HL Deb 07 March 1862 vol 165 cc1136-7

regretted the absence of his noble Friend the Foreign Secretary, as he wished to give notice of a question which he proposed on that day week to address to the noble Earl. On a former occasion, when owing to unavoidable circumstances he was not present, the noble Earl accounted for the publication in an Italian newspaper of what turned out to be precisely and literally a proclamation of the Piedmontese Government, by stating that the press of that country, under the present Government, enjoyed the utmost freedom and most complete impunity. He wished to ascertain whether the extraordinary mistake into which his noble Friend fell was owing to want of information from Her Majesty's representatives in Italy. He intended, therefore, to move for copies of or extracts from the despatches of Sir James Hudson, our Minister at Turin, referring to the number of prosecutions against the press at the instance of the Piedmontese Government. A French paper, L' Union, of that morning contained a strange commentary on the explanation of his noble Friend that the Neapolitan proclamation which had been brought under their Lordships' notice had been immediately cancelled, for it stated that on the 20th of February four women were shot, by order of Colonel Fantoni, for having more bread than required for a day's consumption in their possession.