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The 1909 Hansard Trawl - featuring the bubonic plague, medical missionaries and foul play by Imperial Russia. Apparently

(Alas no 150 year old Hansards until next year.  They had an awesome recess in 1859)

A perhaps unexpected question heading: Madagascar (Lady Medical Missionaries).

Sir GILBERT PARKER asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether lady medical missionaries, fully qualified, and one of whom holds a gold medal given in 1895 by the French Government for her care of the wounded, have been forbidden to give out medicine to the natives in Madagascar under pain of legal proceedings; and whether this Government has made any representations on the subject to the French authorities?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Edward Grey) I am not aware of the circumstances referred to by the hon. Member. The question of the qualification of foreigners to practice medicine in France or her Colonies is governed by French law, according to which no one is allowed to practice medicine in France or in French Colonies without a diploma of medicine given by the French Government, subject to certain conditions.

I am intrigued.  Were these ladies peripatetic quacks with a sideline in religion, or the reverse?  My godmother was a missionary in Tanzania in the 1970s, and while as a child I imagined it involved her waving a Bible at bemused locals, a later conversation showed that she was more a developement worker, sorting out piped water and the like. 



An interesting one:


Mr. GINNELL (Irish Nat) asked the Secretary of State if he will state the amount of the Chinese indemnity to the United States of America in respect of the Boxer outbreak in 1900, which the United States Government remitted for the education of Chinese students in the United States; and, having regard to the losses which the British Government assist certain British subjects in imposing upon China in respect of railway projects, whether an equal sum will be set apart by this Government, or by its protégés, for the education of Chinese students in the United Kingdom?

Sir E. GREY I understand that a joint Resolution was passed by Congress and approved by the President of the United States in 1907, reducing the indemnity to be paid by China from 24,440,778 dollars to 13,655,492 dollars. As regards the British claim, that of His Majesty's Government was assessed as far as possible only on the basis of actual expenditure. Should it eventually be found when fully liquidated that there is any surplus, it will be returned to the Chinese Government, and its disposal would be left to their discretion. As regards the last part of the question, I am not prepared to answer further questions conveying unfounded imputations, such as those contained therein.


Erm, where is the unfounded imputation?  Can't help thinking that there would have been very few Chinese folk in these islands back then, and they would have been extraordinarily well funded on a like for like basis.




A really helpful answer here
:



Mr. O'GRADY asked the Secretary of State whether he had any official information showing that Russian troops have committed excesses on the life and property of the Persians in the district of Tabriz; and if he can make any statement to the House on the matter?

Sir E. GREY The answer is in the negative.

Mind you, the question was framed poorly.  I have not been able to discover if the Russians were misbehaving.


Absolutely nothing new under the sun, ever, department: Political Prisoners in Russia

Mr. DILLON asked the Secretary of State whether his attention has been called to the treatment of political prisoners in Russian gaols; and whether any protests will be made by the English Government against such proceedings?

Sir E. GREY I cannot undertake to answer questions or make statements about internal affairs of European countries unless they are based on special Treaty rights.

...
Mr. SWIFT MacNEILL Does the right hon. Gentleman not know the statements extensively made by Prince Krapotkin (sic) upon the subject, and does he not know the feelings of the people of this country in reference to these outrages?
I would like to think that MacNeill was intimating that the Plain People of the UK were roused to outrage by Russian penal policy.  I suspect that one would be hard pushed to find a one in ten who cared a fig these days.   

And from the Lords of the Urals to the Lords of the Atlas (Sorry, that was very contrived.):  Treatment of Prisoners in Morocco.

Mr. DILLON (Irish Nat) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Consuls of France, Spain, and England had presented a joint remonstrance to the Sultan of Morocco against the cruel treatment of prisoners of war; and, if so, how he justified this interference in the internal affairs of a foreign State?

Sir E. GREY The British representative at Tangier has joined those of all the other Treaty Powers in addressing to the Sultan a collective Note asking for an assurance that mutilation of prisoners should not be repeated. The desired assurance has been obtained.

Mr. DILLON Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the British Government consider it to be their duty to interfere in the internal affairs of a foreign friendly Power like that of Morocco while taking no notice of the internal affairs of Russia?

Sir E. GREY Because there is no parallel between the two cases.

Mr. MacNEILL Is it because Morocco is weak and Russia is strong?

Mr. DILLON Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the fact that details are published on high authority that atrocities are quite as great in Russian prisons as in Morocco?

Sir E. GREY I entirely deny that anything corresponding to what has taken place in Morocco has taken place in any European country.

How very cynical of messrs Dillon and MacNeill.  I suspect they were nearer the truth than Haldane, however.


The Plague


 
Mr. ALFRED KING asked the Undersecretary for India whether the Indian Government still adhere to the theory that plague in man is due to bites of infected rat fleas; and, if they do not, what theory are they now acting on, and have they made such changes in their administration as are necessary to meet the new situation?

The MASTER of ELIBANK  The connection between bubonic plague in man and plague in rats is well established, and rat destruction continues to hold a prominent place among the preventive measures adopted by the Government of India....

Mr. KING Has the hon. Gentleman seen the statement in the public Press to the effect that the rat-flea theory is entirely disproved.

The MASTER of ELIBANK I have not seen the statement to which the hon. Member refers. A well-known medical authority who has taken up an independent attitude on this question does not generally agree that this theory has been disproved.

One wonders what King deemed the vector of the disease.  Shades of Thabo Mbeki and AIDS....


Another corking sub-heading: Naval Gun Practice (Danger to Fishing Boats.)

Mr. W. WARING  asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that a  fishing boat sailing in the Moray Firth on 10th September narrowly escaped being struck by a shell from a man-of-war during gun-practice there; whether, in view of the danger of such occurrences, he will cause gun-practice to be deferred until after 20th September, when the fishing fleets will have left for English ports; and whether he will cause greater care to be taken in making known the times when gun-practices take place?
Mr. McKENNA  No report upon the incident referred to has been received by the Admiralty; and an inquiry will be made.

I seriously doubt that the ship doing the shelling was a man of war in the sense of 'The term often refers to a ship armed with cannon and propelled primarily by sails, as opposed to a galley which is propelled primarily by oars'. Thus, along with the commissioning of a new HMS Terrible, I demand that 'man of war' should return to use by the Admiralty.

And how was our pharma industry supposed to flourish when Captain Craig reckoned he had their number?:


Captain CRAIG
asked the Home Secretary whether he will consider the advisability of issuing regulations making it compulsory on all manufacturers of medicines liable to Patent Medicine Duty to print on the label on the bottle, or other vessel in which such is sold, the full ingredients of such bottles or vessels, as well as the diseases they purport to cure; and whether he will consider the advisability of increasing the size of the lettering of the Government stamp as a further precaution against ignorant people believing that the contents are guaranteed by the Government?
Mr. GLADSTONE  I am in communication with the Privy Council Office about the point raised in the first part of the question, but I am disposed to think that the matter may be one of sufficient importance for an inquiry by a Select Committee next Session. As regards the second part of the question, I am informed that new designs for medicine stamps have recently been adopted, and the printing plates are being prepared by the engravers. In the new designs it will be more clearly indicated that the stamp does not imply any Government guarantee. 
...
Mr. ARTHUR LYNCH Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in certain foreign countries it is made a matter of obligation to print the full prescription in the case of patent medicines?

(Not a good move, Arthur.  Here comes the slapdown) 

Mr. GLADSTONE I dare say that is so.
As good a dismissal as one will encounter today, I imagine.

Headscratcher o' the day - Soldiers and Bad Teeth.


   
Mr. WILLIAM THORNE asked the Secretary for War if he will state whether the 11 soldiers who were discharged a few days ago at Colchester on account of bad teeth were discharged from the Army entirely or only discharged from the colours to the first-class Army Reserve?

Mr. HALDANE I am making inquiry.







Unsporting though it is, I am going to take aim at the sitting duck - were our boys in green supposed to bite the foe should ammunition run out and bayonets be lost? 

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Blogger James Higham said... 6:11 pm

Always nice to read about the bubonic plague and the rat-flea debunking.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 6:22 pm

We aim to please...  



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