HC Deb 18 February 1886 vol 302 c606

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs a Question, of which I have given him private Notice, Whether he can give the House any information as to the arrest at Naples, reported in to-day's Times, of Professor Nichol, of Glasgow University; and, what steps have been taken by the Foreign Office to procure Professor Nichol's release?


In reply to the Question of my hon. Friend, I have to state that the Foreign Office are not in possession of full details connected with Mr. Nichol's arrest; but having heard of the fact, and at the instance of his family, the Secretary of State immediately instructed Her Majesty's Ambassador at Rome, by telegraph, to address prompt representations on his behalf to the Italian Government. The charge against Mr. Nichol was that he had carried a swordstick in the street, an act which, as we are informed, is severely dealt with by the law of Italy. I am happy to say that Sir John Lumley, on the day following, informed Lord Rosebery, by telegraph, that Mr. Nichol was not in custody, and had arrived at Rome from Naples. The Italian Government have shown great courtesy in the matter, and it is now believed that it will be disposed of by the imposition of a fine.