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The 1909 Hansard Trawl - featuring the need for Tommies to have sound teeth, penalties for poaching and Keir Hardie getting slapped down

Naval intelligence.

Insert the old joke here.

Captain Faber has his best rat-smelling skills on display:

Captain FABER asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state the reasons for dispensing with the services of the two naval officers of the Naval Intelligence Department who were called before the Sub-Committee of Imperial Defence by Lord Charles Beresford, seeing that no specific reorganisation of the Department has yet been carried out?

Mr. McKENNA A reorganisation of the Department is being carried out, and in consequence of the changes involved the services of the two officers in question will not be required after they have been carried into effect.

Captain FABERI is it a mere coincidence that one of these officers was ordered away the very day that the inquiry ceased?

Mr. McKENNA Coincidence has nothing to do with it.

(Edwardian conspiracy loons are beside themselves by this point)

Captain FABER Then why was he ordered away?

Mr. McKENNA No, Sir; the hon. Gentleman is in error. The officer in question was invited to take his holiday from the date. [Laughter.] I do not in the least desire to answer the hon. Gentleman.

Doubtless Faber had a piece of paper marked 'kick me' stuck to his back later. The last line is an odd one - was there something said that the clerks did not add, or is McKenna adding insult to injury?

Trade with foreign countries

Mr. FELL asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if any Reports have been received from the Consuls and Business Agents in France or Germany as to the feeling with regard to the Budget in those countries, and the effect it will have upon trade between those countries and Great Britain; and if there are any Reports or Papers on the subject which can be presented to this House?

The UNDER-SECRETARY for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. McKinnon Wood) I have not received any such Reports or other communications from France or Germany.

Well fancy that.  There was I thinking that Europe from Pointe Du Raz all the way to the Memel would still be  obsessing over the budget.

Somewhat stung, Fell returns to the fray;

Mr. FELL I am unwilling to put these questions down if there is no object in doing so. May I ask if the Reports will come to the Board of Trade from the Consuls or business agents?

Mr. McKINNON WOOD I cannot at all understand how the Budget is likely to have any effect upon the trade between Great Britain and these countries.
At which point Fell retired hurt I imagine. 

And because I feel like it, 'Dr Fell':

I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not love thee, Dr Fell.
The good Captain is not so easily put off:

Captain FABER asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that at the brick-making centre at Fletton the price of bricks has fallen from 23s. 10½d. in 1898 to 10s. 6d. in 1909, or 1s. 6d. below cost price; and whether he will, therefore, take steps to exempt common brick-clay from the Mineral Duty?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hobhouse) Of course I am not aware of Fletton brick prices, you blithering idiot.  My right hon. Friend is not able to say whether the figures quoted by the hon. and gallant Member are correct. He is not prepared to introduce a special exemption for brick-clay.

Meanwhile, the good people of Ludlow had a doughty MP in Rowland Hunt:

Mr. HUNT (Con) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will say how much out of £100 worth of beer of a specific gravity of 1.055 at 33s. for 36 gallons will be paid to the State as duty by a retailer of beer after the passing of the Finance Bill; how much out of £100 worth of whisky of 25 per cent. below proof at 18s. a gallon will be paid to the State as duty by a retailer of whisky after the passing of the Finance Bill; and how much out of £100 worth of champagne at 120s. a dozen will be paid by a wine merchant as duty to the State?

Mr. HOBHOUSE  The duty on 60 20–33rd barrels of beer of 36 gallons each brewed in the United Kingdom, and of a specific gravity of 1.055 deg., would be £23 9s. 8 4–11d. The duty on 111 1–9th gallons of whisky, strength 25 per cent. 396 under proof, would be £61 9s. 2d. The duty on 16 8–12th dozen reputed quart bottles of champagne would be £6 5s.

Mr. HUNT  May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the increase in the taxation on the working man's whisky up to 300 per cent. and on his beer up to 31 per cent. is the latest great effort of the Liberal party to lessen the burden of taxation on the poor?
Is there an equivalent of Drake's Drum that we might beat in the hope of bringing back Mr Hunt?

Someone was too cheap to fork out for the Financial Times:

Mr. LANE-FOX (for Mr. Leverton Harris) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he would say by how many points respectively the following Government securities have risen or fallen between 1st September, 1908, and 1st September, 1909; British Two and a-half Per Cent. annuities, French Three Per Cent. Rentes, German Three Per Cents., Italian Five Per Cents., and Spanish Four Per Cents.?


Sir F. BANBURY Am I to gather that every foreign security has risen except ours?
Mr. HOBHOUSE Yes; I believe that is so, owing to the uncertainty as to whether the Budget will be passed.

Oh the shame of it.

The price you pay for getting caught poaching:

Sir JOHN JARDINE (Lib) asked the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been drawn to the case of William Norris, a boy of 14 years of age, who was, on the 2nd instant, sentenced by Sheriff-Substitute Baillie at Jedburgh to be birched for taking trout from Bowmont Water; ...

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND (Mr. A. Dewar)  Inquiry has been made, and it appears that the prosecution was not a private one or under the Tweed Acts, but was at the instance of the Procurator Fiscal for contravention of the Trout and Freshwater Fish Acts by taking 42 trout by means of wire snares. Two boys were prosecuted, both of whom pled guilty. Norris, being under 14 years of age, was sentenced to four strokes of the birch. The Probation Act is applicable, but I am informed that the boy had been previously twice convicted of malicious mischief, and had been repeatedly cautioned by the police.

A sort of 1909 ASBO, I supppose

Mr. JOHN WARD (Lab Does not the hon. and learned Gentleman think that it is an atrocious punishment for a boy?

Mr. SPEAKER That is a matter of opinion.


This is good, really good:

Offensive Matter (Transmission through Post).

Mr. KEIR HARDIE  asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been drawn to an envelope which is being used by an anti-Socialist organisation, presided over by a Member of this House, and on which is printed in red ink the words socialism and murder; whether it is a breach of the Post Office regulations to make His Majesty's mails the vehicle for propagating an offensive innuendo against a political movement; and, if so, what action he proposes to take in the matter?

Mr. BUXTON    The Postmaster-General has authority to stop in the post any packet on which there appears words of an "indecent, obscene, or grossly offensive character." The inscription in question, however, whatever may be thought of its taste, appears to me too inept and devoid of meaning to be regarded as coming within these terms.

They don't like it up 'em, these Socialists, Captain Faber Mainwaring.

Horses for courses.  Or cavalry charges:

Thoroughbred Horses (Military Purposes).

Mr. RENWICK asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the shortage of horses for military purposes, he has considered the advisability of retaining in this country for the British Government some of the numbers of thoroughbred horses which, having been found unsuitable for racing, are sold in the autumn months, such horses being principally bought for military purposes in France, Germany, and Belgium, and for breeding and other purposes in South America?

Mr. ACLAND  As there is no present shortage of horses for military purposes it does not appear necessary to consider the possibility of carrying out the hon. Member's suggestion.

One imagines Renwick felt a bit of a plank at that juncture.

Mr. STANIER Do not foreign Governments pay more for their horses than we?

Mr. ACLAND Yes. They buy very largely a type of horse which is no use to us at all.

Mr. RENWICK - (not waving the white flag quite yet) Would not these horses which are suitable for foreign Governments be equally suitable for the British Government?

And - swat...

Mr. ACLAND We obtain a perfectly adequate supply of those that we want at a reasonable price.
And a return to the vexed issue of military dentition

Mr. W. THORNE asked whether the 11 soldiers who were discharged during the week ending 19th September, 1909, 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. ACLAND Thirteen men of the 8th Hussars, who are under orders for service in India, were rejected as medically unfit on account of defective teeth. The sum of £1 per head is granted for dental treatment of men with defective teeth, but as the cost of such treatment was assessed at a larger sum for these men, they were given the option of paying the extra amount required to make their teeth sound or of being discharged as medically unfit for further service. Three men elected the former course and 10 the latter.
Mr. W. THORNE Were these men discharged entirely or relegated to the Army Reserve?

Mr. ACLAND They were discharged as medically unfit.

Mr. ACLAND The military authorities attach great importance to soundness of teeth, particularly when men are going on foreign service. If a man cannot get his teeth made sound it is very much better, especially considering the large number of suitable recruits coming forward at present, not to retain him.
And finally, the golden rivet:

Mr. J. D. REES Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Indian Government already have complained of the cost of the capitation charge, and that a soldier without good teeth is no use for India, as he cannot chew the tough mutton?

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