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A Bomb and a Passport.

SEQUEL TO A ST. PETERSBURG EXPLOSION. A sensational case, being a sequel to a bomb explosion at St. Petersburg, came before the magistrate at Bow street, London, wh<m N. H. Brailsford, jouraalist, of Hampstead, and Arthur Henry ftlnic MeCnlioch, actor, of Bolton Terrace. Lovaine Crescent, Neweastle-on-Tyne, and of Ber-wick-street. Manchester, were summoned tor unlawfully conspiring with other persons unknown to obtain a passport by falsely stating that it was intended to be used by one of them for travelling in Russia, whereas it was intended to be falsely used by some other person, thus endangering the peaceful relations existing between the English and Russian nations, The Earl of Desart (Public Proseoutor) occupied a seat on the magistrate's bench. The Solicitor-General (Sir E. Carson), for the Crown, said prisoners were charged with having conspired together, to obtain a passport to Russia by means of a false declaration, which was to enable thorn, or either of them, to supply the passport to someone who would thus be able to travel in Russia as a British subject, and to claim under it ail the privileges and amenities always granted to a subjeot o£ King Edward. So far as he knew, 'the facts of the case were not disputed. In the month of October, 1904, Brailsford was anxious to obtain from the Foreign Office passports to afford opportunities to certain parsons to travel in Russia for the purpose of spreading in the Tsar's dominions literature of a certain character. He therefore asked MoCulloch if he would sign the necessary declaration, so that hs might obtain a passport in his name. According to the regulations of the Foreign Office, persons applying for passports must sign a declaration and obtain some person—a banker, magistrate, barrister, physician, surgeon, or notary—to verify that declaration. Mr Brailsford, therefore, induced Mr Bertram Christian, a member of the Bar, to verify the deolaration made by McCnllooh. The document so signed by McCulloah and Mr Christian was taken to the Foreign Office on October 28. The document was dated Oct. 25, 1904, and set out that the applioant for a passport, McOulloch, was a British-born subject, having been born at Edinburgh thirty-aeven years ago, and that he required a passport for the purpose of TRAVELLING IN RTJSBIA. He ought to Bay, with reference to Mr Christian, that there was no allegation against him. He signed the document in perfectly good faith, and the prosecution did not suggest that he was aware of any ulterior purpose. The passport, having been granted, went into the hands of Brailsford. So fAr as was known it never went into the possession of MoCulloch. Brailsford'n object in applying to McCulloch was to enable him to get a passport to be used by someone else. The passport was taken to the Russian Consulate in London, and the vise of the Consul was affixed to it on November 14, At the bottom of the passport was that, rs soon as possible after receiving the document, the holder should write, his signature. Who attached the signature on this document he could not say, but obviously it was signed by the person who intended to use it, for the reason that if, while travelling in Russia, he should be asked to eign his name, the signature would compare with that on the passport. The passport was handed on by Brailsford to some other person. Nothing more was heard of it until February 25 last. On that date'an explosion of a bomb or an infernal machine of some kind occurred at the Hotel Bristol, St. Petersburg. As a result of the explosion a man who was stayiDg at the hotel, and apparently in possession of the instrument causing the explosion, was found to be liviDg there in the name of MoCulloch. He was passing as a British subject, although, in fact, the was a Fussian. When the Bussian police were called in after the explosion they found among the remains of THE MAN "WHO WAS KITiLEB this passport. There had since been communication, between the Bussian Government and his Majesty's Govesnment, with the result tbafc the Foreign Office thought it proper to make inquiries as to how it wa3 that a Russian should be in possession of a passport issued to a British subject. It the course of those investigations Brnilsford evidently became aware that inquiries were being made, and he wrote on March 17th, to Inspector McCarthy the following letter: — " Pear Sir, —I hear you arc inquiring into the affairs of the McCulloch and (naming two other passports with which this oase wa3 not coccßrned) passports. These wore all obtained by me, snd these three ijmitletnen had no knowledge whatever of what subsequently became of them,- Or for the use for which they wero destined, should you require further information as to my share in the matter it ia at your disposal. . . ." Inspector McCarthy called upon Brailsford, and the latter told him that ho was asked by a person who was on the Continent at one of the European centres, and who was connected with the Russian revolutionary movement, to obtain some passports for them- He agreed to do so, and received-Hie express promise that they would only be used for peaceful propagrandi. Ha understood that to mean the introduction of a certain class of literature into Russia. He accepted entirely Brailsfnrd's statement, but of course, when once the passport went out of his hands, it was impossible for him to control the improper use which was undoubtedly made of it. McCulloch was also seen, and his case was that in signing the declaration ho did so at the request of Brailsford, with a view to enabling him to pass it on to a third person. Some formal evidence having been given, the manager of the Hotel Bristol, St. Petersburg, said that on .Jiily 25th a man came to stay at the hotel, and produced fco him a passport in the name of McCnllooh. Witness took it to the police station, and the police having made a vise upon it he returned it to the owner. Wifcnaas was then examined aßto the explosion that occurred at the hotel, but Mr Simon (defending) objected to the evidence on the ground that what took placo in Russia cotfd have no beirin^ on tho present charge unless the prosecution were going to endeavour to establish a connection between defendants and the man who was kil'ed, and that, he understood, was not contemplated. The m«g strate decided to admit the evidence. "Witness' went; 02 to say that the explosion occurred ou the nipht of February 25-2 P. The moment he heard it he weao to the so-called McCulloch's room, and found hi=> body hid h< en torn to pieoef. He was also present when the Le<?al Prosecutor found the pussporr, in one of the man's pockets. The man was of medium hoighr, with a small French beard, and he wore a fur overcoat. He epoke the Russinn language, but not fluently. According to the passport he appeared to'nave travelled in Kmsia a great de^l. Othw evidence having been given, the summons was adjourned for a fortnight.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6619, 12 July 1905

Word Count

A Bomb and a Passport. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6619, 12 July 1905