HC Deb 07 June 1915 vol 72 cc87-8

Since the House adjourned at Whitsuntide a great event has taken place which cannot pass by without notice and welcome—the accession to the cause of the Allies of the Kingdom of Italy. We in this country have watched the formation of United Italy with the keenest sympathy and the most ardent hopes. We have followed its growing fortunes with the interest of sincere well-wishers. There has never, during the last half-century—as the illustrious Prime Minister of Italy, Signor Salandra, reminds us in the message he was recently good enough to address to me—been a shadow of discord between our two nations. Further, we recognise in Italy one of the custodians of the free traditions of Europe. She has not allowed the intelligence and spontaneity of her people to be fettered and hampered by the State. She has cultivated the worship of other and higher ideals than the reign of force. In virtue, therefore, both of our old and unbroken friendship and of her special title to join in the great emancipating task which the Allies have set themselves, we warmly grasp her hand, and we welcome her gallant sailors and soldiers as fellow combatants in the struggle on which the liberties of the world depend.