§ THE MARQUESS OF NORMANBY
then rose to call the attention of this House to the Correspondence recently presented on the Affairs of Rome; and to ask Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for some Explanation of certain Passages contained therein, referring to the Policy of Her Majesty's Government on this Subject in the year 1849? The noble Marquess said, that the words in the recently presented papers to which he intended to direct their Lordships' attention were not many. In one of the despatches contained in the Correspondence, dated the- 15th of November 375 last, it was stated that the acquiescence expressed by our Government in 1849 in respect of the occupation of Rome by the French did not imply approbation. Now, that assertion was in direct contradiction of a statement of M. Drouyn de Lhuys, who, as would be admitted by every one who had ever had any dealings with him, possessed qualifications in respect of memory which made him a most accurate chronicler of events. During the last recess his noble Friend the Foreign Secretary had thought it right to enter into communication with two Foreign Governments on two most important points, and he did so in a manner to render difficult questions still more difficult. He (the Marquess of Normanby) would first of all refer to a despatch of the noble Earl, dated the 25th of October, to the attaché from Turin, to be read by him to the Cardinal Secretary of State at Rome. The proposal in that despatch was neither more nor less than that it was his (Earl Russell's) good will and pleasure that the Pope should abandon his territory, give up his friends, and seek safety in flight. That was a most extraordinary course for any Minister to propose or even to think of. But that was not all, for within a week after the French Government had declared that the national honour was involved in this question, the noble Earl addressed himself to the French Government, telling them Her Majesty's Government were of opinion the time had come when the French occupation of Rome should cease. When making a communication to an attaché to be communicated to the Pope, certainly his noble Friend was of course perfectly at liberty to adopt with safety any tone which he thought consistent with propriety and with the dignity of the country; but the moment chosen by the noble Earl was a most inopportune one to aggravate a Government like that of France, our nearest neighbour; and if such a course of proceeding were persevered in, such a state of feeling would be produced that we might find ourselves—to use a phrase adopted on a previous occasion —"drifting into a war" before we were aware of it. He would now briefly refer to the circumstances under which the French occupation of Rome took place. These circumstances did not arise under the Government of the President, but some weeks previous to the election of December 1848. When the news reached France that the first constitutional 376 Minister of the Pope had been assassinated on the steps of the National Assembly, and that the Assembly had continued its order of the day without taking any notice of the event, so strong was the feeling of the French people that General Cavaignac, a sincere Republican, who was then at the head of affairs, thought it was necessary to send a brigade of 3,000 men to Rome. He (Lord Normanby) had thought it his duty to dissuade the Government of the General from carrying into effect that intention at that moment; but so strong was the feeling in France, even then, to support the Pope, that the Foreign Minister, Mr. Bastiele, also a sincere Republican, had told him that the decision had cost the General a million of votes. A very few days after this the President was elected and the Republic proclaimed. On the 5th of January, 1849, he (the Marquess of Normanby) received a despatch from Lord Palmerston, from which this was an extract—In regard to the present position of the Pope I have to observe that no doubt it is obviously desirable that a person, who in his spiritual capacity has great and extensive influence over the internal affairs of most countries in Europe, should be in such a position of independence as not to be liable to be used by any one European Power as a political instrument for the annoyance of any other Power; and in this view it is much to be wished that the Pope should be Sovereign of a territory of his own.Now, there was nothing in this despatch to confirm his noble Friend's statement, that acquiescence did not then imply approbation. Lord Palmerston, it was true, always explained that he thought the restoration of the Pope would be followed by the restoration of constitutional Government; but in the state of things which then existed that was utterly impossible. Lord Palmerston was told by him over and over again that after the dreadful failure of constitutional Government three or four months before no Minister in France could venture to make such a proposal. Afterwards, when a request was made to the French Government, on the part of the Pope, that they would attend a conference at Gaeta of the other Catholic Powers for the purpose of arranging for the Pope's restoration, Lord Palmerston wrote—Although Great Britain has not so direct an interest as France has in the ecclesiastical and political questions which arise out of the present relations between the Pope and the people of the Roman States, the British Government nevertheless cannot view these matters with indifference. Great Britain is indeed a Protestant State, but Her Majesty has many millions of Catholic sub- 377 jects; and the British Government must therefore be desirous, with a view to British interests, that the Pope should be placed in such a temporal position as to be able to act with entire independence in the exercise of his spiritual functions.… Her Majesty's Government have learnt with much pleasure that France has been included in the invitation addressed by the Pope to some of the Catholic Powers, and Her Majesty's Government hope, that if there is to be a concert among any of the Powers of Europe in regard to these affairs, the French Government will not decline the invitation to be a party thereto.This despatch was dated March 9, 1849; and how his noble Friend could reconcile such a declaration as it contained with the statement that acquiescence did not mean approbation he could not understand. In his communications with Lord Palmerston he had always expressed a wish that there should be no direct interference by the French Government. The next occasion on which it became his duty to inquire whether Her Majesty's Government wished that this interference should go on was just after April 17, when the French Assembly had voted for the departure of the expedition. On that occasion he wrote to Lord Palmerston suggesting that then was the time to decide upon this point; that he did not venture to express dissent from French interference, because Lord Palmerston in no one of his despatches implied that he objected to it; that he did not well see how the French could have avoided it; but, that after having for several years endeavoured to prevent the passage of a French soldier across the frontier, he regretted that France should now be about to break the spell. The answer of Lord Palmerston was that there was a good deal of truth in all this; that if the French troops crossed the frontier, we did not know when they would return; but, at the same time, we could not object to this interference; and that if the Pope was not restored by the French, he would be restored by the Austrians. On no one of these occasions was there anything to show that the acquiescence of Her Majesty's Government was not approbation. Again, when a Mr. Macarthy came to England upon a secret mission from the Triumvirs of Rome, he was instructed to say—
§ THE MARQUESS OF NORMANBY
said, his noble Friend had misunderstood him; he was not about to road anything, but merely to repeat what he had heard from that gentleman at the time, but he did not desire to do or to say anything that was irregular; and if there was any objection in point of form to these references, he could bring in aid plenty of other authorities. Thus, on the 20th of July, Lord Lansdowne, then the leader of this House, made in this House a speech which entirely confirmed the accuracy of the account which he had given of the matter. Lord Lansdowne said —I quite agree with my noble Friend Lord Brougham in the distinction drawn by him as to the peculiar character of the Papal Sovereignty, which made the Pope's authority the object of special consideration; but this is no new idea; the same opinion is expressed in Lord Palmerston's despatch to Lord Normanby. The sovereignty of the Pope has a peculiar character. As temporal Sovereign he is only a Sovereign of the fourth or fifth order, but as spiritual Sovereign he occupies the very first rank. The authority which he possesses, the influence which he exercises over every country in Europe, indeed over the whole world, has nowhere any equal. There are, therefore, on this account special reasons for the interference of other States. The Catholic nations are therefore peculiarly called upon to take care that the head of their religion shall not be perverted into the instrument of the temporal ambition of any one. There is no country where there are Catholic subjects which is not profoundly interested that the Pope should be able to exercise his spiritual authority without having to encounter any obstacle attacking that spiritual authority." [3 Hansard, cvii. 707.]This was the opinion of Lord Lansdowne, expressed by him in 1849 as leader of this House, with respect to the French occupation. He never expected at this interval to hear, after all the proofs he had read to their Lordships, that the Government of that day in their acquiescence did not imply approbation. But as to the question itself, he would call the attention of his noble Friend to another subject which was raised not by one connected with the country, but one who had great authority on Roman questions—he meant M. Farini, present Prime Minister of Italy. He had on former occasions referred to the per- 379 sonal character of M. Farini freely in reference to his conduct as Piedmontese Commissioner in Modena; but as an historian he believed he stood very much above all the revolutionary scribblers of the day. M. Farini published a book in 1852 which was translated by Mr. Gladstone. He knew his noble Friend was not very ready to acquire any information from hostile sources, but he could not object to the authority be now adduced. He had tried to get hold of Mr. Gladstone's book, but he had not been able to do so; he could not therefore give M. Farini the benefit of Mr. Gladstone's English, but the following was a faithful translation of the original:—A distinguished Italian writer not long ago advised the Pope to throw off the weight of the temporal power, but he did not at the same time tell him that so long as the existing constitution of the Papacy is in being it is out of his power to do so. There was the non possumus of the Pope; for himself the Pope can make a sacrifice, not for his successors.Again—It is said that the temporal power is in its last agony, and that opinion condemns it; but in my opinion many successive generations will descend to their tombs before the Papal sovereignty perishes.Again—I hold it is difficult that Italy, at her good pleasure, with everything in her favour, should become an entirely independent nation, but that it is almost impossible that at her good pleasure she should, I will not say destroy, but even forcibly diminish the power of the Pope.These were the opinions of a person who had been two or three times Minister of Victor Emmanuel, and who was at this moment Minister of Turin.
He was very much struck, as every one must be who read them, with the inaccuracy as to fact of his noble Friend's despatches. In the despatches addressed to Mr. Odo Russell there was a constant allegation of successive facts, all bearing on the state of things which was shown not to be correctly founded by the distinct disclaimer of Mr. Odo Russell of the truth of the reports referred to. A few words upon the style of these despatches, which was extraordinary as the purport. On what possible authority did his noble Friend state?—The name of religion has been used as a justification of civil war. We see conflicts of unusual atrocity take place under the pretence of being necessary to vindicate the temporal authority of the Pope.He (the Marquess of Normanby) said that 380 the whole of the assertions in this paragraph were utterly groundless. The name of religion had never been so used—no contests had been carried on to vindicate the temporal power. Those contests had been the uprising of whole populations, to vindicate their attachment to their native Sovereign, against the usurpation of the invader. Here, then, was a grandiloquent outburst of his noble Friend, to which he should make no exception, but to change two words, and say "Naples" for "Rome," and "Victor Emmanuel" for "the Pope." He (the Marquess of Normanby) would say, with more truth, "Must Naples be the seat of a perpetual foreign occupation? Must brigandage for ever ravage the fertile fields of Southern Italy? God forbid such a calamity! God forbid that Victor Emmanuel should be the instrument of encouraging his countrymen eternally to mutual hatred and sanguinary civil war!" He thought his noble Friend might occupy himself with something that concerned him more than the present spiritual authority of the Pope over the Roman Catholics of Italy and Europe. There were no symptoms of its decay in the meeting of all the most distinguished Prelates of that faith at Rome last year. It was well known that at such a juncture there were always found hired informers, who showed great anxiety to furnish information to parties which it was supposed would be most agreeable for them to receive. But of all instances of this kind he never saw two such simple victims of mystification as the noble Lord opposite and Mr. Odo Russell. He spoke of Mr. Odo Russell with great respect and regard, but he could not say that his late campaign was very brilliant, or added much to the value of his public services. There were, according to Mr. Odo Russell, only 500 brigands in all the Neapolitan territories, and it was not said how many of them had been shot in cold blood, besides those burnt out or destroyed in the villages which had been sacked. Can there be anything more absurd than the gossip with which he entertained General Montebello, stating that the national outbreak which for two years has pervaded the whole Neapolitan territory was produced by individuals going singly to the frontier, where arms and red trousers were sent in "herring barrels" to meet them? How many of these imaginary warriors in red trowsers, with German or Spanish names, were found amongst the thousands who were shot in cold blood 381 hundreds of miles from the Roman frontier? His noble Friend, in his despatch to Lord Cowley of the 15th of November, 1862, said—The only new argument brought forward by M. Drouyn de Lhuys consists in a reference to the events of 1848 and 1849, and the acquiescence of Her Majesty's Government in the French occupation of Rome at that time. But acquiescence did not imply approbation, still less would approbation then imply approbation now. Your Excellency rightly argued that the whole state of Italy has altered since that time; the state of Lombardy, Modena, Parma, Tuscany, Romagna, Umbria, the Marches, and the kingdom of the two Sicilies has altered; in short, everything has changed, except the French occupation of Rome.He joined issue with that statement of his noble Friend. King Charles Albert during the revolution of 1848 held Lombardy, but after being defeated by the Austrians he was pelted and hissed out of Milan. Tuscany at that period was a republic. At that time the hands of the revolutionary dial pointed to a different hour in the various Italian States, some being more and others less advanced on that unceasing cycle from destruction to reaction and from reaction back again to destruction, which had been witnessed of late years. On the 3rd of February, 1852, Lord John Russell spoke thus in the House of Commons—Four years ago we wore astonished with news of insurrections in most of the capitals of Europe, and of a general, or something very like a general, establishment of the most democratic constitutions. I heard hon. Members in this House express their great joy at the establishment of these constitutions; but I could not participate in their joy or praises of what had occurred. I said I looked upon these events with mixed feelings—glad if they should turn out to be events which promoted the liberty and freedom of the nations of Europe, but being by no means confident as to that result. We have now seen four years pass over, and we have witnessed in almost all the countries where these democratic constitutions had been established absolute power put in their place. For instance, in that little country of Tuscany, in which I lived for several months under the benignant rule of a most mild and enlightened Government, we have seen that country overturned by democracy; we have seen the Grand Duke driven from his dominions by the party who seeks what is called Italian unity; and we have afterwards seen that democratic Government suppressed, and the Grand Duke restored to absolute power." [3 Hansard, cxix. 102.]He should like to ask the noble Earl what was the meaning of the most extraordinary public document in which it was stated that the Admiralty had been directed to communicate with Admiral Martin with the view to the placing of a ship of our fleet at the disposal of the Pope? It was 382 most desirable that their Lordships should know the precise circumstances under which that letter was written, in connection with Garibaldi's threatened advance upon Rome. On the opening night of the present Session his noble Friend was reported to have said —But I confess that to see two countries, to which such great recollections belong as Greece and Italy, rising again into freedom, independence, and happiness, is a great pleasure to me; and it would, I think, be a great glory to the Government of Great Britain to have contributed to such a result.Now, where, in all that peninsula, were freedom, independence, and happiness now to be seen? Were not the Italian Government at that very moment plunged in financial ruin, and struggling to extricate themselves by means of an enormous loan? In a paper supposed to act under the inspiration of Her Majesty's Government, The Observer, of last Sunday, there was a letter signed by a prisoner taken at Aspromonte, in which it was stated that nearly 100 Garibaldians were now immured in prison at Palmero, almost in a state of nudity and with chains of 18lb. weight attached to their feet. Condemned to death for being found under the banner of Garibaldi, the sentence of these men had been commuted to the galleys. No wonder if upon this that Government organ, The Observer, remarked—"What shall we say or think of the Government of a country which thus rewards the best and bravest of its citizens?" Without adopting literally such a definition of these men, when the eternal rules of right and wrong had been set at nought systematically by the Piedmontese Government, it was not surprising that those whom that Government had two years ago hailed as Patriot Liberators were now for pursuing the same course by the same Ministers thrown into dungeons and loaded with chains. It must, he thought, also be some drawback to his noble Friend's perfect satisfaction with the result of his Italian policy that he had been unable to relieve the unparalleled sufferings of an English gentleman (Mr. Bishop) now confined in an Italian prison. Within the last week a statement, often before made, and he believed never contradicted—made, too, on the authority of a Parliamentary Commission appointed fit Turin—had been repeated in the French Chambers, that within the last two years 7,000 persons had been shot by Piedmontese troops in the Neapolitan territories. Certainly, if his (the Mar- 383 quess of Normanby's) policy had contributed to one iota of that bloodshed, he should not have looked back to his policy with those feelings of satisfaction which Her Majesty's Government seemed to entertain. He had formerly called attention to these matters, because everything which was likely to displease the Piedmontese Government had until lately been omitted from the papers, and because there was no other way of laying the facts before the world; but there was no longer this state of things existing. Whenever the noble Earl should cease to exercise the functions of Foreign Minister, there would be found among his despatches of the last three or four years so many contradictory expositions of policy that it would be marvellously difficult to know how to reconcile them. They were all intrinsically of the same value, but there was one which should not be forgotten—that in which the noble Earl laid down the principle that the King of Sardinia must recollect that his occupation of territory was merely provisional and no territorial changes should be final without the assent of the Powers of Europe. He purposely abstained from saying anything upon the present state of Italy, but he trusted the time would come when non-intervention, which had been so perverted by the noble Earl, would become a reality and an admitted truth.
§ EARL RUSSELL
—My Lords, it is certainly somewhat difficult to collect the exact object which my noble Friend has in view. I had understood that his main object was to show that my statement—"that although we acquiesced in the military occupation of Rome in 1848, that acquiescence did not imply approbation"—was unfounded. The notice of my noble Friend made me look into the papers of 1849, and I find such abundant evidence that I was quite right in what I stated that I should weary your Lordships if I attempted to go through a quarter of the documents. But my noble Friend diversified his argument with many—I will not say invectives, but many observations, against the policy which I as the organ of the Government thought it my duty to pursue, and with many criticisms on the Italian Government. With regard to the criticism on the Italian Government, I should say that while it was a question whether that Government would form an established Power in Europe I thought it was incumbent on us, who took a more favourable view of that question, to refute 384 unfounded stories and rumours which were collected from all the absolutist newspapers in Europe, and to set the Italian Government right before this and the other House of Parliament. But the time for that is gone by. The King of Italy has been recognised by Her Majesty, by the Emperor of the French, by the Emperor of Russia, by the King of Prussia, and by the King of Portugal—in short, with the exception of Austria (who has taken her own course and has her own views in reference to this subject), and with the exception of Spain, the King of Italy has been recognised by all the Powers of Europe. Italy, therefore, is now a State of 22,000,000 inhabitants, increasing in commerce, increasing in wealth, enjoying free institutions, and having a Parliament and a press by which the conduct of her Government may be criticised with the utmost freedom. I consequently hold that it would be quite out of place for me now to defend that Government, or to enter upon a discussion of what was right or wrong in dealing with a treasonable conspiracy, or a tumult, in a particular town. I leave that to the Opposition at Turin, and to the Government who have to meet that Opposition. I do not think that we, in this House, need trouble ourselves with the details of the internal Government of Italy. My noble Friend talks of Piedmontese troops, of a Piedmoutese army, and of Piedmontese occupation. It is an entire misnomer. Not more than—if quite as much as—40 per cent of the Italian army consists of Piedmontese. It consists of soldiers and officers from Tuscany, from Romagna, from the Neapolitan Provinces, and from Sicily. It is truly an Italian army. Italy has realized that which was so long an object of aspiration to her poets and an object of ambition to her statesmen—a position of independence, and she is as much to be respected and treated as an independent State as any established Power in Europe. With regard to the observations which the noble Marquess made frequently in the course of his speech as to advice which I gave from time to time, whether to the Government of France or whether to the Government of the Pope, I have been misled perhaps by the dictum of my noble Friend. Looking through the correspondence of 1849, I find an opinion which my noble Friend gave to Lord Palmerston in these words— 385If England gives advice consistent with her disinterested desire for the progress of rational liberty, then, if her advice is taken, she has the credit and the satisfaction of having acted up to her principles; and if it is disregarded, it is consistent with her known habits of non-interference to consider that she retires from the affair without discredit.I have been misled, perhaps, by my noble Friend's authority. I thought it was a canon of British diplomacy, and now that I, as a humble pupil, have endeavoured to follow that direction, my noble Friend comes down and scolds me for being such a pupil, and for giving advice favourable to rational liberty. Then my noble Friend says Lord Palmerston gave an opinion in favour of the Pope being an independent Power. I need not now revert to the different circumstances at the present time; but there does run through the speech of my noble Friend, and, looking at his despatches, there runs through his conduct as Ambassador, a want of perception of the main difference, which Lord Palmerston constantly kept in view; and though it was constantly kept in view by Lord Palmerston, and though Lord Palmerston tried to impress it in the clearest language upon my noble Friend, he seems never to have appreciated that distinction. The distinction is this. Lord Palmerston said it would be very advisable that the Powers should meet and give advice to the Pope and the Roman people—that they should endeavour to induce the Pope to give large reforms and grant a representative Constitution, and that they should advise the people to believe in those promises and to submit to authority. Lord Palmerston said it would be an excellent thing if it could be accomplished in that way; but he said, if that were to be carried into effect by arms, such an intervention, which was bad in principle, would be sure to produce great evils in practice. My noble Friend quoted from the despatch of Lord Palmerston of the 5th of January, 1849, and in the same despalch Lord Palmerston wrote—On the other hand, if it be admitted as a general principle that questions and differences between the people and the Sovereign of each State should be left to be settled by those parties without the interference of any foreign armed force, it is not easy to sec, in the peculiar position of the Pope with regard to his subjects, what should make the Roman States an exception to this general rule.Therefore, in the same despatch, Lord Palmerston publicly protested against that intervention, which he properly called "the 386 interference of an armed force." Again, on the 12th of June, Lord Palmerston wrote—I have to state that Her Majesty's Government very much regret that a combination of circumstances should have rendered it necessary, in the opinion of the French Government, to order the commander of their expedition to force an entrance into Rome,Both these are extracts from papers which have been presented to Parliament.
§ THE MARQUESS OF NORMANBY
— My recollection has only been refreshed by such despatches as have been presented to Parliament. I have no access to other documents.
§ EARL RUSSELL
Those despatches which I have now quoted have been presented to Parliament, but I shall be happy to give the whole, or extracts from the despatches which I quote, and which have not been presented to Parliament, In a, despatch of July 3, 1849, Lord Palmerston writes to the noble Marquess—But in a matter so difficult, and at the same time so important, failure as well as success must be provided for; and her Majesty's Government, therefore, are desirous of knowing what are the views of the French Government as to the course which they contemplate pursuing in the event of such an arrangement as that above mentioned being refused either by the Pope or by the Romans, or by both. It is evident that either of these three contingencies would create a state of things pregnant with results of general and European importance; and Her Majesty's Government would be glad to be informed what are the views which the French Government have formed to themselves thereupon. Her Majesty's Government are not at present in a condition to express any formed opinion on these matters, beyond observing that a prolonged occupation of the city or territory of Rome by the troops of any foreign Power would be, with regard both to its principle and its consequences, a thing much to be deprecated, and greatly to be avoided.Your Lordships will allow, I think, that when I said acquiescence did not imply approbation, I was not misrepresenting my noble Friend's opinions on this point. About the same time my noble Friend (Viscount Palmerston), in answering a question put to him by Mr. Roebuck in the House of Commons on the 22nd June, stated that the House would see by the papers that had been produced that Her Majesty's Government had from the outset deprecated any armed intervention by foreign Powers in the internal affairs of the Roman Slates; that they had declined to be parties to the negotiations carried on at that time, and therefore could not speak from certain knowledge as to what had been the course of those negotiations. My 387 noble Friend opposite says there was very little difference between our policy and that of the French Government. We only thought a certain thing ought to be done by negotiation instead of an armed interference; but, instead of that being a slight difference, it is the whole essence of the question at issue. If my noble Friend will excuse me for reading another despatch, I will just read a short extract from one written by Lord Palmerston to Lord Ponsonby at Vienna, dated July 13, 1849. My noble Friend there says—A restoration of the Pope to his former unlimited authority by the force of foreign arms, setting aside the injustice of such a measure in point of principle, could only he looked upon as a temporary arrangement. The grievances and abuses which would accompany such a restoration would now be far more forcibly felt by the Roman people than they were at a time when the Romans considered such abuses as their natural inheritance, and when they never had known a better slate of things with which to compare them; but now that the Romans have been for many months free from the evils of' their former Government, a return to those evils would produce infinitely greater discontent than that which has up to this time existed. It is evident, therefore, that in such a case tranquillity would last only as long as the presence of a sufficient foreign force kept down the discontents of the people, and that whenever that foreign force was removed renewed disturbances would break out; and such a state of things would not be productive of that tranquillity which the Austrian Government must naturally wish to see established in Italy.My noble Friend there foretells most clearly the consequences which a foreign occupation would produce, and he points out, that when that foreign force was removed, renewed disturbances would break out, and the tranquillity of Italy would be as much unassured as ever. This is the result of my search into the opinions of my noble Friend at the head of the Government on this point. It certainly shows, that so far from approving of that military occupation, he foresaw the evils that would flow from it; and now, at the end of thirteen or fourteen years, we find that exactly that state of circumstances has arisen which he so sagaciously foretold. My belief is, and it is confirmed by the perusal of these despatches, that the military occupation of Rome was a measure repugnant to the feelings of the Emperor of the French. I believe the Emperor entered into it most unwillingly, and unhappily he has never since seen the time when that occupation could be brought to an end with safety to the Pope or with the favourable opinion of his own people. On the 19th of August 388 the noble Marquess opposite then described to Lord Palmerston the opinion of the then President of the Republic as to the occupation—The President, as he was the last to assent to the expedition to Rome, has been the most constant and energetic in his determination that the restoration effected by his means should not be one of pure clerical despotism.The reforms which the President expected to result from this occupation were:— 1. A General Amnesty, 2. The Code Napoleon. 3. Liberal Administration. 4. Secularization of Power. Let us see, then, how far these measures have been carried out by the occupation. And here I will say, notwithstanding the observations which my noble Friend opposite has made on this point, that I consider that as a Member of the English Parliament, setting aside any official capacity, I have a perfect right to criticise and to blame the act of any foreign Government which I think inconsistent with the general principles of international law, or liable to produce general evils. It certainly is my opinion that the military occupation of Rome, being, as every one allows, an act contrary to the general principles of international law, has been a misfortune to France, whose generous efforts in favour of Italy have thus been rendered liable to misconstruction. But what were the first consequences of that occupation? Did the reforms take place which my noble Friend says were looked forward to from this occupation, and for which the President of the Republic was so anxious? In the same year a despatch was communicated to this Government, which gives a pretty good answer to that question. It has never been included in any of the documents laid before Parliament; but I do not think there can be any mischief in reading it now. It is a despatch from the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. de Tocqueville, to M. de la Cour, his minister at Vienna. M. de Tocqueville says—The complete re-establishment of the abuses which had been most decried under the old régime; wholesale destitution; the placing under suspicion of all public functionaries, whose conduct during the continuance of the Republican Government is submitted to an odious inquisition; the disgrace or exile of men who, while refusing to acknowledge the revolutionary power, have manifested liberal sentiments; in some provinces measures of terror which seem to belong to other times—such are the chief acts which have inaugurated the restoration of the Pontifical Government; and everything indicated that this 389 Government, left to itself, or rather to the fatal influences which dominate it, would go still farther in this deplorable direction. As for the reforms so often promised, they are limited as yet to vague declarations, the significance of which each fresh explanation tends to lessen.I must say that this correspondence confirmed me in one opinion, which I had long entertained—namely, that the Papal Government is conducted on principles totally different from those of other civilized Governments which prevail in our day. The Government of the Pope is founded on this principle—and the present Pope, benevolent as he is, has acted on it—that the Government is strictly a paternal one; that its subjects are to be treated as if they were children; that nothing is to be taught different from what orthodox Catholic doctrine would sanction; and that with regard to discussion in the press, none ought to be allowed which tends to create doubt in men's minds. Then, with regard to the punishment of crime, it is conducted on the principle that the object of criminal justice is not so much to punish persons guilty of murder and other atrocious crimes as to bring them to a state of repentance and reformation. Expectations of the amendment and reformation of the worst of criminals are indulged in by the Government of Rome, though no other Government would expect much in that way from men who had committed half a dozen murders and perhaps twenty other crimes of an aggravated character. A Roman Catholic Gentleman, a Member of the other House of Parliament, has published an account of his travels through Rome, in which he states that nothing can be more benevolent than the conduct of the Pope. He says that his Holiness went from one hospital to another doing various nets of kindness to the patients, whom he treated as his children. This may be; but the administration of criminal justice is so bad under the Papal Government as to be unparalleled by that of any other country in enlightened Europe. If you look to any of the great countries of Europe—if you look to France or Austria—you will find that they act on a totally different principle; on the principle that their subjects must be left to follow their own religious convictions, and that in the ordinary business of life they must be left to regulate their own fate. It is therefore, I believe, quite impossible that the Government of the Pope can ever be assimilated to those of the other coun- 390 tries of Europe; the subjects of the Pope are justified in complaining that they are ill-governed; and to maintain such a Government by force is only to give up the Roman people for all time to bad institutions such as those from which they at present suffer. Here are a considerable population who are ill-governed, who are kept in darkness; and when they wish for freedom, it is not a just action, it is not a politic action, to keep them by the force of another Power from the accomplishment of their desires. My noble Friend has said a great deal of the wishes of the Italian people; but the Italian people have made a Government for themselves; and if the Roman people were allowed to join them, there is nothing they would like so well as to join the rest of Italy, and to enjoy the strong Government which the rest of Italy enjoys. My noble Friend, in speaking of these matters, referred to one or two instances of what he considered cruel conduct on the part of the Italian Government. One was the case of Mr. Bishop. Now, there is no matter in which I have taken more pains than in that of endeavouring to have justice done to Mr. Bishop. He was fairly tried, and he was condemned to what was thought to be a cruel punishment. That, however, was the sentence of a duly constituted tribunal; but the mercy of the King has interposed so far that that portion of the sentence by which Mr. Bishop was condemned to hard labour has been remitted. He is now confined in a fortress where he is able to exercise. The tribunal before which he was tried was, I believe, a perfectly legal one. It is not for me to say whether the conclusion arrived at was one in accordance with Italian law; but it is in accordance with the custom prevailing all over Europe that persons found guilty of conspiracy in the crime of high treason should suffer for it. I may observe, that the present state of Italy is, after all, the state which was desired three centuries ago by the most acute and able of her political leaders. It is the state which was predicted over and over again by French Ambassadors at Rome. I hope the notice of my noble Friend has been attracted to a book or pamphlet lately published in France called The Temporal Government Judged by French Diplomacy, in which are to be found the opinions of French Ambassadors, from the 17th century down, to the Roman Government. In 1814 or 1815 the French 391 Ambassador told his Government that the dissatisfaction excited by the Papal Government would necessarily create a desire for Italian unity, but that Italians could do nothing of themselves; that they only spoke and wrote and complained; but he added, that if ever a great Power came to their assistance, the yoke which they all detested would be thrown off. We have seen the realization of these prophecies in part; we have seen Italy become an Independent State, except for the foreign occupation of Rome. I believe that foreign occupation will cease as soon as the French people see that they are not doing justice to the Italians by continuing it, and I believe the Emperor will be the first to hail that opinion of the French people; and then I hope—though my noble Friend may think me wrong—that the Pope may take refuge in Malta, or in Spain or Austria, or any other place where he may think he would be most independent. With reference to the offer which my noble Friend condemns, I will remind him that the Pope sent for Mr. Odo Russell. For what reason he did so on that occasion I cannot tell; but he did send for Mr. Odo Russell, and spoke to him at great length on the state of Italy and on the progress of Garibaldi, and his apprehension that that progress might be carried still farther. He then asked Mr. Russell pointedly whether, in case he should take refuge in British territory, he would be hospitably received. My noble Friend thinks I was wrong in giving an answer to that question; but, my Lords, considering the venerable character of the Pope—considering that he is impelled by his conscience not to give those reforms which he is asked for, I cannot think I was wrong in offering him an asylum in British territory, where he would be perfectly safe and free from all disturbance and danger. I know the Pope expressed himself in terms of grateful acknowledgment for the proffered hospitality of England while stating that it was not his intention to accept it at the present moment. In conclusion, my Lords, I have only to reiterate my opinion that it would be for the benefit of the Italians and of Europe if Rome should become the capital of Italy and cease to be the ground of foreign occupation.
§ THE EARL OF ELLENBOROUGH
— My Lords, I do not think that any practical advantage can be gained by referring to transactions which took place thirteen 392 or fourteen years ago; and upon this occasion I only wish, in regard to a very recent occurrence, to express the very great satisfaction with which I have observed the conduct of the Administration—the really Italian Administration—which has of late been appointed by the King of Italy, in declining at present to enter into any negotiations with respect to what is called the Roman Question. In adopting that course, they are acting with a true sense of the dignity of the country they represent. They justly appreciate its interests, and they are almost for the first time showing that firm independence of feeling on which alone Italy must rely for the respect of foreign nations and for that consideration which she ought to enjoy. I see that in one of the French Chambers it has been declared that at Turin they no longer talk of Rome. But is it because they no longer talk that they no longer think? The people of Italy generally think the more of Rome because they speak of it so little; but instead of endeavouring by negotiation with the Emperor of the French to effect their object, they determine to obtain its ultimate accomplishment by giving a thoroughly good government to their country and by making her strong in arms. I am convinced that if the Italian Government—and I see with satisfaction that the Italian Parliament have shown from the first an aptitude for the adoption of Parliamentary government which has not been exhibited by the possessors of other recent constitutions—I am convinced that if the Italian Government determine by every means in their power, by reforming and perfecting their institutions, to establish throughout Italy a strong constitutional system, if they succeed in inspiring every Italian with gratitude to the government for benefits received, and if the Italian people are prepared to stand by them in every effort they may be required to make for the preservation of Italian independence, if they show in the very confines of that mediaeval despotism which exists in Rome a steady adherence to a really good government, even on the very side of the hill from which the bandit looks down—I say it will be impossible in the presence of that contrast for all Europe not to combine in admitting the Italians to Rome. I was glad to hear the noble Earl (Earl Russell) state—and I entirely agree with him upon the point—that its impossible to believe that a man of sense and judgment like the present Emperor 393 of the French can, in his own mind, have any hesitation as to the course which it is most for the interest of France to pursue in this case. He may not feel himself strong enough at home to do that which he thinks right, but he must have a desire to consummate and complete the great work which he commenced—to do that which more than anything he has yet achieved will in distant ages tend to his honour and immortality—namely, to establish in the South of Europe a new great State, which, in the natural exercise of its independence, will more than any event which has taken place for more than a century conduce to the future peace and tranquillity of Europe. This is my conviction; and we must not forget that it is a matter of the very highest importance, nut only to every Roman Catholic State, but to every State which has Roman Catholic subjects, that the Pope should be restored to real independence. This is the universal object of all Italy. I cannot consider that the present position of the Pope is one that conduces to the respect of the Roman Catholic world. I cannot think it conduces to the free and legitimate exercise of that valuable authority which he possesses over a very large portion of Christian Europe. The time will come when this occupation of Rome by France will cease. It is contrary to the interests of France herself; it is contrary to the interests of Europe; and that which may now for a time be postponed by what is called Roman Catholic feeling in France will at no distant period be called for by the universal feeling of the whole body of Roman Catholics throughout Europe. I look forward to the time when the Pope, restored to real independence, may exercise his authority in the Vatican while the Parliament of free Italy conducts its deliberations in the Capitol.
§ House adjourned at half past Seven o'clock, to Thursday next, half past Ten o'clock.