HC Deb 14 June 1880 vol 252 c1897

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If he is aware or will ascertain how far the reports are true that the Italian Government is about to expropriate part of the property of the College of the Propaganda at Rome on terms almost equivalent to confiscation; whether, on international grounds, he will direct representations on this subject to be made either through our Minister at Rome, or, otherwise, to the Government of the King of Italy on behalf of Her Majesty's Catholic subjects, who are part owners of the property in question, and, in common with all Catholics, materially concerned in the welfare of this cosmopolitan college, and whose interests would be gravely affected by the alleged highhanded proceedings; and, whether he is aware that the Austrian, Spanish, and French Governments have already remonstrated in this sense with the Italian Government? He wished, further, to ask the right hon. Gentleman, Whether his attention has been called to a paragraph in The Globe of this evening, stating that the Emperor of Austria was greatly irritated by the contemplated confiscation, and proposed to make representations to the Italian Government on the subject?


Her Majesty's Government have reason to believe that the Italian Government contemplate enforcing the conversion of the real property belonging to the Propaganda College; but they have no information with regard to the terms upon which the process is to be carried out. The Italian Government are acting upon a law passed in 1873, which applied generally to all religious corporations. In these circumstances, Her Majesty's Government do not see their way to making representations on the subject. They understand that the remonstrances said to have been addressed by other Powers were only made unofficially.