The Little Marconi Case

Henry D'Avigdor-Goldsmid describes an insider trading scandal that embroiled the House of Commons in 1912.

When Tattered was published in 1847, Punch devoted a whole page to a drawing of “the House of Commons according to Mr. Disraeli’s views,” depicting the Speaker as an old clo’ man, the clerks of the table as money-changers, and only aggressively Jewish faces on the benches on both sides.

The drawing would not have looked out of place in Der Stürmer nearly a hundred years later; today, when overt anti-semitism is unmentionable (even the Arab boycott committee disclaims it), it is hard to believe that as recently as fifty years ago anti-semitism was a political force in England that respectable people supported and with which honourable people sympathized.

Its main product was the Marconi case, which Mrs. Donaldson has handled so exhaustively; but there was also a little Marconi case, which she does not mention. John Bowie, in his Biography of Viscount Samuel, dismisses it in a very few lines; but the proceedings surrounding the disqualification of Sir Stuart Samuel warrant a little more attention.

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