RESPECTING THE LANDING OF GENERAL GARIBALDI IN SICILY
Presented to both Houses of Parliament Command of Her Majesty.
PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SONS.
LIST OF PAPERS.
|1. Mr. Elliot to Lord J. Russell.||May 14,||1860||1|
|2. Mr. Elliot to Lord J. Russell.||May 14,||------||5|
|3. Mr. Elliot to Lord J. Russell.||May 18,||------||6|
|4. Mr. Elliot to Lord J. Russell.||May 28,||------||8|
My Lord, Naples May 14, 1860.
I HAVE the honour to inclose the copy and translation of a note troni M. Carafa, relative to the armed expedition which has landed at Marsala, together with the acknowledgement which I resumed.
A similar communication has, I believe, been addressed to all my colleagues, including the Marquis Villamarina, who informed me that he intended, in reply, simply to acknowledge its reception, and to state that he would transmit it to his Government, but that, in the mean rime, he could not accept as facts, all tbat the Neapolitan Minister tor Foreign Affairs advanced in proof of violation of international duties by the Sardinian Government.
I have, &c.
(Signed) HENRY ELLIOT.
Napoli, 12 Maggio, 1860.
UN fatto della più selvaggia pirateria si è consumato da un orda di briganti pubblicamente arrollati ed armati in uno Stato non nemico sotto gli occhi di quel Governo, e malgrado le promesse ricevutesi di volerlo impedire.
Prevenuto il Real Governo de’ preparativi che facevansi con la più sfrontata impudenza in Genova, in Torino, in Livorno, in Milano, in Sienna, di una spedizione destinata contro i Regi Stati, non tardò a richiamare su tale attentato al dritto delle genti ed agli obblighi internazionali l’attenzione del Governo Piemontese, le cui risposte evasive in prima, e poi di promesse d’impedirsi la Spedizione, avevano dovuto autorizzare il Real Governo a non dubitare della verità delle assicurazione ed assertive, che venivano a confermare la natura de’ rapporti dì buona armonia e di reciproca non ingerenza che non abbiamo mal cessato di aver l’intenzione di conservare.
Ha non pertanto il Governo del Re proseguito ad invigliare le macchinazioni de’ faziosi, che si riunivano in Genova ed in Livorno nel fine ben noto, e ne ha seguito gli andamenti, l’istoria de’ quali è compendiata nella qui acchiusa Memoria.
Nella lusinga intanto di vedere che si sarebbe impedita la partenza di quei pirati dopo Seguitone l’imbarco in Genova ed in Livorno su tre legni di commercio, de’ quali due Piemontese ed uno Inglese, i primi de’ detti legni partiti da Livorno si sono diretti pel porto di Marsala, dove giunti jeri senza alcuna bandiera si accingevano ad effettuare lo sbarco delle bande che avevano a bordo, allorché i due Regi legni della prossima crociera aprirono contro gli aggressori il fuoco delle artiglierie. Dovette però il fuoco essere sospeso per dare il tempo a due vapori Inglesi colà giunti poche ore prima di prendere a boi do i loro uffiziali che si trovavano in terra, e che imbarcati, stessi vapori ripresero il largo, ed allora soltanto potè il fuoco ricomminciare su quei pirati, senza però poterne più impedire lo sbarco in Marsala, città della Provincia di Trapani.
Con questo cenno dello scandaloso attentato, di cui la brevità del tempo non permette di prevedere i risultati nella parte insulare de’ Regi Stati, dove l’insurrezione veniva appena di essere represa, il Sottoscritto, incaricato del portafoglio degli Affari Esteri, ha l’onore di far conoscere al Signor Enrico Elliot, &c., &c., la storia degli avvenimenti, perchè voglia informarne il suo Governo, e perchè qualunque possano essere le conseguenze di un attentato consumato contre ogni dritto, violando le leggi internazionali, e pel quale l’Italia può trovarsi gittata nella più sanguinosa anarchia, compromettendo pure l’Europa tutta, la responsabilità non debba ricadere che su gli autori, fautori, e complici della barbara invasione commessa.
Il Sottoscritto, &c.
Naples May 12, 1860.
AN act of the most barbarous piracy has been perpetrated by a horde of brigands, publicly enlisted and armed in a not hostile State under the very eves of that Government, and in spite of its promises to prevent it.
The Royal Government having been informed of the preparations which were being made with the most bare-faced impudence in Genoa, Turin, Leghorn, Milan, and Sienna, for an expedition against the Kingdom of Naples, hastened to call the attention of the Piedmontese Government to such an outrage against the rights of nations and International obligations. The evasive answers of that Government in the first place, and secondly its promises to impede such an expedition, should have sufficed to convince the Royal Government of the sincerity of its assurances and assertions, which confirmed the good harmony and. reciprocal policy of non-intervention which we have never ceased to have the intention of preserving.
Nevertheless, the King’s Government has continued to watch the plotting of. the insurgents, who united themselves in Genoa and Leghorn for a well-known purpose, and has followed their proceedings, the account of which is abridged in the inclosed Memorandum.
Vainly hoping that the departure of those pirates would be prevented after their embarkation in Genoa and Leghorn in three merchant-vessels, of which two were Piedmontese, and one English, the two first of the said vessels, having started from Leghorn, directed their course to the port of Marsala, where they arrived yesterday without any flag, and were preparing to land the bands which they had on board, when the two Royal ships of the squadron cruising near opened a tire on the aggressore. But the tire was obliged to be suspended to give two English steamers, which had arrived a few hours before, time to take on board their officers who were on shore, and when these were embarked, the steamers put to sea, and then only was the firing on those pirates resumed, nevertheless without being able any more to impede their landing in Marsala, city of the Province of Trapani.
With this sketch of the scandalous attempt, the disastrous consequences of which, in our insular dominions, where the insurrection had hardly repressed, the short time does not permit us to foresee, the Undersigned, charged with the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, has the honour to communicate to Mr. Elliot, &c., &c., the details of the occurrence, in order that he may inform his Government; and in order that, whatever the consequences may be of an attempt perpetrated against all right, in violation of international law, and by reason of which Italy may find itself plunged in the most bloody anarchy, compromising at the same time the whole ol Europe, the responsibility of such an act may not fall on any others than the authors, the aiders and abettors, of the barbarous invasion which has taken place.
The Undersigned, &c.
9 Maggio, 1860.
DAL 28 Aprile cominciò a rendersi patente la concentrazione in Genova di emigrati Italiani (principalmente Siciliani), di Lombardi, Piemontesi, Romagnoli, e Toscani di notoria esaltazione politica, e, più notevolmente ancora, di quella torba di volontarii di cui nell’ultima guerra Garibaldi formò il corpo de’ Cacciatori delle Alpi, fusi posterioramente ne’ corpi regolari, e che assicurasi generalmente ne furono testé ed espressamente congedati.
Questa moltitudine affluiva per mare e per le strade ferrate, ove è voce non contestata per ora che avessero libertà assoluta di circolazione ed esecuzione assoluta di pagamento.
Garibaldi, che si sapeva a Genova e che a volta diveniva invisibile ed introvabile, si era da ultimo fissato nel Palazzo Passano a Quarto, e quivi, a frotte numerose accorrevano e si concentravano incessantemente i nuovi venuti non solo, ma que’ numerosi Genovesi che i fatti anteriori, le società di tiro, ed altre circostanze, designavano come ultra-esaltati.
Quest’ affluenza destava l’attenzione e le apprensioni generali eccetto quelle del Governo che niun temperamento mostrò commuovere.
Mentre l’intenzione di operare un disbarco armato in Sicilia per fomentarvi la rivoluzione, era notariamente rivelata da affissi pubblici, da questioni pubbliche, rappresentazioni teatrali ed altri mezzi, a vista di tutti in pieno giorno e senza dissimulazioni di sorta si. trasportavano armi e munizioni nel Palazzo Passano fatto arsenale.
Liberamente circolavano per città armi ed attrezzi da guerra non militari né di ordinanza. Popolarizzandosi per questi ed altri modi la notizia di preparativi contro la Sicilia, rimandatane più volte la partenza annunziandosi che la spedizione si concentrerebbe in Malta, si era giunti al 5 Maggio.
Nelle ore pomeridiane di quel giorno un centinaio di persone armate portate in due barche dall’interno del braccio occidentale del porto (ogni accesso n’ è guardato da sentinelle) si portavano a bordo de’ vapori commerciali Sardi “Piemonte” e “Lombardo” (compagnia Rubattino, la stessa cioè cui appartiene il “Cagliari”). Il primo di que’ due vapori era giunto il giorno antecedente da Tunisi, l’altro non doveva partire che il 9 per la linea d’Italia. Nonostante in entrambi furono trovate piene le stipe da combustibili e probabilmente ampiamente provveduti de’ commestibili.
I capitani erano assenti, e, per uno almeno, forse il Piemonte, assente pure il macchinista. Ne assunse le funzioni Giuseppe Orlando, emigrato Napolitano,.comproprietario di una fonderia ni Genova.
Senza che né dal legno guardaporto, né da legni da guerra Sardi che vi erano, ne’ da un vapore da guerra Spagnuolo, né da due Francesi che vi eran pure, né dall’arsenale marittime che era, immediatamente prossimo, né infine dalle batterie di terra che venisse loro impedimento, gli aggressori fecero fuoco nelle macchine di uno di due legni, attesero tranquillamente che il vapore salisse ed avesse forza di dar moto alle ruote (operazioni che al minimo richiedevano un’ora), e preso l’altro a rimorchio, uscirono dal porto per ancorarsi ad un tiro appena in presenza del cantiere militare della Foce.
Quivi attendevano veicoli marittimi numerosi e folla considerevole di arrollati, ingrossata da’ curiosi. Sotto la direzione di Garibaldi e la sua presidenza cominciò l’imbarco, i partenti succedendosi in gran parte in vettura e con accompagnamento di amici acclamanti.
Prima del tramonto, l’imbarco, che era sussidiariamente operato dal porto stesso, non era ancora ultimato, e questa circostanza, facendo risalire alla simulazione del ratto de’ vapori, pruova ad evidenza che fu operato a luce di sole.
E voce che ponendosi in moto dalla Foce, il che avvenne all’alba del 6, uno de’ vapori prendesse a rimorchio un legno a vela Greco, fatto, come i vapori stessi, arsenale per servizio di quegli abitanti della Sicilia che seguirebbero l’impulso.
Nel corso della notte da Quarto Garibaldi s’imbarcò su di una lancia e passò con altri a bordo de’ vapori per ispezionare.
Colli considerevoli e numerosi contenenti certamente armi e munizioni, seguirono la stessa ora.
Assicuravasi inoltre che nel modo stesso furono imbarcati sei cannoni rigati, raccolti sulla riva di Nervi.
A giorno i vapori erano in vista della riviera di Levante e credesi che si fermarono in varii luoghi per communicare con la terra.
Nel suo costituto il capitano del vapore di Real bandiera “Amalfi” ha dichiarato averli distintamente veduti sortire carichi di gente dal Golfo di Spezia tra le ore 6 e 7 p.m.
Fra le persone che hanno a bordo sono i piloti di tre legni de commercio Palermitani, disertati il giorno 5 da Genova.
Tutti gli abitanti di Genova possono essere stati testimoni oculari di questi fatti, come tutti certamente ne sono scienti per notorietà.
May 9, 1860.
SINCE the 28th of Aprii, the concentration has been apparent in Genoa of Italian emigrants (principally Sicilians), Lombards, Piedmontese, natives of the Romagna, and Tuscans, of notoriously extravagant political opinions, and more especially of a crowd of those volunteers from amongst whom Garibaldi, during the recent war, formed his corps of “Cacciatori delle Alpi,” who afterwards were enrolled in the regular army, and who, according to a generally believed report, had recently been expressly discharged.
These numerous persons have assembled both by sea and by the railroads, and it has not vet been denied that they were enabled to travel with entire liberty, and absolutely at free cost.
Garibaldi, who was known to be in Genoa, and who from time to time became invisible and impossible to find, latterly established himself in the Palace Passano at Quarto: and there were assembled in crowds, and concentrated, not only foreigners who were constantly arriving, but those numerous Genoese whose antecedents, namely, their being members of shooting-clubs, and otherwise remarkable, rendered them conspicuous as ultra-Liberals. This concourse excited the attention and the fears of all, excepting of that Government which it seemed impossible to move by any means.
Whilst the intention of effecting an armed disembarkation in Sicily, in order to foment the revolution, was openly manifested by public notices, by public speeches, by theatrical representations, and by other means publicly made use of, without an attempt at concealment of any kind, arms and ammunition were carried to the Palace Passano, which had become an arsenal.
Arms and implements of warfare, not belonging to the army or the ordnance, were carried about freely in the city.
By these and other means, the announcement of preparations against Sicily having become public, the departure of the expedition having been several times postponed, and finally it being announced that it would be concentrated in Malta, we arrived at the 5th of May.
After noon on that day, 100 men armed, having in two boats left the western side of the port (every approach is guarded by sentries), embarked on board of the Sardinian commercial steamers '‘Piemonte” and “Lombardo” (the property of the Company Rubattino, the same to whom the “Cagliari” belonged). The first-named of those two steamers had arrived the day before from Tunis; the other was not to have left before the 9th for the Italian line. Nevertheless in both vessels the lockers were found full of combustibles, and probably they were amply provided with provisions. The captains were absent; and in one case, at least, perhaps the “Piemonte,” the engineer also. Giuseppe Orlando, a Neapolitan emigrant, a partner in a foundry in Genoa, undertook the duties of these men.
Without any impediment being offered either by the port guard-ship, by the Sardinian ships of war which were there, by a Spanish war-steamer, by two French ships who were also present, by the naval arsenal which was quite dose, or, lastly, by the land batteries, the aggressors lighted the engine’s fires on one of the ships, then waited unmolested till the steam was got up and had sufficient strength to turn the paddles (an operation which, at least, must have requixed an hour), and, having taken the other vessel in tow, left the port to anchor almost within range of cannon shot, and before the military post of the harbour.
Here a quantity of boats were waiting, with, a considerable number of those enlisted for the Service, a crowd which was increased by curious spectators.
Under the direction and superintendence of Garibaldi the embarkation commenced; and those who left, for the most part, went in carriages, accompanied by their friends cheering vociferously.
Before sunset the embarkation, which had been subsidiarity effected from the port itself, was not completed, which circumstance, thought seemed to be pretended that the steamers were taken by force, proves clearly that the business was transacted in open daylight.
It is reported tbat one of the steamers, after leaving the harbour (which was effected at daybreak on the 6th), took in tow a Greek sailing-vessel fitted, like the steamers, as an arsenal for the use of those Sicilians who might follow the present movement.
In the course of the night Garibaldi embarked from Quarto on board a launch, and, with others, boarded the steamers to inspect them. They, with their large and remarkable cargo (certainly arms and ammunition) pursued the same course.
It has been, moreover, asserted that, in the same way, six rifled cannon were embarked, which were taken from the shore at Nervi.
At daybreak the steamers were sighted off the “Riviera di Levante,” and it is believed that they stopped at various points to communicate with the land.
On his examination, the captain of the steamer “Amalfi,” hearing the Royal flag, has declared that he distinctly saw them leave the Gulf of Spezia between 6 and 7 p.m., full of passengers.
Amongst those on board are the pilots of three merchant-ships of Palermo, who deserted on the 5th from Genoa.
All the inhabitants of Genoa could bave been eye-witnesses of these facts, inasmuch as all are certainly cognizant of them, owing to their notoriety.
Naples, May 13, 1860.
THE Undersigned, &c., has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the note which his Excellency the Commander Carafa, &c., has done him the honour to address to him, relative to an armed expedition which has landed on the coast of Sicily, and to state that he will not fail to transmit this communication to Her Maiesty’s Government by the earliest opportunity.
The Undersigned, &c.
(Signed) HENRY ELLIOT.
(Extract.) Naples, May 14, 1860.
IN the account of the landing of the expedition at Marsala, your Lordship will observe that it is stated by M. Carafa that the fire of the Neapolitan men-of-war was impeded by two British vessels, but that it is not said that they were men-of-war, as was intimated in the first account. which I heard.
I took the earliest opportunity of seeing M. Carafa to inquire into the matter, when his Excellency, by the King’s desire, put into my hands the original despatch that had been received, and from which it neither appeared that the steamers were men-of-war, nor that they had intentionally placed themselves so as to cover the landing.
This telegraphic despatch simply announced to the Government that a landing had been effected at Marsala, and then added the words embodied in the communication from M. Carafa.
(Extract.) Naples, May 18, 1860.
I INFORMED your Lordship by telegraph that upon the reception from Vice-Admiral Fanshawe of the report of Commander Marryat, I immediately protested against the statement of the Neapolitan Government, that the fire of their vessels upon the expedition landing at Marsala had been impeded by two British steamers.
I have the honour to transmit to your Lordship a copy of the note which I addressed to M. Carafa, forwarding the substance of Captain Marryat’s report.
The time has been too short for me yet to receive any reply to my note; but it is evident (o me that, even before its reception, the Government had begun to have doubts of the accuracy of their statement; and I was this afternoon assured by M. Carafa that the King had told him that, if a further Report which he had ordered to be made did not confirm the first, the rectification must be made as publicly as the original statement.
I said I expected no less from the candour of the Neapolitan Government; for that the statement which they had put forth, had, without distinctly expressing it, undoubtedly produced the impression that the landing had proved successful mainly owing to the presence of the British ships-of-war, and had left every one. t form his own opinion as to whether this was the result of accident or design un the part of the officers commanding them.
Naples, May 17, 1860.
IN the narrative of the recent landing of an armed expedition at Marsala, which his Excellency the Commander Carafa, &c., did the Undersigned, &c., the honour to forward to him on the 12th instant, there occurs the following passage:—“But the firing was obliged to be suspended to give two British steamers, which had arrived a few hours before, time to take on board their officers, who were on shore, and who being embarked, the steamers put to sea, and then only was the firing on the pirates resumed, nevertheless without being able any more to impede their landing in Marsala, city of the Province of Trapani.”
However satisfied the Undersigned might be that no officer of Her Majesty’s Navy had intentionally thrown any obstacle in the way of the operations of the Neapolitan vessels, he lost no time in communicating with the Admiral Commanding-in-chief at Malta, and in begging him to inquire into the circumstances of the case; and he has now received a full report from the captain of Her Majesty's ship “Intrepid,” which was one of the vessels at Marsala at the time.
The Undersigned does himself the honour to transmit herewith to his Excellency M. Carafa the substance of this Report, the accuracy of which cannot be called in question, and from which it is clearly evident that neither intentionally • nor unintentionally did the officers of Her Majesty’s ships ofìer the slightest impediment to the free action of the Neapolitan vessels.
It is not the intention of the Undersigned to accompany the inclosed document with any lengthened observations of his own; but as the Neapolitan Government have communicated to the Representatives of all the foreign Courts at Naples a narrative calculated to convey the impression that the landing of the expedition might have been prevented if it had not been for the presence of the British men-of-war, the Undersigned must be permitted emphatically to protest against a statement which can only have been made on the inost imperfect knowledge of what had taken place, and which throws a most uncalled-for reflection upon the officers of Her Britannic Majesty, which the Undersigned is convinced the Government of His Sicilian Majesty will be anxious to rectify as far as lies in their power.
The Undersigned, &c.
(Signed) HENRY ELLIOT.
THE “Intrepid” and “Argus” arrived at Marsala between half-past IO and 11 ‘am., on the morning of the 11th.
Commander Ingram, of Her Majesty’s ship “Argus,” considering it likely that he would have to stay there three or four days, anchored his ship about three miles out, where the hook of directions States the best holding ground to be. I on the contrary, knowing I was to remain but a few hours, brought up as dose to the shore as I could, distant from three-quarters of a mile to a mile from the lighthouse at the end of the mole.
At 11:30 we landed, having got pratique, and being met by Mr. Cossins, the gentleman acting for the Vice-Consul, proceeded to his house, where some other English residents shortly arrived, and we then drove through the town with these gentlemen, visited the Cathedral, and eventually went out to their wine Stores, which are three in number, distant or rather extending from half-amile to one mile and a-half from the city.
Whilst here an Englishman carne to report that two steamers were coming in from the north-west with Sardinian colours flying.
We immediately ascended to a look-out place, and with a telescope watched the whole proceeding.
The head most and smallest steamer had a boat in tow which gave us the idea, at the time, of having been seized off the land, and made to do the duty of pilot. There was no hesitation shown in bringing the vessels in; they steamed round the bows of the “Intrepid,” and steered direct for the mole, where they arrived about 2 p.m., the first one getting in all right, the second grounding within 100 yards of it.
At this time there were three Neapolitan vessels-of-war in sight, cruizing between Marsala and Mazzara, a town twelve miles to the southward, viz., two steamers and a sailing frigate, six miles only from the Sardinian vessels.
Before the Neapolitan arrived within range, the first Sardinian had discharged all her living cargo, which consisted of armed men to all appearance well disciplined, as they fell into companies on landing, shouldered their muskets, and marched off in perfect order.
The one which had grounded, however, having to land all her men in boats, had not succeeded in getting more than one-fourth out of the ship when the Neapolitan carne within easy range of his guns; his bulwarks were down and guns laid, and we watched with some curiosity to see the result of his firing.
Before this I had advised the owners of two or three English schooners to get their vessels out of the port. as they seemed to me to run a risk of being hit; but the wind being dead in, they could not be removed, consequently they had to take their chance.
The Neapolitan, however, instead of opening fire, lowered a boat, and sent it towards the Sardinians; but when half the distance between the two ships had been traversed, the officer suddenly turned his boat round and pulled back to his own vessel as fast as he could.
We now made sure the firing would commence, but we were surprised to see him paddling out towards the “Intrepid,” instead of frustrating at once the further landing of the expedition.
The commanding officer of the “Intrepid” States that he was hailed by the commander of the Neapolitan, and asked if there were any English troops on shore: the reply he received was, “No; the Commanders of two English men-of-war are on shore, and two or three officers.”
Shortly afterwards an officer carne on board and asked for me, and seemed anxious to know when I should return: a boat had, however, been sent to me before his arrival, and I had sent an officer into the town to recall every one to their ships.
By this time all the expedition had landed (4 o’clock), and he then began open fire. Commander Ingram, Mr. Cossins, and myself, now went on board t° see the Commander of the Neapolitan: he informed us that large bodies of armed men had landed, and that he was obliged to fire on them; to which not the slightest objection was made, and nothing more passed than a request from us that he would respect the English flag wherever he saw it flying, which he promised faithfully to do. Whilst we were on board he continued his firing, and even ofFered a kind of apology for the shot going so low; but he said he did not wish to tire into the town, only on the armed men marching from the Mole to the city gate.
As we left the steamer, the frigate arrived under sail and fired a useless broadside; but before they could reload the guns, the new arrivals were safely inside the walled town of Marsala.
On my return to the “Intrepid,” I found an officer from the other Neapolitan steamer on board; he had come to ask me to send a boat to the Sardinian vessels with him to get them to surrender.
This I declined to do. A short time after my refusal, boats manned and armed were sent in, and the vessels being totally abandoned were taken possession of, and the Sardinian colours hauled down.
It is hardly necessary for me to add that the report current in Naples, as conveyed to you by telegraph from Her Majesty’s Minister, is entirely without. foundation: to say that it is mischievious, is to use too mild a term, as it brings a false accusation against the Commanders of two English vessels of war, who happened to be there by the merest chance at the time of this occurrence, and who were as much astonished at it as people never dreaming of such a thing could be.
(Signed) J. H. MARRYATT, Commander.
My Lord, Naples, May 28, 1860.
I ANNOUNCED to your Lordship by telegraph that the Neapolitan Government had recognized that there were no grounds for the imputation thrown upon the officers of Her Majesty’s ships “Intrepid” and “Argus,” of having impeded the operations directed by the Neapolitan navy against the landing of Garibaldi and his companions at Marsala.
I have now the honour to transmit copy and translation of M. Carafa’s note in reply to my protest, stating that the officers of Her Majesty’s ships had not intentionally or unintentionally interfered with any of the Neapolitan operations; and as a similar communication bas been addressed to the Representatives of all the foreign Governments at Naples, Her Majesty’s Government will, I imagine, consider that all necessary reparation has been made for the unfounded accusation.
I have, &c.
(Signed) HENRY ELLIOT.
Napoli, 26 Maggio, 1860.
Il Sottoscritto, Incaricato del Portafoglio degli Affari Esteri, ha ricevuta la nota dei 18 andante mese di sua Eccellenza il Signor Elliot, Inviato Straordinario e Ministro Plenipotendarìo di Sua Maestà Britann' oa, alla quale era annessa il rapporto spedito dallo Ammiraglio della squadra inglese in Malta, inteso a narrare la condotta serbata dal due legni da guerra Britannica “l’Intrepido” e “l’Argo,” che trovandosi ancorati nelle acque di Marsala nel momento del noto sbarco dei Garibaldiani il giorno 11 detto.
Ha dovuto il Governo del Re rilevare con rammarico nella cennata nota la spiacevole impressione che si si dice aver prodotto uno dei passaggi della nota diretta il 12 del corrente a questi Rappresentanti dei Governi Esteri in cui era genuinamente esposta la storia dei fatti di quello sbarco, per tenerli informati delle prime relazioni mandate dal luogo stesso dello avvenimento dal Commandante la divisione del Reali legni, che furono obbligati spiegar la loro azione contro gli aggressori.
Non ebbe mal il menzionato Commandante, ed ancor meno il Real Governo, intenzione di attirar con quel causo il biasimo e la responsabilità delle operazioni della Real Marina sui due legni Britannici, ma volle semplicemente constatare le circostanze tutte nelle, quali si trovarono ed agirono i Reali legni, e, soprattutto dar testimonianza dell’esattezza con cui i Commandanti di essi, aveano adempiuto le loro rigorose istruzioni di rispettar, cioè, per. quanto il comportasse il dover loro le persone e le proprietà estere, onde i medesimi intesero far rilevare nei loro rapporti che nulla avenno omesso per prevenire il danno che risultar potea cosi agl’uffiziali che allora trovavansi in terra ed in bastimenti. Inglesi, come al sudditi Inglesi che sono in Marsala in numero maggiore degli altri stranieri, a causa dei molti stabilimenti che ivi posseggono.
Ha creduto sua Eccellenza il Signor Elliot dover protestare contro il modo in cui sonosi rapportati i fatti, e che attribuisce ad inesatta conoscenza delle cose, avvenuti; ma il vero dello esposto mette il Sottoscritto in grado di protestare egli contro ogni falso spiegazione o sfavorevole interpretazione che abbia voluto darsi alla communicazione storica degli avvenimenti nei quale si reconosce francamente che, né con intenzione nè senza quegli uffiziali della Real Marina di Sua Maestà Britannica abbiano preso parte alcuna da poter impedire o ritardare le operazione dei legni Napoletani.
Siffatta esplicita e leale dichiarazione deve adunque distruggere le osservazioni tirate dal citato passaggio degli avvenimenti sul lido di Marsala, che risguarda direttamente gl’uffiziali di quei legni Inglesi; ed il Sottoscritto nel far qui una tale dichiarazione a sua Eccellenza il Signor Elliot, onde se compiaccia informare il suo Governo, aggiunge che non lascia egli di dirigere una analoga communicazione a tutti i Rappresentanti esteri al quali fu indirizzata la nota circolare del 12 andante che ha data occasione alle rimostranze della sua Eccellenza..
Egli profitta, &c.
Naples, May 26, 1860
THE Undersigned, charged with the portfolio for Foreign Affairs, has received the note addressed to him by Mr. Elliot, Her Britannic Majesty’s Envoy Extraordinary, &c., to which was annexed the report transmitted by the Admiral of the British squadron at Malta, intended to relate the conduct observed by the two British men-of-war, the “Intrepid” and “Argus,” which were anchored in the waters of Marsala at the time of the well-known disembarkation of the Garibaldians on the 11th instant.
The King’s Government has observed, with pain, in the above-mentioned note, the disagreeable impression produced, as it is therein stated by one of the passages of the note of the 12th instant, addressed to the Representatives of the foreign Governments at this Court, containing a genuine narrative of the facts of the disembarkation, written for the purpose of communicating to them the first reports transmitted from the theatre of the event, by the Commandant of the division of the Royal ships which were obliged to act against the aggressore.
The above-mentioned Commandant, and still less the Royal Government, never had the intention of casting any blame, nor impugning the responsibility of the operations of those on board the British ships, but was desirous simply of stating all the circumstances in which the Royal vessels found themselves, and under which they acted, and, above all, to bear witness to the scrupulosity with which their Commandere had acted up to the stringent instructions they had received, to respect, as far as their duty permitted, tbe persons and property of foreigners; thence the above-mentioned wished to point out in their reports that they omitted nothing which could possibly prevent the loss which might tbus result to the officers who then found themselves on shore, to the English ships as well as to the English subjects, who are in much greater numbers in Marsala than other foreigners, owing to the numerous establishments they possess there.
His Excellency Mr. Elliot has thought proper to protest against the manner in which the facts have been reported, ascribing it to an incorrect knowledge of the circumstances as they occurred; but the true meaning of the statement enables the Undersigned to protest, in his turn, against any wrong explanation or unfavourable interpretation which might have been given to the narration of the facts, in which it is frankly admitted that the officers of the British navy had not, either intentionally or otherwise, acted in a way to impede or retard the operations of the Neapolitan ships.
This explicit and frank declaration must therefore refute the observations occasioned by the above-mentioned passage in the statement of the events which took place on the shore of Marsala, having direct reference to the officers of the British ships; and the Undersigned, in making such a declaration to his Excellency Mr. Elliot, that he may be pleased to inform his Government thereof, begs to and that he will not omit to address a similar communication to all those foreign Representatives to whom was addressed the circular note of the 12th instant, which has given rise to his Excellency’s remonstrances.
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