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Mr Mark Flanagan (Death, Sicily)

Volume 342: debated on Monday 5 December 1938

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asked the Prime Minister whether he has received any information with regard to the death of Mr. Mark Flanagan, which happened at Patti, Sicily, during a quarrel with the police there?

A report has been received from the Italian authorities through His Majesty's Ambassador at Rome. It states that in consequence of his behaviour, which was regarded as eccentric, Mr. Flanagan was asked by a gendarme to produce his identity papers and to accompany him to the barracks, whereupon Mr. Flanagan attacked the gendarme with a knife. The gendarme fired first in the air o intimidate Mr. Flanagan and then at him when the attack was renewed, inflicting a wound. A doctor was immedlately summoned, but, I regret to say, Mr. Flanagan died before he was able to arrive.

Will the hon. Gentleman make inquiries from the British Vice-Consul and not from Italian sources whether Mr. Flanagan's eccentricities consisted in making uncomplimentary remarks about the head of the Italian State?

I have given the hon. Lady the information which has reached us, but I am ready to refer the matter again to our Ambassador in Rome.

Are full inquiries being made in this case of a British subject who was shot by an Italian policeman?

We have received the information which I have imparted to the House, and I have informed the hon. Lady that I am ready to ask our Ambassador in Rome for any further information which he can give us.

Does the hon. Gentleman not realise that the statement which he has given us is an ex parte statement, and is it not possible to get from the Vice-Consul in Patti what really occurred?

That is why I said that I was ready to ask our Ambassador in Rome for any further information about this regrettable matter that he is able to sent us.

I cannot go any further than that. When our Ambassador in Rome has a sad and tragic matter like this referred to him, he may be relied upon to make the fullest inquiries.