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Hansard 1909 - featuring impecunious inventors, the defaming of Indian clerks and what to do with the V&A

Following a recount, I've found a few odds and ends, although 30/7/1909 was not a vintage sitting:

India was teeming with thieving clerks. Apparently:

Mr Claude Hay (Lib) asked the Under-Secretary for India...whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that, owing to the number of letters which are improperly opened or stolen in transit by native officials in the Indian postal service, British firms have been compelled to warn their correspondents, stating that they hoped that their letters had arrived safely...and whether he will say what steps it is proposed to take in order to remedy this grievance?

Or maybe not:

The MASTER of ELIBANK It will be necessary to inquire of the Government of India before a full reply can be given to the first part of the question. As regards the second part, statistics regarding complaints made by the public against the Post Office, and the proportion of groundless to well-founded complaints, are given in the Annual Report of the Post Office of India. A case in which it was alleged that letters were delivered to persons other than the addressees was recently brought to the notice of the Government. No proof of the allegations was forthcoming, but the suspected clerks were removed, and the complainants admit that they are now receiving their letters properly.

Giving it straight:

Mr. TYSON WILSON (Lab) asked the First Commissioner of Works if he is aware that practically the whole of the workmen that were engaged fitting up and completing the work in connection with the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, have been discharged, although there is a considerable amount of work uncompleted; and whether, in view of the amount of unemployment in the building trade in London, he can see his way to reengage the workmen with the object of completing the work?
Mr. HARCOURT The work for which my Department is responsible has been completed; it is of course impossible for me to re-engage workmen for whom there is no work. The fitting up of exhibits is a matter for the Board of Education.

You would not find workmen engaged where there is no work in the public sector today, would you?

98% perspiration, 1% inspiration, 1% litigation:

Mr. WILLIAM THORNE asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Public Prosecutor refuses to give any assistance to men in poor circumstances who have brought out various inventions, when investigating cases of fraud, forgery, and persecution; and if he intends taking any action in the matter.

Mr. HOBHOUSE I am informed by the Director of Public Prosecutions that he does not know to what this question refers. If the hon. Member will be so good as to explain to me what he has in mind, I will cause further inquiry to be made.




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