Early in 1893 a scandal arose in connection with the management of state banks, and particularly of the Banca Romana, whose managing director, Tanlongo, had issued 2,500,000 of duplicate bank-notes.
Giolitti scarcely improved matters by creating Tanlongo a member of the senate, and by denying in parliament the existence of any mismanagement.
The senate, however~ manifested the utmost hostility to Tanlongo, whom Giolitti, in consequence of an interpellation in the Chamber, was compelled to arrest.
It established that all Italian cabinets since 1880 had grossly neglected the state banks; that the two preceding cabinets had been aware of the irregularities committed by Tanlongo; that Tanlongo had heavily subsidized the press, paying as much as 20,000 for that purpose in 1888 alone; that a number of deputies, including several ex-ministers, had received from him loans of a considerable amount, which they had apparently made no effort to refund; that Giolitti had deceived the Chamber with regard to the state banks, and was open tosuspicion of having,after the arrest of Tanlongo, abstracted a number of documents from the latters papers before placing the remainder in the hands of the judicial authorities.
At the end of July the trial of the persons implicated in the Banca Romana scandal revealed the fact that among the documents abstracted by Giolitti from the papers of the bank manager, Tanlongo, were several bearing upon Crispis political and private life.
Moreover, he irritated public opinion by raising to senatorial rank the director-general of the Banca Romana, Signor Tanlongo, whose irregular practices had become a byword.
The senate declined to admit Tanlongo, whom Giolitti, in consequence of an interpellation in parliament upon the condition of the Banca Romana, was obliged to arrest and prosecute.