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Hansard 1859 - Their Lordships debate strikes, and Hansard 1959 wherein MPs fret about both litter baskets and alsatians on trains

Observations on the builders' strike:

LORD BROUGHAM wished to know whether the attention of the Government had been called to the combination of workmen in the building trade which had taken place? For his own part, he deeply deplored that proceeding, and highly disapproved of it. If, as seemed to be the case, the object of the movement was to obtain, by means of combination, ten hours' wages for nine hours' work, nothing could be more utterly absurd and more inconsistent with justice as well as common sense.

....

THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE said, he was afraid it was impossible to prevent these unfortunate strikes. Nothing but the increasing knowledge and experience of the men themselves would put an end to them. When the operatives were better instructed in the circumstances affecting the relation between employers and employed they would know that the whole question was involved in the larger question of supply and demand; and that for masters to endeavour to diminish wages, or for the men to endeavour to raise them, contrary to that law, must ever be futile.

....

LORD BROUGHAM said, that much would depend on care being taken to enlighten the workman, by giving him information that would be neither partial nor prejudiced. A great portion of the difficulties which had to be encountered under the existing state of things was owing to the ignorance of the working classes which left these unfortunate men in the hands, and he might say at the mercy, of a few leading agitators.
...

The Lord Chancellor - He would state to the House the opinion on this subject of one who was no enemy to the working classes—the late Daniel O'Connell. That gentleman told him confidentially, but in a melancholy tone, that strikes had been the ruin of Ireland; that in consequence of trade combinations manufactures could not flourish in that country; that manufactures had been going on prosperously till those trade combinations put them down, causing the ruin first of the employers and then of the people.
Now if only Bob Crow would listen to the wisdom of the ages....


Skipping forward a hundred years, the problem of RAF guard dogs on trains:

Mr. Stonehouse (Yes, him) asked the Secretary of State for Air why he arranges for Royal Air Force Alsatian guard-dogs to travel on passenger trains, which is greatly to the annoyance of the travelling public and railway staff; and whether he will now discontinue this practice.

Mr. Ward - I am afraid that we cannot provide motor transport every time dogs have to be sent to another station, nor could we very well send them as freight. The handlers accompanying the dogs observe the railway regulations and we do all we can to avoid annoyance to other passengers.
I would imagine that if someone asked a question framed thus these days, he or she could guarantee a lifetime of dog faeces being posted to them. Ho hum.

Mr. de Freitas (Lab) Surely these dogs are accompanied by an attendant when they travel? They are not sent alone, are they?

Mr. Ward They have handlers.

And how silly did you feel then, Mr de Freitas?


Here's someone with quite a track record of consistency
:

Mr.[Tony] Benn asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Africans, held in prison or detention camps in Kenya, died as a result of the use of illegal violence against them by members of the prison or camp staffs, in each of the years 1952–58.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd pursuant to his reply supplied the following additional information:Between 1952 and 1959 no Africans held in prisons or detention camps in Kenya died after, or as a result of, the use of illegal force by members of prison or camp staffs. The appeal by the officer convicted of assault on Kabugi Njuma in 1958 has now been dismissed.
Moving to somewhat less weighty matters:

Mr. Atkins (Con) asked the Minister of Works when he intends to install the new litter baskets on the north and south sides of the Mall as recommended by the Rodgers Committee.

Mr. H. Nicholls My right hon. Friend is not satisfied that this type of litter basket, which requires a permanent fixing, is as suitable for the conditions in the Mall as the conventional wire baskets. Permanently fixed baskets are more liable to suffer damage and to cause injury when crowds gather on ceremonial occasions. The wire baskets at present in use are safe and efficient, and their numbers can easily be varied to suit the demand.



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Blogger James Higham said... 2:15 pm

You know, that's really rather interesting. Old Hansard is a look at a bygone time, isn't it? I mean I know it is but ... well I hope you know what I mean.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:21 pm

Shades of that line, 'there's nothing quite so remote as the recent past', or something similar.  



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