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Presented to the House of Commons by Command of Her Majesty, in pursuance of
their Address dated February 28, 1860.
PRINTED BY HARRISON AND SONS.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Answer to M. Thouvenel's argu-
28. Earl Cowley
29. Captain Harris
31. Earl Cowley
32. To Earl Cowley
36. To Captain Harris
37. Earl Cowley
RETURN to an Address of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated February 28, 1860;
Copies or Extracts of the Correspondence which has taken place between
Her Majesty's Government and the Governments of the Emperor of the French and the King of Sardinia, in respect to the proposal for annexing Savoy and Nice to the Empire of France.”
Captain Harris to Lord J. Russell.—(Received July 5.) (Extract.)
Berne, July 1, 1859. HAVING been confined to my room by fever during the last fortnight, I have not had my usual interviews with the President of the Confederation ; but this morning he called upon me by appointment, being anxious, he said, to converse with me on the rumour of the projected annexation of Savoy to France, in the event of the King of Piedmont obtaining an extension to his dominions in Italy.
The President said, that the Swiss Chargé d'Affaires in Paris had been instructed to demand explanation on the subject; that ihe Sardinian Minister here positively denied that there was any such engagement.
I pointed out to the President the despatches Nos. 480 and 507 in the Blue Book on the Affairs of Italy, showing the steps which Her Majesty's Government had taken, through Lord Cowley, to ascertain the truth of this report, which had, however, not led to a very distinct refutation of it on the part of the French Minister.
The President said he wished me to impress on Her Majesty's Government that it was of vital importance to the safety and independence of Switzerland that Savoy, and especially “Haute Savoie,” should never be annexed to France; that if that were to take place, her flank would be laid completely open, and that, probably, Geneva would soon follow.
The President said he did not wish Her Majesty's Government to take steps in the matter at present; but, in the event of the question being raised hereafter, that the above statement should be borne in mind by them, and that England would prove the same fast friend to Switzerland in the hour of need as heretofore.
I cannot believe that the King of Piedmont would give up a territory from which his family derive a name, illustrious in statesmanship and war for so many centuries, and a district which supplies his bravest and most loyal troops ; whilst the poverty of its soil would render it but a poor acquisition to France.
It is probable, therefore, that the rumour is not true, and surely it would be better that France and Sardinia should at once, by an open disclaimer, allay this cause of suspicion and disquiet.
Earl Cowley to Lord J. Russell.-(Received July 5.) (Extract.)
Paris, July 4, 1859. I HAVE afforded Count Walewski an opportunity of giving me as much information as he might choose respecting the intentions attributed to the Emperor of annexing Savoy to France, to which Captain Harris' despatch of the 1st instant, forwarded by this messenger, relates.