HL Deb 04 August 1848 vol 100 cc1126-7

wished to put a question to his noble Friend opposite (the Lord President of the Council), of which, if it were deemed necessary, he would now merely give notice it was, whether it was true, as he was informed upon very high authority, that Mr. Fagan, an attaché to the English Minister at Naples, had, upon the 24th July last proceeded, in Her Majesty's ship Porcupine to Palermo, and there thought proper, in breach of his instructions—as he, in charity, was bound to believe—to make a communication to the Provisional Government of Sicily, threatening them with the withdrawal of the countenance, support, and protection of England, if they did not, within twenty-four hours, proceed to choose the Duke of Genoa as King. If he (Lord Brougham) had not received this information from the highest official authority connected with Sicily—and he had only seen that noble person an hour or two before he entered the House—if, indeed, he had not received it first in writing, and secondly by word of mouth, from that distinguished individual—he should have felt unable to believe it possible. Surely Mr. Fagan must know that if there was any one thing more intolerable than another, it was interference of a foreign Government with the dominions of an Ally. Sicily stood towards Naples in the same relation as Ireland towards Great Britain, except that Ireland had no Parliament, whilst Sicily had; but if this thing were once allowed, what was to prevent the King of Naples, if he had the power, from sending a similar communication to the rebels in Ireland? He believed, as he said, it was quite impossible Mr. Fagan could have made this communication, though he had received an assurance of it in writing; and he believed it still more impossible that, if he had made it, he had acted under instructions to that effect. But if Mr. Fagan had made it, then he expected to hear that he had been recalled.


said, that as his noble and learned Friend had not given him notice of his intention to put this question, he was not prepared to say what Mr. Fagan might have done. This, however, he could at once say, that neither Mr. Fagan, nor any other person in Her Majesty's service, had any instructions to make any communication to the Provisional Government at Palermo of the nature referred to.

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