CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/189
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date20 May 1917
Extent2 sheets
DescriptionPart letter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding Mr. Cowan's investigations amongst the Italians; Sir John Jardine has suffered from the climate and is on quinine; Amelia herself has not felt well all week and is looking forward to their departure; the temperature is high and the air is heavy; the delegates leave on Tuesday; they were not pleased with their visit, which had commercial matters in view, but 'how hopeless is a commercial bond when there is no moral backbone to rely on'; there will be no business men of youth or experience left after the war anyway; Italy will be thoroughly damaged after the war, and no one with sense would set up business there; Britain should adopt metric currency and measures and keep in touch by commercial travel; the Germans used to control the banking system and thereby the commercial arena, but no one group will be allowed such liberty again; the Germans will be back in ten years, anyway; Mr. Cowan told them of rumours at home of a secret treaty; Florence was against the war; arrangements for Somme films to be shown there; one of her patients, a Piedmontese from Turin, said that 'although they fought for their country, they dared not refer to the war even to one another, because they were so much against it'; the country needs German industry and German finance; the British are resented because they have gained in the east; the Somme films were not wanted in the Riviera; 'a certain class is making money rapidly'; the newly rich are very noticeable in the Corso; they are connected with mining and munitions; rumour that cases of cartridges have been discovered to be loaded with sawdust instead of shot, to cheat the buyers; problems with rich men passing as officers' orderlies to keep out of fighting; the Giolitti party is growing in strength; more about the coal sold by Britain to Italy before the war, which was sent via Switzerland to Germany, while Italians queuing for fuel blamed the British for not sending any; more recent cargoes have been kept in the ships in Genoa while the price of lignite has been raised; case of 'Count' Cortesi and his family, a forger and swindler of considerable nerve; he is now in prison 'but he has a well-furnished apartment in prison and has good fare provided, for the Regina Coeli permits of all degrees of imprisonment according to cash'; it transpires that he is part of a spy ring, and 'the Vatican has given 5,000,000 of francs to hush it up.
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