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The 1909 Hansard Trawl, featuring terrifying speeds of 20 mph, the sensitivities of Indian 'natives' and inadvisability of flying Old Glory from one's pub

Starting with this headscratcher:

Mr. JOHN WARD asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he can state the manufactured condition of the cotton recently declared to be contraband of war by the Russian court of appeal?

Sir E. GREY It is stated to have been raw cotton.

Doubtless the Nation slept easier of a night knowing that.

Nothing new under the Sun dept:

English Channel Fisheries (International Convention).
Mr. MILDMAY asked whether there is now any nearer possibility of the conclusion of an International Convention in connection with the fisheries of the English Channel upon the lines of that in force since 1884 in connection with the North Sea fisheries?

Sir E. GREY There is at present no question of an International Convention on the lines indicated in the question; but His Majesty's Government are in communication with the French Government with a view to the conclusion of a Convention with France for the regulation of the Channel Fisheries.

Bet those wicked Gauls were filching our fish...

Further proof of nothing new etc etc:

Torture of Political Prisoners (Morocco).
Mr. MacNEILL  asked whether the representations made by the British and foreign consuls to the authorities of Morocco have had any effect in stopping the tortures inflicted on political prisoners in that country; and, if not, what action does His Majesty's Government propose to take in this matter?

 Sir E. GREY No case of the torture of prisoners has been brought to the knowledge of His Majesty's Government since the date of the representations referred to.

Mr. MacNEILL Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that a man has been killed in prison since? Has he not used the ordinary means of communication?

Sir E. GREY I have no information to that effect.

I do not suppose King Hassan's penal establishments are fun places today, either.

And today's episode of the Hibernian follies:  Display of Flags at Public Houses (Ireland).

Mr. PATRICK O'BRIEN (for Mr. Hay-den) asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that Sergeant Carrigan, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, on last Saturday evening ordered Mr. Mark M'Cormack, a licensed publican in the town of Castlerea, to remove a flag bearing the stars and stripes which he had hung out upon his house to honour two American citizens who were visiting the town...

Mr. REDMOND BARRY I am informed that Sergeant Carrigan did call the attention of the publican in question to the fact that it was a breach of the Licensing Acts to display any flag from his licensed premises except the accustomed sign of the house. In doing so, I understand that the sergeant acted on his own initiative, the law being quite clear that any such display is an offence under the licensing code....

Mr. MOONEY Is not the Act of Parliament dealing with the display of flags an Act dealing with illegal and secret societies, and is it not a fact that in Dublin every day of the week the large hotels and public-houses display flags, and the police take no action, and is it not the fact that in this case the action of the sergeant is based on the allegation that the United States flag was a party emblem?

Mr. REDMOND BARRY I do not know that there is any foundation for the suggestion.

Mr. JOYCE May I ask whether it would be illegal for a publican in Ireland to fly the Union Jack?

Mr. SPEAKER  That is a hypothetical question. The hon. Member should give notice of it.

I am beginning to winder whether it was a deliberate policy of the Irish Nats to ask questions so infuriatingly parochial that GB MPs would end up begging the Crown to grant home rule.

I am a tad confused by this one, so offers of illumination would be gratefully received:

Press Law in India.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has received any official Reports from the Government of India to the effect that a bomb had been thrown at a train in Eastern Bengal with the object of securing £90,000, which was known to be aboard the train, to be used in furtherance of the Anarchist cause; that the three natives in charge of the treasure showed great courage, pulled the communication cord, and refused to leave the treasure van, which was shattered; and that the bomb used was one of an extremely high explosive power; and, if not, whether the Government of India are taking any, and, if any, what steps, under the Press Law or otherwise, to put an end to the transmission of such unfounded statements?
The UNDER-SECRETARY Of STATE for INDIA (The Master of Elibank)...The Secretary of State has no official knowledge of the report referred to; and with regard to the last part of the question of the hon. Member for Merthyr, I would remind him that Reuter's message was apparently a bonâ fide report based on the statements made by the Indians in charge of the van. The Government can scarcely undertake to deal with every unfounded statement in the Press that forms the basis of questions on India in this House.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE May I ask whether, in view of the strict interpretation of the law applied to the native Press in regard to reports concerning Europeans, the India Office will consider the advisability of applying this law to unfounded reports that cause bitter irritation when referring to natives?

Mr. SPEAKER The hon. Gentleman should give notice of that question.

And Mr Last Word himself:
Mr. MacNEILL   Will the hon. Gentleman ask the Secretary of State to take steps to deport some of the members of this brigade of liars?

Mr. SPEAKER That question also requires notice.

So, the report would appear to be untrue, but why would it 'cause bitter irritation when referring to natives?'

A quip perhaps not made with an eye on eternity in a discussion of Transvaal mining fatalities:  

Mr. LUPTON Is there any reason to believe that the gritty substance in the mines has a more injurious effect on the natives than on the Chinese; and, if so, whether he will take steps to have the gritty substance removed by water or otherwise from the atmosphere of the mines?

Mr. REES Is it not the case that the Kaffirs have not enough grit for the job?

Colonel SEELY I am afraid I am not able to state in what different degrees the gritty substance affects different races.
And back to less grave matter: Motor Cars (Horse-power).

Mr. ARTHUR LEE Will the Treasury see that whatever standard is adopted the owners of cars, bonâ fide believing that there is a certain horse-power in their cars, will not have their rating increased for the purposes of taxation?

Mr. HOBHOUSE It is quite impossible to give that assurance off-hand. I will endeavour to see what can be done.

Oh aye.

'People are our greatest resource' dept:

Mr. WARDLE asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the action of the North British Railway Company in refusing to supply artificial limbs to employés who have been injured in the execution of their duty; and whether he is prepared to consider an alteration of the law to compel employers to make this provision?

The UNDER-SECRETARY for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. C. F. G. Masterman) The Secretary of State is informed by the company that they do not now as a matter of general practice supply artificial limbs to injured employés in addition to paying compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The workmen's claims under the Statute, which are met in full by the company, are very onerous, and the company do not feel justified at present in undertaking further expenditure by way of compensation. The Secretary of State does not think the time has come for the revision of the Workmen's Compensation Act.

Nice people.  Note that the hotel in Edinburgh used to be called the North Briton, and it was the railway company's enterprise.

Motor Vehicles (Speed Limit).

Mr. G. L. COURTHOPE (for Mr. Joynson-Hicks) asked whether, having regard to the fact that the police have recently made regulations compelling motor omnibuses and motor cabs to place thereon a device for making a continuous noise when the speed exceeds certain limits, the Home Secretary will take the necessary steps in conjunction, if necessary, with the Board of Trade to have the same device placed upon tramcars?

Mr. MASTERMAN This matter is still under consideration, but the application of this device to tramcars presents special difficulties, because of the varying limits of speed authorised for those vehicles.
Mr. HORATIO MYER Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the tramcars pass along the Embankment at the rate of more than 20 miles an hour?

20 mph.  Crikey.

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Blogger James Higham said... 6:08 pm

They're all good but I quite like some of the names - Mr. Mildmay, for example.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:24 am

One of these days Leo Chiozza Money will say something interesting and I will quote him....  

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