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Hansard 1909, featuring the Daily Mail's donation of a shed and some rather poor predictions about the future of aviation

I may have unearthed a horror unleashed by us on our Hibernian neighbours - The Tuberculosis Act (Ireland) 1909:

Captain CRAIG asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he can state the numbers of local authorities which have put in force The Tuberculosis (Ireland) Act, 1908?

Mr. CHERRY As has already been pointed out to the hon. Member in reply to the question asked by him on 9th July, Part 1 of the Act alone requires the formality of adoption. Three sanitary authorities have up to the present 1558 passed the necessary resolutions subject to the approval of the county council in each case. A number of the sanitary authorities have availed themselves of the various powers contained in Part III. of the Act.

Facetiousness aside, I prefer the terms consumption, especially when it allows the use of 'consumptive'.

An outrage crying out for a dose of corrective dharma?

Mr. ALDEN (Lib) asked why the Buddhist registrar has been removed from the hall of the Buddhist Theosophical Society in Colombo, although that society has had the benefit of his presence since the office was created in 1888, thus depriving the representative of the Buddhist community, which supports three colleges and over 250 schools, of the privilege of marriage in their own hall, although all Christian sects are granted this privilege?

The UNDER-SECRETARY for the COLONIES (Colonel Seely) My hon. Friend is mistaken in supposing that the Buddhist Theosophical Society represents the whole of the Buddhist community of Ceylon. The number of members of the society in Ceylon is only 132. It is not the only Buddhist society in the island, and the great mass of Buddhists belong to no 1554 society. The Government has required the removal of the registrar's office from the hall of this society because its presence there tended to identify the registrar too closely with this particular society.

Further troubles in Ulster:

MR Devlin"...whether he is aware that on the 11th July a procession of Orangemen, wearing regalia, marched under police protection through an almost exclusively Catholic portion of Portadown to and from a church in the neighbourhood, although the ordinary and direct road to and from the church is much shorter; whether he is aware that on the 13th July Orange drumming parties were allowed to parade through the Catholic district in a provoking manner, cursing the Pope and playing party tunes..."

Mr Cherry "...It appears that one band played a party tune, but the police did not hear anyone curse the Pope".

Captain CRAIG Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that Portadown is a most peaceful neighbourhood, and that the people live in peace and harmony all the year round?

Mr. CHERRY That is the general rule I believe. Portadown is very peaceful, but there are two occasions, 12th July and 15th August, which are usually exceptions.

Mr. CONOR O'KELLY Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman deny that the Union Jack is a party emblem?

Mr. CHERRY I cannot see how the Union Jack can be considered a party emblem, though it may possibly be turned into a party emblem.

Quite possible, I would think.

Naval and military aeronautics:

"That a sum not exceeding £36,464, including a supplementary sum of £6,500,. be granted to His Majesty to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st clay of March, 1910, for sundry grants in aid of scientific investigation".

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Haldane)

"...Great strides are being made, in the preparation of machines, but it is not enough to make machines that will fly, whether dirigibles or aeroplanes. They must be machines which can be made available for the purposes of war, and the difficulties which surround us are still so great that progress can only be made after exact and careful study and by the adaptation of inventions as they are brought forward to the peculiar conditions which must be fulfilled if effectiveness in war is to be secured...The remarkable events of the last few days—M. Blériot crossing the Channel, and other things that have been accomplished in the United States, and elsewhere—all point to this, that at some time hereafter the aeroplane will be an instrument which will be capable of effecting in all probability great results...Flying machines, whatever forms they take, are very simple machines, and you cannot keep secret very long any advance that has been made in their construction....in this country we have not made the amount of initial progress that has been made in Germany, France and, perhaps, in the-United States. But I reflect that much the same thing was true of submarines. To-day, by our scientific procedure and by the work that has been done in the Admiralty, we stand, it is no exaggeration to say, at the head of the world as regards submarines. Then again, in motor cars also we were behind. I am no expert in motor cars, but I know enough to have a strong impression that if we are not up to the best Continental countries in every way, we are getting very near it in the construction of motor cars....

Out of context quote of the day:

The "Daily Mail," working in conjunction with the Parliamentary Committee, have made the generous offer of a shed. The War Office has provided, with the assistance of the London County Council, a site at Wormwood Scrubbs, and the shed is in the course of rapid construction.

(In actual fact an airship hanger)

Back at the plot:

"There never will be, as far as I can see, any very large private ownership of these machines. No doubt, country gentlemen will hereafter have these aeroplanes, and have pleasant aeroplane parties and weekends; but when you come to dirigibles, rigid and unrigid, I fancy very few people will possess dirigibles.

Arthur Lee (Not the one who gave us 'Forever Changes') I believe this is absolutely the first occasion upon which it has ever been debated in the history of Parliament. I hope, therefore, that Members of this House will forgive those of us who have not a very wide and deep experience on the subject. I am reminded of a remark which was made by the present Lord Chamberlain some years back when he announced to an electrified House that he was not an agricultural labourer, and I feel bound to admit on this occasion that I am not a practical aeronautist....meanwhile, while these investigations are being carried on, men are actually flying about in other countries, and Frenchmen are landing like migratory birds upon our shores...Whilst the Admiralty are concentrating, the War Office, according to the right hon. Gentleman, are experimenting, and they have begun by ordering a gas bag".

Making oneself a hostage to fortune:

Mr. ARTHUR LEE I said these machines might be used for transport in a limited sense, but they could not be used for transport of large bodies or of stores for the purpose of invading this country.

Sir GILBERT PARKER Ordinary commonsense tells us that such machines will probably never be used for the carrying of large bodies of troops and ammunition.

And some slightly off-topic input from my new hero:

Mr Harold Cox (Lib) I challenge the hon. Baronet to point to a single invention that the Government has ever made. Did the Government invent telephones? When the telephone was first invented the Post Office sent over an agent to America to investigate it, and he came back with the report that it was a harmless toy. That is the attitude that Governments usually take in regard to inventions. In this particular case we have a more intelligent Government, and it has appreciated the importance of it. But it cannot invent.

And another hostage to fortune:

Mr Mond (Lib) I do not think that nations in the future are going to conduct their battles by scattering explosives over houses. That is very unlikely to take place. It would be the very reversal of the rules of war which have now existed for a long time. Nobody expects an enemy to bombard a seaside place like Brighton. With civilised nations warfare is not conducted by simply destroying property and killing civilians, or by dropping dynamite about London, Paris, or Berlin.

The first casualty of such was an English child killed in a Zeppelin raid, apparently.

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Blogger Nick Drew said... 6:44 pm

one band played a party tune

- and I think I know what it might have been ...

seriously, that aviation stuff is priceless, C  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:58 pm

Nick - Indeed. Something that Speaker Bercow might have sung in his youth, if the tales are true.

When I found the aviation debate, I did fill a touch of the Keats coming over me:

Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

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