' laid upon the table of the House, Her Majesty's Government had re-opened the question the present year by producing certain despatches which were styled "Papers relating to Brigandage in Italy," and which covered only two sheets of paper. In these despatches the House would find that the "fixed idea" of the Government with reference to the occurrences in Naples took, if possible, a more exaggerated and feeble form. First, Mr. Odo Russell, writing to Earl Russell on the 24th of November, said— The Bourbon Committee have lately sent a further detachment of 260 men to join Tristani's band on the frontier. They were well armed, and were blue overcoats and red trousers, so as to look like French soldiers at a distance, and thereby deceive the Italian outposts and patrols. The men enlisted are chiefly Bavarians, Belgians, and Spaniards. Tristani's head quarters are, according to circumstances, either at Santa Francesca or at Strangolagalli, and he draws his rations and supplies from Veroli. It is difficult to understand for what object the Bourbon Committee continue to keep up and organize these useless bands of foreigners, who, beyond annoying the inhabitants of the Neapolitan frontiers, have achieved no other result than to discredit the cause of King Francis II. Upon the receipt of this despatch, Lord Russell, with characteristic impetuosity, but without consideration or reason, proceeded to attack the French Government in a despatch dated December 27, 1862, in which, after referring to the characteristic benevolence of the Pope, he said— If the French army at Rome protected a Power thus holy, religious, and charitable, the evils of the French occupation would be in some degree mitigated. But there is a long distance between the theory thus stated and the existing fact. The political banditti who invest the Southern provinces of Italy have their head quarters at Rome. They constantly issue from haunts rendered secure for them by the cover of the French flag, to destroy whole villages, and to murder the peaceful farmers of the South. A detachment of 260 men lately went from Rome well armed, and clothed in blue overcoats and red trousers in order that they might look like French soldiers, and thereby deceive the Italian outposts and patrols. If such detachments of robbers were to be sent from Switzerland into Lombardy, the Italian Government would at once protest, and the Swiss Republic would at once put an end to such an unfriendly proceeding. At Rome, however, things are done in a different way; and the high dignitaries about the Pope's person, as well as his illustrious guest the late King of Naples, are believed by the world in general to be the instigators of these incursions. It is obvious, that if the Roman Government were really independent, it would be at once called to account by the King of Italy for these aggressive and unjustifiable proceedings, and would not venture to disregard his just and well-founded remonstrances. The continuance of these barbarous outrages is therefore an evil entirely owing to the French occupation of Rome; and it would cease at once if proper orders were given by the French Minister of War to the General commanding the French troops in the Roman territory. The Minister of War has but to say peremptorily, 'Let brigandage cease,' and the Roman banditti would be extinguished in a fortnight. Could any expressions be more insulting? The patience of the French officials was truly wonderful, especially as they knew, as Lord Russell ought to have known, that there was not the slightest foundation for the charge; but rashness, want of temper and judgment, met their just reward, for, in a despatch dated January 14, 1863, Mr. Odo Russell stated that he had been called to account by the French General, and was compelled to admit his grievous error. Mr. Odo Russell says— Your Lordship has learnt that General Count de Montebello denies, in the most positive manner, the truth of the statement relative to the passage of brigands over the frontier, contained in my despatch of the 24th of November last. Reliable as my informants appeared to me to be, I must now suppose that they were in this case themselves deceived; and I regret to have unwittingly sent incorrect information to your Lordship. I also regret to say, that I found General de Montebello somewhat annoyed at the occurrence. He said, that by supposing that men could be armed and equipped in Rome, and sent to the frontier without his knowledge, I had blamed his military administration of Rome; but that criticism was a matter of indifference to him, so long as his own conscience and sense of duty were satisfied. But this is not all; after eating the leek which he was obliged to swallow under such circumstances of humiliation, Mr. Odo Russell made a lame excuse—singularly illustrating the French proverb, that he who excuses himself accuses himself— I told the General how much I regretted that any statements of mine should have been a cause of annoyance to him; that I had made them on what I considered good authority; and that similar statements formerly made by me had been entirely confirmed by his predecessor, General de Goyon. 'The means employed,' I said, 'by the Legitimist Committee to send men and arms to the frontier had formerly been as follows:—The men were sent singly on foot to certain convents on the frontier, while old French uniforms were bought from the Jews in the Ghetto, and, as well as arms and other equipments, carried bit by bit to isolated vignas in the Campagna, and at night packed in old herring casks, and gradually conveyed to the frontier, where they were distributed to the men already there assembled.' It was scarcely possible to credit that a professional diplomatist could be so deceived by such reliable informants? He appealed to the Under Secretary, whether any one acquainted with the habits of French soldiers seriously believed that even the old clothesmen of the Ghetto could get a bargain out of these discarded uniforms, or that these same uniforms, perfumed with the ancient and fish-like odour of the herring casks, could have any effect upon the soldiers of Italy, except, perhaps, to keep them at a distance. Yet such were the despatches of the British Minister upon a most important subject. What was the political result? The Foreign Secretary charged two Powers—namely, France and the Pope—with whom we were on friendly terms, with an offence against a third Power. If the charges were true, he did not say but that the Government might have made representations even stronger; but if the charges could not be sustained, the logical inference was, that this correspondence, to paraphrase a sentence of Mr. Russell, "had achieved no other result than to discredit the cause of Queen Victoria." He would now call the attention of the House to the real facts. In the first place, brigandage (so called) was a civil war, a spontaneous popular movement against foreign occupation, similar to that carried on in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, from 1799 to 1812, when the great Nelson, Sir John Stuart, a noble relative of his own, and other English commanders were not ashamed to enter into relations with the brigands of that day, and their Chief, Cardinal Ruffo, for the purpose of expelling French invaders. Secondly, brigandage did not exist upon the frontiers of the Roman territory. The Under Secretary laughed; but he would prove his assertion, not from hearsay evidence, furnished by such witnesses as Sir James Hudson and Consul General Bonham, not from garbled extracts, but from an authority which the Under Secretary would not dispute—namely, the speeches in the Turin Chamber, an assembly so highly lauded by the Under Secretary last year, that he told the Speaker he might not disdain to preside over it; though he (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) trusted that Providence in its mercy would avert such a fate from the Speaker. The subject of Neapolitan brigandage had been from time to time much discussed in the Turin Chambers, especially during the debate of November 1862, which led to the fall of Ratazzi, and during the past month. It was quite obvious that statements made in the Chamber with reference to the condition of the Southern Provinces, which the Ministry could neither contradict nor explain away, were the best evidence that could possibly be adduced. He held in his hand the speeches of distinguished Members of the Turin Chamber—Ferrari, Massari, Nicotera, Crispi, Cappone, Bixio, Ricciardi, and many others, all Liberals, men without any reactionary tendency. With these he would not trouble the House at any length, for a good case required but few witnesses. He would only read sufficient to establish the truth, pledging himself, if need be, to substantiate his allegations to the fullest extent. For this purpose he would select the speeches of the Deputy Ferrari, because Ferrari was a man of high character and reputation, a Lombard, free from Piedmontese and Southern prejudices, a gentleman, in short, whose testimony was unimpeachable. Signor Ferrari, returning from a visit to the Southern provinces, when he had witnessed the ruins of Pontelandolfo and Casaldini, two towns sacked and destroyed by the Piedmontese (at Pontelandolfo thirty unhappy women, who were in terror kneeling at the foot of the symbol of the Christian faith, were massacred by assassins in the garb of regular soldiers), in his place in Parliament thus expressed himself— Ay, you may call them brigands, but they fight under a national flag; you may call them brigands, but the fathers of these brigands twice restored the Bourbons to the throne of Naples. On the 29th of November last, Signor Ferrari, addressing the Ministry, said— What constitutes brigandage? Is it the fact, as the Ministry would have us believe, that 1,500 men, commanded by two or three vagabonds, can make head against the whole kingdom, backed by an army of 120,000 regulars? Why, these 1,500 must be demi-gods! heroes! I have seen a town "of 5,000 inhabitants (he alluded to Pontelandolfo) utterly destroyed. By whom? Not by the brigands. You cannot deny that whole families are arrested without pretence; many individuals acquitted by the judges still linger in prison. A new code is in operation, under which every man taken with arms in his hands is shot. This I call a war of barbarians, a war without quarter. If conscience does not tell you, you wade in blood, I know not how to express myself. That was a fair specimen of the opinions of the independent Members of the Chamber during the great debate of November, and these opinions were singularly confirmed by an incident which took place towards the close of the debate, which clearly showed the national character of the movement in the Neapolitan provinces. It was reported in the Chamber that a band of brigands had entered Grottaglie (a town of 5,000 inhabitants, in the Capitanata). The deputy Castromediano put a question to Rattazzi on the subject. The latter answered by reading a telegram he had received, in the following terms:— Brigands have entered Grottaglie.—Received by the whole population with banners and illumination.—The Syndic and Municipal Council accomplices.—National Guard the same.—The case most serious.—Ordered the dissolution of the National Guard.—The Syndic and Municipal Council in arrest. Rattazzi then uttered these remarkable words— The Chamber will perceive, that if the brigands have occupied Grottaglie, the blame does not rest with the Government, but with the Municipal au- thorities, the National Guard, and the entire population. If further proof relative to the national sentiments be required, it is sufficient to consult the pages of the Turin Official Gazette, in which for months past decrees might daily be seen dissolving National Guards and municipal bodies, ten and twelve at a time, for complicity with brigands, and fixing the seat of the civil war, not in the Abruzzi, Sora, or Terra di Lavoro, but in the Capitanata, Basilicata, Otranto, and the Calabrias. Nor was evidence wanting to establish the facts down to the present time. On the 25th March, Cappone, a Government supporter, cited official documents to prove the complicity of the Syndics generally, and called the attention of the House to the defeats and disasters which the Piedmontese had lately met with in the province of the Capitanata. On the 18th April an attack was made upon the notorious Fumel by Ricciardi. The Deputy Miceli, who was in Calabria at the time of the massacres, supported Ricciardi, stated that a reign of terror prevailed in Calabria, and referred to many cases of persons shot without trial and without mercy. The strict letter of Miceli's statements being questioned, Bixio rose. Bixio was a Garibaldian general, who landed with Garibaldi in Sicily, and accompanied him through his campaign. General Bixio, being well acquainted with the country, had been appointed a member of the Brigandage Commission by the Government. Bixio, therefore, spoke with authority. He said— A system of blood is established in the South of Italy, but it is not by shedding blood that the evils will be remedied. There is truth in the statement of Miceli. It is evident that in the South blood alone is sought, but the Parliament must not follow this course. After acquitting La Marmora of the excesses of the subordinates, and blaming the severities permitted by all Ministers, he concluded, "Let us first be just. If Italy is to be a nation, we must attain our end by justice, not by shedding blood."

He (Mr. C. Bentinck) would now call attention to the last phase of this question, which was of the utmost importance, not only as showing the slender ground on which these charges of harbouring brigands rested, but is a fair sample of the gratitude which England might expect in return for her Piedmontese sympathies.

On the 27th ultimo, the Deputy Sandonato inquired of the Italian Government, what course they had pursued with reference to the British Government, which had permitted brigands to be organized at Malta, and thence despatched to infest Italian territory. Peruzzi answered in the terms following:— We hare received information to that effect. We have ordered men-of-war to cruise in the Sicilian and Calabrian waters. We have not failed to make proper representations to the British Government on the subject, but no satisfactory answer has been received; and with reference to recent events at Malta, we will not fail to renew our instances. Then follows this remakable passage:— We do not apprehend any grave consequences from these preparations. Experience shows us that all expeditions from without produce unimportant results. Here was a lesson for Lord Russell. What might not the French Government say, if they chose to descend to the style of Lord Russell's arguments, and endeavour to gain a little temporary popularity by the abandonment of all principle? They might justly urge, "Why you (the British Government) profess to favour Italian liberty, and yet you harbour brigands? The continuance of these barbarous outrages is therefore an evil entirely owing to British occupation of Malta, and would cease at once if proper orders were given;" and so forth. Was it not monstrous, then, that these attacks should be made on the French Government? He had never been in favour of the French occupation of Italy; he had always been averse to it; but the noble Viscount (Viscount Palmerston) could not object to the result, for he had done his utmost to establish French influence in Italy. When the noble Lord sat last in Opposition, he attacked Lord Derby's Government, because, he said, their sympathies were with Austria and against France, and any policy that went to weaken intimate alliance with France was undeserving of the confidence of the country. It was on that ground that he in great measure rested his support on the vote of want of confidence in 1859. Since the noble Lord had crossed the House he had made many speeches relative to the French Government which were not over-discreet; but if he were now asked whether his Government was still on good terms with the French, he would probably answer that both in the East of Europe as well as in the far West the Cabinets of St. James and the Tuileries were cordially acting to effect a common purpose. Did these attacks, then, on the French Government indicate a change of policy? A recent appointment had excited some surprise in this country, and would doubtless not pass unnoticed abroad. He should be the last man in the world to deny the talents and eloquence of the hon. Member for Halifax; but it was rather extraordinary that the noble Lord, if it was necessary for him to go below the gangway to recruit his strength, should have returned with a gentleman whose opinions on foreign politics were so very decided. The hon. Gentleman himself would be the last man to deny his sympathies, and it was sufficiently notorious that he had been for years associated with the promoters of every species of frantic revolution, and the noble Lord, in placing him on the Treasury bench, was bound to assure the House and the country that he in no way favoured the opinions of those who constituted the party of disorder in Europe, and whose object was to disturb the peace of those countries with which it was our interest to be on the best possible terms.

There was also strict Parliamentary precedent for requiring the production of the papers relating to the treatment of political prisoners, which the Government refused. In 1851 the Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote his celebrated pamphlet, and in eloquent and forcible terms depicted the horrors of the Neapolitan prisons; and the noble Viscount, then Foreign Secretary, in answer to a question put by the gallant Member for Westminster, said he would send a copy of the pamphlet to all the British diplomatic missions, in the hope that a beneficial impression might be generally produced. A few years afterwards the noble Lord became Prime Minister. In 1856 there was a discussion of the subject in both Houses, and it was admitted by very high legal authority in another place—that there were cases where interference with the domestic administration of foreign Governments was allowable, and Naples was one of those cases; and therefore at the latter end of the same year, upon the ground that the King of Naples did not govern in the way in which this country thought proper, diplomatic relations with Naples were suspended. Those relations were only resumed upon the accession of the ex-King, and even then not without protests on the part of some hon. Members. Therefore, the precedent that the want of a proper administration of justice, and the improper treatment of political prisoners at Naples, justified our interference was as firmly established as any precedent in our legal and equitable jurisprudence. He found no fault with the right hon. Gentleman for having written his pamphlet. Seeing what he did, and believing what he did, it was his duty to publish it; and the right hon. Gentleman must have great satisfaction if he could think that he had relieved the sufferings of those unhappy men. He (Mr. C. Bentinck) did not defend the proceedings of the late rulers of Naples; on the contrary, he condemned them, and he would admit, for the sake of argument, that every iota of the pamphlet of the right hon. Gentleman was true; but having made that admission, he must ask how it was that in the existing state of things neither the right hon. Gentleman nor the noble Lord made any sign. What were the charges made by the right hon. Gentleman in his pamphlet against the Neapolitan Government?

First, that 20,000 persons and upwards were confined in the public prisons. What did they find to be the case now? Consul General Bonham himself admitted the political prisoners to exceed 20,000 in number. Many Deputies have borne testimony to the same effect. The House would learn from Signor Crispi that 1,300 political prisoners were detained in prison at Palermo. From the Deputy Lazzaro (so lately as the 9th of April), that the prison at Salerno, constructed for 600 prisoners, now held 1,400. Potenza, 1,100 instead of 600. Lanciano, 700 instead of 200. And yet in face of these facts the right hon. Gentleman was silent.

Secondly, the right hon. Gentleman was indignant because the Neapolitan police paid domiciliary visits. Let the House hear his own words, which he loved; so much, page 9— The law of Naples, as I have been informed, requires that personal liberty shall be inviolable, except under a warrant from a court of justice authorized for the purpose. In utter defiance of this law, the Government, of which the Prefect of Police is an important member, through the agents of that department, watches and dogs the people, pays domiciliary visits very commonly at night, ransacks houses, seizing papers arid effects, and tearing up floors at pleasure, under pretence of searching for arms, and imprisons men by the score, by the hundred, by the thousand, without any warrant whatever, sometimes without even any written authority at all, or anything beyond the word of a policeman, constantly without any statement whatever of the nature of the offence. Nor is this last fact wonderful. Men are arrested, not because they have committed or are believed to have committed any offence, but because they are persons whom it is thought convenient to confine and to get rid of, and against whom, therefore, some charge must be fabricated. And yet now that the Piedmontese "statuto" was in force, far more liberal in its provisions than the Neapolitan constitution of 1848—now that domiciliary visits and alleged arrests were of everyday occurrence, as shown by the Parliamentary discussions relative to the cases of the Senator Prince d'Elia and the Archbishop of Palermo (the latter an avowed Liberal)—now that the relatives and connections of alleged brigands to the third degree and hundreds of persons, upon mere suspicion of complicity, were arrested and frequently shot without trial—now that many persons, actually acquitted by the courts, still lingered in prison, the right hon. Gentleman was silent.

Thirdly, the right hon. Gentleman protested against the detention of accused persons for long periods of time before trial. Now that thousands of unhappy wretches, of all ages and both sexes, were rotting in gaol without hope, and appealed piteously to the passing stranger—now that the evil was admitted to its fullest extent even by Consul General Bonham—the right hon. Gentleman was silent.

Fourthly, the right hon. Gentleman gave a description of the condition of the prisons which had become quite historical. What is their actual condition? Let him read the accounts of Crispi, of Ricciardo, even of Consul General Bonham! The I chains of the political prisoners—the chains of the Garibaldians, whose fault was that they loved the unity of Italy too well, failed to excite the compassion of the right hon. Gentleman, and the right hon. Gentleman was silent.

Lastly, the main charge of the right hon. Gentleman against the Neapolitan Government was it utter lawlessness. At page 68 he said— My main charge against the Government is its utter lawlessness. I am obliged to repeat it, and I say there is no body of brigands in the country which breaks the laws of Naples with the same hardihood, or on the same scale, as does the Government by the hands of its agents. Was the Piedmontese "statuto" any more respected? The state of siege in Naples and Sicily had endured for a longer period than any state of siege under the Bourbons; the gagging of the free press was a matter of fact. He did not attempt to defend or justify in the smallest degree the proceedings of the late Bourbon Go- vernment. But was the new order of things any improvement on the old system? Tinder Bourbon rule, as admitted by the right hon. Gentleman, punishment by death was rare; yet at the present time hundreds, nay thousands of persons were ruthlessly shot without trial, and chiefs like the monster Fumel, whose iniquities Her Majesty's Government last year virtually tried to palliate, were sent forth to burn and lay waste whole villages, and massacre the inhabitants. The Bourbon Government," said the deputy Nicotera, "had the great merit of preserving our lives and substance, a merit the present Government cannot claim. We have neither personal nor political liberty. In lawlessness the Bourbon Government is far surpassed. The deeds we behold are worthy of Tamerlane, Gengis Khan, or rather of Attila. Crispi spoke to the same effect. The right hon. Gentleman called the late Government of Naples the "negation of God." He should like to know what title the right hon. Gentleman would apply to their successors. He would not express his opinion relative to the right hon. Gentleman's conduct. He (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) would tell the right hon. Gentleman what the Neapolitans now say of him. "Where is Il nostro Gladstone? Where is that great statesman who in the hour of our distress lent his strong arm to help us? Why he was then in opposition, and yet he prevailed upon the noble Lord, his bitter political enemy, to adopt his views. Why is it that now, when he holds a high political position, when he and the noble Lord have reconciled their differences and sit in the same cabinet, when the bitter cry of our wrongs resounds throughout Europe, when we are chastened not with whips but with scorpions, how comes it that the great statesman, Il nostro Gladstone, will not even raise his little finger to help us?" He (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) appealed to the right hon. Gentleman, not in the name of consistency, because to that name the right hon. Gentleman would be sure to turn a deaf ear, but in the name of humanity, to raise his voice once more in the cause of Naples, and endeavour to mitigate the afflictions under which that unhappy people laboured. As an honourable English gentleman, which he (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) knew the right hon. Gentleman to be, he hoped he would now exert himself in a cause which was unpopular as truly as he had done in a cause which had been popular, and that he would prevail upon the noble Lord and his Government, fol- lowing the words used by the hon. and gallant Member for Westminster in 1851, to instruct the British Minister at Turin to employ his good offices in the cause of humanity with the Court to which he is accredited, for the diminution of these lamentable severities.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House, Copy of any further Papers respecting the state of Southern Italy, —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, he had heard it frequently stated of late out of doors, and he thought too in that House, that the opinions of hon. Gentlemen opposite upon the Italian question were identical with the opinions of the Government, and he understood that this identity of views was made the basis of a claim to popular favour. The Opposition professed to be as anxious for Italian liberty as Her Majesty's Government could be, and he was therefore surprised to hear every observation of the hon. Gentleman which was hostile to the Italian Government and the Italian people vociferously cheered by hon. Gentlemen near and around him. [Mr. CAVENDISH BENTINCK: I beg pardon; I said nothing against the Italian people.] Last year, when he made the same assertion, he was met by the same denial. [Loud cries of Hear, hear! from the Opposition.] He remembered the voice of the hon. and learned Member for Wallingford (Mr. Malins). It was the same cheer last year which the hon. and learned Member then repeated. In justice he was bound to say that the hon. and learned Member was the consistent friend of Italian liberty. He said all—of course there were some few exceptions; but let it go forth to the country that Gentlemen on the other side were opposed to Italian liberty. [Loud, cries of Oh! oh!] It was all very well for hon. Gentlemen to cry "Oh, oh!" He did not know whether reports of these proceedings ever got abroad; but if they did, he trusted that these passages in the hon. Gentleman's speech, which he would prove were unfounded, would go forth for the country to judge whether they were not hostile to and condemnatory of the Italian Government. [Loud cries of Hear, hear! from the Opposition side.] He really did not know what he was to understand by those cheers. But if the speech which they had just heard was not hostile to and condemnatory of the Italian Government, he did not know what could be regarded in that light. [Cries of The Italian Government, but not the Italian people!] He knew no difference between the Government and the people; and he would go the length of saying, that if any Government ever represented the opinion of a people, the feelings of the people were represented by the Italian Government as it now existed. The time, he would add, was past for a debate on the internal condition of Italy. As well might the House of Commons have a debate on the condition of France, Prussia, or any other State on the continent of Europe. Let him suppose that any gentleman in the Parliament of Turin should rise in his place and ask to have a report furnished as to the condition of Ireland, or any county in England; would they not resent such a proceeding as one of undue interference? The hon. Gentleman had said he would show that the state of their relations with Italy was such that they were warranted in asking for such reports. But he (Mr. Layard) had not heard one word in proof of that. Some time ago, when a great struggle was taking place in Italy—when its independence was not recognised—when its unity had still to be fought for, the question might very fairly be put why her Majesty's Government showed sympathy in favour of one side more than another, or adopted a particular policy. But that time was passed. The Italian Government was an independent Government; Italian unity was, with one or two unhappy exceptions, established; and although Italian unity might not vet have brought forth the fruit which it would bring forth, the hon. Gentleman had no ground for contending that the great Italian people, once having enjoyed the advantages of the present state of things, would wish to return to their former condition. He, for one, was not prepared to deny that there were in the kingdom of Naples things to be deplored. But why did such things exist? When he came down to the House, he had no intention of entering into an Italian debate, but he was, nevertheless, prepared to assign sufficient reasons why the state of Naples was not similar to that which prevailed in other portions of the Italian peninsula. One of the main reasons was that its people had been so demoralized—so lowered in the scale of civilization by a horrible priestly tyranny, and by the most abominable of civil Governments that it would take generations to fit them for the complete appreciation of the blessings of liberty. Let him put a case—let him, for instance, suppose that Avignon had the misfortune to be restored to Papal dominion, and that the Government was so detested by the people as to drive it to call in the assistance of Austrian or British troops, while it gathered together all sorts of cut-throats, vagrants—not natives of Avignon, but perhaps Spaniards or Bavarians, or any other persons who would plunder and murder for pay—suppose that these men, clad in the uniform of these foreign soldiers, should invade the neighbouring French territory, murder and torture the inhabitants, and burn their villages and vineyards, and then take refuge in the Papal territory of Avignon, to be rewarded and blessed—what, he should like to know, would the French people say, at whose doors a state of things such as that should take place? What would become of the French Government that allowed such a state of things as that? Would it not be expelled; would not the people take the law into their own hands, and destroy that den of thieves? Yet that was the true position, of things in Italy at that moment, as regarded the Roman States. Hon. Members might impeach, as the hon. Gentleman opposite had done, the statement of Mr. Odo Russell—that as he could not produce witnesses to what he had asserted with regard to the use of French uniforms by the brigands, he was bound to admit that he had been misinformed; but ho, for one, honoured Mr. Odo Russell for what he had done. Mr. Odo Russell knew well what would happen if he gave up his authorities; and therefore he preferred humiliation—for that was the word used by the hon. Gentleman—to giving them up. He would, however, state solemnly to the House that, in his opinion, Mr. Odo Russell had justified his statement, and had shown that what he said was true. It was quite clear that two hundred or three hundred persons, more or less—he could not say the exact number—did cross the frontier in French uniform; and did, he took it for granted, pass through the Piedmontese troops. How was it possible, he would ask, while such a state of things continued, that Naples could be kept quiet? Brigandage was not, he might add, a new thing in Naples; it had existed there, he might say, for centuries. And why? It was owing to the detestable Government which had existed in that country. The hon. Gentleman, indeed, contended it was not brigandage, but civil war, and he had quoted, in support of that view, certain statements made in the Italian Legislature. It should, however, be borne in mind that there were gentlemen in opposition at Turin as well as in London, and that gentlemen in opposition sometimes made statements which they could not prove, and did not much care whether they could or not. Let him bring the matter to a test. What took place in the Italian Parliament? Did the whole body of the House vote for the appointment of a Commission to inquire into the existence of a state of civil war in Naples? No; the Commission was to inquire into the state of brigandage in the kingdom; and was he, he should like to know, to take the statement of three or four Members of the Chamber on the subject in opposition to the whole body of the House? The Commission was sent, and it made its Report. [Mr. CAVENDISH BENTINCK: No!] The hon. Gentleman might not have seen the Report, but his impression was that the Commission had reported to the Chamber. But, be that as it might, he would ask the House to bear in mind the difficulties which beset the Italian Government in dealing with Naples. On the one hand a cry was raised against it if it sent Pied-montese to administer the affairs of the kingdom; while, upon the other hand, it was condemned if it allowed things to remain as they were. The truth, however, was that such was the condition of public men in Naples that it was impossible, among those who were employed in the administration of affairs there under the old régime, to find one honest man, or one who had the experience derived from ruling under an independent government. That was the reason why it was necessary to send Piedmontese to administer the affairs of the country.

The hon. Gentleman spoke of the number of prisoners in the prisons, but that arose from the same cause. The hon. Gentleman might or might not be correct with respect to the number of those prisoners—though he by no means accepted his statements—but he should recollect that the Italian Government had begun to introduce into Naples the system of trial by jury, and that they had failed in finding Neapolitans to carry out the scheme. [A laugh.] That statement was received with laughter on the benches opposite, and it was well that it should go forth to the country what the sentiments were which those hon. Gentlemen entertained on the subject. The reason why the persons in question were not put on their trial, at all events, was that it was found impossible as yet to administer the new system in the Neapolitan provinces, and that when the courts were first open, what with the want of experience amongst the lawyers, and what with the well-known system of intimidation carried on in that country, it was difficult to find judges to preside, or lawyers to conduct the business. He was happy to see opposite a noble Lord who could bear witness to the state of the prisons, and he trusted he bad not been so corrupted since his return from visiting them as not to bear testimony that they were being put on a more satisfactory footing. If the old people were retained, the old vices, so well described by his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, could not be eradicated; if they introduced Piedmontese gaolers, the usual outcry was raised against strangers in Naples. The prisons in Piedmont and Tuscany were on an excellent footing; it was only in Naples that they heard of a large accumulation of prisoners, and of gaols badly administered. Why? Because the Italian Government had failed, up to that time, to bring them into the same condition. They admitted—they regretted the fact. The prisons in Naples, which the Government had been able to bring under their own administration, were as well administered as any prisons in the world. The Italian Government could have no object in keeping the prisons in the state described by the hon. Gentleman, and for the state in which they were in they had given full and adequate reasons. A great deal had been said about the treatment of Mr. Bishop and others; but he knew, from those who visited Naples, that nothing could be more liberal than the treatment which he and the other prisoners received. They were allowed to see their friends, without even the presence of the gaolers, which would be denied in such cases in this country. They were allowed all they could reasonably require. The hon. Gentleman had made a reply to a speech he had delivered last winter; and yet, after all the time he took to consider it, although he said the information then supplied was inaccurate, he was unable to bring forward any proof of that assertion. He reiterated what he said before—that although the country was in an unsatisfactory state, although brigandage prevailed, yet, with very few exceptions, the National Guard were true to the Government. Only one case was mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, in which it was said forty women were barbarously murdered in a church. But that was mere hearsay. ["No, no!"] It was all very well to say "No, no!" It very often happened that Gentlemen in that House, with views of their own, got up and said they were correct, and that the agents of the Government were wrong, and had wilfully deceived the Government. The hon. Gentleman had repeated what he had said last year, and what he then repudiated with indignation. The hon. Gentleman stated that he had twice convicted Sir James Hudson and Mr. Bonham, and that their reports were not to be relied on. When such an accusation was made against men of high character and unimpeachable honour, he could not repress his indignation. He would not, however, expose himself to rebuke from the Chair, but would leave it to the House to say if it was generous or fair to come down to that House and make such statements when those against whom they were made were unable to defend themselves. No Government in the world was ever served by men more honourable, conscientious, and trustworthy than was the British Government by their diplomatic and consular officers; and to say that they wilfully deceived the Government, and that their reports were not to be relied on, was a calumny on those gentlemen that ought to be resented. If such a thing as the hon. Gentleman alleged had taken place, the Government must have heard of it. There were occasional reports of atrocities committed on both sides. Nowhere had brigandage been carried on so systematically and extensively as in the Neapolitan provinces, and it was consequently impossible to prevent them. Who was to blame for that? Not the Italian Government, but those who sent the brigands from Rome to commit brigandage, or protected them when they had committed it. It was said there were persons at Malta preparing to cross to Italy and engage in brigandage. Well, let the hon. Member prove this, and moreover, that Her Majesty's Government encouraged this brigandage—and the censure which he had passed upon the Government would be deserved; but he had utterly failed to do so. Then he said this was not brigandage, but civil war. Was there ever a civil war in which no man of fortune, position, rank, or character had been engaged? He defied the hon. Gentleman to mention the name of one man known in Italy as a man of noble birth, of position, of fortune, or of eminence in literature or in science, or who held any military rank, who was connected in any way whatever with what was going on in the Kingdom of Naples. He repeated that was a state of brigandage, not of civil war. He thought he had answered the hon. Gentleman. He thought it would be unworthy of this country and insulting to the Italian Government, a great and independent Government, to give year after year reports of the state of that kingdom. He would at once admit that the state of Italy was not satisfactory; but no country ever achieved its independence in so short a time and with so little to complain of. Nothing great ever took place without great trials, and the Italians must be prepared for their trials. They must go through them.. It was not such speeches as they had heard to-night that would discourage them. They had tasted the sweets of unity, of independence, of a free press, a free Government. ["Oh!"] Yes, a free press and a free Government. Speeches had been made in the Italian Parliament which could not have been uttered by the Members of the Opposition in any other Assembly in Europe. Words and thoughts were free; commerce was increasing; the country was flourishing; the Italians knew it; and although there was brigandage in Naples and parties from Rome promoting it, the Italians would not be pushed back. They were a great people, a highly civilized people, a free people. They knew what an independent Government was; they were capable of enjoying free institutions. Those institutions they would have; and they deserved to be a great and united nation.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for the King's County (Mr. Hennessy) in his observations on Italian trade had ingeniously confined himself to the years 1861 and 1862; but if he wanted to test the increase of Italian trade, he ought to have contrasted 1855, 1856, 1857, and 1858 under the old form of government, with the present time; but that he carefully avoided doing. It was well known that the trade of this country, and of the greater part of Europe had suffered during the last two years on account of events in America. What was the principle article of export mentioned? Cotton yarn.


Iron. I did not mention cotton yarn at all. I avoided the mention of cotton yarn, and I specially mentioned cotton manufactured goods.


Well, cotton manufactured goods; that was pretty much the same thing. He would show the House one extraordinary fact, that while the trade had fallen off with all parts of the world, in consequence of the present state of things in America, it had increased with Italy. With Russia it had fallen off £200,000; with Norway, £1,600,000; with the Hanse Towns, £1,000,000; with Turkey, £1,400,000; it had increased with Italy, £1,200,000. In Italy, exclusive of the Papal States, there was a diminution of £700,000 as compared with the year 1861, but the amount received in 1862 was an increase upon the amount received in 1860 to the extent of £400,000. The hon. Gentleman had mentioned the case of Naples as exhibiting a reduction of receipts. He (Mr. Layard) explained last year, that although the tariff which prevailed in other parts of Italy, and was 80 per cent lower than the old Neapolitan tariff, had suddenly been introduced into Naples, accounting for a reduction of seventeen millions of franks, yet that the trade itself had increased five-fold. The hon. Gentleman seemed to think that Italian trade was limited to this country, but that was not the case; and there had been an enormous increase of Italian trade in relation to the rest of the world. The statement of Mr. Consul Bonham was strictly accurate, because he took all the English vessels which entered the ports of Naples in the year; but a large number of these vessels had not cleared from England for Naples, but had arrived there from other places. The Board of Trade returns were drawn up on a different principle, which explained the apparent inconsistency between them and Mr. Bonham's statement. Indeed, any gentleman who had lately been at Naples must have seen that there was immense commercial activity going on compared with the state of things ten years ago. He would read an extract from the last despatch of Mr. West, Secretary of Legation at Turin, whose duty it was to report upon the state of trade. What he stated was so true that it was well worthy the attention of the House— The want of the Custom House Returns for the past year precludes the possibility of forming any opinion as to the progress of the different branches of Italian commerce. Let the House remember that three years ago Naples was an independent state, and that within so short a space of time it was almost impossible to bring order out of such a chaos as existed there. Mr. West went on to state— And I am consequently unable to give any later reliable statistical information than that contained in my last general report on the trade and commerce of the Italian kingdom. There have been, however, data, furnished in such a form as to show satisfactorily the progress which has been made during the last three years. The annexed tables A and B show the value of the imports and exports for the year 1858 as compared with 1860, including the Roman States, and distinguishing the countries of Import from and Export to. It will be observed that there is a sensible diminution in the trade of Great Britain with the Roman States, and an augmentation with all the others. The figures of these tables are a convincing proof of the amelioration of the commerce of Italy, and I think that when the returns for the years 1861, 1862 are published, a proportionate progress will be observable. The value of the imports may in some particular ports or provinces have fallen off, but this in no wise proves that the Italian community in general have not derived incalculable advantages from the extension of their foreign commerce consequent on their union. In a country formerly ruled by six different dynasties, each with a commercial system of its own, it is not difficult to point to particular provinces, districts, or communities whose individual interests may have suffered from the sudden union of these systems into one. In some instances, as in that of Tuscany, the tariff of the old régime was more liberal than the Piedmontiese one of 1854, upon which the new Italian one was based, and some branches of trade in those provinces may have received a temporary check from its introduction; but such indications as these can scarcely be regarded as proof that commerce is in general declining, especially when we see that, upon the whole, a marked increase is observable. That was, he believed, an accurate and impartial statement of the condition of things in Italy. It was true the hon. Member for King's County might find that here and there a falling-off in trade had occurred, but that the trade of Italy had immensely increased, and that there had been a great development of commercial activity, no one who had visited Italy within the last three years could doubt, any more than they could fail to perceive, that a day of great prosperity and wealth was at hand for that country.


* said: Having been distinctly alluded to by the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and being one of those Members of the Opposition in whose sorrowful ranks we had the pleasure, but a short time since, of numbering the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs himself, I cannot hesitate, for one moment, to accept the challenge which has been thrown out. And first, I would wish to make an observation as to the right of the English Parliament to be accurately informed upon the state of Italy. It is now only twelve months since that the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with his usual eloquence, expatiated upon the indefeasible right of the British Parliament to be made aware of the proceedings of that Government now established in Italy, over which this country had very properly thrown its shield, and on whose support and sympathy that Government mainly depends for its continued existence. At that period, the information of which the Government were in possession was avowed by the noble Earl (Earl Russell) in another place to be most meagre; and, besides being meagre in quantity, it was also most unsatisfactory in matter; for those last official accounts showed that matters were improving very slowly in Naples, and that there were even at that time at least twenty thousand political prisoners confined in the prisons of that province. At an early period of this Session, the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) asked the Government for the production of further papers. The Under Secretary of State, in reply, admitted that those papers had been received from the Consul General at Naples, but declined to lay them on the table of the House; and more than this, he, in plain terms, indicated his intention to discourage any further discussion on the affairs of Southern Italy. Accepting the hon. Gentleman's former declaration, that Parliament and the country had a right to such information as the Government could give, and the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State having nevertheless refused again that evening to give it, I, as an independent Member, feel bound to rise and state to the House facts that have recently come before my eyes, and upon which facts I will abstain from making any comment but that which is absolutely necessary for making them understood. The Government of Victor Emmanuel has made certain professions to this country and before Europe, and by those professions that, Government must be judged; it, has applied for the sympathy of free England, on the ground that it was about to replace a detestable despotism by the freest institutions. Before proceeding further, I will ask the indulgence of the House while I allude to a matter that is personal to myself. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard) has stated, that on the Opposition side of the House any and every attack on the Italian people or Government is always sure to be received with tumultuous cheering. I cannot presume to answer for hon. Gentlemen who sit around me; but I can speak for myself, and all who know me are aware, that throughout the Italian struggle my warmest sympathies have been with the cause of Italian freedom. I have, on several occasions, been on the point of disagreement with those with whom I usually have the honour to act. Even before the plains of the Mincio were deluged with French and Austrian blood, and later, again, when those victories came, there was scarcely a dozen men in London who did not feel some jealousy at the French successes, and become somewhat less ardent in the cause of Italian independence from a fear of the result of these Napoleonic victories. But I never have shared either those jealousies or those fears. Certain facts, however, have lately passed under my eyes, to which I cannot be indifferent, and with which I think the House ought to be made acquainted. In order to simplify the statement I am about to make, I will classify it under four heads, and I will join issue with the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard) on four points: first, whether there does or does not now exist in the Neapolitan Provinces a system of personal and domestic espionage; secondly, whether there does or does not exist, either in the Neapolitan States, in Florence, Milan, or Bologna, perfect liberty of the press; I will next ask the House to say, whether there is or is not that perfect liberty of the person in the dominions of Victor Emmanuel, of which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard) has spoken; and lastly, I will call the attention of the House to the state of the Neapolitan prisons, upon which subject the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard) has especially challenged me of those prisons, the condition of which, as the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) has already said, has brought just retribution upon the infamous Government of the Bourbons. These, then, are the points upon which I will buckle up to the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard). In the first place, I aver that a system of personal and domestic espionage is still carried on in the same way, and with the same agents and formula, as it was under the Bourbon régime. It is not alone men of low caste, who are trying to incite to brigandage and murder, who fall under this system of espionage, but men of birth and education—men who have suffered under Ferdinand and Francis the Second—men whose only crime is, that they differ on some points from the policy of the Italian Government without ever seeking to bring about a change of dynasty. I have the names of those men, and the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the noble Lord his chief (Earl Russell), in another place, or any of their Colleagues, are welcome to see those names; but I dare not give them to the House of Commons, for such is the paternal nature of the Italian Government—paternal in the sense of not spoiling its children by sparing the rod—that I think I shall best consult the safety of these gentlemen by only communicating their names privately to the hon. Gentleman and to his Colleagues. The system of arbitrary arrests is so well known, and so generally admitted, that it is not necessary to detain the House by dwelling on it at this time. The partisans of the Italian Government are constantly asserting that there is but one mind in Italy, that there are no Bourbonists to be found, that such a thing as a Muratist cannot be discovered, that republicans have ceased to exist, and that there is but one cry, and that is, for a United Italy under Victor Emmanuel. If that be so, the cruelty of the Government is only the more indefensible. Week after week unoffending citizens are dragged out of their beds by the police at midnight, are flung into dungeons, not cleanly enough to serve as a cow-house in England, and there lay forgotten for months—nay, for years, untried and uninterrogated. I was in Naples some two months ago, but until now I have remained silent, for I had hoped to find that the state of things would improve from what it was when I left it; that hope has proved illusory. Only last week the police swept off, in one night, two hundred individuals—including an aged priest of past eighty years of years—women as well as men; they were thrust into prison for they knew not what offence, and upon application to the authorities, were told that their crime was, that they were suspected of sympathy with the brigands, and upon such a charge as this, under this boasted free and constitutional Government, these men were swept off into these infamous prisons. The next point is one which I approach with much diffidence; the statements of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary having been of such a very decided character. The hon. Gentleman said last year, and to my surprise he has said it again this evening, that the people of Italy are now enjoying a perfect freedom of the press. Now, perhaps, the House would like to know what are the rules in force in the Neapolitan States for the regulation of this "free press." Every morning the newspapers, when published, are sent to an official gentleman called the "Quæstor." That gentleman has to read these papers through, and for such a task he is much to be pitied, for greater twaddle and more insignificant balderdash than that which appears in them certainly never disgraced what we call a free press. The Quæstor consults nobody, but on his own responsibility can seize and confiscate the sinning newspaper. Now, this is in distinct contravention of the Charter of "Carlo Alberto," the law under which the Italians are now supposed to be living. But to show that the Quæstor in thus acting is not over-stepping the limits of his authority, I will take the liberty of reading a circular which has been circulated by Monsieur Perruzzi the Minister of the Interior at Turin. That circular is dated from Turin, the 21st of January 1863, and it is addressed by the Minister to the Prefects throughout the country. Now, Sir, if any one at the present day ventures to reflect upon, or disapprove, any one act of the Government, even to lament, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer so eloquently lamented in his Budget speech, the present condition of Italian finance, he is sure immediately to be hounded down as a sympathizer with the brigands, or an enemy to the unity of Italy. I mention this, in order that hon. Members should thoroughly understand the extract which I am about to make from this ministerial circular. Signer Perruzzi begins by saying, that inasmuch as some persons wish to sap the foundations of Italy, and inasmuch as some per- sons have Bourbonist sympathies and a reactionary tendency, therefore it is necessary, that "in the limits of the law, an active surveillance and energetic and constant repression should take place among the newspapers." And then follow the words in which this Minister distinctly orders the prefects to break the laws of the country:— Although the duty of the surveillance and repression of the press is confined specially by the law to the judicial authority, nevertheless the political agents should not remain quite inactive. On the contrary, it is necessary that each should assist the other in his sphere. That is, in carrying on an "active surveillance and an energetic and constant repression" of newspapers. In treating this part of the case, I have taken my extracts from certain semi-official newspapers, which have announced, with some glee, that justice has been done upon these offending journals. I will now give the names of the journals, though I regret that my proficiency in the Italian language is not greater. This system is not confined to the Neapolitan Provinces, nor has it been in any way relaxed of late, in proof of which I will mention many instances, some of which have occurred since I left Italy. Within a month, a newspaper at Florence, called the Nuova Europa, was seized four times in nine days, and the editor has had to pay a heavy fine and has been imprisoned for three months. Next day the Campana del Popolo, a newspaper of ultra-liberal sentiments, came to the same untimely end at the hands of the Police. The Contemporaneo has also been seized several times. This is at Florence, not at Naples. Next, I come to Milan—Lombardy, which has only just escaped from the iron rule of Austria, and which might be supposed to be full of gratitude to that Government which had delivered it from bondage and oppression; and what do I find there? The Unità Italiana, a journal of extreme liberal opinions, was seized there on the 27th of last month; and what does the House suppose it was for? Surely, the new Lord of the Admiralty, the hon. Member for Halifax (Mr. Stansfeld), will feel a throe of sympathy when he learns that the Unità Italiana met with an untimely fate because it had republished in one of its columns extracts from documents containing the ultra-liberal views written and signed by the present Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Italian Government, Visconti Venusti. Upon this ground one of the most liberal newspapers in Italy was seized, and was not allowed to circulate on that day. From Lombardy, I will now go to the Romagna, to those provinces so lately released from the Pontifical rule—from that rule which is often described by the hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues as being such a curse to the population that they were on that account literally bowed down with gratitude to the saviour of their liberties. And what do we find there? The Eco di Bologna has been in existence during two years, and, like a cat, it seems to have a great many lives, for within that short period it has been seized twenty-four times. At Bologna, however, there seems to be no dearth of editors, for although the paper was seized twenty-four times within twenty-three months, and the poor editor tried and condemned to imprisonment and to pay a fine of 7,000 francs, yet the Eco di Bologna has not ceased to exist. Hon. Members, therefore, who talk loudly about the unity of Italy, should bear in mind the fact that one newspaper has been seized in Milan for publishing that which is allowed to circulate freely in the other provinces of the kingdom; that another has been suppressed in Bologna for publishing matter which was allowed to circulate freely in the other provinces of the kingdom; and from such facts as these, they will find it difficult to decide which is the more complete, the freedom of the press or the unity of Italy. But the Eco di Bologna is not the only newspaper suppressed there. Within the last three weeks the Monitore has been seized, because, in that now free country, the editor has ventured to extract from a Turin paper a speech on the state of Italy delivered in another place by the Marquess of Normanby. Such is the liberty of the press with which the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State is so well satisfied; and now, having proved to the House that the liberty of the press does not exist in any one of those four annexed districts, I will refer, for a moment, to the state of the Neapolitan provinces. In the city of Naples, within the last three years, twenty-seven journals have had violent hands laid upon them by the police, and have altogether disappeared; of these La Na poli e Torino had seventeen numbers seized out of fifty; the Machiavelli five out of eleven, and the Aurora ten out of nineteen. There are many other examples with which I will not, at this time, trouble the House; I have stated enough to show that never, in the most iron times of the French Republic, or immediately after the coup d'état of 1851, never was there a more perfect gag placed upon the press than there is at Naples at the period of which I am speaking. It is very well for the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard) to shake his head in an incredulous manner; but if the hon. Gentleman is not yet satisfied, if he has not had proofs enough yet, I will gladly furnish the hon. Gentleman with a few more. Of the newspapers suppressed at Naples, three have not perished in the ordinary way, theirs was what a London coroner would call "deaths from violence." The Napoli is the first case to which I will refer; that is a newspaper as to which I have the authority of many warm and ardent supporters of Italian liberty for saying has been always conducted with much ability and good taste, and with perfect loyalty to the reigning dynasty. It has chiefly been given to the discussion of the financial measures of the Government. To show how justice is administered at Naples, I will tell the House what occurred with reference to this paper. On the 8th of January, the office at which this paper was published was assailed at eleven o'clock in the morning by a mob of two hundred persons; the leader were the kepi of the National Guard. They broke into the premises, smashed the printing press, tore the newspapers, scattered the type in the garden, and threatened the editor with death if he ever published another number of his journal. The editor, to save his neck, promised compliance—but broke his word; he applied to the Government, and asked them to let him have two caribinieri to stand at his door and protect him in the performance of his duty. This, after some evasion, the Government refused. On the 18th of January, at the house of a private friend, this energetic man published what he called his final protest, in which he certainly did not use the mildest language, to describe the treatment he had received. The next day, and on four or five days subsequently, two men came to the door; not as in Ireland, with threatening letters, or with the good taste of murderers in that country, who at least blacken their faces; but, in an open and avowed manner, they came and threatened the editor (Signor Ventamiglia) with the dagger if he ever published another number of his paper. The editor went again to the Government, and asked to be protected against the threats of these men. What was the answer? Why, the editor was himself taken up, his protest was found to be disloyal, he was tried, convicted, sentenced to fine and imprisonment, and the Italian Government thus set their stamp of approval upon the threats of these midday assassins. Two other journals have come to an end, only very recently, in the same manner, and in one case the unfortunate editor has suffered from personal violence. I will not trouble the House with the details of those outrages, or with any more names of suppressed newspapers, but I will proceed with the proofs which I am about to give, as to the liberty of action which exists in the Neapolitan States. I have already stated that at the time of my arrival in the Neapolitan territories I was a partisan of the Government of Victor Emmanuel; and whilst in Naples I met a gentleman, a member of the Turin Parliament, who had the advantage of understanding English with great facility. On four occasions I had the opportunity of visiting the prisons with that gentleman, who gained admission to them by right of his position as a member of the Turin Parliament. I obtained an order myself from General La Marmora, to whose kindness and courtesy I feel much pleasure in bearing testimony. Now, in visiting the Italian prisons, I had no idea that I could, in any way, be considered guilty of conduct offensive to the Piedmontese Government; but such turned out to be the case, for no sooner had I left the Neapolitan territory, than there appeared in the newspapers, not only of Naples, but of Piedmont, attacks and commentaries both upon me and upon the gentleman who had accompanied me in my visits. It was said that he (the gentleman) must have been plotting against the Turin Government, indeed so much annoyance was caused to that gentleman, that I have received letters from him, asking me to state in writing the reasons and the circumstances under which we had visited the prisons, and to give an assurance that there was nothing disloyal to the Government on the part of this gentleman in those proceedings. After due consideration, I refused to notice such attacks emanating from such a source, but am happy now, in my place in the House of Commons, to state, on my honour, that the gentleman who accompanied me in my visit to these prisons has never breathed one word against the dynasty of Victor Emmanuel, and that his detestation of the old régime of the Bourbons exceeded in intensity, if it were possible, even that of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs himself. The newspaper attacks went on, and the climax arrived but a few days since. The House may imagine how great was my surprise last week, when I received an intimation so remarkable that at first I could hardly give credence to it; it was neither more nor less than this:—That a gentleman, a member of the Turin Parliament, for accompanying a Member of a sister Parliament to see the prisons in Italy, not only incurred the obloquy of a gagged and fettered press, but had been actually summoned before the Judge (Salice) to answer an implied charge of conspiring against the Government. I confess, that when I first heard of that occurrence, I treated it with ridicule and disbelief; I asked myself why, and above all in a free country why should this gentleman incur odium and suspicion for doing a simple act of courtesy to a stranger? but I soon learned that the fact was too true, and having learned that it was true, I proceeded to inquire of myself what could be the cause of such a proceeding?—why should it have been done?—what should have led to it?—and then the truth came out! It would seem that a terrible bugbear afflicts that Government, which, we are told, is so firmly and strongly fixed in the affections of its people, and that that bugbear is no less a personage than the moat noble the Marquess of Normanby. The second question in the interrogatories put to the gentleman by the Judge was, "Is Lord Lennox a parente of Lord Normanby?" It would appear that this was the point upon which the judge most thirsted for information, for the question was repeated twice; but unfortunately the person to whom it was addressed was very naturally, after so short an acquaintance, unable to give any answer to it. Now, that I am in my place in the House of Commons, I think it is only fair to answer that question myself, and I will at once state, hoping that it may be consolatory to the shattered nerves of that timorous judge, that I not only am not related to the Marquess of Normanby, but that I believe, by a curious coincidence, it is almost the only family in the English peerage with whom I might not claim some connection. The next question that was put by the judge, acting under the orders of a Government which so highly respects both liberty of discussion and liberty of the press, was, "Can you tell me whether this Tory Lord, during his stay, made the acquaintance of Signor Ventamiglia the editor of the Napoli?" Now this is the gentleman who is undergoing a sentence of imprisonment, for having been daily threatened with assassination. Having stated to the House what I have stated with respect to liberty of the person, liberty of discussion, and domestic espionage, I am about to make an appeal to the House, and I hope my appeal will go forth to the country and have some effect as a caution to the people of England against being misled by the eloquent language of the Under Secretary of State, who, in speaking of this subject last year, said— A change which has in three short years transformed, I may almost say, the very life of the people; a change which has raised them from the very verge of slavery to the enjoyment of the fullest liberty; a change, which contrasts as much with that which went before, as would the bursting forth of the glorious sun in its noonday splendour at midnight contrast with the darkness which it had suddenly dispelled. I appeal to the House, whether the state of things that I have just described betokens the existence of that noonday splendour, to which the hon. Gentleman so eloquently alluded. Before I proceed to my next point I must remind the House, that last year the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs taunted the hon. Baronet the Member for Dundalk (Sir George Bowyer) with only being able, after elaborate research, to bring forward one solitary case—that of Count Christen, who had been a prisoner confined six months in prison without a trial. Now, Sir, I am about to refer to other cases of a worse character; and before doing so I am anxious again to throw myself upon the indulgence of the House, and to assure them that I am deeply sensible of the responsibility which I have incurred in coming forward upon this occasion, and stating things which ought not to be stated unless they are true, and which, if true, must cause a strong feeling throughout Europe. But the facts which I am about to relate passed before my eyes; I pledge my honour that they are true, and that I will give no exaggerated statement of them. I would again remind the House, that the first time I visited Naples after the formation of the Kingdom of Italy, I went there as an ardent supporter of Victor Emmanuel; that I had not been in Naples more than six days, when a gentleman who has attained the rare position of acquiring high distinction in the country of his birth, and equal eminence in that of his adoption, asked me whether I would like to visit the prison of Santa Maria, in which I should have the opportunity of seeing an unfortunate countryman (Mr. Bishop). I went, and saw Mr. Bishop; and certainly there was nothing to find fault with in the treatment which he appeared to be receiving. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs has challenged me to give my impressions of the prison in question, and I am happy to say that I saw nothing to complain of in the treatment of any of those persons who were confined in Santa Maria. The prison was cleanly, and the food was good, always supposing that the prisoners had been tried and convicted; but I regret to say that such was not the case. One Hungarian gentleman, named Blumenthal, who spoke French fluently, told me that he had been eighteen months in his cell without having been tried or even interrogated. From the conversation of those around, he had gathered that he was suspected of being concerned in some revolutionary proceedings, and he earnestly desired that he might be brought to trial. He had no objection to find with his lodging or his food; he had so long despaired of trial that that poor man had almost ceased to complain! On leaving the cell of that prisoner, other prisoners, prompted, I suppose, by some instinct which induced them to make their complaints known, gathered around me and my companion and frequently exclaimed in Italian, "Why are we in prison?" "Why are we not tried?" Much struck, and somewhat uneasy at what was going on, I requested the gentleman who accompanied me to ask of the governor that question which the prisoners had put to me. All honour to that governor, all honour to the governors of the different prisons which I visited, for they were one and all actuated by philanthropic motives and detested this system of which they are the unwilling instruments. The governor, to whom I now more particularly allude, replied that he was unable to answer the question; that he had eighty-three prisoners in his charge who had never been tried, and that about one-half of these had never undergone a form of interrogation, which I believe is tantamount to being brought before a magistrate in this country. These per- sons were confined in prison, and were not aware of the crimes with which they were charged. Perhaps, when the House hears of these men who are thus kept in prison without being tried, they may arrive at the conclusion that they are men of intelligence and wealth, men who could head a revolution, and who would be dangerous to a Government firmly seated in the affections of its people. On the contrary, some of them were most miserable-looking beings, mumbling, grey-headed, crawling upon crutches, being poor old wretches who, in appearance, were only fit to finish their days in the neighbouring almshouse. To talk of such men as these as being conspirators, dangerous to the safety of the Government, and of His Majesty the King of Italy, appears to me to be simply absurd, and an outrage upon common sense. On leaving this prison, the distinguished gentleman who was with me said, "This is indeed wrong: I am an Italian, a thorough Italian; but this is wrong, and we must inscribe our names in the visitors' book to that effect." I said, "It would be a great liberty in a stranger to do anything of the kind;" but my companion was of a different opinion. We therefore wrote in the book a protest, for protest I must call it, to the following effect:—After acknowledging the extreme courtesy of the governor, and the generally good condition of the prison, the protest went on in the following words:— But the undersigned cannot help expressing how regrettable it is, that some prisoners have been detained for months untried, and, as far as they have assured the undersigned, not even interrogated, and without knowing from the authorities the cause of their imprisonment. This document being signed, it was left with the governor, and a copy was to be forwarded to the Government at Turin. Now, I admit, that during my visit to this prison some little uneasiness had begun to creep into my mind, and I began to have some slight misgivings as to that state of liberty and justice of which I had heard so much. The result was, that I made an application to General La Marmora, and obtained from him authority to visit the other prisons of Naples. The second prison which I visited, was that known as the "Concordia;" it is situated in the upper part of Naples, and is chiefly occupied by persons imprisoned for debt. Now, the House will readily imagine that such men form by no means the most respectable portion of Neapolitan Society; I found these men walking about the gallery of the prison, and in the midst of them two convicted felons. One of whom was undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life for homicide, and the other of eighteen years for a grave crime. And here I beg to call the especial attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to these facts, because, if I am not mistaken, if there was any one point which he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had especially denounced in olden days, it was the abomination of compelling prisoners suspected of political offences to associate with those convicted of crime. Among those prisoners, too, mixed up with the debtors and the felons, was a Roman Catholic bishop and five priests, who had been dragged out of their beds a month before, thrust into this prison, and made, if they left their cell, to pass their days in the society of needy debtors and convicted felons, and that without knowing the crime for which they were suffering. Some hon. Gentlemen around me, I am well aware, do not sympathize much, perhaps, with Roman Catholic bishops and priests, but they are sufficiently English in their feelings to sympathize with any one who is treated unjustly, whether Catholic or Protestant, priest or layman. There is at present confined in that prison another man, who had been in prison two years: he was an old man, he must have been close upon seventy; he was bowed with years, and was confined to the prison diet, one meal a day, and nothing but water to drink. He complained, but he said, "He thought—he hoped—the end was near!" This second prison certainly did not remove the uneasiness which had been excited in my mind by my visit to the first. The third prison was the "Santa Maria Agnone," the women's prison (Carcere di Donne); and really, if it were not for the gravity of the subject, I should be almost tempted to ask the House to join with me in a hearty laugh at the sight I saw. Of the prisoners there were a number of women confined for "political sympathies." Among these "ladies," who were perfectly delighted to see an English gentleman come among them, the most ridiculous case was that of three poor sisters, whose names were Francesca, Carolina, and Raffaella Avitabile: these unhappy women had been confined in prison for twenty-two months, because, as they gathered from their examinations before the magistrate, the last of which had taken place ten months before, they were suspected of hanging a Bourbon flag out of the window. The one who was the most discreet of the three, and who evidently was afraid of admitting much before persons she did not know, instantly corrected her sister as she told the story, saying, "Why, no, sister, it was not a Bourbon flag; it may have been a bed sheet we were hanging out to dry." This is the state of law and justice in the Neapolitan kingdom. I have a long list of the names of the women who have been confined in this and another prison, for longer or shorter periods, uninterrogated and untried; no complaints can be made of want of cleanliness or of the diet; but all this time they were compelled to associate with the lowest class of women, even those taken from the streets for immoral conduct. The next prison which I visited was a large one at Salerno. The governor there was exceedingly courteous, and on hearing what was the object of my visit he bade me welcome, and hoped that it would be productive of good; but he said that he thought it right to tell me that in a prison which ought to accommodate 650 prisoners he had then 1,359, the result of which was that a virulent typhus fever had broken out, and within the previous week had carried off the physician and a warder. Among the prisoners in the first cell which I entered in this prison were eight or nine priests, and fourteen laymen, all suspected of political offences, and these were confined in this cell with four or five convicted felons. In the next cell were 157 prisoners, the greater part of whom were untried. They lived there the whole day, they slept there the whole night, and except for a very short period, when they were allowed to take a little exercise in a small yard, these 157 wretched creatures passed the whole of their lives in this place, without knowing why or wherefore they had been brought to such a place. To show how completely unaltered was the system which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, in the year of 1851, so emphatically denounced, I will state, that in this room, associating with political offenders, was confined a man who had been sentenced to death for murder, and who was to suffer the extreme penalty of the law within a week from that time. The next room was a long room with vaulted roof, and in it were 230 prisoners. To describe the state of squalor and filth in which these wretched men were, would require more eloquence than I can com- mand. Among the prisoners were men of different classes in life—officers of the National Guard, who were condemned to this living death, because they had a few months before listened to the voice of General Garibaldi—priests and laymen all in a most pitiable condition. One man of seventy was a wretched object. Others had been in prison so long that their clothes had worn out; they had no money to buy new ones, and some were in such a state of nudity that they could not rise from their seats as the strangers passed along, to implore, as their companions did, our pity, and to petition us to intercede in their favour. Some of them had literally no trousers, shoes, nor stockings—nothing but an old jacket, and a small rag, which did duty for a shirt. It was a piteous sight—the stench was dreadful, and the House must remember that it was then the cold weather of January; what, then, must it be now? I dare not think of it. The food they had would not be given to any cattle in England. I threw a piece of their bread upon the floor and pressed it with my foot, but so hard was it, that I could not make the slightest impression upon it. The next spot I visited was one which had been visited by the Chancellor of the Exchequer some eleven years ago, and which he had then accurately described as a "charnel-house." It was the Vicaria—a prison situated in the most crowded and unhealthy part of Naples—into which, though it was only calculated to hold 600 prisoners, 1,200 had been crowded. In this prison there were five rooms, one following the other. There were only fourteen warders for the whole of these 1,200 prisoners; and when Consul General Bonham permitted himself to put down in an official despatch that the abuses still existing in the prison of the Vicaria were owing to the cruelty of some old Bourbon gaolers that were left, he was making a statement which I will take upon myself to contradict, and which Mr. Bonham must or ought to have known to be incorrect. So small was the staff of warders for the prisoners confined there, that it was difficult, nay, almost impossible to search them; and the consequence was, that many of them were armed with weapons of one kind or another; some being thrown through the windows, the others brought in by the sellers of provisions that visit the prison. The result is, that the unhappy governor goes in danger of his life, and said to me, "I shall only be too glad if you can do any good, for I never leave my wife in the morning without the feeling that I may be brought home at night a murdered man." Of the 1,200 prisoners, 800 were confined in five rooms with no doors between them, but iron rails; and thus the effluvium arising from these 800 men circulated without let from one end to the other. The moment I entered the first room, the prisoners crowded round, and I was set upon with petitions, prayers, and entreaties; indeed, the pressure was so great, that it was with difficulty that I was able to escape. I afterwards saw nearly the whole prison turned out into the yard; and if the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer will allow me to say so, I think he ought to be highly gratified to hear what happened. Fearing that any further demonstrations might recoil with evil on the head of the governor, I begged him to entreat the prisoners not to repeat their requests, which, as I could do nothing for them, gave me great pain. I therefore requested him to assure them that I had no influence with the Italian Government, for that, in point of fact, I was only an English traveller. But when they heard I was an Englishman, the clamour was renewed, and the entreaties waxed louder, for they seemed to think, at the sound of an Englishman, that a tutelary deity had come to relieve them from the grossest and most wicked of oppressions. The name of Gladstone was so well known to them, ignorant though they were on other topics, that they, in their simplicity, thought one Englishman in 1862 could do the same as another had done in 1851. They little knew the difference of power and influence between the two Members—between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and myself. But, to return to the yard. The sight which there met my eyes was one happily not often to be seen, and which I can never forget. The door by which I emerged was at the top of the lofty wall, communicating by a steep staircase down into the yard, and no sooner were the party in sight, than the prisoners rushed towards us with piteous cries, again and again repeated, and, with bloodshot eyes and outstretched arms, implored not for liberty but for trial; not for mercy, but for a sentence. The description of the attitude and condition of the tortured in Dante's Inferno would give the best idea of the scene that presented itself in that prison yard. And now I come to the last prison, on which I wish to speak, and I will ask the House to accompany me to the fortress of Nisida, situated about five miles from Naples, on the summit of a rock commanding the most beautiful and extensive scenery. In this prison there are none but those that have been tried and condemned, and it is here where hard labour (travaux forcés) sentences are carried out. In this prison were a French gentleman, Comte de Christen, Signer Caracciolo, and Signor di Luca. They had been, as far as I know, rightly convicted of conspiring against the Government. But it is not of such crime that I wish to speak lightly, it is one which I cannot palliate; for those who conspire frequently are those who put forward brave men to suffer, while they themselves skulk behind in safety. In the same prison I saw some thirty or forty very fine young men, dressing in the flaunting scarlet and green vestments of shame. They had been apparently the flower of the Italian army; but were so no longer, for their sinewy arms were powerless, chained as they were by heavy irons to their brawny thighs. These young men had committed the grave crime of having deserted from the army of Victor Emmanuel, and having listened to the voice of that brave and honest man Garibaldi. But, however detestable the crime of disloyalty—however much to be reprehended is the conduct of those men who break their oaths to their sovereign—yet, considering that, only eighteen short months before, those troops who did not listen to the voice of that same Garibaldi and who did remain faithful to their king—considering that these were disbanded as unworthy of trust, and turned adrift to gain their bread, I do say, that if ever there was a man who, in such a case, was bound to temper justice with mercy, that man was Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy. And now I come to a narrative from which I confess to recoil with feelings of shame and indignation, for in one cell, narrow and most miserable, with a stone floor and four iron bedsteads, without a table, and without even a book to cheer their solitude, were four men, chained two and two with the heaviest of irons, three of them being men of birth and education. Though, owing to felon's garments, it was difficult and painful to do so, I recognised in two of then Count Christen and Signor Caracciolo. Count Christen, seeing my reluctance to approach, made a sign to me to come to him, and he said, "My Lord, I appreciate your feelings. You feel pity for me. Do not pity me—but reserve your pity for those who degrade the name of freedom by treatment such as that which I am now suffering." Signor di Luca was chained with similar heavy chains to a brigand who had been convicted of robbery or manslaughter. Here was an Italian gentleman whose misfortune it was to differ from the Italian Government, and whose crime was conspiring against it, chained with irons to the commonest malefactor! Against such a system as this I must enter my protest. I care not whether such deeds of darkness are done under the despotism of a Bourbon, or under the pseudo-liberalism of a Victor Emmanuel. What is called united Italy mainly owes its existence to the protection and moral support of England—more does it owe to this than to Garibaldi or even to the victorious armies of France—and in the name of England, therefore, I denounce the commission of such barbarous atrocities, and I protest against the aegis of free England being thus prostituted. I conversed with some of the prisoners who were awaiting their trial, and they said, "If we only knew what our sentence was, at least our despair would not be so blank. At the end of every vista, however long, a spark of light is visible. Were we condemned for ten or even twenty years, we could keep our eyes fixed on that light, and as month succeeded month, that ray, however small, would still be growing brighter, and the star of liberty would irradiate the darkness of our unhappy lot; but now, all is one blank dark despair, without alleviation—because without hope." Others even went so far as to say, "If we only knew that our sentence was for life, we should not be buoyed up with false hopes or wearied with a feeling of uncertainty; we should know what to expect; at least, we could pray for the grave." And now I would express my earnest hope, that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not remain inactive, but will exercise his powerful influence with the Government, of which he is so distinguished a Member, to put an end to such a state of things. Nor have these been the only follies committed by the Piedmontese Government since the annexation of Southern Italy; indeed, with two exceptions, it has been one unbroken chain of mistakes; first, they had rudely, and in one day, swept away that autonomy, which had lasted 800 years; and this was done, against the advice and decided wish of Garibaldi himself. Next, there had been a wanton disturbance of the finances of the country. Taxation had been increased to a great extent in Naples; indeed, some of the taxes—for example, the stamp on paper had been raised to such an amount that it was actually less productive now than before the extra 10 per cent had been added. The hon. Gentleman again shakes his incredulous head, but I make that statement on no less an authority than that of Sella, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at Turin. The National Debt has been added to six-fold, and security for life and property has diminished in proportion to the increase of taxation, till at last neither life nor limb are safe beyond the immediate gates of the City of Naples. I hope that in the remarks I have made I have said nothing which can give offence to any one. I have spoken honestly and conscientiously. I have spoken, because if such a state of things is allowed to go on—if the Government does not take the matter up and communicate with the Piedmontese Government—it may, nay it must lead to the gravest European complications. It must be remembered that on the frontiers of Italy is a formidable military power, and that that power has done much to earn the gratitude of the Italian people. It must also be borne in mind, that that great nation has for its ruler a man who has repeatedly stated that he would not tolerate on its frontiers a country in open revolution. I am one who have never at any time harboured suspicions of the French Emperor or his intentions. I believe him to be, and to have proved himself to be, the truest and best ally which this country has ever had. But England must remember, that if by silence—by concealing the facts—by covering with a plaster the festering sore—we allow matters to grow from bad to worse, the end may come, when a miserable people, overborne by taxation, oppression, and cruelty, will turn to the strong power at hand, and say, "Save us from anarchy; restore us our commerce; give to us again peace and liberty." If such should be the case here, and if the Neapolitan dominions should fall under a French protectorate, neither the noble Lord at the head of the Government, nor the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, nor the hon. Member the Under Secretary, could with reason condemn such an event as that. I am well aware that these remarks are likely to draw upon me great unpopularity, and bring down on my head a storm of obloquy and misrepresentation—["No!"]—but all this I have considered, and it is in the cause of truth and humanity that I am willing to undertake this grave responsibility. I certainly have no party purposes to serve, and I have spoken in sorrow not in anger. I shall welcome with grateful joy any reforms, by whomsoever brought about, which will restore to that fair land—fairest among the fair—the possession of happiness and liberty, and does not leave her any longer a prey to the worst of despotisms and the most maddening of sufferings.


Sir, the picture which the noble Lord has drawn of the condition of the unhappy captives in Neapolitan gaols has been drawn with so much power, so much eloquence, so much pathos, that there was no need for the closing words of apology which he addressed to the House for having so long occupied its attention. It must, however, be allowed to take exception to some of his facts, and to say that I differ altogether from the conclusions which he has deduced from the facts to which he referred. The noble Lord would have us to believe that there has been no improvement in the gaols of Naples since the advent of the new dynasty. But, Sir, if in any country there ever existed gaols with dungeons more deep, more dark, more noisome than any other gaols of Europe, it was in Naples, and those gaols have been altogether abolished and are no longer used for the confinement of either political prisoners or criminals. Shall we not, therefore, say a change has come over the spirit of the dream—a change has come over the administration of those gaols, which has been a great improvement. Every one who knows Naples knows also that there are now no secret gaols, but the greatest publicity is courted and encouraged. Hon. Members of this House, and various people in this country, have visited these Neapolitan gaols, as well as the noble Lord; but after hearing his description of them one would imagine it was one of the most difficult things in the world to visit a Neapolitan prison. Why, Sir, it is one of the sights of Naples to visit the gaols; so easy is it to gain admission, both by foreigners and by Italians, that no one visits Naples without seeing them. Every one who knows anything of the Neapolitan gaols knows, that if there were any more terrible than others, they were the Castle of St. Elmo and the Castello del Uovo. It was there that under the dynasty of the Bourbons those prisoners were confined who were intended by the Government to be punished with the greatest severity; it was there that human life was supported with the greatest difficulty; it was there that prisoners lay rotting without a trial. The two worst of the Neapolitan gaols have been abandoned altogether, and many improvements have been made in others—a fact, which may perhaps in some measure account for the over-crowding which the noble Lord alleges to exist. It may be said that there are certain objectionable practices still maintained; that political prisoners are crowded into criminal prisons. That is perfectly true. It is one of the grievances of the Neapolitan prisons that no distinction is made between the political and the criminal prisoners. It is a very great aggravation indeed of the punishment of one who occupies the position of a gentleman, to oblige him to pass his time chained to a common felon; it not only doubles but quadruples his punishment. It is a grievance of which men have a right to complain; but I say also that the Italian Government acknowledge that it is a grievance, and are determined to provide a remedy. A system of solitary confinement has been recommended at Turin, and is about to be tried in the gaols.

There is perhaps, another, and a still greater, grievance, and that is that political prisoners are kept a long time in confinement previous to their trial. Every one acknowledges that that is a great grievance, and to the English mind, familiar as it is with the idea of the security of individual liberty, it appears to be a grievance altogether monstrous; but the same practice, I would remind the House, obtains in almost every other country in Europe; and although I regret that a Government which stands up for the liberty of the subject, and has adopted the noble word "freedom" for its motto, should have taken a weapon from the armoury of despotic Governments, yet I do not think that the Italian Government is to be blamed for having, at a time when the whole country was agitated, resorted to what every other country in Europe resorts to. Have not we ourselves, in times of public disturbance and agitation, been ready to suspend our ordinary safeguards and hold them in abeyance, in order that we might not permanently be deprived of our liberties? And, after all, there is this general ground of defence for the Italian Government—it is illegal. The noble Lord himself said that it was an illegal practice. If such practices, then, are illegal, they must also he exceptional, and the laws of Charles Albert, which will be the normal laws of the country, discountenance the practice.

The defence on the part of the Italian Government, in regard to this point, is so easily set up, that I wonder the noble Lord, in his candour, did not state it to the House. You meet with prisoners, some criminal, some political, abandoned without a trial. But in both cases there is a special defence to be made for the Italian Government. In the case of a great many criminals, the population of Naples have been so long cursed by all the terrors of despotism, that they have become so mean-spirited, so cowardly, so chicken-hearted, so base, that they dare not come forward as witnesses against those who have injured them. There is a society called the Camorra, which exercises such terror over the public mind that the people would rather the criminals went unpunished altogether than that they should expose themselves to its vengeance by denouncing them. The defence of the Italian Government, then, in such an exceptional state of things, rests upon the fact that the people are reduced to such a depth of low-spirited pusillanimity that it is obliged to deal with its prisoners in an extrajudicial manner. Well then, Sir, in the case of political prisoners, I say that it is precisely when the country is in a turbulent and agitated state that the Government are obliged to suspend the trial of prisoners from the fear of giving a clue by the publication of such evidence as they possess which would prevent their tracing out the guilty parties and bringing conviction home to them. Have we not suspended our great guarantees of individual liberty in times of political emergency? And have we not, when the country has been much agitated, enlarged the powers of the magistrate? This is precisely the condition of Italy at the present moment. There is revolution in one part, anarchy in another. There is brigandage all over the southern portion of the Italian kingdom; there are revolutionary committees sitting in the north, and there are republican clubs over all the country. Surely this is an exceptional condition of things. You may say this is the fault of the Italian Government—of a Government not yet rooted in the affections of the people; but you must remember that the present system has only been three years in existence, and that in fact the present practice is only one year old; because during the first two years the Turin Government was so agitated with political questions, and especially with the question of Rome, that it was unable to set about organizing the country. For two years, in the cafés, in the market-places, in the legislative halls, you heard nothing but the cry of "Rome! Rome!" while in the Court you had nothing but intriguing, and ministers receiving the confidence of their Sovereign, on the ground that they were in possession of some potent charm which would enable them satisfactorily to settle the Romish question. That was a waste of much precious time. Instead of setting themselves to accomplish the vast task before them—of education, of instituting a proper system of judicature, of ameliorating, generally speaking, the condition of the population—they stood still for a time watching all these imperial changes and intrigues. Well, Sir, the last attempt of Garibaldi put an end to all that, and in doing so conferred an inestimable benefit upon Italy. When Garibaldi appeared in Italy, we heard no more of Rome. The question of Rome is not before Europe now; it is not before Italy. This is owing to Garibaldi. Since the French minister read the despatch in which he declared that the Emperor was determined to pursue the traditional policy of France, the Italian Government has given up for the present agitating this question of Rome, and they have organized commissions to go over the country to see where brigandage exists; and where they found it existing they have taken measures to put it down.

This question of brigandage is one, I may observe, of considerable difficulty and complexity. It is certainly true that it is not only the bands organized in the Roman territory who form the brigands in the Neapolitan dominions, but the peasantry also to a great extent are more or less brigands themselves. Still its existence can scarcely be urged as an argument to show that the Italians are opposed to the present Government, as the whole of that middleclass upon which public opinion in the long run depends is in favour of the present order of things; and we cannot be very much surprised when we hear that the peasantry, who are so easily brought under the dominion of other people, cannot be made to understand the questions which are involved in a change of dynasty. One thing they understand perfectly, and that is that the taxes are greater. It is perfectly true, as the noble Lord said, that the taxes are heavier than under the late system, but the Neapolitans have got this inestimable consolation, if they choose to avail themselves of it:—They know that the resources of the country no longer go to fatten the favourites of a corrupt court, but that they are expended in educating the people, in establishing a proper system of judicature, in creating a great army, which may one day make Italy something more than a mere geographical expression. We must remember also that the brigands of Rome have been organized by a Bourbon commitee, and sent over the border to add fuel to the flames now raging in that fair country; that while the French Emperor is conceiving the benevolent idea of reconciling irreconcilable elements, and while the English Minister is building castles in the air or at Malta for the reception of his Holiness the Pope, there sits in Rome a Bourbon committee, presided over by an expatriated king, to organize bands of brigands, who may without let or hindrance invade the Neapolitan dominions. All this forms a mass of difficulties to the Italian Government, the overwhelming character of which it is almost impossible to estimate. No Government was ever placed in a more difficult position. They are driven to the alternative of, on the one hand, either spending a great deal of money, and in consequence levying very burdensome taxes, or, on the other, of letting the present state of things go on festering to such an extent as will make it impossible for them at any future time to hope for anything better. Does the House know what system of judicature prevailed in Naples before the change was made? Under the Bourdon régime, the Judges received, on the average, a salary of about £12 a year; and notwithstanding this miserable salary, they lived in affluence and comfort. How do you suppose they supplemented their mean salary? By a system, of course, of the grossest corruption, which they thought it no shame to acknowledge. The present Government have, however, appointed highly-paid Judges to preside over the courts of justice, and have endeavoured to obtain gentlemen to fill those posts who bear the most unspotted character—in Naples, if possible; but if not, in Tuscany or Piedmont, Then, again, they have established a system of national education. Each district had now its elementary and higher school, and there are normal schools for training teachers throughout the country. All these things, of course, cost a great deal of money. We know here what the reconstruction of the navy and the reorganization of the army cost; but in Italy the Government has had to create all these things ab initio, to educate the people, to establish courts of judicature, to construct a navy, to establish an army; and, of course, there are financial difficulties which lead to the imposition of heavy taxes upon a low-spirited people who can scarcely bear the weight of the necessary taxation. Remember, also, that there are in Italy always a class of people ready to mak capital out of the distress of the Government; to say to the people, "You were taxed lightly under the Bourbons, see how heavily you are taxed now;" and the consequence is, that there is a vast amount of dissatisfaction throughout the country. The Government, however, trust to the middle classes, and they hope that the day will come when, supported by the intelligence of the country, they will be able by the strong hand of power to establish first of all that order, without which all liberty is impossible, and to put down brigandage and violence; and then, Sir, will come the time—and I hope the day may not be far distant—when they will be able to set about their reforms with all the energy they can command, and when the Italians will be able to enjoy national liberty, and be no longer troubled by those laws which are at present necessary to secure the order of the country. The noble Lord has drawn graphic pictures of what he witnessed with his own eyes in the interior of the Neapolitan prisons. Surely, on a consideration of the facts he has laid before the House, it must strike him that some of the witnesses do not quite agree with each other. He told us that on one occasion he spent some time in the agreeable society of three sisters, one of whom told him that they had been sent to prison for hanging a Bourbon flag out of the window, when the other said, "Oh dear no, it was a blanket." [Lord HENRY LENNOX: No; I said a white sheet.] Well, it may have been a sheet, which I suppose was taken to be a display of the Bourbon flag. Now, it really looks as if these young ladies, who treated the matter as a joke, were preying upon the credulity of their English visitor. Of course, when the noble Lord went about and conversed, as he did, freely with the prisoners, it was to be expected that they would declare that they had done nothing whatever to deserve confinement, and that they had been thrown into prison solely through the unreasonable vindictiveness of the Government. But is it possible to suppose that the Neapolitan Government, with so small a prison accommodation as it possesses, should be anxious to put people into the prisons without any cause? Is it reasonable to suppose that the Italian Government, surrounded as it is with all these difficulties, would add to their difficulties and expenses by filling, without rhyme or reason, the Neapolitan gaols. It is still less easy to reconcile such conduct with the fact that the Government court publicity in regard to their prison arrangements, and not only allow visitors freely to inspect them, but to converse with each prisoner individually. On the very face of it such behaviour is extremely improbable, if not impossible. I do not doubt that many anomalies are practised in the gaols, but that, I say, is due to the vicious system which has long been established in Naples, and from which it will take some time before the officials are thoroughly weaned. It is very difficult to get people out of bad habits, however you may alter systems. But what have the Italian Government done? Why, they have sent humane men to preside over those goals, as the noble Lord has himself admitted, and, from time to time, the Court of Turin has issued orders for reforms and improvements in the goals. [Lord HENRY LENNOX: No.] The noble Lord challenges me to say what improvements have taken place. Then I say that a progressive system of reward has been introduced, by which the criminal prisoners—for I cannot speak as to the political prisoners—are enabled to work and earn a certain sum of money, part of which is expended in prison luxuries and comforts, and part set aside as a fund to give them a start in life when released. The noble Lord said the food was not good. I tasted it, and I assure the House that the soup was excellent in quality, and sufficiently plentiful in quantity; the prisoners received 24 oz. of bread a day, and, if they chose to work, a most excellent and nutritious dish. The Italian Government has set to work to root out that terrible society of the Camorra, which has existed in Italy for centuries, being introduced into Sicily by the Spaniards, from whence it crossed the Straits to Naples. Sir, the late Government encouraged, instead of attempting to crush, the the Camorra, and even made use of it for political purposes. The existing Italian Government have, however, crushed it. The prisons are crowded with men belonging to the gang; but it is impossible to bring them to trial, for the very reason I have mentioned—namely, that owing to the dread entertained of them by the people, it is difficult to procure witnesses to give evidence against them. Then I say, that while the Italian Government have such difficulties to contend with in a country so turbulent—while they have such taxes to raise amid so much dissatisfaction—I think we ought, of all countries in the world, to sympathize with them; for I quite agree that the reason of the enthusiasm of this country in favour of Italy is because we hope to see her enjoy that civil and religious liberty which we enjoy ourselves. The fact, however, is that the present is purely an exceptional state of things, which is not likely to last long, for two reasons—first, because the Government is gradually organizing the country; and, second, because the purse of the Bourbon Committee will soon be exhausted. The Camorra also is in process of being destroyed, and there is every hope that the present terrible state of things will pass away. If you could prove that the Government was not supported by the great mass of the intelligent middle classes, then I should be ready to admit that the present state of things would be unendurable. If you could show that the laws under which they are at present suffering are not exceptional, and are likely to last long, the case would be different. But you confess that the laws of the country are free laws; therefore the laws of Charles Albert do not warrant these acts. The acts are illegal, which is a proof that the laws are good. The defence of the Italian Government rests altogether on the fact, that the intelligent classes support it; it is not the bourgeoisie, but the uneducated, who have been debased by long years of misrule, that are not satisfied. I repeat, if you could prove that the present state of things would be permanent, you would have said something to justify this Motion; but as you have not, let us, I say, give the Italian Government credit for good intentions. I do not mean to say that this Motion has been brought forward in order to cast discredit on the Italian Government; but its success would have the appearance of showing that this House had no faith in the destinies of Italy. That would be discouraging to the Italian Government in the mighty work they have undertaken, and upon which they are now engaged. One thing, however, I am sure of, that whatever may be the view which the House takes of this matter, the discussion of Italian affairs by this House cannot fail to be beneficial to the people of Italy. On the grounds, then, Sir, which I have stated, I hope the Government will refuse to produce the papers which have been moved for.


said, he felt reluctant to take any part in the debate, because he did not think that it was the duty of that House to inquire into the state of the internal administration of other countries, though an exception to that rule might be justified when great oppression existed in a State where no publicity prevailed. That, however, was not the case in Italy, for Italy had a free press and a Parliament. The noble Lord denied that Italy had a free press, and mentioned several newspapers which had been suppressed, but the noble Lord had omitted to state on what grounds they had been suppressed. A change, certainly, had taken place in Italy in that respect. Formerly no papers were suppressed, because there were none to suppress. He was induced to address the House by the statement of the noble Lord in reference to the prisons of Italy, though the admirable speech of the hon. Member who last spoke almost relieved him from the necessity of adverting to that subject. He had not been in Italy himself lately, yet he had conversed with a great number of gentlemen who had recently visited that country, and they all left with a very different impression from that which the noble Lord appeared to have received. Two friends of his went to all the prisons in Naples with the exception of one, not as a mere visit, but as a matter of business, and were allowed to converse freely with the prisoners, who, undoubtedly, often made complaints with respect to the justice of their sentences, but in no single instance complained regarding the treatment they met with in prison. These gentlemen admitted that one prison, where about 100 boys were confined, was in a wretched state; but that was merely the remains of the bad system which formerly prevailed. With this exception, the only fault to be found with the prisons was a too great laxity of discipline; but as regarded the cleanliness and comfort of the prisoners there was no ground of complaint. It was wonderful that the noble Lord, who had returned from Naples, had not alluded to the fact that three of the prisons there were shut up in consequence of being clear of prisoners. It might seem strange that a gentleman of honour and veracity like the noble Lord should take such an entirely different view of the state of things from that taken by others, but that was a matter capable of explanation. No doubt a stranger, in visiting a foreign country, was in great danger of being misled by the people who surrounded him. A person, for instance, who visited Ireland, and listened only to the extreme party, would believe that there was no country in the world so tyrannically used as Ireland, as no one who entertained the opinions of the hon. Member for Devonport would be likely to do justice to the cotton manufacturers. The noble Lord was surrounded by agents of the reactionary party, and his visits to the prisons were made in company with one of those persons. It was not by accident that the noble Lord was so surrounded, for there was a plot to surround him. It appeared that, not a long time ago, a lady was arrested in Italy with some treasonable correspondence, and in that correspondence there was a passage to the effect that the noble Lord was to be "fished for and surrounded" by the very man who afterwards accompanied the noble Lord. The statement made by the hon. Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, with respect to the increase of trade in Italy, disposed of all these wretched small accusations against the Italian Government; while the speech of the hon. Member who last spoke showed how deserving of estimation in many respects that Government was. The improvements going on in Naples, both material and moral, were very great. His friends who visited that place were struck with the crowded state of the harbour, which was more filled with shipping than ever; and also remarked the utter disappearance of lazzaroni, and the entire absence of mendicity. New buildings were spreading in every direction; meat had increased in quantity and in price—that was a proof of the increasing wealth of the country. Then there was the opening of schools in all directions. The present Government was the first to make serious attempts to put down the Camorra, a society of cut-throats, whose object it was to levy black mail upon all the industrious inhabitants. That society had lasted for 300 years; it had been connived at by the authorities; and it could not be expected that it could be put an end to at once. He did not understand how hon. Gentlemen who advocated the cause of Poland could refuse their support to the cause of Italy. He should be sorry if a debate in that House would have the effect of discouraging the Italian Government; but he hoped it would rather urge them to persevere in their efforts to improve the state of the country.


said, that he would only make one remark on the speech of his hon. Friend who had just sat down. His hon. Friend had stated that the noble Lord (Lord H. Lennox), when he visited the prisons, was surrounded by reactionists; but the noble Lord himself told the House distinctly that the gentlemen who accompanied him were friends of the Government. But supposing that he had been surrounded by reactionists, his hon. Friend attributed to them a power little less than miraculous or magical, that of making the noble Lord see things which did not exist. Now, if one thing more than another entitled the noble Lord's speech to attention, it was that he made no comments, but merely stated what he saw himself; and with regard to the newspapers, he told what might be proved by official documents. The noble Lord told the House that he saw Count Christen and other gentlemen placed in immediate association with malefactors—four gentlemen chained by heavy chains to malefactors. Did his hon. Friend mean to say that the noble Lord saw these things because he was surrounded by reactionists? As for the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Butler Johnstone) whose speech the Government had cheered, though that speech was able and eloquent, and such as they should all be glad to hear from so young a Member, who, be hoped, would often take part in the proceedings of the House, yet that speech was a tissue of sophistry and improbability, and was by no means to be placed in the balance against the facts which the noble Lord had stated, and which the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. C. Bentinck) had adopted. The hon. Under Secretary's defence of Mr. Odo Russell was more like an attack than a defence. Well might Mr. Odo Russell say "Defend me from my friends," for even his enemies would not have said of him what the hon. Under Secretary had said. He said, that having written a despatch to Her Majesty's Government, of the truth of which he was fully convinced, he yet withdrew his statement, and said he was mistaken when he was not. Could a greater slur be thrown upon a public man? It was saying that he had told a falsehood. He (Sir G. Bowyer) he would he the last man to believe that Mr. Odo Russell would tell a falsehood. But the House ought to know what had really occurred in that matter. Mr. Odo Russell made a statement highly derogatory to the honour of the French General—namely, that a large body of brigands, as they were called, had proceeded from Rome in French uniform and entered the territory of Naples. That statement imputed one of two things to the French General, either that he was playing false, or that he was incapable of doing his duty. The French Commander-in-Chief took the matter up. The noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs wrote a despatch to Paris complaining of the matter, and it was referred to the French Commander-in-Chief, who denied it. And he (Sir G. Bowyer) knew from authority which he could not doubt that the French Commander-in-Chief attacked Mr. Odo Russell publicly in a crowded room, and in the strongest language denied the statement that Mr. Odo Russell had made. The word used by the French General was that it was a mensonge, and he added that Mr. Odo Russell was not fit to hold any public situation. Mr. Odo Russel apologized to the General, and said he had been mistaken. These were facts notorious to every one in society at Rome. A short time ago he (Sir G. Bowyer) asked the hon. Under Secretary (Mr. Layard) whether Mr. Odo Russell's position at Rome was the same as it had been, and he was told that it was as good as ever. But he was assured that such was not the case, and that Cardinal Antonelli had declared his great unwillingness to hold any further communication with Mr. Odo Russel, on account of his meddling propensities, and on account of the conversation which he stated he had with the Holy Father, to which he (Sir G. Bowyer) referred to a former debate. In consequence of these circumstances, Mr. Odo Russell's position was not what the position of an English diplomatic agent ought to be. He (Sir G. Bowyer) did not for a moment impute to Mr. Odo Russell that he wilfully told a falsehood; but, like many other agents of the British Government, he was anxious to write home news that would be agreeable to the English Government, and which would recommend him to their favour. He found himself mistaken, and he was obliged to retract. That was the real truth of the case, and he must say that the account given by the hon. Under Secretary was not creditable to that Gentleman. The hon. Under Secretary ought not to have made that statement to the House, and he (Sir George Bowyer) very much regretted that the hon. Gentleman was not then in his place in order that he might have the opportunity of stating to his face that he ought not to have made that statement with regard to Mr. Odo Russell.

Now, on what grounds was it that the public feeling of this country was stirred up against the dynasties of the Italian States, and especialy against the Bourbon dynasty? It was because the Bourbon dynasty was represented to be a most wicked and grinding tyranny by the press, and especially by the party over which the noble Lord presided. Then came the pamphlet of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That pamphlet exemplified exactly what his hon. Friend had stated about the kind of people a person may be surrounded by when he goes to a foreign country. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was surrounded at that time by the enemies of the King's Government. He (Sir G. Bowyer) could state, knowing it to be a fact, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer took no trouble whatever to ascertain the truth. He never addressed a question to the friends of the Government; but if they had supposed he took an interest in such matters, they would have given him every information in their power. It was assumed that everything in the right hon. Gentleman's pamphlet was true. He could not admit this, because the right hon. Gentleman had been compelled to retract the chief gravamen of his charge in another pamphlet. The whole pamphlet was, in fact, a tissue of untruths—not, he admitted, wilful untruths, but which had been palmed upon the right hon. Gentleman by persons who had got round him at Naples. A member of the Piedmontese Parliament at Turin had admitted that "Mr. Gladstone had been imposed upon in the case of Poerio." He said they wanted some one to personify their complaints, and so, he added, "we invented Poerio, and wrote him up at a penny a line." He did not mean to say that no such person existed, but that the Poerio of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was an entirely different person from the real Poerio. He thought he had sufficiently disposed of the right hon. Gentleman's pamphlet, which had been very useful to hon. Members opposite, and out of which the right hon. Gentleman had made a great deal of capital. Several influential members of the Piedmontese Chamber at Turin had admitted, that although they did not like the state of things under the late dynasty of the Two Sicilies, yet that matters were now infinitely worse. The Gazette da France of the 30th December 1862 reproduced two documents from the Diritto of Turin which were worthy to be read side by side. The first was a letter addressed by a Member of the Court of Cassation of Palermo, Benedetti Castiglia, to Commander Vigliani, Attorney General of the Court of Cassation at Turin, on the abolition of the pain of death. That letter contained the pure and simple expression of an historical fact—namely, that a Minister of Ferdinand II., Nicolas Parisio, in the year 1831 ordered, with the consent of the King, that the sentence of death should not be executed without a previous report being submitted to the King, who since that day had always commuted it. The result had been that the pain of death, except in two or three instances claimed by public opinion, had only existed in the code, and, in fact, it was practically abolished. That, however, did not increase the number of crimes; on the contrary, they had never been less numerous than from 1831 to 1847. The other document, which he wished the House to contrast with the foregoing, was the circular of a Piedmontese prefect to the mayors of the province intrusted to his administration. The circular was dated "Prefecture of the Province of Girgenti, October 1, 1862," and was as follows:— Sir,—Wishing that the Sicilians may understand that they have a just and strong Government, I explicitly order you to take care that the officers may act with zeal in communicating orders of payment either in favour of the Government or in favour of private persons. You will render to me an account of their conduct under your personal responsibility, and I give you notice that in case of violation of this order you will be unmercifully treated—as those are now treated, in accordance with the present exceptional laws, who are suspected of criminal tendencies. I desire you to observe, in conclusion, that as you have not forwarded any request for leave or the resignation of your office, if you do so in future, I shall consider it the formal declaration that you refuse to accomplish the duty which I confide to you, and I shall be obliged to act with all the rigour that the present times require and authorize.—The Prefect Falconcini. That rigour meant nothing less than that these people would be punishable with death. Let the House contrast that most harsh and sanguinary circular with the letter written under the former dynasty of the Two Sicilies, by which the punishment of death was practically abolished. He must add that Earl Russell, in another place, had acknowledged the wisdom and frugality with which the finances under Ferdinand II. were managed. The funds at Naples were formerly above par—at 118, he believed. Now, the Piedmontese Five per Cents were about 70. That was a practical test of the management of the finances of the two kingdoms. He had asserted on a former occasion that the supposed deliverance from tyranny of the people of Italy, and especially of Naples, was a delusion. Let the House look at the facts. They had been told that the Piedmontese and Garibaldi were received as deliverers and welcomed by a grateful population. If that had been true, the country would now, be in a state of peace and happiness, and exceptional laws would be unnecessary. But the fact was, that Italy was in a state of permanent insurrection. To call a state of brigandage that which was the struggle of the Royalists for the Royal cause was merely a clever attempt to give that struggle a bad name. There were 90,000 soldiers of the Piedmontese army in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Would any one tell him that such an army could be required in a country where the people were contented and happy, and where, according to the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, all the intelligent classes were in favour of the Government? Even that army of 90,000 men was only successful in keeping possession of the country, and not in maintaining order. An orator in the Piedmontese Chamber had truly said, that if those men who opposed the Government, and were able to make head against such an army, were brigands, they must be heroes or demigods. That orator drew the correct inference that these demigods were really supported by the whole body of the population. That was why so large an army was necessary to keep material possession of the country, although it did not enable the Piedmontese Cabinet at Turin to govern the country in the true sense of the word. The Times had always supported the Piedmontese Government and what was called Italian unity; but with all its desire to favour these, and to uphold the foreign policy of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, the truth crept out in its foreign correspondence and in its leading articles. It was constrained to admit that the Piedmontese were encamped in the South of Italy, that they held it as a conquered country, and that in reality there was no union between them.

The House had heard of a commission which had been issued from Turin to inquire into the state of the brigandage, as it was called; its report had just been made public, and the debate with regard to it was held with closed doors; but it was admitted that the Piedmontese had shot 7,000 men in the South of Italy without any trial, and in cold blood, in order to realize what they called the liberties of the country. He supposed it was in the same philanthropic spirit that they had burnt, sacked, or nearly destroyed sixteen towns on account of manifestations in favour of the Bourbons. The following was a list of the towns burnt and sacked in the Two Sicilies, as given in the Commercio of the 8th of November 1862:—Province of Molise—Guaricia, 1,322 inhabitants; Campochiaro, 979; Casalduni, 3,032; Ponte Landolfo, 3,917. Province of Capitanata—Viesti, 5,417 inhabitants; San Marco in Lamis, 10,612; Rignano, 1814. Province of Basilicata—Venosa, 5,952 inhabitants; Basile, 3,400. Principato Citeriore—Auletta, 2,023 inhabitants; Eboli, 4,175. Principato Ulteriore—Montifalcone, 2,618 inhabitants; Monteverde, 1,988. Terra di Lavoro—Vico, 730 inhabitants. Calabria Ulteriore II.—Controne, 1,089 inhabitants; Spinello, 298. Total 49,366 inhabitants. The proceedings of Major Fumel, who appeared to be taken under the special protection of Her Majesty's Government, illustrated very well the proceedings of the Piedmontese. That officer proceeded with a battalion of troops to the residence of a landed proprietor who, with others, was suspected of keeping up a correspondence with the brigands. Asking to be sheltered for the night, and having been received at the table of his host, Major Fumel, pulling out his watch, said this gentleman had only three minutes to produce a list of the banditti in the neighbourhood, or his castle would be burnt down. Under that terrible threat the landlord produced the list, and Major Fumel had the persons mentioned in it ar- rested and drawn up in the courtyard, with directions that they should be shot, including his entertainer among the list of his victims. Somehow or other his proceedings came to the ears of the Government, and the execution was stopped, whereupon Major Fumel indignantly threw up his commission. The Government received his resignation instead of ordering him to be hung. Now, these were facts which it was easy to deny, but the truth of which had been admitted over and over again. Again, 32,000 persons had been condemned to the galleys, and were now undergoing that mode of punishment. Would not that fact sufficiently explain the crowded state of the prisons, without seeking to put forward as an excuse that two prisons were closed which he knew to be of very limited accomodation? What did the House suppose was the number of political prisoners in Southern Italy? From official documents it appeared that the number was 70,000. What did the House want more? Habemus confitentem reum. If the noble Lord at the head of the Government would read a leading article in The Times of the 22nd of April, he would see there an admission of all the material points on which he based his argument. The House ought to hear what were the views of Her Majesty's Government upon this subject, because he refused to accept the very intemperate speech of the hon. Under Secretary of State as a representation of what the Government, or any statesman in this country, would be prepared to support, or even to sanction. He hoped the noble Lord would not, as he did on a previous occasion when he called attention to the deeds of Majors Fumel and Pinelli, justify the atrocities which had been committed, and encourage their perpetrators to greater vigour. It would be more worthy of the Government to act with impartiality in the matter, or, if they must show sympathy, to sympathize with the people who were struggling for their independence, and for their native government and the restoration of their lawful Sovereign. Some hon. Member had said that because they sympathized with Poland they ought to sympathize with the Piedmontese Government. In his opinion, it was only if they sympathized with Russia, that they ought to sympathize with King Victor Emmanuel and his Ministers. The insurrection in Poland was caused by the cruelty of the conscription. The people of the South of Italy were groaning under oppression of the same description. Under the rule of the Bourbons there was no conscription in Sicily; in Naples it was so mildly enforced that it caused no inconvenience to the people; and in the States of the Pope there was none, the troops of his Holiness being all volunteers. Now, however, the conscription was carried into effect in the most cruel manner. The people were torn from their homes and their industry, and carried off to serve in North Italy—a part of the country to which they were strangers, and which was hateful to them. Hundreds of thousands of people, rather than serve the Piedmontese, had fled to the mountains and become what were called brigands—in effect, rebels to the Government of the usurper. He hoped that the noble Lord would not meet him with the answer that these were matters which ought to be discussed in the Parliament of Italy, and not in that House, because the noble Viscount and the noble Earl the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had accepted the responsibility for what had occurred in Italy, and had said that they were proud of having contributed to the events which had taken place there; and also because the Parliament at Turin was a partisan and packed assembly, in which the truth was not heard, and from which justice could not be obtained. The House of Commons had at least a right to call upon the Government to do their utmost to mitigate the evils which they had had so large a part in creating. He warned the noble Lord and the House, that when the means by which what was called Italian unity was brought about were fully brought to light, the policy of the House and the country would be reversed, and they would no longer support the tyrant and usurper who oppressed and enslaved that unhappy population; and the people of Italy might then see the restoration of that dynasty and government to which he believed they were firmly attached.


said, that as he had recently visited most of the prisons in Naples which had been described by the noble Lord the Member for Chichester, and as he had not arrived at quite the same conclusions, he would, if the House allowed him, give a brief account of the result of his inspection. He would refer to them in their order. The first named was Santa Maria d'Apparente, and there he saw foreign prisoners who had been kept a long time untried. It certainly was a great slur on the authorities at Naples that the accused were kept so long in prison before trial. He might mention one fact which came to his knowledge. A foreign gentleman came to the prison while he was there. He saw the foreigners; they were Hungarians, who maintained, of course, that they had never committed the slightest offence. He went to the Austrian Consul, and made intercession for them. They were liberated, and the Austrian Consul informed this gentleman that a set of greater scoundrels were not outside the prison. He had also visited the Santa Maria Agnone Carcere di Donne. The noble Lord had fallen into a mistake about the female prison. The worst women of the town were said to be there; but he had asked the question whether they were mixed with the other female prisoners, and he was told they were not, although the noble Lord's impression was they were. With respect to the Vicaria, he had been more fortunate than his noble Friend. He found a much smaller number of prisoners there than had been mentioned by the noble Lord, and, on a second visit, 250 of them had been removed to another place. The noble Lord gave a very glowing description of the horrors of some of the cells in which a number of prisoners were kept together. He did not say they were the pleasantest rooms he ever was in, but, as far as the ventilation of the prison was concerned, he certainly had found the house in which they, were assembled occasionally in a worse state. The prison was certainly too crowded, but the fault was being lessened every day. Salerno he had not visited. But in every prison he went to be had carefully examined the food, and found its quality good and the quantity sufficient. In fact, he should say, considering the circumstances of the country, that the food was better in many respects than was supplied in England. The proportion of meat was not so great as was given in the prisons of this country, because the Italians generally did not consume as much solid meat as the English, but in other respects the food was unquestionably good. The most interesting prison he saw was one mentioned by the noble Lord—Nisida, which was a convict establishment. Here there were wards such as the Bourbons had left them; others had to be remodelled. The former were in a sad state of dirt, discomfort, and filth; in the latter there was nothing to complain of. The hon. Member for Dundalk had spoken of Castellamare as a small prison, but in March he saw there 396 prisoners, He might add that the new irons were only half the weight of those formerly used, so that the usual padding was dispensed with. He had thought it right to mention the facts that had come under his notice, in order that the House might judge from them what was the condition of those prisons at a very recent period.


said, he felt bound to notice the extremely intemperate language of the hon. Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. It was quite competent for the hon. Gentleman to make remarks upon general Continental politics without placing in a false position Irish Roman Catholic members who were supporters of the Government of which the hon. Member was a subordinate. He thought that it was the duty of every Irish Roman Catholic Liberal to state his opinions upon the Italian question They, as Roman Catholics, considered that the Papal possessions were necessary for the proper position of their Church; but although they would give their most devoted support to the Pope, they were not to be drugged into supporting Venetian, or Neapolitan, or Bourbon tyranny. He wished to know how it was that the party which had for so long resisted all concessions, and even justice, to the Catholics of Ireland were now to be found craving the support of the Irish Catholic Members. Was there fin alliance; and if so, what were its objects? That was a question which the people of Ireland, as well as the people of England, had a right to have answered.


said, that having listened to the clear expression of the opinions of the hon. Baronet who had just sat down, he had failed to discover what those opinions were. He would, however, bring back the House to the subject under discussion. That subject was a very solemn one indeed. Last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer took great credit to himself for the influence which he had exercised in the events occurring in Italy. That night they had heard in that able, elequent, and noble speech of his noble Friend, a description of the misery, and sorrow, and suffering which prevailed in the kingdom of Italy; and they had a right to demand from the Government that they would exercise that influence they were so proud of possessing in Italy in remedying those evils, and to ask the Government what their course of policy would be in reference to the matter. The hon. Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs had endeavoured in his speech to destroy the statement of the noble Lord (Lord H. Lennox), but nothing had occurred in the course of the debate to weaken that statement. That was the positive statement of an eye-witness; and what he complained of in the Government was, that whereas on a former occasion, under the Bourbon dynasty, there was a daily interference on the part of Her Majesty's Government to improve the state of affairs in Italy, on that occasion it appeared, on the contrary, that no effort had been made by Her Majesty's Government to remove or to mitigate the evils under which the Neapolitan States were now suffering. What could be the answer to that? The only answer which could be made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer must be, that the Government were not previously acquainted with the oppression and cruelty that were being practised in Southern Italy. Well, he would ask the noble Lord at the head of the Government, how it came that the officials serving under him in those States had not communicated the sad state of affairs? He was surprised to hear one remark made by the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, when he spoke of Mr. Bishop. If ever there was a partisan, it was Mr. Consul-General Bonham; yet even Mr. Bonham admitted the shameful treatment to which Mr. Bishop had been subjected. How was it, then, that the hon. Under Secretary of State ignored the fact? In one of his despatches Mr. Bonham stated that a prisoner who had been reported to have undergone the torture, when questioned on the subject, denied that the torture had been applied, but said that he had been treated cruelly by the keepers until he was black and blue. That was a statement of Mr. Bonham himself; and yet the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs had quoted the authority of Mr. Bonham to show the prisoners were well treated. Mr. Consul-General Bonham also adverted to the fact that prisoners were kept without trial. He said— The new system of procedure in criminal cases came nominally into operation on the 1st of May, but the whole system is in an indescribable state of confusion, and nothing is done; even the jury lists are not yet made out. So far as I can understand the matter, from lawyers with whom I have spoken on the subject, Bench and Bar are equally averse to the changes—all make difficulties, and there is a passive and stubborn opposition which has yet to be overcome. Meanwhile, the number of persons committed and waiting for trial amounts to many thousands; and, even if the courts could be got into working order at once, to get through this list would occupy a longer period than could, I apprehend, be tolerated; and it seems to be felt that a general amnesty for all persons charged simply with political offences, is the only way of getting out of the difficulty. In another despatch, Mr. Bonham reported a conversation with Signer Tanigro, Procuratore del Re, on the subject of Mr. Bishop's trial. Mr. Tanigro attributed the delay to the form of procedure required by the laws, and said it was possible that Mr. Bishop would be tried after Count de Christen, whose case would occupy twelve or fifteen days; when Mr. Bonham said— I remarked, that if one trial took fifteen days, it would be long before the prisons were cleared. He said he regretted it was so, for there were upwards of 1,000 people waiting for trial. I said I believed 20,000 was nearer the mark. He said, 'There may be from 12,000 to 15,000 in these provinces.' Taking merely the statement of Mr. Bonham, therefore, he could not understand how it was that the Government, who withdrew their Minister from Naples when they complained of the injustice and cruelty of the Bourbons, now remained silent. To that extent they must certainly be held responsible. Another most important point bad not been mentioned that night, and that was the number of persons who had been shot and murdered in the Neapolitan provinces during the last two years. It had been said that the Commissioners appointed had not reported; but he held a copy of their Report in his hand. Their instructions were to inquire into the cause and extent of brigandage in the Neapolitan States, and in their report were the following statistics:—Taken in arms between the months of May 1861 and February 1863—taken in arms and shot, 1,038; killed in battle, 2,413; made prisoners, 2,768; surrendered, 932; making in all, 7,151. Such was the official report, that they had actually killed, in cold blood, 1,038 individuals, and made prisoners to the extent of nearly 4,000. That was a most fearful state of things. Again, in the Chamber at Turin, the Deputy Miceli stated that 350 citizens had been shot as the accomplices of brigands, and accompanied his statement with these words—"Often these so-called accomplices were innocent." The Gazette de France, in reporting this, alluded to Fumel, who was last year disavowed by the Piedmontese Government, but was now supported by them, and added— Do we not remember how Mr. Gladstone spoke of the foul atmosphere of the old prisons? What will this humane Minister say now? Will he remain silent at the appeal of these unhappy beings, who he is in part responsible for having delivered up to a ferocious and hypocritical despotism? The hatred against Piedmont is so great, that notwithstanding all this terror, all this severity, the cause of independence ever enlists new soldiers. A most extraordinary document had been sent to him, and it was, no doubt, perfectly authentic, being taken from official sources. It was a list of persons shot in the Neapolitan provinces by order of the Piedmontese Government—not during the heat of the revolutionary movement two or three years back, in times of great excitement, when excuses were found for acts which at other times would receive the gravest condemnation—but during the months of January, February, and March, 1863, and not including those shot as supposed brigands in military barracks. The list contained the names of 188 persons who were shot in cold blood within those three months. Appended to the list were observations by the Government. The first victim was described as a young surgeon attached to the band, and the Government; remark was, "Died with great courage," Then came two more—[A laugh.]—Hon. Gentlemen might think this a very jocose thing, but he would show that for the massacre that was going on daily in these provinces the House of Commons must be held partly responsible, because they had taken credit to themselves for bringing about the charming state of unity in Italy. Let no one suppose that he was looking for the restoration of the old state of things, which he believed to be perfectly impossible. He certainly would say, that as the Government had always interfered in Italy to overthrow the old Government, they had a right to call upon that Government to be consistent, and certainly not to ridicule the official statements of the number of men shot. He wished to call the attention of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary—who seemed to think that it was so good a jest—to the terms of Major Fumel's proclamation. The hon. Gentleman, who was so enthusiastic about the brightness of Italy, had congratulated his Government on the share it had had in bringing it about; and it was very well for him now to retire into a corner and make jokes on the system. In the Turin chamber Major Fumel was lately spoken of in terms of eulogy by the Government; and this was the proclamation which the House were aware was repudiated last year, but which was approved in 1863— The undersigned, charged with the destruction of brigandage, promises a reward of 100 francs for every brigand, alive or dead, who may be brought to him. This reward will be given to any brigand who shall kill his companion; moreover, his own life will be spared. In defiance of this, those who may give shelter, or any means of subsistence or support to brigands, or seeing them, or knowing the place where they have taken refuge, do not give information to the force and to the civil and military authorities, will be immediately shot. For the custody of animals it will be well that they should be brought into several central spots, with a sufficient armed force, because it will not be of use without a considerable force. All straw huts must be burnt, the towers and country houses which are not inhabited and guarded by a force must be, within the space of three days, unroofed, and their en trances bricked up. After the expiration of that time they will, without fail, be burnt, as also all animals which are not in proper custody will be killed. It is prohibited to carry bread or any kind of provisions beyond the habitations of the communes, and whoever contravenes this will be considered an accomplice of the brigands. Provisionally, and for this circumstance, the syndics are authorized to grant permission to carry arms under the strict responsibility of the proprietor who shall make the request. Shooting as sport is also provisionally forbidden, and therefore no one may fire off a gun except to give notice to the armed posts of the presence of brigands, or else of their flight. The National Guard is responsible for the territory of their own commune. The undersigned does not mean to recognise, under present circumstances, but two parties—brigands and anti-brigands; therefore he will class amongst the first those who are indifferent, and against these he will take energetic measures, for when the general necessity demands it, it is a crime to refuse. The disbanded soldiers who do not present themselves within the space of four days will be considered brigands. He (Mr. B. Cochrane) considered that a more infamous proclamation had never disgraced the worst days of the Reign of Terror in France. At that late hour he thought it unnecessary to detain the House any longer, after the able speeches which they had already heard; but he felt that he could not allow the debate to terminate without saying a few words; for it was well known that the question was one in which he had had always taken a great interest, and, with the facts which he had in his possession, he thought it his duty to lay them before the House. He thought those facts, and the discussion which had taken place, had been so striking that they must carry conviction to the country that Her Majesty's Government had failed, at any rate up to that time, in the great cause of humanity; and had materially assisted to convey to the minds of the people of this country an erroneous impression with respect to the happiness that was generally supposed to exist in the kingdom of Italy.


said, he was of opinion that the debate, which had already consumed four or five hours, was a disgrace to the House. ["Order!"] He repeated distinctly that it was a disgrace to any business assembly. He did not see what the House had to do with the internal affairs of Italy, the only pretext for discussing them being the fact that three or four years ago Her Majesty's Government had supported the cause of Victor Emmanuel. But that was no more reason for the debate, than the fact that the Government had supported the Emperor Napoleon some ten years ago, would be a reason for discussing the state of the French prisons. At any rate, if the House was to be given up to the service of the Pope for a number of hours on an evening supposed to be devoted to the Motions of independent Members of British constituencies, notice of that fact should be given to hon. Gentlemen, in order that they might be prepared to answer such statements as had been made that evening on behalf of his Holiness.


Since I have had the honour of a seat in this House, I do not think I have been present at a more interesting discussion than that which has taken place this evening; and perhaps amongst the most interesting features of that debate has been the temperate, moderate, and graceful speech which has been so appropriately delivered by the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. As a matter of curiosity and speculation, I wished to ascertain in what manner his colleagues bore that inflammatory harangue. I scanned the features of the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen and noble Lords who sat on the Treasury Bench; and if I could form an opinion from the expression of a human countenance, I do not believe there was one of the entire number who did not wish from his heart that the hon. Gentleman was safe in the Golden Horn. A more damaging speech for the Government, or one more calculated to excite the manly indignation and generous sympathies of the people of England, whatever their prejudices upon this Italian question, against a Ministry who had allowed that hon. Gentleman to stand forward as their spokesman, I could not imagine. One would suppose, from the speech of the hon. Gentleman, that he was the pink of patriotism, the consistent propagandist of liberty, and that tyranny and oppression were hateful to his soul. But who, Sir, is this hon. Gentleman? Is he not the enthusiastic admirer and dauntless defender of the most abominable tyranny under the sun—the Government of Turkey? In European Turkey there are 11,000,000 of Christians—believers with us in the Redemption—who are trodden under foot by the Mohammedan power—who groan under a debasing and brutalizing slavery; and yet the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs is always proclaiming the liberality and justice of that hateful rule; and while he is the vindicator of that oppression, and the champion of that hateful despotism, he is the flaming advocate of liberty and unity in Italy. The same hon. Gentleman who now paints such a golden picture of the prosperity of united Italy, has also been in the habit of painting the commercial progress and financial prosperity of Turkey in equally glowing colours. I have heard him on former occasions, and I suppose, when the right time comes, I shall again hear him, describe the freedom, the happiness, and the contentment enjoyed under the rule of the Mussulman; and I therefore cannot help mistrusting his authority when he represents the improved condition of Southern Italy under a rule which is naturally detested by the people of the Two Sicilies. My noble Friend the Member for Chichester (Lord H. Lennox), using a manly phrase, spoke of "buckling up" to the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary; but the hon. Gentleman has not only "buckled up," but stripped to the buff, like a political prize-fighter, and has struck out right and left, without any reasonable provocation, amongst those who in any way questioned the existence of the unity and liberty of Italy. The hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. C. Bentinck) certainly made a most temperate, moderate, and at the same time able speech. Every one must give him credit for that. What did that hon. Gentleman, who has been so misrepresented, really seek by his Motion? Not to endanger the liberty or interfere with the so-called unity of Italy—but to induce the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government to interfere, in the name of common humanity, to prevent the continuance of atrocities practised in that free and united country. The hon. Gentleman properly asks Her Majesty's Government to interfere in the present instance; for they are to a very great extent responsible for what has occurred. They have thrown fill their influence into the scale against the young King, and played into the hands of the traitors who poisoned his mind, betrayed his counsels, and corrupted his soldiers. Surely they are now bound to interfere in the cause of humanity and justice. The hon. Member for Taunton holds different notions from what I do on the subject of Italian freedom. For myself, I do not believe in Italian unity. I hold it to be an utter sham. This united Italy is like a house of cards, and at the first jolt which it receives it will be certain to tumble to pieces. I repeat what I once said in this House, and which every day's experience impresses more strongly on my mind—that you may as well expect to see a united Continent as a united Italy. You may as well expect to unite the various nations of the continent of Europe into one nation, as to unite Southern and Northern Italy, and render the Neapolitan content under the rule of a people whom he despises as a barbarian, and hates as an oppressor. I do not believe there are any more iniquitous facts in history than those connected with the occupation of Southern Italy by the Piedmontese under Victor Emmanuel. Victor Emmanuel was at that time the ally—the friendly ally—of the Pope and the King of Naples. His ambassador was at the courts of Rome and Naples, and their ambassadors were at the Court of Turin. Friendly relations were maintained between the respective courts, and no cause of quarrel existed. Victor Emmanuel pretended that his only wish was to put down brigandage and suppress revolution; and, under this specious pretence, he invaded and took possession of the dominions of the King of Naples by force of arms, having first undermined his power by a systematic course of internal treachery. The same heroic conduct was pursued towards the Pope, whose dominions were invaded on the same pretence, and whose feeble army was crushed by the superior legions of his friendly ally. And now, Sir, what is the result of the machinations, the intrigues, the treachery, and the violence of Victor Emmanuel, and of the noble policy of Her Majesty's Government? Instead of peace, prosperity, and contentment, which were promised as the consequent result of that Italian unity which we are now told exists, what have we in reality? We have a gagged press, choked prisons, crushed nationalities, and a union which is a mockery, a delusion, and a sham. The Government are now asked to remonstrate in a friendly spirit with Victor Emmanuel; and every hon. Member in this House, whatever opinions he may hold—however, for instance, he may desire to see the Government of the Pope swept off the face of the earth—which it never will be—must desire to see the monstrosities which have been described put an end to. No doubt, the statements made by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the former state of the Neapolitan prisons were true [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: No. no!]—at any rate, for the sake of argument, I will assume they were. The right hon. Gentleman is incapable of wilfully stating what was not the fact. But I say, if he were believed in 1851, why should you and the country not now believe the noble Lord, whose descriptions of the present state of the same prisons have sent a thrill of horror through every heart in this assembly? An hon. Friend of mine from Ireland (Sir P. O'Brien)—whose speech, I protest, I could not understand, though perhaps that hon. Gentleman may explain it to me to-morrow in private—talked of this question being one of prison discipline. Sir, it is not a question of prison discipline; it is a matter of principle. The hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. Butler-Johnstone), whose able speech this night has at once won for him a most distinguished reputation as a Parliamentary debater, has endeavoured most ingeniously, but unsuccessfully, to weaken the effect of the speech of the noble Lord who preceded him. The hon. Member stated that there were several prisons in Naples which were not occupied at all, and which the Government had abandoned. If so, why then did the Government allow the other prisons to be overcrowded in such a shameful manner, when they had the means of relieving them in their power? That may be classed under the head of prison discipline and police regulation; but the great principle involved in the more important question is this—that hundreds of people are kept in prison without trial, who either know that they are "suspected" of disagreeing with the Government, or who are utterly ignorant of the reason of their incarceration. Then the hon. Gentleman endeavoured to justify this state of things by representing it as exceptional, and that Southern Italy was in an abnormal condition. When, I ask, is this exceptional state of things to cease?—when is Southern Italy to be restored to its normal condition?—when is there to be an end of this gagging of the press, this all-pervading espionage, these domiciliary visits, and these overflowing prisons? I believe that this exceptional condition of things will last until there is a break-up of this wretched imposture of a united Italy. For my part, Sir, I am convinced that what has begun in iniquity must end in shame and disappointment. The law of God and the law of man have been violated by Victor Emmanuel; and what was begun in trickery and perfidy, and consumated by violence, cannot end otherwise than in shame. Then it has been said that the bands in arms against the Piedmontese Government are but miserable handfuls of brigands. If that be so, why are they not suppressed by this powerful Government? If they were but mere brigands—mere robbers and assassins, as they have been described—they would not have possessed the sympathies of the people; and if they had not possessed the sympathies of the people, I ask could they have resisted an army of 90,000 men? The fact is, these brigands and robbers, as they are called, have repeatedly defeated the military forces sent against them, have exhausted the strength of Piedmont, baffled her generals, upset her cabinets, and even altered, if not altogether changed, the policy of one of the most powerful potentates in Europe. But we have not always been so scornful of "brigands." Our greatest generals have, ere now, held counsel in their tents with the leaders of brigands. Lord Wellington did not disdain the aid and co-operation of brigands in the Peninsula. And in what respect did the guerillas of Spain, who fought against King Joseph and the Great Napoleon, differ from those "brigands" who are now fighting for their nationality, and in the cause of their lawful Sovereign. The hon. Member for Canterbury has laughed at the noble Lord because he ventured to quote the case of three virtuous young girls who were incarcerated, without trial, for two-and-twenty months on "suspicion" of having hung out a Bourbon flag; but even if this grave accusation were true and proved, I ask was that an offence—the expression of respect for their native Sovereign—which deserved to be followed by so terrible a punishment? The bold challenge of the hon. Under Secretary has been most completely answered by the noble Lord, who has made a speech which will long be remembered in this House, and which will be read with sympathy in every home in this empire. The hon. Member for Canterbury, however, comes to the rescue of the Under Secretary, and he places his testimony against that of the noble Lord. But, Sir, I believe I am perfectly correct in saying that that hon. Gentleman has only been in one prison in Naples—the prison of Santa Maria Apparente—which is the show-prison of Naples, Therefore, he is not qualified to speak with authority on the state of things so pathetically described by the noble Lord, as existing in the five other prisons to which he has referred. Now as to the willingness of the Piedmontese Government to have everything shown to strangers—that, Sir, is nothing better than a myth. So far from all the prisons having been thrown open to strangers, had not the noble Lord fortunately obtained an order from General La Marmora, his shadow would never have darkened the door of any other prison save that of Santa Maria Apparente, and the tale of misery and suffering, which has thrilled our hearts to-night, and which will excite the emotions of every generous heart in the land, could never have been heard. A telegram was sent from Turin by the Minister of the Interior to the authorities of Naples, to this effect—"On no pretence whatever allow any one to visit your prisons." The noble Lord was, however, beforehand with the Government, who, we are told, are so desirous of letting everything be seen; and having General La Marmora's order, that order could not be discredited. The result was, that the noble Lord was enabled to lift up the veil that hid the atrocities practised in the name of liberty, and under the government of a constitutional King, and which would be odious under the worst imaginable despotism; and that the tale which he has told this night will not only appal those who have given their moral support to this gigantic swindle of a united Italy, but will serve many an unfortunate wretch, on whose festering limbs now clank the iron fetters of the captive. For myself, I am sincerely anxious for the freedom of Italy. [Derisive cheers.] Yes, for the freedom of Italy; but that result is, in my opinion, to be achieved by the gradual purification and internal reform of the several separate and independent governments, rather than by huddling up together seven or eight distinct and different nationalities, in defiance of history, tradition, feeling, habits, and even language, placing the whole under the iron rule of one, and then calling that unity and liberty. In reference to the existing state of things, I certainly with for the restoration of the legitimate sovereigns, and the recovery by each State of its lost nationality; for though I freely admit there were abuses in those States, those abuses would now be corrected by the public opinion of Europe, as well as by their own internal effort at regeneration. I cannot but express my belief that in a few years you will see the old state of things restored—not the abuses, not the wrongs, but the independence and distinct nationality of the now amalgamated states. I freely confess I am for the restoration of the former governments, but without their abuses or defects, which I believe they could best remedy of themselves. I believe, Sir, that the Pope, who has been so generously offered an asylum in Malta, will be restored to the dominions which have been so iniquituosly taken from him; for though a cloud may now seem to overshadow the Vatican, you may rest assured that Providence still watches over the temporal power of the Holy Father. The dynasty of the; Popes is the oldest and the most venerated dynasty in the world. It existed when other dynasties were unheard of, and when the ancestors of those who hear me were painted savages. You were told, some two years since—indeed, I think but one year since—that there was to be an end to this temporal power, which has now lasted for eleven hundred years; but has that assertion been vindicated by fact? Why, Sir, those who were then the enemies of the Holy Father have since become his friends. Whether that change has had its origin in or is owing to the low motives of personal interest, or to the lofty motives of high principle, it is not for me to say; but the fact of that change is an instance of the ways in which the designs of Providence are worked out. In a few years we shall see the present wretched state of things in Italy abolished, and an end put to that arrant sham—a united Italy—which has been hatched in treason and carried out by fraud, violence, and brutality.


said, that having been acquainted with the state of things in Italy for many years past, from a residence there of twenty-three years, he could not remain silent after the extraordinary remarks which had fallen from hon. Gentlemen opposite. From his experience of the country he was enabled to say that there bad been a remarkable change for the better in every respect in Italy within the last few years. There was not a sensible or enlightened man to be found from North to South Italy who was not grateful for the moral support which Her Majesty's Government had rendered to that country, or who did not look upon that moral support as being fully as valuable as the armed assistance of France. What the Italians now required was to be liberated from the dominion of the priests, who resisted everything like freedom and advancement throughout the country.


said, he had no wish to enter into the general question, but he would remind the House and the country to keep in mind the fact, that an English gentleman had been imprisoned for a long period on what he ventured to say was a trumpery charge. He thought it surprising that the Turin Government, if it really desired to emulate the free institutions of this country, should have retained an English gentleman in prison for eighteen months. Mr. Bishop had been made the victim of a clique, who induced him to convey a letter from Naples to Rome; and nothing worse than an act of gross indiscretion could be imputed to him. It might be in the remembrance of the House that twelve months ago he (Mr. Sclater-Booth) asked a question of the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on the subject of Mr. Bishop, who had then been kept six months in gaol without a trial. The excuse then was, that it would be to his advantage to be tried by jury; and that as trial by jury was being established, he was only detained till the jury lists could be made out. In July last he was tried and sentenced to a punishment equivalent to ten years' penal servitude—a most unjustifiably severe sentence. It was true the penal servitude had been remitted, and the sentence commuted to ten years' imprisonment. He had no blame to east on the Secretary for Foreign Affairs in this matter. He believed that noble Lord had done all he could to induce the Italian Government to moderate the sentence, but he regretted to say that the diminution of the sentence was not the result of the despatches of Lord Russell, but to the affliction under which the unfortunate prisoner laboured, and which rendered him incapable of enduring the worst part of his punishment. Still, there was the greatest difficulty in procuring the remission of penal servitude. Lord Russell had since made repeated applications for Bishop's liberation, but the reply he received was that it would be impossible to remit the sentence until the Italian Government could grant a general amnesty. On further application from our Foreign Minister to know when the amnesty was likely to be proclaimed, the answer given was, on the cessation of the French occupation of Rome. Such a reply was perfectly monstrous and absurd. He would not touch on the general subject of the debate, except to say, he thought there would have been less disappointment in regard to the results of what was called "the unification of Italy" if a less revolutionary course had been pursued there.


said, he wished to offer some reply to the imputations cast upon the whole of that (the Opposition) side of the House by the hon. Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, whom he was sorry not to see then in his place. That hon. Gentleman, rising under the influence of very considerable excitement, had most unfairly accused hon. Gentlemen, who were provoked to laughter by some portions of his speech, of deceit in having previously counterfeited a sympathy with the cause of Italy which they did not feel, and in at last being induced to throw off the mask and avow their real sympathy with absolutism. Now, for his own part, he at once pleaded guilty to the offence of having smiled, perhaps even laughed, at the speech of the hon. Gentleman. It would be remembered that the hon. Member for Taunton, who so ably opened the debate, made some remarks on the conduct of Mr. Odo Russell, our representative at Rome. Mr. Odo Russell, he said, had thrown out charges against the French authorities at Rome of having connived at and encouraged brigandage, and permitted bands of robbers and assassins to pass from the Roman territory into that of Naples. However, it appeared that Mr. Odo Russell had received his information from sources which he subsequently found were not worthy of credit; and acting like a gentleman and a man of honour, he took the earliest opportunity of declaring that he had been misled into an erroneous supposition. Perhaps there was something in that course which detracted from the ability and penetration of Mr. Odo Russell as a diplomatist, but it left his character as a gentleman perfectly unstained. What, however, was the defence set up of his conduct? Why, the advocate of Mr. Odo Russell, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, throwing his shield over the absent diplomatist, and protecting him by his eloquence, stated that he still believed nil these charges against the French authorities, and that he had publicly retracted what he knew to be true, simply because he was afraid of compromising his anonymous informants. The hon. Gentleman, no doubt, spoke without much previous preparation, and under the influence of considerable excitement, and he did not wish to charge him with anything more than very indiscreet advocacy; but, at the same time, the hon. Gentleman had no reason to be surprised if a good many hon. Members could not help laughing at such a singular species of defence. But that was not all. The hon. Gentleman seemed to be at once in a vehement and comic vein, for he went on to talk about the Kingdom of Naples, and having so successfully defended Mr. Odo Russell he thought he would try whether he could not perform the same service towards the King of Italy. He stated that the Kingdom of Naples was in so desperate a condition, and there was such an absence of honest men in all Italy, that it was absolutely impossible to carry on anything like a constitutional Government. In answer to the striking statements which fell from the hon. Member for Taunton, and which were afterwards corroborated by the noble Lord the Member for Chichester in a speech that evidently made a profound impression upon the House, to the effect that great accumulations of prisoners were packed in the dungeons of Naples, and that, in fact, King Bomba was quite outdone by King Victor Emmanuel, the hon. Gentleman explained that the Italian Government had become exceedingly liberal, and carried on their criminal proceedings according to the most approved pattern of Liberalism; that they had instituted trial by jury, and established all the forms of free Government, but that unfortunately they found themselves in the disagreeable predicament of being unable to discover any honest jurymen in the whole of Italy, and had consequently no choice, being so exceedingly liberal, but to keep the poor prisoners in gaol for ever. Such was the line of argument which, without at all expressing any want of sympathy with the people of Italy, did strike him as of a somewhat ludicrous character; and he could assure the hon. Gentleman that the laughter which proceeded from different quarters of the House was not inspired by any coldness of feeling towards the Italians, but was excited by his own peculiar notion of a successful defence. But, leaving the hon. Gentleman, he wished now to say a few words upon this debate. There was some truth in the observation of the hon. Member for Peterborough that it was not the business of the British House of Commons to enter so largely into the internal affairs of Italy. He, for one, had never given any but a very limited adhesion to the favourite doctrine of non-intervention; but while thinking that they could never establish what was called the principle of non-intervention, he bad always admitted that, as a rule of policy, non-intervention in nine cases out of ten would prove to be safe, prudent, and expedient. Now, it was very singular that he, who had always taken such a low ground in theory, generally found that somehow or other hon. Gentlemen opposite, who talked so loudly of the great principle of non-intervention, were in practice far more inclined than he should ever dream of being to interfere in the affairs of other nations. It appeared to him that the debate, which he agreed with the hon. Member for Peterborough, was too great an interference with the affairs of a foreign country, arose from improper meddling on the part of Her Majesty's Government, from their having identified themselves so much and so intimately with the cause of Italy, not merely by their sympathies, but by an interference of a more active kind. If unity could be established by a real fusion of the Italian nation, he believed it would be a blessing to Europe, a security to the balance of power, and a great advantage to the interests of this country; but there had been a good deal too much interference on the part of Her Majesty's Government in Italian affairs; and the misfortune was, now that the veil bad been torn aside by the noble Lord the Member for Chichester, and the painful revelations of that night bad shown that very great evils and abuses still continued to pervade Italian society, that Her Majesty's Government were naturally regarded as in a considerable degree responsible, and appeals were made to them to correct those abuses and strike off the fetters of those unfortunate prisoners, when, in point of fact, no such appeals could have been addressed to them if they had only had the prudence and discretion to stand aloof, and not to mix themselves up in the affairs of a nation which had their sincere sympathies, to which they had always given their best wishes, for the prosperity of which they would make every prayer, but with the interests of which England was no so closely identified as to render it necessary that they should in any way meddle with its internal concerns. The debate therefore was not to be attributed as a fault to the hon. Member for Taunton or the noble Lord the Member for Chichester, but had arisen naturally and, as he thought, inevitably out of what he must call the mistaken policy of Her Majesty's Government.


Sir, I wish, before I address myself to the subject of the debate, to set right a misrepresentation which has been made with regard to the conduct of Mr. Odo Russell in a particular transaction. An hon. Member—I am ashamed to say I do not recollect who—quoted from a Brussels paper, Le Nord, an account of a supposed conversation between Mr. Odo Russell and the French General commanding in Rome. [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: I did not.] Whoever it was, I would recommend him never to consult that paper again.


I beg leave to explain that I did not speak from information derived from any newspaper. I spoke from more trustworthy information.


Whether by the hon. Baronet, or by some other hon. Member, the paper Le Nord was mentioned, and the conversation was quoted from that paper. That assumed conversation was a great reflection upon the good breeding of the French General, because it is unusual for gentlemen in society to make use of the expression which is attributed to the French General; and knowing him to be a gentleman of refined manners, I do not at all believe that he used it. The facts of the case were these:—Mr. Odo Russell received information from persons whom he believed to be trustworthy, but whose names he was not at liberty to mention, that a certain number of brigands had, at different times, passed out of the Papal territory in French uniforms, not furnished by the French Government, but by those persons who supplied the means of the expedition. The French Government denied the fact. Both Mr. Odo Russell and the French General were speaking of things of which they were not eyewitnesses. Mr. Odo Russell had not seen the brigands. The French General could not deny from his own knowledge that they had passed. Each spoke from authority. Mr. Odo Russell said he would not press his information against that of the French General, but my hon. Friend the Under Secretary stated that in which I concur—namely, his belief that the information given to Mr. Odo Russell was more correct than that which had been given to the French General.

There was another point. The hon. Baronet (Sir George Bowyer) who criticised the pamphlet of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that Poerio was an imaginary person, whom my right hon. Friend had dressed up with dramatic effect and surrounded with circumstances which never took place. I have another Poerio to set against the Poerio of the hon. Baronet—a real Poerio, who was in England, and from whose lips I heard a complete and accurate confirmation of everything stated by my right hon. Friend. Therefore, I quote my living Poerio against the aerial Poerio, who the hon. Baronet, somehow or other, imagined was a creature of my right hon. Friend's mind.

I do not complain of the debate which has taken place. I am not one of those who think that it is beyond the functions of this House to discuss any subjects, any matters, any affairs in any part of the world, which hon. Members may think deserving of attention and discussion in this House. The Members of this House may say— Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto. I think we may be satisfied to discuss every matter which bears a general interest in the affairs of Europe and the world, and that discussion is very useful. Although we may hear many things, as we have heard to-night, totally wrong in argument, mistaken in point of feeling, and leading to conclusions entirely inconsistent with fact; yet, nevertheless, those statements are met by counter statements at the time, as they have been this evening, and the conflict of opinions leads at last to the establishment of truth. When debates go forth to the world, and are read with attention—as I trust everything which has passed this evening will be read with attention by all who take an interest in the subject—that conflict of statements and opinions elicits truth and tends to good in its ultimate result. Therefore, I am not objecting to anything which has passed in the course of this debate, nor do I object to the setting-up the affairs of Italy for a free, fair, and full discussion. It has been a most interesting debate. We have heard most admirable speeches. I must compliment the noble Lord (Lord Henry Lennox) on a most eloquent and admirable speech—a speech which does great credit to his good feelings and his energy in explaining those dark recesses of which he gave us an account. But I must say, that the statements which he made, so far from inculpating the present Government of Italy, showed that in spite of all their exertions the abuses of the former Government still remain unextinguished, because he tells us of nothing which we do not know to have actually existed under the reigns of the Neapolitan Sovereigns; and therefore the only result of that statement which he made is, that the present Government has not succeeded in entirely getting rid of all the abuses which existed. We had another able speech, although it brought down upon the person who made it the attacks of some on the other side of the House. We had an able speech from my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State, and I think those who heard that speech and saw the way in which he refuted point by point all the statements which went before him, will agree with me that it will go far to establish that truthful result which I contend is the effect of debates which take place in Parliament. Then we heard a most admirable speech from an hon. Member newly come within these walls—a speech delivered with great eloquence, with great power of language, and with an earnestness which proved the deep convictions of the speaker by whom it was delivered. We must give him great credit also for the energy with which he has directed his mind to the subject. I trust that that which is an admirable beginning will be followed by still better results, and that he will frequently give the House the benefit of his remarks.

But the real fact of the case is this:—That we do not deny, and we cannot deny that on the Neapolitan territory there does exist a great number of abuses which are, in short, relics of that system which was overthrown when Garibaldi passing from Sicily came to Naples, and presented, as he did, the kingdom of Naples to Victor Emmanuel. Everybody must agree that in every other part of Italy there is nothing of which complaint can be made. Lombardy is flourishing; Tuscany is in good condition. No one says any evil of Modena. Parma we never hear of; the Romagna, added from the States of the Church, is confessedly in a most flourishing and happy condition. It is only in the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily that these complaints exist. Let any one recollect how difficult it is for a Government to mould and weld together six additions to an existing State—and such is the task which the Italian Government has had to perform. To Piedmont have been added Lombardy, Tuscany, Modena, Parma, the Romagna, and Naples. All these different States had different organizations, different laws, different tariffs, different systems, and all these had to be welded into one harmonious whole. I think any one who knows anything of the difficulties of Government can hardly expect that in two years the task will be completely and satisfactorily accomplished. In those parts of Italy with regard to which no external influences are at work it has been accomplished in a wonderful degree, because in five of those States which I have enumerated things go on well and no complaints whatever exist. Naples is the exception, and why? Because, next to Naples we have Rome. Because, in Rome there is a French garrison. Because that French garrison protects the ex-court of Naples. And because, under the shelter of that foreign army there exists a committee of, I believe, no less than 200 people, whose constant employment it is to organize bands of murderers and brigands of the scum and dregs of every nation on the face of the earth, and to send them forth into the Neapolitan territory to commit every sort of atrocity. And then, Sir, we are told that is civil war! Good God! what an idea hon. Gentlemen must have of civil war when they dignify acts of the most atrocious ruffanism by a name which may imply the loftiest sentiments and the highest possible social and political aspirations and virtues. I say they do commit acts of the greatest ruffianism, because they burn houses and murder people, and they destroy and lay waste. They burn people as well as houses. They burn their captives. We have knowledge of this, and therefore I say they do commit atrocities which ought to make the cheeks of those who send them forth to commit them blush to the deepest dye. Then, Sir, there are gentlemen in this House who are proud of their religious faith, who cling, as they may naturally and properly do, to that faith—who call themselves pre-eminently Catholic, while they set their face against the liberties of Italy, and seek to rivet her fetters, forgetting that the Italians are 20,000,000 of Catholics, as good as themselves, and who ought to be better, inasmuch as they are nearer the source. I confess I am at a loss to understand why this should be the case; but be that as it may, I still contend that if those disorders which have been mentioned continue to prevail, their continuance is due to those who from Rome keep up this agitation in the Neapolitan territory, and thus are the cause of all these crimes.

After all, it may be, perhaps, that this state of things is not otherwise than in the usual course of human affairs. Great changes of dynasty cannot well be effected without a long series of disorders. No change of dynasty has ever taken place in any country with the immediate and entire acquiescence of the people of that country. Indeed, I would say that the worse a Government is, the more corrupt it is, the more likely it is to leave behind it, when overthrown, persons who lived by that corruption and who regret to find that their means of livelihood had departed. Such is the case in the Neapolitan territory, and it is not to be supposed that by a stroke of the wand, or by the apparition of half a dozen followers of Garibaldi in red shirts in a railway carriage, all traces of the former monarchy are at once to be swept away, and that there should not remain behind some persons who, from motives of interest or from attachment to the old dynasty, should desire to see it restored. It is, however, a great mistake to imagine that it is the majority of the Neapolitan population, and not the smallest possible minority, by whom such sentiments are entertained. Great difficulty has, no doubt, been experienced in introducing into Naples that pure system of government and jurisprudence which one would wish to see established there, and which it bus been the earnest and anxious desire of the Government of Turin to carry into operation. It must, however, be borne in mind that you cannot govern without instruments, and that, as my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State remarked, those instruments are wanting in a country which has been corrupted to the core by a long system of arbitrary and tyrannical rule. The hon. Baronet who spoke last seemed to ridicule the idea that a jury could not be procured in Naples; but the fact is, that owing to the system of terrorism, which was for a long time established there, persons are afraid to come forward and dis- charge the duties of jurymen, and that is the reason why the prisoners are not brought to trial with the despatch which is desirable. It is a great pity that such should be the case, because the detention of so large a number of persons in gaol, for so long a time untried, and without being proved guilty of the crimes laid to their charge, is no doubt a great evil. This, however, is no novelty. It is simply the continuation of a state of things which previously existed. There was, I may add, another evil which existed before, but which no longer prevals. Under the old régime persons who had been tried and acquitted, and sent back into society, were still held under a species of superintendence, and were not allowed to be masters of their own actions. As many as 70,000 persons were thus placed under the surveillance of the police, and were not allowed to leave their homes, engage in any profession, or do anything, in short, which a free man would wish to do, because they feared they might be re-committed to prison, notwithstanding their previous acquittal. If now the prisons in Naples are not in such a state as one could wish to see them, this is so, I contend, in spite of the exertions of the Italian Government to place them in a better condition. I may further observe, that the detailed statement of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Henry Lennox) has been, in many respects, contradicted in the couse of the discussion by those who have had equal opportunities of seeing the prison into which he obtained admission. The very fact, indeed, that the Neapolitan prisons are thrown open to anybody, be he Englishman or any other stranger, and that there is no concealment as to their condition, clearly shows that the Italian Government does not, at all events, object to be told of its faults, thus affording an indication that it is disposed to remedy them.

The hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire), I may add, has to-night repeated his prophecy that a united Italy cannot last, that it will all fall to pieces, and that their ancient dynasties will be established once more in all the separate States of the Italian peninsula. But I hope he may turn out to be a false prophet, because the unity of Italy is likely, in my opinion, to be the foundation of her prosperity. That unity has, up to the present moment, been attended with the most beneficial results. It will, I trust, continue; and if arrangements could be made so to extend it as to embrace the whole of the Italian provinces, I feel quite satisfied that no country in Europe, no population in the world, could attain to a higher pitch of happiness arid prosperity than a united Italy, so constituted, would achieve. For Her Majesty's Government, I will only say, that we do not at all regret the part we have taken in this question. We have been accused of intermeddling, but we have done so only by the exercise of moral influence and the expression of opinion. I am glad to think that the course we have taken has called forth the gratitude of the people of Italy, and that it has done so I know to be the fact. The Italian people, from one end of the country to the other, are deeply grateful to the English Government and nation for the kind and warm interest we have taken in those transactions which have tended so much to their happiness; and, no doubt, any influence which we may be able individually to bring to bear with a view to putting an end to those evils which still survive the unity of that country, it will be the duty of the Government to exert. It is not a fitting or becoming thing for one Government to interfere in the internal administration of another State; but there are, at the same time, cases in which friendly advice might be given, and I feel assured the discussion this evening will be attended with good results in connection with those points which have been the subject of comment. The hon. Gentleman who spoke last but one (Mr. Sclater-Booth) alluded to the case of Mr. Bishop as one in which, in his opinion, a great amount of tyranny was exercised. Now, Mr. Bishop was, after due trial, convicted of having been a carrier of treasonable correspondence between Rome and Naples—an offence of deep dye. He was sentenced in accordance with the law, but the sentence in its execution, though not altogether revoked, was greatly modified at the intercession of Her Majesty's Government. So far from the case of Mr. Bishop, then, being an example of over-severity on the part of the Italian Government, it ought, I think, rather to be looked upon as an instance in which the Government has yielded to the friendly recommendations of Her Majesty's Ministers, and remitted a large portion of the penalty inflicted by a court of justice on an individual who had beyond doubt greatly offended against the laws of the country in which he chose to reside. I have simply to add, in conclusion, that I feel assured the Italian Government will pursue that course which, notwithstanding the allegations made to the contrary, I maintain it is pursuing—namely, the establishment of order with every indulgence consistent I with the attainment of its object. I trust that it will exercise no undue severity, but that with the means placed at its disposal it will enforce that authority which is given them by the law, which I contend has its foundation in the free will of the Italian people; which is in accordance with the national desire, and which being so will, I am confident, be more lasting than the hon. Member for Dungarvan seems to imagine.


Sir, I entirely concur with the noble Lord on one point, and that is, in not regretting that this discussion has taken place. We are, I think, indebted to the hon. Gentleman who brought forward the subject for the most interesting and animated debate of the Session. I might add, that it is not without pride I observed that from these benches three speeches were delivered to-night, to which everybody who heard them must have listened with the utmost pleasure and satisfaction. This question of Italy is one which requires, in considering it, that we should look a little back. It is about five or six years ago, or more, that the condition of Italy, owing to its critical state, began to attract the deep attention of the House of Commons. Various opinions were then expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House as to the position of that country, her future fate, and her possible fortunes. There where then two opinions which swayed very much the conduct of public men. The first was the great doubt that prevailed whether the unity of Italy was possible—whether you could mould together seven or eight different nationalities, countries with different laws, with almost different languages, and under the influence of different policies. Secondly, there was the consciousness that in any contest in Italy it was a question as to the supremacy either of Austria or of France. However the people of England might disapprove what has been described by a classical writer as the iron rule of Austria, still we naturally felt jealous of changes and revolutions in Italy which might tend to the aggrandisement of our powerful neighbour and lead to the preponderance of her influence in an alarming degree. With these considerations and contingencies before us, it was not surprising that Parliament and public men should have spoken with much diffidence and some distrust of the commencement of those great changes which we have lived to see, and the consequences of which, to a certain degree, we have realized. What seems to us now very easy and plain to comprehend were really some half-a-dozen years ago political mysteries which the most sagacious could not penetrate and which the boldest could not contemplate without mistrust. What was feared actually took place. Italy was relieved from the power of Austria, but in exact proportion as the power of Austria was diminished, the influence of France was substituted and maintained. Fortunately for Italy there arose to guide her destinies a statesman of eminent ability. It has been said that Cavour was a man not very scrupulous as to his means. That is a question which I leave with the historian to decide. He may have been unscrupulous in his means, but this all must admit—that he was clear in his vision and practical in his policy. He knew what he wanted, and what he wanted he accomplished. He knew it was possible, in the circumstances with which he had to deal, and with the means at his command, to establish a Kingdom of Italy of considerable power and resources; and possibly, like a wise statesman and a true patriot, he may have looked to a future which would increase the power and multiply the resources of that kingdom. But, as far as Her Majesty's Government are concerned, they were originally as distrustful as others of the future of Italy, and their policy was vacillating and timid. I hardly blame them for deserving those epithets, because they had to act under dark and difficult circumstances; but I say that their policy, at the beginning and for some time, was not that policy which has been boldly described to-night. On the whole, I believe that Her Majesty's Government, instead of assisting the patriotic views of Italian stasesmen—instead of consolidating the strength and developing the resources of a practical and powerful kingdom of Italy, have, either for the sake of objects upon which I do not care to dwell, or from a weakness of political vision, adopted a policy which has tended to weaken Italy and to distract Europe. [Murmurs.] This is not a question which can be settled by inarticulate moans. I say the policy of the English Government has laid the foundation of future embarassment for the world. What were the difficulties with which Italy had to contend when, unfortunately for her interests, Cavour suddenly quitted the stage, and she was left without a master mind to guide her fortunes and to mould her destinies? There were two great influences acting on Italy, which were opposed to that ideal unity which had been the dream of her greatest statesmen for generations, and which was not invented by Her Majesty's Ministers, but of which, having adopted it from the popular opinion of the day, they suddenly became the patrons. Those two great influences were the traditional policy of France, which, under every form of Government—kingdom, republic, or empire—for reasons which France has deemed wise, has been hostile to the unity of Italy. The other was the policy of the Court of Rome, which was hostile to a scheme which might not only deprive it of its political estates—a very secondary consideration—but produce a revolution in its position which might bring about consequences throughout the world most adverse to Catholic interests. Hence Her Majesty's Government, by announcing themselves as the patrons of Italian unity, placed themselves in collision with the power of France and the power of Rome. ["Hear, hear!"] An hon. Gentleman cries "Hear, hear!" and if he is prepared to support a Ministry which dares to struggle against the French Empire and the Roman Court for the unity of Italy, I might doubt the prudence of such a policy, but at least it would be intelligible to me. If England had chosen, with the sanction of her Parliament and the unanimous approbation of the nation, to throw all her influence into the scale, and to say, what no one doubts, that Italian unity would add to the strength and splendour of Europe and tend to the great advantage of this country, and so devote all her arms and energies to the accomplishment of that object, she would have pursued a policy which one can understand. But we have done nothing of the kind. The noble Lord has taken great credit for his patronage of the independence, freedom, and, above all, unity of Italy. Brave words we have heard in this House from the noble Lord. There have been speeches and there have been despatches. All that could tend to irritate, annoy, and alarm the mighty influences that were opposed to Italian unity was, as far as words went, called into operation. I am not aware, however, that the noble Lord has done more than speak, and write, and indicate a policy, but he has not venture to grapple with the great influences arrayed against the policy he patronized. The consequence is the state of things which we now witness—a state of affairs which Cavour would have looked upon, had he lived, with sadness and dismay, which he would have striven to avert, and the foresight of which would probably have led him to say to England, "Be our active and practical ally, or cease to insult those with whose overpowering resources we must ultimately contend." Since the death of Cavour the programme, to use a fashionable word, of the national party in Italy has been "Movement, development, unity, Rome,"—immense words—verba sesquipedalia—used by men of very little minds and very slight resources. What have they leant upon? They have leant upon the support of England. In the English Parliament some Gentlemen, if not with the absolute co-operation of, at least with social encouragement from the noble Lord, constantly brought forward the subject of the state of Italy. It was let out like a bag-fox, and followed with a full halloo. Every year we had the noble Lord presented to us as the regenerator of Italy, the saviour of the country, and the performance ended with invectives directed against the Pope, and a promise, announced amid the cheers of the hon. Member for Brighton and his friends, that Rome should be the capital of a united Italy before the end of the Session. It was the favourite question of the Government. Indeed, when the Reform Bill was withdrawn, the capture of Rome was the great measure of the Session. And now, in what has all this ended? Cavour withdraws from the scene—no commanding mind in Italy; France naturally jealous of our uncertain arid irritating policy; Rome alarmed; Rome and France leagued against the unity of Italy; the noble Lord conducting a policy of words, speeches and despatches; the Italian Government without a leader, still hanging on the accents of English Ministers, perpetually adopting a line which nothing could justify except commanding genius and commanding legions, holding out to the people the immediate expectation of Rome being made their capital by the overpowering interference of their English ally, and representing results which will not occur, if ever, for half a century, as the consequences of the passing hour. And what has become the state of Italy? A state of dismemberment, of confusion, vexation, embarrassment, disgrace, and humiliation. The hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) has doubted whether the condition of Italy is a legitimate subject for our debate. He shrinks from irritating the Vatican, and would rather concentrate all his efforts against Maynooth. I want to know on what ground we are to discuss the state of Poland, if we are not permitted to discuss the state of Calabria and the two Sicilies. True, in one country the insurgents are called brigands, and in the other patriots; but, with that exception, I have not learned from this discussion that there is any marked difference between them. But, says the noble Lord, it is really only in Naples that these disturbances occur, and Naples, after all, is merely a province. Naples merely a province! What becomes, then, of your united Italy? Is it only in Naples that this dissatisfaction appears? It is expressed in every other of the six States absorbed. There is universal discontent and complaint. But what have we heard to-night? A description of the state of things has been, given, which has not been contradicted, and of which every gentleman with information on these subjects was previously aware, though he had not heard it related in detail, with the picturesque animation which accompanied the statement of the noble Lord the member for Chichester. When you talk of the liberty of the press, is it a fact or not that it is not enjoyed in any part of Italy? Is it true, that whether in Milan, or whether in Genoa, or even in Turin, and certainly not in Florence, the liberty of the press does not exist? Is it a fact, or not, that the liberty of the person is much in the same state as the liberty of the press?

The reason given by the hon. Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, why persons are kept in prison without trial, is certainly one of the most remarkable I ever heard. While the country is improving its jurisprudence, one of the regulations is, that the prisoners, until the improvements are carried into effect, should be locked up. The reason given by the hon. Under Secretary, as far as I can collect it, for not bringing persons to trial, is, that the jurymen are not considered capable of performing the duties of their high office. But, what if a more natural reason be the true one, and that jurymen are not found capable of carrying into effect the intentions of the Government? I put it to any philo- sopher who decides on human conduct upon abstract principles, and not with a knowledge of the circumstances, which be would think the most natural solution of the monstrous state of affairs described by the Under Secretary—mine, or that which has the official warrant; and I ask him to decide which is the most probable, the most natural, which is the most true reason.

This is the condition of Italy at the present moment; it was the condition of Italy last year, and it is one highly unsatisfactory, I believe, to the Italians as well as to England. They have been kept in a state of constant excitement and irritation from expectations held out by our Government, through a course of policy being indicated by England, which England was never prepared to act upon, and which England was not justified in holding out without being prepared to act on it. Only last year the noble Lord uttered one of his bitterest invectives against Rome, and informed the country and Europe that immediately they might expect some vast change in Italy, and that a solution of all the difficulties of Italian politics was about to be accomplished. But, mind you, we have had a very different tone to-night. We have not heard from the noble Lord any expressions on that subject. Much as he is obliged to keep up some appearance of unity in the policy of the Government, yet there have been no expectations held out to-night of Rome being immediately, or even eventually, the capital of Italy. There have been no menaces to France, no promises to Italy—menaces and promises generally equally fallacious; but, on the contrary, the noble Lord has spoken with much moderation on the subject, and the noble Lord appears to have adopted the tone of the sensible observations made by my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury, in his admirable speech—a speech great in performance, greater still in promise, and from which it may be hoped that the hon. Member will contribute much to the interest of our future debates. My hon. Friend, fresh from Italy, and well informed, has taken, as we all have a right to do, his own interpretation and view of public affairs. He stated that there is now a chance for Italy—that there have been some progress and some improvements, and that, though the difficulties have been immense, there is more common sense among the Italians than the world gives them credit for, at least in England, and that they have dismissed from their mind the wild notion of taking possession of Rome as their capital. That was what was stated by my hon. Friend as his impression of what is the state of public opinion in Italy; and the consequence is, that as the views of the Italian Government are now more practical, the prospects of the country are brighter, and there is hope that the people will be content now in consolidating their strength and developing their resources, and not indulge in those wild dreams of impracticable politics which, for some reason or other, have been encouraged by the Minister of England. That was the gist of the speech of my hon. Friend, and I agree with him as to the present condition of Italy. I believe with him, that the state of Italy is an exceptional state. You cannot expect in a nation where a great revolution and great changes have taken place that logical order and propriety in the administration of the laws and the practice of the constitution which you meet with in such a country as England. That is the result of time and experience—experience showing the blessings of order and a settled constitution, and time, which alone can moderate human passions and tone down the dispositions of men to a practical enjoyment of life. I agree with my hon. Friend in the opinion he brings from Italy that the Italian Government has given up those extreme views he adverted to, and that there is now a more practical consideration of affairs, which will, I hope, lead to the increased prosperity of Italy in bringing about that state of things which was contemplated by the most eminent of her statesmen, and which, in time, may be developed in greater proportion. But, if this is to be brought about, it can only be brought about by Italy pursuing that policy with temper and perseverance. Italy must learn to depend on herself. She must not depend on the expectations held out by English Ministers, which cannot be realized. The Ministers of Italy occupy, at this moment particularly, a very difficult position. They must extricate themselves from a false condition of affairs, made up of exaggerations conceived in the epoch of a revolution, and which rival Governments have played with incessant manœuvre. But they cannot do this unless they let Europe know that they are pursuing a policy of peace and conciliation, not of war, invasion, and aggression. There is no country in the world for which peace is more necessary, and of which peace should be so decidedly the policy, as Italy at the present moment. Last year, when we had some incidental discussion upon the subject of Italy, with reference to our own public expenditure, I ventured to say that the policy pursued by our Government with regard to Italy and the centre of Europe was one of the causes of that expenditure. I said then that the policy which we pursued with regard to Rome was of an irritating character, which must end in disappointment and failure, and which was not warranted by sound principles; and that if there were a fair and rational understanding between England and France in regard to Italy, that understanding might, and could, and ought to have a considerable effect on the expenditure of the country. Well, twelve months have elapsed, and the state of affairs which I indicated as desirable has really occurred. There has been a change in the public opinion of Italy as to the policy which it ought to pursue, Rome is no longer held forth as the necessary and inevitable capital of Italy, without the possession of which there could be no development of resources, no expansion of freedom. On the other hand, between England and France, as far as we can judge, there is this tacit understanding on the subject of Italy—it is apparently agreed that Italy shall no longer be the scene of rival policies, that she shall be left alone to the calm and tranquil development of her resources, and the consolidation of her political power. I think the prospects of Italy, in these respects, far more favourable than last year. All who have spoken to-night have described the state of Italy as more or less better than it was said to be last year. I agree with the noble Lord that it may be productive of good that the details which have been given to-night should be known to Italy and to Europe. I think that knowledge may tend to a considerable amelioration both of a public and a private nature. But what is still more important is, that England should be thoroughly disabused as to the popular opinion with respect to the condition of that country. Italy is not a land flowing with milk and honey. Italy is a land much exhausted by great struggles; she has gone through the trial, I am bound to say, in a manner which, on the whole, must elevate her in the consideration of nations. If she has not realized the visions of her friends, she has far surpassed the expectations those who were not friendly to her may have indulged in. She has shown energies which the world did not give her credit for, and which, if well husbanded, and if they meet a fair fortune, may tend to the ultimate triumph of her ambition, provided it be one such as circumstances justify and which the nature of things will permit. This is not an unfavourable prospect after all the fears which have been engendered during the last two or three years. The general condition of affairs is much ameliorated. But that amelioration can only be secured by adopting the causes which have led to it—namely, relinquishing that policy of the English Government which was a policy of words, not of deeds, by promoting the natural consolidation of her Government and the natural development of her resources, and by obtaining that liberty in practice which at present she possesses only in theory.


So many appeals, Mr. Speaker, have been made to me in the course of this debate that I can scarcely reconcile it to my mind, if I may trust to the patient attention of the House, to sit still without, in the first place, saying one word in answer to those appeals; and, secondly, without noticing the speech which has just been delivered. My hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. C. Bentinck) and my noble Friend the Member for Chichester (Lord H. Lennox) have both delivered speeches of great ability, and they appear to think it most inconsistent on my part not to join with and applaud them in the course which they have pursued, to which they think I am bound by the part which I took on a former occasion, now some twelve years ago. I take it to be a very great compliment that I should receive from the noble Lord and the hon. Gentleman so distinguished an expression of opinion on their parts as that they are now pursuing the course, though with reference to different persons, yet on the same principles, which at that comparatively remote period I thought it my duty to pursue. But I am bound to say there is a very material difference between us, and especially between the noble Lord and myself. The noble Lord has visited Italy. He went there enthusiastically attached to Italian freedom—nay, more, he was a devoted adherent of the Government of Victor Emmanuel—[Lord HENRY LENNOX: Hear, hear!]; but having during his visit observed things which appeared to him painful and disgraceful, although he was aided in every respect by the officers of the Government—although he received from General La Marmora an order which laid open to him the inmost recesses of the prisons—although he states that every prison was under the control of a man of humanity and intelligence—and although he was enthusiastically attached to the Italian people, and to the Italian Government as its organ, yet it never occurred to my noble Friend that it might he just to give that Government at once the opportunity of profitting by the researches he had made; but my noble Friend thought it better to conceal the knowledge which he had acquired until he could import it into his own country, and there could deliver it from one of the seats of the House of Commons amid the cheers of an admiring audience.


My experiences of the first prison I went to, which resulted in the protest to which I have alluded, were written and signed by me on the express understanding that the paper should be forwarded to the Government at Turin for their information.


That was the prison which, I think, received at least a qualified approval from my noble Friend. But be went to a variety of prisons and amassed a multitude of facts, and his enthusiastic attachment to Italian liberty, and to the Government, its organ, did not prevent him coming to the House of Commons and making it and this country the first confidential recipient of what he had seen. And my noble Friend thinks that he is walking in my steps. Nothing could be more different. I did not go to Italy as the devoted friend of the Neapolitan Government. I never professed such a thing. But although I was not the devoted friend of the Neapolitan Government, what I saw and heard I did not give to the public at home until everything was brought to the notice of the Neapolitan Government. The course which I took was this—I placed in the hands of the Earl of Aberdeen, that admirable man, who upon one subject had prejudices, prejudices in favour of the Italian Governments, every statement I had to make; and I entreated him, to which he cheerfully consented, to bring the whole of those statements under the view of the Government of Naples before they were made known either to the House of Commons or to the public. Well, Sir, it was the deliberate resolution of the Neapolitan Government, to take no steps for the removal of the evils which I wit- nessed, that drove me to the steps which I afterwards took. After what my noble Friend has said, it is impossible for a moment to question that he is a most enthusiastic friend of Italian freedom and of the Government which has been supposed to be the organ of the people, having been freely chosen by its suffrages. But I must say if, instead of having those lofty sentiments in favour of Italian freedom, of which he has given us so many assurances, my noble Friend had been tainted with ideas the most opposite—if it had been his object to do everything in his power to discredit all those who are connected with the cause of Italian nationality, I doubt whether he could have taken a better-considered course than the one he has pursued. Sir, I protest against the course which the noble Lord has pursued. It was his duty as an impartial Englishman to make these inquiries; but had it but been in common acknowledgment of the assistance he received from the Italian Government in prosecuting these investigations, it was also his duty frankly and fearlessly to have laid before them the result of his inquiries, reserving his right, if necessary, to appeal to this tribunal. But that does not, I admit, absolve us from our duty of paying due attention to the statements which the noble Lord has made. With respect to those statements and others, it will be enough if I refer to what has fallen from my noble Friend at the head of the Government. The habits of bad Government—[Sir GEORGE BOWYER: Hear, hear!] Will the hon. Gentleman be good enough to restrain his enthusiasm, which is always at fever-heat on this subject, and leave me to pursue my path undisturbed? Sir, the habits of bad Government do not depend on the perverted will of a single individual, although that individual may be a King,—nor upon the perverted will of a Cabinet or a Court. They descend with ten thousand fibres through all the ramifications of society; and when the Italian Government succeeded to the possession of power in the Southern provinces of that country, they did not succeed to a paradise which they have since defiled, but to something like the very reverse of a paradise, and which it will take a protracted time and gigantic labour to cleanse. What, for example, is to be done with the hundreds, the thousands, the tens of thousands who in that unhappy country formerly gained an infamous livelihood as gaolers and spies? Is it to be supposed that a new Government can make a clean sweep of all the functionaries whom they find in office? That is impracticable. Only gradual reforms can be carried out in the ranks of the official corps in such a country. That reform must begin at the head, and go down to the smaller officials. Has that reform begun? The noble Lord says that in every case at the head of the prisons he found men of humanity and intelligence. [Lord HENRY LENNOX: Hear, hear!] Does he suppose that when I went to Naples I was permitted to enter every prison and obtain encouragement and assistance from the head? [Sir GEORGE BOWYER: Yes.] Does he suppose that I was welcomed as a co-operator and friend? No, on the contrary. The statement of my noble Friend the Member for Chichester proves that much that is lamentable and much that is disgraceful to the immediate agents in the system still prevails in the south of Italy. But it also proves that even there reform and improvement have begun. The principal functionaries have been removed, and replaced by better men. The light of day has been let into the inmost recesses of the darkest caverns. There is not an abuse or a horror that is not brought freely forward. And the whole of the statements of the hon. Member for Taunton were not the result of researches made by him, but were a reference to discussions in the open air and in open Parliament by the representatives of the Italian people. Therefore, I say that from the very worst and darkest features of Southern Italy—and some of them, I admit, are very bad and dark—there is ample reward for the past and abundant encouragement for the future.

After the speech of my noble Friend the Member for Chichester came that of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Canterbury. I was pleased to hear the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down say that he had listened to that speech with the utmost pleasure and satisfaction. I am only very sorry to remember that the pleasure with which the right hon. Gentleman listened to that speech, vivid and intense as it was, was not more largely shared by hon. Gentlemen on that side. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Wallingford had, I believe, left his place [Mr. MALINS: No.] Was he there? Then I am sorry he did not give more audible expression to his satisfaction. Another hon. Friend of mine sitting on that side of the House, and long known for his devoted attachment to the cause of Italy (Mr. M. Gaskell), signified in the usual manner the approbation and sympathy with which he listened to that admirable speech. But I am bound to say—and I think it better to say such things in this House, instead of going to Slough or elsewhere and there delivering in animated language a description of the effect which particular speeches produce in this House—that I never perceived a more marked change come over the spirit of a portion of the House of Commons than that which came over the spirit of those who occupy the benches opposite, and especially the front bench, between the time of the speech of the noble Lord to which hon. Members opposite listened with such perfect rapture and the time when they listened with unbroken silence—I will not use a more familiar expression—and almost despondency to the remarkable reasoning of the hon. Member for Canterbury. So far as my ears can bear witness to the reception of a speech—the courage of which was not less remarkable, considering the hon. Member's short experience, than its ability—the silence on that side during the whole of his clear, manly, and powerful reasoning on behalf of the Italian Government was only relieved by the cheers which the sentences of the hon. Member received one after another from those who support and approve the Italian policy of the Government.

However, as regards the state of Southern Italy, in the first place, we have got publicity; and in the second place, we have got from the agents of the Government co-operation in the work of improvement. Both these facts were established by the speech of the noble Lord. I agree with him that this is not all that could be desired, and I am confident that the endeavours of my noble Friend (Viscount Palmerston) and of the Government will be directed to those humane aims which he has in view, and that the Italian Government, being appealed to in a friendly and respectful tone, and with the fullest acknowledgment of its independence, will not resent these disclosures—somewhat churlish though the manner may be—but will feel that those who, from whatever motive, when horrors and abuses exist, drag those horrors and abuses into the light of day, co-operate with them, whether they mean it or not, in the sacred objects they have in view, and will gladly avail themselves of that assistance.

I will now say a few words on the speech which we have just heard from the right hon. Gentleman. I do not know with what impressions hon. Members listened to that speech. I own I could better understand the critical and negative than the positive and affirmative portions of that speech. As to the critical and negative portion, it appeared, from the clear summary the right hon. Gentleman gave us, that in everything Her Majesty's Government have said and in everything they have done—in everything they have omitted and committed, they have been entirely wrong—that their efforts have been misjudged from first to last—that they have been odious to all parties, and disastrous to every one concerned. [Opposition cheers.] That is, I think, a fair summary of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, and I am glad it is echoed back as such. Well, that is the part which England, according to the right hon. Gentleman, has taken in respect to the Italian question. From the right hon. Gentleman I appeal to the Italians themselves. It is said we ought to teach the Italians to depend upon themselves. In like manner we ought to leave them to judge for themselves, and I say that they will not concur in the statement of the right hon. Gentleman as an impartial description of the proceedings of Her Majesty's Government. The opinion of the Italians themselves I believe to be this—that the aid of material force from England they neither expected nor desired, but that the aid of our moral force and influence which they have received was to be expected, and had been of great, serious, and lasting benefit to the cause of Italy. I appeal next from the right hon. Gentleman, in vindication of the policy of Her Majesty's Government, to the people of England. For I think the right hon. Gentleman, let him select his own audience at Slough or elsewhere, will find it difficult to bring himself anywhere, throughout the length and breadth of the land, into contact, in the free light of day, with English opinion, without learning, on the contrary, that—not only from party politics, but likewise, in no inconsiderable degree, above and beyond and independent of party politics—the course taken by Her Majesty's Government ever since its accession to office with respect to the Italian question has brought a deep, hearty, and affectionate response from the all but unanimous people of England. Sir, to this tribunal I lodge my appeal against the judgment delivered by the right hon. Gentleman. But when I speak of the positive parts of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, to what do they amount? Now, what are his opinions about Italy? Last year we thought we understood them. I have not got his speech by me, and my memory is sometimes treacherous; but I thought the right hon. Gentleman was sufficiently explicit. He told us, I think, that the question what might become of the political rights of the subjects of the Pope was a matter of infinitely small consequence, but that the maintenance of the temporal power of the Pope, with a view to securing his spiritual independence, was a matter of the utmost concern, in which all Europe was interested. That, I think, was the effect of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. Does he adhere to that opinion now? Has he made any progress in his consideration of the Italian question? I am sorry to say that in my opinion he has not yet got to the heart and root of the matter; but from partial indications, such as I have not observed in his discourses before, I think he has made a certain progress, and possibly, if he be assisted and encouraged, he may hereafter get on a little further; for the right hon. Gentleman to-night has discovered that Cavour was a great man, and that he did much for his country, and that she has suffered greatly by his removal. Unfortunately, some time has elapsed; it is now a considerable period since the death of that great man, and it has taken the right hon. Gentleman not only the whole duration of Cavour's life, but some two years after his death, to make these discoveries about his genius and the services he rendered to his country.

Then the right hon. Gentleman says it would be an excellent thing—I think I so understood him, but I speak with the greatest deference, and with many scruples even, as if I were endeavouring to decipher some obscure telegram, or to read some ancient manuscript with characters much defaced. That is the spirit in which I approach the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and endeavour to construe it. In one part I did think I heard something drop from him to the effect that the erection of Italy into a great state, with substantive power and self-directed action, would be for the benefit of Europe and of England. If I understand him rightly, I beg to congratulate him on having given utterance to that opinion, because I think it shows that his opinions are not in a fossil state—that they are growing and developing, and that there is no saying what he may come to at last. But, although I tender him these compliments, he they worth much or little, I am bound to say that I am obliged to offer them with very considerable reserve; because, although it is one's duty to note every promising indication of the policy of future Governments, it is exceedingly important that we and the people of England should know what is the policy now favoured upon that Bench. For I must take notice that there were parts of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman which still suggest to my mind misgivings and even, I will frankly own, awakening repugnance. The right hon. gentleman deprecates extreme views in Italy. What do extreme views mean in Italy? They mean this—those who think Italy ought to be Italy, are guilty of extreme views. What is the position of Italy at present? It is such as the case of England would he if Cornwall and Devonshire were in the possession of one foreign power, and if London was garrisoned by another. I think, if that were the state of facts in England, we should find that a very large number of persons were possessed with those extreme views, and would not altogether be satisfied until they had seen the one Power driven out of Cornwall and Devonshire, and the troops of the other dislodged from London. In one point I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman, and I agree more fully with his friend the hon. Member for Canterbury. I believe the hon. Member for Canterbury, in that excellent speech which he delivered, said nothing more true, more just, or more wise than this, that the true course fur the Italian Government was not to be diverted by their political objects, however important and essential, from civil objects. The first duty of a Government undoubtedly is to look to the laws, the maintenance of order, and the well-being of society in the territory within its control. These sentiments are common to the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Canterbury; but how differently were they used by the two! The hon. Member for Canterbury used them in defence of the conduct of the Italian Government, showing, as far as his judgment went, that they were sensible of their duty, and that this duty constituted their primary obligation. But, not one word fell from the mouth of that hon. Gentleman in disparagement of the ulterior duty of seeking to bring the country of Italy to its integrity and its unity. The right hon. Gentleman quoted the hon. Member for Canterbury as sombody sometimes quotes Scripture. He quoted the sound doctrine of the hon. Member for Canterbury with regard to the primary, every-day, indubitable, imperative duty of the Italian Government to look to the organization of the country it possesses, for a very different purpose; he alluded to it in order to ground upon it the doctrine of political finality—the doctrine that the Italian who thinks Rome the natural and necessary capital of a strong and permanent Italian kingdom—is to be put down either as a revolutionist or as a dreamer. He alluded to it for the purpose of establishing this, that the present state of things in Italy is to be regarded territorially, though not civilly, as final. It appears to me that the generosity of the right hon. Gentleman to the Italian people consists in this, that he will give them everything that he cannot take from them. At a former period the right hon. Gentleman was, I think, an advocate of federation. But the day of federations has gone by, and Italian freedom has vindicated itself over so vast a proportion of the Peninsula that now there is no longer room for that scheme; and the right hon. Gentleman, forgetting the things that are past, abandons federation, and says, "All very well, but don't let us go further." Sir, I confess I have a hope that they will go further. I trust that when the patience, moderation, intelligence, self-discipline, and self-command which the Italian people have shown in so extraordinary a degree shall, in the wisdom of Providence, at some early period, bear their natural and proper fruit in the acquisition of other territory which, in. moral right, belongs to them—when they have got it, and when it becomes obvious that it cannot be taken from them, I have little doubt that we shall have among others the right hon. Gentleman walking in the rear of the triumphal car, and joining the whole people of England in their generous acclamations upon, so happy a consummation. But I must say, that if critical times were to come, I have not much confidence in the right hon. Gentleman's Italian feelings. If there were to be a reaction, if foreign force were to do something towards breaking up what is now united in Italy, I feel no absolute confidence in my own mind that the right hon. Gentleman would not fall back on his doctrine of federation. He is, I am afraid, in an infirm state; his mind greatly wants to be strengthened and encouraged in the good cause, and nothing will strengthen and encourage it so much as a strong and universal declaration in favour of Italy on the part of the people of England. And let the right hon. Gentleman understand that it will not do for him, it will not do for his friends, to inculcate these equivocal doctrines, to utter these ambiguous sounds in the face of the nation, which if it has made up its mind to any one thing upon earth, has made up its mind to this, that Italy ought to be one, and that Italy ought to be free. If, on the one hand, the policy of Her Majesty's Government has not operated with the charm of magic, still less is it true, on the other, that it has irritated those with whom we ought to cherish alliance. Too well does France appreciate too well does the Emperor of the French understand the action of public opinion in this country to suppose that any Government is to be construed as feeling other than the most friendly sentiment towards France, because on occasions of this kind it does not dissociate itself from the universal and enthusiastic convictions of the English people. Although the policy of the Government may not have operated, as I have said, with magic force in precipitating events towards a consummation so glorious that, perhaps, it could hardly be expected to be reached except after some tract of time, yet that policy, I assert, has been leniently, indulgently, and favourably judged. Nay more; it constitutes one of the chief titles of my noble Friend to the confidence and approval of the people, because they believe it has been conceived in equity and justice, and that it is directed towards a vise and towards a righteous end.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Supply considered in Committee.

House resumed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again on Monday next.