HC Deb 09 April 1877 vol 233 cc771-2

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether any correspondence has taken place between the Foreign Office and the Italian Government respecting the introduction into this country of Italian children taken away from Italy in violation of the laws of that Kingdom; and, if so, whether such Correspondence can be laid upon the Table; and, whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared by diplomatic or, if necessary, legislative action to second the efforts of the Italian Government to put an end to this practice?


Sir, I have made inquiry at the Foreign Office, but do not find that there is any very recent correspondence on this subject. In March, April, or May, 1874, the Italian Minister did call Lord Derby's attention to the subject, and expressed a wish that this Government would avail itself of some means of applying the extradition principle to the case of children imported into this country under the circumstances to which the hon. Gentleman has alluded. Lord Derby referred the matter to the Home Office, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State communicated with the Foreign Office on the subject, pointing out that there is no power of dealing with the case under any Extradition Acts; but suggesting that the Italian Government might prevent the egress of those children by refusing to grant passports, and that this Government would do all that could be done to assist them, by preventing the ill-usage of the children by those who had charge of them. I do not find that there has been any further correspondence on the subject; but there will be no objection to present what correspondence there is.