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Further gems from vintage Hansards, featuring generous beaks, dreadnoughts, the demon drink and a deposed Shah.

Starting with 1909.

What about this for the quality of mercy?:

"Mr. J. PARKER (Lab) (on behalf of Mr. William Thorne)asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the case of a man summoned at the West Ham Police Court for the cost of food supplied to his children by the West Ham Children's Care Committee, whose fine was paid by the magistrate because he had no money; and if he intends taking action in the matter?

Mr. BURNS My attention has not been called to this case. If my hon. Friend will give me particulars with regard to it I will make inquiry on the subject".

Can't see that happening these days....

Dabbling in Persia's gore, to adapt Byron:

Mr Lynch asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the ex-Shah of Persia is still at the Russian Legation in Tehran under the protection of the British and Russian flags; and, in view of the menace to public peace involved by his continued presence in the country, what steps are being taken to conduct him to the frontier without further delay?

Mr. McKINNON WOOD Arrangements are in contemplation to conduct the Shah to the frontier, under escort, with the least possible delay; but before they can be actually carried out certain questions must be settled with regard to his future place of residence, the amount of the pension which he is to receive, and the transfer to his successor of the crown jewels.

Mr. LYNCH Has any objection been made by the Persian Government to the removal or departure of the ex-Shah, or has such an objection been made by the two Legations?

Mr. McKINNON WOOD No objection has been made, either by the Persian Government or by the two Legations. The delay is caused by the questions of the pension and of the Crown jewels.

Plus ça change... Arguable that we treated that Shah - Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar - rather better than Reza Pahlavi.

Not so perfidious Germania:

Mr. CULLINAN (for Mr. Dillon) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he still accepted as made in good faith the declaration of the German Government that Germany will not accelerate her naval programme, and will not have 13 ships of the "Dreadnought" type, including cruisers, till the end of 1912; and whether before last Monday any information had reached the British Government tending to cause them to believe that any change had taken place in the intentions of the German Government?

Mr. McKINNON WOOD The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, and to the second part in the negative.

They didn't make it to 13 until 1913...

Not getting one's facts right:

Sir THOMAS BRAMSDON asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he was aware that the petrol tanks of the A division of submarines are so worn out as to need constant repairs; would he say whether this is not a source of danger in the employment of those boats, and whether he would call for a report on the matter and, if necessary, direct that new tanks should be supplied to this class of submarine?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna) Reports have been obtained and show that the petrol tanks of 1695 the A Class of submarines are in good condition. They are not a source of danger in the employment of the boats and do not require renewal.

Sir T. BRAMSDON Is it true that these petrol tanks are needing constant repair?

Mr. McKENNA No; I wired for reports immediately on seeing the question, and this is the reply I have had—"The petrol tanks are in good condition."

Further naval matters

Mr. REES asked whether any, and, if so, how many, battleships and first-class cruisers are stationed on the East India and China stations?

Mr. McKENNA Four first-class cruisers on the China station.
Sir GILBERT PARKER Is the absence of first-class battleships from the China and East India stations due to the fact that under our alliance with Japan we leave to her the responsibility of defending our interests there?

Mr. McKENNA I think these questions of high policy had better not be discussed by question and answer.

McKenna's final response is rather better than the 'national security' boilerplate taext of our time.

And what about this for being on top of one's brief?:

Mr. HUNT asked the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that the parish council of Sleat, Isle of Skye, has lately passed a unanimous resolution that the stallions and bulls lately supplied by the Congested Districts Board have been of very poor quality, much to the detriment of the stock in the island; and will he inquire into the 1698 matter and have better animals supplied in future years?

The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Ure) I am aware that the parish council of Sleat have represented recently to the Congested Districts Board that there is a falling off in the quality of the bulls and stallions sent by the Board to the parish...


An early outbreak of 'Vote Blue, go Green', and Liberals having none of it.
Cameron and CCHQ take note:

"Mr. FELL (Con) asked if there is any advantage gained by keeping Westminster Hall lighted up and patrolled during the whole of an all-night sitting; and if arrangements can be made to close it at midnight, seeing that it is practically not used at all after that hour?"

"The FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS (Mr. Lewis Harcourt)It would not be desirable to leave Westminster Hall in darkness so long as the public have a passage through the upper portion of it to the central lobby".

I suspect this was more to do with saving money than the planet, but no matter.

Hurrah - up to a point - for Gladstone Jr

Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS (Lib) asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is intended to introduce the measure amending the law in regard to inebriates promised in the King's Speech?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Gladstone) I fear there is now no possibility of carrying legislation on this subject during the present Session, and I do not think that in these circumstances it is desirable to introduce the Bill.

Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS Can the right hon. Gentleman state whether a Bill will be introduced next Session?

Mr. GLADSTONE I am open to argument, but I think the balance of probability is against that view.
I cannot discover whether Roberts was a temperance fanatic, but he was the son of a preacher man.

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Blogger James Higham said... 8:20 am

Reports have been obtained and show that the petrol tanks of 1695 the A Class of submarines are in good condition.

It takes a special mind, Mr. C and one we can all admire from a distance, which enjoys spending its summer reading Hansard. :)  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:42 am

James - Indeed. Tis not a lengthy process: pick a date, skim for promising headings, dig for quotes. add a facetious comment, rinse, repeat. But I expect my secret was out already.  

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