PAPERS RESPECTING THE AFFAIRS OF SOUTHERN ITALY.
Presented to both Houses of Parliament
by Command of Her Majesty.
PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SONS.
|LIST OF PAPERS.|
|1.||Consul Bonham to Earl Russell||April||2||1862||1|
|2.||Consul Bonham to Earl Russell||April||16||-----||2|
|3.||Consul Bonham to Earl Russell||April||17||-----||4|
My Lord, Naples, April 2, 1862.
I HAVE the honour to report to your Lordship that great insecurity continues to prevail in the Province of Capitanata. There are several bands of brigands in that province who keep the country in a state of terror, and successfully elude the pursuit of the troops. Reinforcements have been sent, and, as mentioned in my despatch of the 27th ultimo, a new and active General appointed to the command. The Civil Governor or Prefect, Signor Strada, has also been replaced by Signor del Giudice.
Most exaggerated reports of brigandage throughout the country generally are industriously and perseveringly spread at the present time, with the obvious view of causing alarm and disgust. Brigandage no doubt exists on a large scale, and as yet has met no serious check in the Capitanata; but in other provinces, at all events up to this time, that scourge is not at all what it was last your, and in many provinces it does not exist at all. So far as 1 can learn the Calabrias aie undisturbed, and the Abruzzi the same; these have usually been the most disturbed provinces. In the Abruzzi they are now expecting an invasion of adventurers, who are organizing, without, as is believed, hindrance or molestation, at Tivoli in the Roman States.
The Reactionary agents here are busy, not only in spreading alarming reports, but in endeavouring to seduce and corrupt the Neapolitan soldiers, who now in considerable numbers are embodied and serving in Italian regiments in these provinces; 1 am, however, assured that these soldiers are behaving exceedingly well, and that the attempts of these agents meet no success.
There continues to be great discontent in Naples, and undiminished jealousy of Northern Italiana; still in many respects there is progress and material improvement. It cannot be doubted that commerce is largely increasing; British shipping at Naples during the first three months of this year as compared with the first three months of the years 1859, 1860, and 1861, shows the following results:—
British vessels entered during 1st quarter:
The Custom-house is inadequate in size to contain the increased quantity of goods now landed, and a large area on the outside has been covered in with zinc roofing to afford temporary shelter for such goods.
People have no difficulty in finding work; trade generally is good, and furthermore employment is largely given by the Municipalty in building and other works in different parts of the town. House-rent and provisions of all kinds have risen in price.
I hear no complaints of distress or want of work at the various ports where there are Vice-Consuls, and believe commercial affairs there, as here, are going on prosperously. Crops of all kinds (except lndian coro) were last year abundant; in this category I can even include wine, which had previously failed for some years owing to the grape disease. The quantity now arriving weekly in Naples and sent on hence to the North is very large. The export of oil from ports in the provinces has also been very considerable. Of puhlic works in the provinces I can only mention the Roman railway still unfinished between Prezengano and Coprano, employing several thousand persona; the railway from S. Benedetto del Tronto to Foggia, on which 12,000 persons are employed; and that from Salerno to Eboli, employing between 3,000 and 4,000. Many other railways are projected, but not yet commenced.
I have, &c.
(Signed) EDW. WALTER BONHAM.
My Lord, Naples, April 16, 1862.
I HAVE the honour to report to your Lordship that no movement of any particular importance has occurred in the Capitanata since 1 last mentioned the state of that province. Brigandage is there still unsubdued; the brigands are stated to be, I will not say reduced to, but amalgamated into, two principal bands, each from 150 to 200 strong. One of these bands, commanded by a Chief named Coppa, was met with on the 8th instant by a detachment of troops near Lucera, where a fight took place in which thirty-one brigands were killed; the troops lost four killed and four wounded, of whom one mortally; they also took twenty-five horses. The other band was surprised near the River Ofanto some nights ago, and lost some horses and baggage, but with small loss of life; still these two bands exist, and spread consternation in the districts through which they pass by their relentless cruelty. Happily there is as yet no appearance of this scourge spreading into other districts; it is confined to the Capitanata and some adjoining mountainous districts of the Basilicata and Terra di Bari bordering the Ofanto: of this fact I have no doubt, though the most extravagant reports continue to be spread as to its existence in various parts of the country, and also reports of the continued landing of adventurers on many parts of the coast. His Excellency General La Marmora assures me there is no truth whatever in these reported landings, and further that in no single instance has any village or district taken any active part with the bands in the Capitanata.
The mail due yesterday morning with the correspondence from the South, that is, from Gallipoli, Taranto, Bari, &c. did not arrive; and this being, I believe, the first instance of failure in the arrival of mails for many months, has tended to give a certain consistency to these rumours of the increase of brigandage. To-day s mail has, however, come in. It turns out the post-cart carrying the mail due yesterday morning was stopped in the night of the 13th and 14th at Ponte della Madonna dell'Incoronata between Cerignola and Foggia in the Capitanata; the courier and a Delegate of Police who was with him were stabbed and left for dead, and the correspondence burned. These two unfortunate men, however, are, it seems, still alive, though dangerously if not mortally wounded, and have been brought into Foggia, and the postilion, suspected of having acted in concert with the brigands, has been arrested.
A body of adventurers who had entered this territory a few days previously from the Roman frontier, and attacked Luco on the Lake Fucino, have been entirely dispersed; I inclose copy and translation of General Govone’s order of the day relative to that occurrence. No 'farther invasion has been made from the Roman side, but I am told General Govone is expecting one of a much more formidable character than the last, which he is well prepared to meet.
I have, &c.
(Signed) EDW. WALTER BONHAM.
A tutti i Distaccamenti dell’Ilo. 43o, 44o Fanteria, e del lo e 32o Bersaglieri.
IL 30 Marzo partiva da Roma una banda di 200 briganti, la quale per Subiaco e Filettino penetrava in Valle Roveto il 6 Aprile prima di giorno, e traversato il Liri, si gettava sopra Luco.
Informate le truppe partivano da Valle Roveto ed Avezzano per seguirne le tracce. Luco era intanto invaso da ogni lato: parte della masnada ne occupava gli sbocchi, il resto si gettava sul cuore del paese per sopraffare il piccolo distaccamento del 440 Fanteria che vi stava a presidio.
Il Sergente Pasolino di Cesena aveva tempo d’impugnare il fucile sparare a dieci passi su due briganti che primi giungevano, ferirne uno, e chiudeasi col suo drappello di quindici uomini nell’angusta caserma.
Qui cominciò una lotta feroce. I briganti cercavano sfondare la porta, sparavano contro le finestre, mettevano fuoco ad una camera a piantereno, scassinavano il muro dietro alla caserma congiunta ad altre case più alte, e mettendo per la breccia fascine, appiccavano fuoco anche al tetto.
Il piccolo drappello circondato dalle fiamme rispondeva ai colpi, sparava contro gl’aggressori per il tetto, per la porta, per le finestre, e rispondeva degnamente all’intimazione di rendere le armi. Non pochi briganti furono feriti in quest’attacco che si prolungò dalle 10 del mattino all’1*30 pomeridiane.
Mentre la compagnia del Capitano Galli accorreva da Avezzano, una pattugglia di tre uomini comandata dal Caporale Fantuzzi Silvestro, Veneziano, era sortita per informazioni da Frasacco. Al suono della fucileria aveva progredito a Luco. Il rumore dei colpi, il fumo delle fiamme, mostravano troppo il pericolo de’ compagni racchiusi in paese. L’intrepido caporale disse ai suoi, “od ajutare i nostri o morire con loro” e senz’altro al passi di corsa, al grido di “Savoja! Savoja!” penetrò nel villaggio. Tutto cede all’impeto di quattro valorosi che sono oltre al Caporale Fantuzzi Silvestro, i soldati Castagnoli Sebastiano della 3a Compagnia del 440 Reggimento di Meldola, Laurenti Giacomo di Cento, della suddetta compagnia e reggimento, e milite Rampana Antonio della 5a Compagnia Guardia Nazionale Mobile d’Avezzano.
L’orda dei briganti s’aperse fuggendo. Credè senza dubbio che truppe numerose tenessero dietro a loro. Fu dato il segnale della fuga, il distaccamento fu salvo, ed il villaggio risparmiato al sacco, all’incendio, all’assassino.
Il Sergente Pasolini al giungere di quest’ajuto spalancò la porta, e col suo drappello irruppe sui fuggiaschi.
Venti minuti dopo giunse il Capitano Galli che prendeva ancora presso il paese uno dei capi che portava insegne di Capitano. Fu fucilato, e la compagnia si metteva sulle tracce dei fuggitivi.
Un’altra colonna condotta dal Maggiore Marsuzi per le alture avrebbe tagliata la via di scampo al’intiera orda, se una falsa notizia non la faceva deviare.
La banda ebbe tre morti trovati finora ed otto feriti. Seguita senza posa dal Capitano Galli, dal Maggiore Marsuzi e dal Capitano Besozzi del 44o Reggimento, priva di viveri, estenuata si disperdeva gettando armi, cappotti, e zaini. Una quindicina furono già arrestati in varie direzioni dalla truppa, dalla Guardia Nazionale, e dai contadini. Una cinquantina di briganti ripassarono il Liri la mattina del 7, inseguiti dal Luogotenente Polidori del 44o Reggimento che raccolse armi e vestiario gittatti nella fuga.
Alle truppe che ho l’onore di comandare sulla frontiera rendo noto la fermezza del distaccamento di Luco, e l’eroica abnegazione della pattuglia di Frasacco; ch’esse tutte, lo sò, dall’uffiziale al soldato, imiteranno al caso.
Head-quarters the Troops the Pontifical Frontier.
Order of the Day, April 10, 1862.
To all the Detachments of the 11 th, 43rd, and 44th Infantry, and of the 1st and 32nd
ON the 30th March a bands of 200 brigands left Rome, and passing Subiaco and Filettino, entered the Valle Roveto on the 6th April before daybreak, and Crossing the Liri, threw themselves upon Luco.
The troops hearing this, left Valle Roveto and Avezzano, to follow their track. Luco was in the meantime attacked on every side: a part of the band occupied the approaches; the rest threw themselves in the heart of the district to crush the small detachment of the 44th Infantry which was there stationed.
Serjeant Pasolini, of Cesena, had time to seize his gun, and fire at ten paces distance on two brigands who advanced the first, wounding one of them, and to shut himself, with his band of fifteen men, in the small barrack.
Then commenced a fierce struggle. The brigands endeavoured to force the door, fired against the window, set fire to a room and out-house, broke through the wall behind adjoining the barrack and other houses of higher elevation, and putting. faggots through. the openings, set fire even to the roof.
The small company of troops surrounded by flames, answered the shots, fired upon the assailants by the roof, by the door, and by the Windows, and replied worthily to the summons to lay down their arms. Not a few brigands were wounded in the attack, which lasted from 10 in the morning till half-past 1 p. m.
Whilst the company of Captain Galli was hurrying up from Avezzano, a patrol of three men, commanded by Corporal Silvestro Fantuzzu a Venetian, had gone out from Frasacco, to gain intelligence. At the sound of the firing they had approached Luco. The report of the shots, the smoke qf the flames, showed too clearly the danger of their companions shut up in that village. The gallant corporal said to his men, —“Let us help our fellows, or die with them!” and without more words, at a run, shouting “Savoja! Savoja!” they entered the village. All gave way to the rush of these four breve men, who are, besides the Corporal Silvestro Fantuzzi, Privates Sebastian Castagnola of Meldola, of the 3rd Company of the 44th Regiment; Giacomo Laurenti, of Cento, of the same Company and Regiment; and Private Antonio Rampano, of the 5th Company of the National Guard Mobile of Avezzano.
The horde of brigands broke and retreated: they believed, without doubt, that a numerous body of troops were behind them. The signal for flight was given, the detachment was saved, and the village preserved from pillage, Are, and slaughter.
Serjeant Pasolini, on the arrival of this succour, threw open the door, and, with his company, rushed put upon the runaways.
Twenty minutes later Captain Galli arrived, who had also taken near the village one qf the Chiefs, who wore the dress of a Captain. He was shot, and the Company set off on the track of the fugitives.
Another column, led by Major Marausi along the heights would have cut off the road of escape to the entire band, if false information had not induced him to alter his line.
The hand had three killed and eight wounded, found up to this time. Followed without a pause by Captain Galli, by Major Marsuzi, and by Captain Besozzi, of the 44 th Regiment, without food and exnausted, the band disperseci, throwing away arms, great-coats, and pouches. Fifteen were already taken in various directions by the troops, by the National Guard, and by the peasantry. About fifty of the brigands recrossed the Lari on the morning of the 7th, followed by lieutenant Polidori, of the 44th Regiment, who picked up arms and clothing thrown away in their flight.
To the troops whom 1 have the honour to command on this frontier I make known the firmness of the detachment of Luco, and the heroic devotion of the patrol of Frasacco; which they will all, I know, from the officer to the soldier, imitate in case of need.
My Lord, Naples, April 17, 1862.
I HAVE the honour to report to your Lordship that very great changes have just now been made in the magistracy in these provinces.
The appointments in the higher Courts appear to give tolerable satisfaction; not so those in the inferior or district Courts. 1 must state, however, that at the present time the people of Naples are not in a temper to be much pleased with anything emanating from Turin. There is great discontent, and as the realization of the hopes, long entertained, of “Italia Una,” with Rome for the capital, appears more and more remote, so does this discontent become more intense, and the jealousy of being ruled from Turin more decided. I believe, however, that these feelings are much more general in Naples than in the provincial towns.
Great care seems to have been taken in these new judicial nominations not to wound the susceptibilities of the Neapolitans by appointing Northern Italiana to the Neapolitan Courts. It is, indeed, to be feared this has been carried too far. A complete change is urgently required in the Judicial Department The old System of leaving prisoners for months untried still, to some extent, prevails, end, unleas roused to action by association with some energetic men from the North, it is not very clear how au improvement will be brought about by Judges brought up under, and accustomed to, the old system.
There are no regular jail-deliveries in this country, and the length of the period of detention before a prisoner is brought to trial is a matter of the utmost uncertainty. To some extent this uncertainty is inevitable, from the System adopted, which is this: when a person is committed to prison on any accusation, a “Juge d’instruction ” is appointed by the Procuratore-Generale to instruct or collect evidence in the case. This evidence is all documentary, and the collecting it may occupy, according to circumstances, two, three, or, in fact, almost any number of months. When, finally, this evidence is completed, and sent back to the Procuratore-Generale, he, if he considers it sufficient, refers to the Judges to fix a time for the public trial; and no limit would appear to be assigned to the time within which the Judges must fix the trial.
As au instance of the delay which can occur, I mention the case of Count de Cristen. This gentleman was arrested on the 7th of September, 1861. I am informed that the instruction was completed, and sent back to the Procuratore-Generale in December, and though I have reason to believe my French colleague has made not less than ten or twelve strenuous applications to urge on De Cristen’s trial, up to this time no day has been fixed, and he is still in prison untried.
Clearly, some radical change is wanted when a case of this kind can occur. I am informed, indeed, that an entire change in the judicial procedure will commence with the month of May; if so, it appears all the more to be regretted that no Northern Italian Judges have been nominated, who, being cognizant of the System to be introduced, might materially assist in bringing it into working order.
I have, &c,
(Signed) EDW. WALTER BONHAM.
PAPERS RELATING TO THE AFFAIRS OF ITALY.
Presented to the House of Commons by Command of Her Majesty.
PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SONS.
LIST OF PAPERS.
Despatches relating to “Government Prosecutions
of the Press in Italy during the last two years.”
|1.||Sir J. Hudson to Lord J. Russell||April||27||1861||1|
|2.||Sir J. Hudson to Earl Russell||March||10||1862||1|
Despatches “calling attention to Statements of Fact as to the |
Condition of Southern Italy, made by Neapolitan Deputies” &c.
|1.||Sir J. Hudson to Lord J. Russell||April||3||1861||2|
|2.||Sir J. Hudson to Lord J. Russell||April||4||-----||4|
Despatches relating to “Government Prosecutions
of the Press in Italy during the last two years.”
WHILST, therefore, on the one hand, we see that the counter-revolution is organized in Rome, whence arms, money, and agents are dispatched to the Southern provinces in order to create revolt, we have, on the other hand, «an example of the sound sense of the Neapolitan people in the verdict recently given by a jury in the case of a Government action against the Editor of the “Pietra Infernale” newspaper. The jury, and it was the first trial by jury that ever took place at Naples, condemned the editor in twice the costa proposed by the Crown Prosecutor, and added three months imprisonment besides.
My Lord, Turin, March 10, 1862.
WITH reference to your Lordship’s inquiry upon the subject of prosecutions of the Press by the State in this country, and why I have not reported upon them, I have the honour to explain that under the Constitutional Law of Italy it is perfectly well known to all writers and printers what they may and what they may not print.
Consequently, it is one of the duties of the King’s Procurator, in case that law is violated, to lay an indictment against the party so violating it.
The Italian Judges are, as your Lordship is aware, irremovable, and completely and entirely independent of Government. In the case in point, a prosecution of a newspaper or pamphlet, for instance, would be tried by a Court of First Instance.
If the defendant is cast, he can appeal to a Higher Court, which would correct any merely legal error. From this, again, the defendant, if a second time cast, can carry his case to the Court of Cassation, which corrects the Court of Appeal.
During the period of my residence at this Court, I have heard of many prosecutions of newspapers by the properly constituted legal authority, but I never heard of any undue pressure or influence being exercised by Government upon the Judges. Had anything of the kind occurred, it would undoubtedly have been brought before Parliament, and the Minister who had ventured upon the experiment impeached; because there are in Parliament here representatives of every section of public opinion, and the Opposition of one shade or another in polities would only be too glad of such a handle against Government.
Under these circumstances, as no case of oppression or of tampering with the law or with the Law Courts, on the part of the Government, has ever been brought under my notice, I really did not conceive that it was necessary to take up your Lordship’s very valuable time with reports upon the administration of the law and the judgments of the Law Courts, which in no way whatever affected a British subject or a British interest, and had no such hearing upon the political condition of the country as rendered it necessary for me to call your Lordship’s attention to it.
I have, &c.
(Signed) JAMES HUDSON.
Despatches “calling attention to Statements of Fact as to the
Condition of Southern Italy, made by Neapolitan Deputies” &c.
My Lord, Turin, April 3, 1861.
WITH reference to my despatch of the 29th ultimo upon the subject of the general condition of the Italian provinces recently annexed to the House of Savoy, I have the honour to inclose herewith summary of a Speech delivered in the Italian Parliament yesterday by Signor Massari, Deputy for Bari (Naples).
This speech was remarkable for its bold declaration of the evils which at present exist at Naples, and in the Neapolitan provinces, for the earnest attention of the House during its delivery, which occupied two hours, for the moderation displayed both by the Speaker and the House, which seemed desirous of ascertaining the truth; and of meeting the difficulties of the position by cairn discussion.
The Speaker himself received the thanks of the President of the Council, and of many of bis political opponents (the Left); and the Chamber generally seemed much pleased that this difficult and delicate question had been taken in band by one of its members whose moderation and sound sense in politics are only equalled by his integrity as a politician, and his long and independent Services as one of the leaders of the Constitutional Party in Italy.
I have, &c.
(Signed) JAMES HUDSON.
Signor Massari. — In the Neapolitan provinces the danger is great, and it is useless to disguise the fact, for the present administrative condition may compromise the political question. Experience proves that certain questions cannot be discussed without danger; and sometimes, with the best intentions, a speaker rouses violent passions, instead of allaying them. But the question which I am about to touch upon is purely one of administration; for if I had intended to discuss the political question, I should have addressed myself to the President of the Council, and not to the Minister of the Interior. The opinions generally entertained respecting the Neapolitan provinces are far from being correct. I found on returning there after an absence of eleven years that I was myself under a misapprehension.
Let us examine what is the administrative and political condition of these provinces.
The Revolution had been brooding everywhere, and it waited but for its opportunity. The opportunity carne, and the Revolution overran everything. If the brave General (Garibaldi) had landed in the Abruzzi instead of in Calabria, the result would have been the same; there was but one programme amongst the inhabitants of the whole country, namely, “Italy and Victor Emmanuel”, and no other could have been accepted as that was.
The desire for unity's universal, for all the reminiscences of autonomy are too deplorable for any one to wish it to be maintained. Ferdinand II and his successor were by their tyrannical acts the greatest promoters of the Italian national cause. There is not an honest man in my country who does not believe unity to be synonymous with public order and tranquillity, and to constitute a necessity of our existence.
After the Revolution there were two opinions respecting the organization of Southern Italy. Some persons desired immediate annexation, others did not. But a feeling of nationality overcame everything, and annexation took place. After the plebiscite there were symptoms of reaction. But these were really only the result of local jealousies, personal antipathies, and the like; and, with but one or two exceptions, the reactionary movements were of no importance. There was brigandage, it is true, but brigandage has no political signification. The Neapolitan population wished for a good Government and good administration. Have they obtained it?
The most essential condition of good administration is public security. This did not exist. Robbery was universal, and went unpunished in town and country.
I hope the Minister will assure me that moveable columns of troops have been sent to those countries. This will be better than any answer having reference to figures.
The old edifice still exists both as regards men and things. One of our colleagues, who had been a fellow-prisoner with Poerio, returned to follow his profession as a lawyer. At Naples the vile custom exists of lawyers communicating personally with the Judges on the cases to be tried, and it actually happened that this gentleman had to communicate in this manner with the Judge by whom he had been condemned.
I intended to allude to the telegraphic and postai systems of Naples, but the Minister of Public Works has disarmed me by having taken them under his own direction.
Venality was general at Naples; it still exists. There are persons there who undertake to purchase justice from the authorities for a deposit of money; there is another bureaucracy; this under the Bourbons was a means of corruption. The number of placemen still continues to be enormous. The Department of Agriculture and Commerce was incorporated in that of the Interior, still the Director and the employés remain as before.
The revenues of the State are thus burthened exorbitantly.
I hope the Minister will give us some statistics as to the number of places and pensions conferred since the 7th of November last.
I do not touch special questions of finance, but I call the attention of the Minister to a contract lately entered into with a private individual for melting down some insignificant copper coin.
We hear of a million being given as an indemnity to those who suffered under the Bourbon Government; with what right is this done? This is, as one of our colleagues said, “capitalising one’s misfortunes”
Another evil is the non-observance of the laws: the Communal law was published at the beginning of last month, and is not yet put in practice.
The Minister of the Interior makes a negative sign.
Signor Massari. —I maintain what I have said notwithstanding the signs made by the Minister.
Laws are published apparently with an understanding that they are not to be executed: witness that respecting the National Guard. I hope that the Minister will take measures for organising and arming this body; as far as it is yet organised, it has rendered great Services and shown most laudable zeal.
As to the provinces, they are loft to Providence and to themselves; they derive no benefit from the Central Government, though they loudly cali upon it for assistance.
Representations addressed from the provinces to Naples receive no answer, the authorities in that city only reply when there is a question of removing or changing a Governor, and if any province has an active intelligent Governor he is sure to be removed. Another evil is the “unlimited leave” given to the soldiers of the ex-Neapolitan army; they are a source of disorder in the provinces.
I say nothing of laws published just before the opening of Parliament, such as those on the Penal Code and the suppression of convents. I only hope that at these critical moments, when it is so necessary to avoid irritation, prudence will be used in applying them.
I wish to know whether the judiciary reorganization of the Neapolitan provinces is to emanate from Turin or Naples. If from the latter, it will certainly not be well received by the population.
The first condition of a respectable Administration is that its probity be unimpeachable. I speak of that probity, that morality, to which the President of the Council lately alluded. We must be inexorable towards dishonesty.
I could not have believed that the first Administration instituted under a high-minded Prince could have contained elements so contrary to all principles of morality as those which exist.
This is the condition of the Neapolitan provinces. It cannot be prolonged without producing great evils.
I do not ask that extraordinary powers should be conferred, but let the evils be remedied instead of the names of things being merely changed. Let the laws published be executed, especially those concerning the Communes and the National Guard. Let the System of giving places be reformed. Do not be alarmed at what is said of the people being afraid of being Piedmontised. Our people are devoted to Piedmont, for they know the dangers she incurred in promoting the national cause. If you wish for a confirmation of this, ask our soldiers and the National Guards of Turin who have been there.
One of the greatest misdeeds of the Bourbon Government was to have kept those countries without roads, railways, or Communications of any kind. It is the duty of the present Government to repair this evil.
Another necessity is the decentralization of the provinces. The Communes will thereby be able to manage for themselves those matters which concern them alone. A Decree announced that the Counsellors of Lieutenancy had ceased to be such, and that they were named Secretaries-General. 1 ask whether they are named by the Local Government of Naples, or by the Central Government.
Count Cavour. —By the Central Government.
Signor Massari. —The Administration is the essential question of the moment. Last week there was a discussion on the Roman question. The good administration of Lombardy shows the necessity of our possessing Venice. In the same manner the good administration of the Neapolitan provinces will give strength to the Government for obtaining possession of Rome.
My Lord, Turin, April 4, 1861.
WITH reference to my despatch of yesterday’s date, transmitting to your Lordship a summary of a speech delivered in the Chamber of Deputies by Signor Massari upon the present condition of the Neapolitan provinces, I have the honour to inclose herewith a summary of the replies of the Ministers of the Interior, of Public Works, and of Justice, to the various questions put to them by Signor Massari, from which your Lordship will perceive the anxious desire of this Government to remedy the evils complained of, and a statement of the measures which they have already in some instances applied to them.
I have, &c.
(Signed) JAMES HUDSON.
Minghetti (Minister of the Interior) admitted many defects existed in the Southern provinces, but hoped and thought they had been exaggerated; they were inevitable, but were all reparable. The 1,000,000 francs designated by Massari an indemnity for political sufferings was really a subsidy to those poor families who had suffered politically under the Bourbons. Assured Massari that the elections would certainly take place 15th April. As to the National Guard under Garibaldi, it was very large in the capital and very rcsirieted in the provinces; but Farini decreed that the organization should be similar to the Piedmontese. As to arming the National Guard, 80,000 muskets had been sent to Naples and had disappeared. All efforts were being made to ann them, and the delays were not his (Minghetti’s) fault.
Was not astonished that the evils of Naples were exaggerated, considering the hopes raised by the new order of things, and the parties who had excited public opinion by the Press. The Government could not send more troops, having to guard the Mincio and Po.
Attributed the good done at Naples lately to her rulers; the evils to circumstances. A year ago Lombardy wTas declared ungovernable; he now considered it one of the great pillars of the State. Two levies had been most successfully made in the Romagna, though it had been declared, by some, reactionary. In Tuscany, no soldier had been for six months, and she had shown herself most civilized.
As to public security, the Neapolitan army had disappeared from various reasons. The gendarmes were too much hated to be kept, and the National Guard not sufficiently organized; hence the insecurity. Acts of brigandage, declared by Arnulfo, General of Police, much less numerous than supposed. As to the accusations of prevarication and venality among the employés the Government could only punish, but not eradicate, these vices; possibly these accusations might be calumnies, which he knew to be partly the case. The number of employés, though still too great, much less than under the Bourbons. Reforms among the personnel of public offices implied a much more settled state of things than existed. Protested against dismissal of whole masses, and declarations of suspicions. In uniting the Department of Agriculture and Commerce with that of the Interior, it was intended to give the former a greater development.
As to soldiers leave, part were disbanded, and part sent home by virtue of a capitulation, and he approved proposal of War Office to disband all the married men. At the time of the lamentable occurrence of 27th last March he ordered, with regret, but without hesitation, rigorous measures for public security.
Only the want of sufficient force, happily now organized well, had prevented the admirable rule of the Governors of Sicily from changing a state of things worse than that of Naples.
The new Government measures were:—thè nomination of four Secretaries-General; suppression of the Council of Lieutenancy; the Secretaries-General without the political character of Counsellors; the different functions to be settled by regulations; promiscuous employment; the list of employés to be declared closed; prompt measures to be taken for organizing the National Guard at Naples.
Declared the organisation of the Communal and Provincial A dmini strati on already begun; stated what amount of troops and police were actually in Neapolitan States: the police (carabinieri) a product rare, solely found in Piedmont.
Could not apply to Naples the System applied elsewhere. Government rather against adoption of system at all. Tuscany much more easy to govern than Naples. Would present a Bill of Regulations, which he hoped would pass the House in two months. The Government legally responsible for all events of Southern Italy; but he (Minghetti) permitted him self a reserve morally.
Pressed on the attention of the House the proposed law for the internal organization of the kingdom, and urged it, having the great work of creation to perform, to look to the future and forget the past.
Peruzzi (Public Works) stated that since 1860 the Government had sent to Southern Italy post office and telegraphic employés, and had United the telegraph between the Marches, Umbria, and Naples; were on the look-out for intelligent employés from all parts of the kingdom, which they intended to Italianize, not Piedmontize.
The railway from Tronto to Naples about to be commenced; and in sixteen months railway from Turin to Naples would be in operation, with the interruption of one single gallery (bolli private undertakings). In Sicily the railway from Palermo to Messina would soon be finished.
A Commission to study the construction of carriage-roads for Naples and Sicily would meet in the summer.
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