The 1909 Hansard Trawl - featuring jam, creosote, lightbulbs and horse races
Mr. REES asked whether the European and Anglo-Indian Defence Association had complained to the Bengal Government of the effect of the boycott movement in Bengal; whether many warehouses in Calcutta were crowded with fabrics from England which could not be sold owing to the intimidation practised by the boy-cotters; and whether the Bengal Government was taking any, and, if so, what, action to provide conditions of fair trade for British goods.
The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (The Master of Elibank) A letter from the Association to the effect stated appeared in the newspapers last month. The Secretary of State has no official information as to the second part of the question; as regards the third, he has no doubt that the Lieutenant-Governor is alive to the necessity of dealing with any methods of violence and intimidation that this movement may involve.
Perhaps the greatest title since the Wali of Swat: Visits of Indian Princes to England (Jam of Nawanagar).
Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS asked whether the Jam of Nawanagar was a ruling prince in India; and whether such Jam could only come to England with the permission of the Secretary of State?
The MASTER of ELIBANK His Highness the Jam of Nawanagar is a ruling prince or chief governing his own territories under the suzerainty of His Majesty.
I am minded to declare myself the Jam of Croydon, but for the poor antecedents:
Major RENTON Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this chief is alleged to owe a great deal of money to small local tradespeople in Sussex?
(Insert 'jam tomorrow' joke here)
And, ta-da - waggishness:
Mr. J. D. REES Is not the Jam referred to in the question a better jam for Indian consumption in proportion as it is preserved in India?
Mr. COURTHOPE asked the Postmaster-General upon what facts or information the Post Office estimates that the life of uncreosoted English larch poles is only from seven to ten years; and whether he was aware that, in the opinion of many timber experts, based upon practical experience, the life of uncreosoted English larch is equal to, if not greater than, that of creosoted foreign pine.
Mr. BUXTON My estimate of the time for which uncreosoted larch poles could safely carry the telegraph wires of the Post Office was based upon the reports furnished from time to time by the engineers of my Department. They inform me that a more extended use of uncreosoted timber would be fraught with danger to the general public; and I am not aware of any telegraph engineer who favours the use of such poles. I am, however, at the present moment making inquiries on that and kindred subjects of various departments and associations who may be able to give me information on the question.
A more cynical interpreter would wonder whether Courthorpe had extensive interests in larch plantations.
Not getting free trade. In the slightest:
Mr. HUNT (Con) asked the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether the responsible Committee of the City Corporation have decided to restrict future lettings in Smithfield Market, as far as possible, to firms or tenants prepared to enter into an agreement to foster the sale of British beef by every means practicable?
The TREASURER of the HOUSEHOLD (Sir Edward Strachey) The reply is in the negative.
(Hurrah for Strachey. C)
Mr. HUNT May I ask whether the hon. Gentleman is aware there is one man alone in Smithfield Market who has five stalls, at which he sells nothing but American Trust beef, and he is now trying to get another stall, and one of the very biggest in the Market?
Sir E. STRACHEY I have answered the question on information supplied to me by the Corporation.
Keeping the Hun away from our lightbulbs (if only we'd done something similar with Belgians in the last month...):
Mr. RENWICK asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in the case of contracts which have recently been placed for the electric light installations and searchlights in British warships now building the contractors for such installations, etc., being British branches of German firms it is made a condition of the contract that only British-made cables, machinery, and fittings shall be used, and only British subjects employed in the superintendence and fitting of same on board the vessels; and whether precautions have been taken to prevent the necessary plans of the ships supplied to the contractors being sent abroad or shown to foreigners.
The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna) In a contract of the kind referred to in this question, it is made a condition that only British-made cables, machinery and fittings shall be used, and only British subjects employed in the superintendence and fitting of them on board the ships. With regard to the last part of the question, the following provision has been embodied in recent contracts:—"This contract involves an obligation of secrecy within the meaning of Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act, 1889.
Captain FABER asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state whether, in the late naval manœuvres, the operations of the Red Fleet were directed from the Admiralty; and whether the Red Fleet was completely defeated, both strategically and tactically, by the operations of the supposed enemy?
Mr. McKENNA The hon. and gallant Gentleman must, I think, be aware that, as has been stated on several occasions in reply to questions in this House, the manœuvres are confidential. It would accordingly be contrary to the public interest to reply to the present question.
I would have said 'the Royal Navy was victorious', as by necessity it must have been.
Question heading o' the day, nay the YEAR - Defence of the Empire.
Captain FABER asked the Secretary for War if he will state whether Lord Kitchener or the Chief of the General Staff is to be responsible for the general defence of the Empire?
Mr. HALDANE The responsibility for the defence of the Empire rests with no one individual, however distinguished, but with the Government of the day. It has the advantage of being able to obtain the advice not only of the Committee of Imperial Defence, but of the Army Council and the Chief of the General Staff, the Board of Admiralty, and other advisers.
So that's that cleared up then.
Mr. HUNT asked whether Trooper A. Cairns, a recruit this year of the Lothian and Border Horse Yeomanry, is entitled to the £12 won by him in the regimental races on a horse hired by the Government, or whether it must be paid to the contractors who supplied the horse and who are now claiming the money?
Mr. HALDANE Nothing is known of this matter at the War Office, nor does it come within the purview of the Army Council. I therefore regret that I am not in a position to give the hon. and gallant Member any ruling on the point.
Mr. HUNT How is the man to find out whether he is to keep the money? In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is a great lawyer as well as a great war lord, perhaps he would say?
Mr. HALDANE Yes; but I am wholly unskilled in the procedure of race meetings. As I already suggested, it would be much better to refer the matter to some person of great eminence in the country, like the hon. Member, for arbitration.
Mr. HUNT Is the right hon. Gentleman aware this has nothing to do with race meetings? It is a question of money.
Mr. HALDANE I am afraid the whole root of the evil in this case, as in others, lay in the £12.
Mr. HUNT Does not the right hon. Gentleman see it was the Government that hired the horse?
Were I Cairns, I would have gone to a lawyer ahead of my MP, but each to their own.
Visions of Cody:
Visions of Cody:
Mr. FELL asked if the successful experiments at Aldershot by Mr. Cody with his aeroplane are being conducted at the expense of the War Office; what is the nature of his agreement, if any, with the War Office; and if the Government have any option of purchase of the aeroplane?
Mr. HALDANE Mr. Cody's aeroplane is his own property, and the experiments are being carried out at his own expense. There is no agreement with the War Office regarding his aeroplane, and no option of purchase.
Mr. FELL Are the Government doing nothing in this matter, taking no steps and expending no money, but leaving it entirely to the enterprise of Mr. Cody?
Mr. HALDANE Oh, yes, the Government are taking steps. It does not follow that because they are allowing facilities to Mr. Cody for working with his own machine that they are taking no steps.
Samuel Cody is our equivalent of the Wright brothers, not that I suppose many of us have heard of him. He had an outstanding moustache: