1912
MARCONI SCANDAL
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1 March: Window-smashing rampage in London's West End by Suffragettes
1 October: Turkey invaded by Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro
5 November: Democrat Woodrow Wilson elected to US Presidency



August 1911:
Marconi share price soars

07 March 1912:
British Government agree in principal to Imperial Wireless Scheme

July 1912:
'Marconi Scandal' breaks in the press

15 July 1912:
Scheduled date for signing first part of Imperial Wireless contract - postponed

25 September 1912:
Marconi loses right eye in car crash between La Spezia and Genoa

30 April 1913:
Parker Committee reports

1913:
Debate in House of Commons



In 1912, after two years' deliberation, Britain's Liberal government agreed in principle that the Marconi company should build six of the 18 stations proposed earlier for the Imperial Wireless Scheme. The announcement was made on 7 March 1912 and indicated that the installations would be state-owned and would earn the company royalties.

During months of unpublicised negotiation, the price of Marconi shares on public offer had rocketed. Gossip - poisoned by anti-Semitism - swept the City of London that certain ministers and friends with inside knowledge had been buying them secretly with a view to making substantial gains later.

The alleged ringleaders were all Jewish and were named as the postmaster-general, Herbert Samuel, the attorney-general, Sir Rufus Isaacs and his brother Godfrey, the company's managing director (for whom the founder's support was unwavering).

Marconi was not accused personally. But the alleged 'Marconi Scandal' broke in the press during July, before the first Imperial Wireless contract could be signed and then ratified by Parliament. This caused Marconi lasting hurt, both psychological and physical. Escaping with his wife to Italy in September afterwards, he lost his right eye in a head-on car crash.

During October, the select committee charged by the House of Commons with investigating the allegations began proceedings that dragged on until the following summer. No evidence was found of corrupt dealings between the company and ministers of the crown.

Sir Rufus sued successfully for libel. He had indeed subscribed to a separate issue of American Marconi shares and sold some to colleagues, including the chancellor of the exchequer, David Lloyd-George. In the event they had each made a loss.










A gallery of Marconi equipment and technology.

PORTABLE AIRCRAFT SPARK TRANSMITTER



Documents of general interest.

LETTER TO MARCONI DURING FIRST WORLD WAR

THE ACCIDENT TO MR MARCONI