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By popular demand, more 1909 Hansard fun & games - featuring dodgy stats, a useful quote and the answer to a question that we have all been waiting for.

Those avaricious Canucks:
Lord BALCARRES (for Sir Gilbert Parker) asked whether Canada makes a claim upon all land intervening between the American border and the North Pole; and if that claim is made in any treaty or constitutional article or document?

Colonel SEELY The Secretary of State understands that the Canadian Government have not made a formal declaration of the exact limits of their possessions northwards, but it is believed that they consider themselves entitled to claim all the land referred to by the hon. Gentleman.

Were I Danish / Greenlandic, I would have taken that as a threat.
The hazards of mining:
Mr. MARKHAM asked the Undersecretary of the Colonies if he will say whether His Majesty's Government have sanctioned the recruiting of natives for the Transvaal mines from Central Africa; and will he say what has been the mortality per 1,000 during the past four years among natives from Central Africa working in the mines compared to Chinese labourers?

Colonel SEELY The following are the available figures of mortality from disease for Chinese and British Central Africa labourers on the Rand per 1,000 per annum:—Chinese, 1905, approximately, 12; 1906, approximately, 11; 1907, approximately, 9; 1908, approximately, 7.—British Central African: 1904–5, 118.3; 1905–6, 116.3; 1906–7, 52.8. In spite of the striking reduction in the death rate of these British Central African natives from 166 (sic) to 52 per 1,000 in the last year mentioned, the Secretary of State did not feel justified in continuing to permit recruiting under official sanction.
118 per thousand.  That is simply horrific.

The things they say:
Mr. LUPTON asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs if he has any official information showing that the amount of serious crime in Egypt in 1908 was not 2 per cent in excess of the crime in 1908, and that the total of crimes and minor offences in 1908 was actually less than in 1907; if he is aware that the Judicial Adviser of the Egyptian Government, in his last Report, said that real crime was exaggerated by the statistics, that his own impression was that the proportion of unreported crime had not been at any time so small
Don't suppose that the crime rate etc had any impact on the Judicial Adviser's employment did it?

Out of context quote o' the day:
Mr. BUXTON That undoubtedly ought to be done, but the difficulty about taking one step at a time is that one step necessarily leads to others.
The context was the cost of international postage, but the quote is the stand out.
Mind you, this is quite good.  I think this is how the spending rounds of the last 12 years have been conducted:

Mr Buxton - It would hardly be an argument that would weigh with the Treasury if I were to say: "I have already spent £150,000; therefore, give me another £350,000." They would probably say: "We gave you enough." 
Defunct posts of our time, with a hint of jobbery:
Mr. WATT asked the Lord Advocate whether the post of chairman of the Prisons Commission has now been filled; if so, by whom; and will he say what are the qualifications of the new chairman which led to his appointment?

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND (Mr. Arthur Dewar) The post has been filled by the appointment of the Master of Polwarth, who is well known throughout Scotland for his activities in social and philanthropic work, and who, in addition to his general knowledge of public affairs, has, during the last 12 years, acquired a large experience of kindred administrative duties in the unpaid office of chairman of the Lunacy Board for Scotland.

Mr. WATT Can the hon. Gentleman state whether the particular claim of the gentleman to this post in the eyes of the Secretary for Scotland is that he had been three times a Conservative candidate?

Oh for a return to more robust forms of speech.  Maybe.
Mr. WATT  Can the hon. Gentleman state whether the particular claim of the gentleman to this post in the eyes of the Secretary for Scotland is that he had been three times a Conservative candidate?

Mr. MORTON I should like to ask the hon. Member whether it would not have been better for the Government to have appointed a non-politician to an office of this sort?

I've not been able to discover which party Watt represented, but Alpheus Cleophas Morton was a Lib.  I suppose his parents thought Andrew Charles would have been common.  Anyway, was Watt upset that the job did not go to a Liberal, or is there a suggestion that the Master of Polwarth was being removed from the political fray in a fiendish piece of divide and rule?
Mr. DEWAR They have not appointed a politician at all; they have appointed a gentleman well qualified for the post.

Mr. MORTON Is it not true that this gentleman fought two or three elections, and does not that make him a politician?
Being a touch old fashioned, I would hope that being a gentleman and being an MP are not mutually exclusive, but I suppose that's just naive.
Keeping his eye on what is truly important, that man 'Larch' Coulthorpe again:

Mr. COURTHOPE asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to a paper on school gardens by Mr. J. Haslam, one of the junior inspectors of the Board of Education; and whether, in view of the growing importance of this subject, he will lay Mr. Haslam's paper upon the Table of the House?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Runciman) The paper referred to is a Report on Gardening Classes in Cambridgeshire Schools. I do not think it is of sufficient general interest to justify the expense of publication.

Got to hand it to El Presidente for being aware of such an obscure paper.  
Yet more of Erin's gore:
Mr. KILBRIDE Are we to understand that it is the settled policy in Ireland of the inspectors, confirmed by the Estates Commissioners, that professional emergency men and land grabbers for the last 35 years are to be rewarded under this legislation?
 

Mr. CHERRY I am not aware of anything more than I have already stated.
Mr. KILBRIDE Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Shirley was an emergency man and a land grabber?

Mr. CHERRY I was not aware of that fact.

Mr. KILBRIDE Well, I am.

I get the sense that Kilbride derived an unholy amount of pleasure from that ambush.  And just what is an 'ermergency man' in this context? 
 
Bit topical this one, given today's inclement weather:
Sir SAMUEL SCOTT  asked the Secretary of State for War whether, owing to the recent dull weather, the lack of lamps for signalling by day is being found prejudicial to the carrying out of the military operations now in progress; and, if so, whether he will take steps to make sufficient provision at the earliest possible date?

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Haldane) A suitable pattern of lamp which could be used in lieu of a helio in dull weather has not yet been decided on, but the matter is under consideration, and lamps have been ordered for trial. They have not, however, been obtained in time for trial on these manœuvres.

An excellent if rather eye-popping sub-heading: Army Manœuvres (Boy Scouts).
Mr. STEPHEN COLLINS asked if the War Office has issued instructions for a number of boy scouts to take part in the Army manœuvres; and, if so, how many toys will take part and of what age will they be?
Duct tape for my split sides please.

Mr. HALDANE Permission was, in fact, given to some boy scouts to be employed in the forthcoming manœuvres. There is some doubt whether this should have been done, as these boy scouts are not subject to military law, and it has been thought best to cancel the permission. But this must not be taken to imply that the War Office does not greatly appreciate the value of the boy scout training.

Mr. STEPHEN COLLINS May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware how long the promoters of this movement have encouraged the military training of these boy scouts?

Mr. HALDANE I think there is a great deal of nonsense talked in connection with the boy scouts. It is one of the most valuable movements we have going on just now for the general development and the training of boys.
Ever longed to know how many horses aged 14+ served with the colours in 1909?  Well, long no longer, as the results are in:
Lord BALCARRES (for Major Anstruther-Gray) asked how many horses in the Household Cavalry, the cavalry of the line, the Royal Horse Artillery, and the Royal Field Artillery, respectively, are 14 years of age and upwards?
Mr. HALDANE The figures are as follows: Household Cavalry, 147; cavalry of the line, 591; Royal Horse Artillery, 238; Royal Field Artillery, 1,755.

Sir SAMUEL SCOTT  Does the right hon. Gentleman consider horses of 14 years are fit for active service?

Mr. HALDANE I myself have not had much experience of these things, but I have known excellent horses of the age of 14.

It would seem Haldane must have been a fan of things equine.  And we know what happens to old horses from an exchange in July 1909 that I  noted a while back.   
 
An outrage crying out to Heaven for vengeance - restrictions on the use of cars in Hyde Park:

Mr. WATT asked the First Commissioner of Works at what date the Regulation was first issued which prohibits motor cars in certain parts of Hyde Park during stated months in the summer; has it been in force continuously from that date; and will he say whether it is the speed of the cars or the odour of the petrol which leads to the continuance of the Regulation by him?
Mr. HARCOURT The Regulations to which my hon. Friend refers were made under the authority of the late Government in June, 1905, and have been continuously in force since that time. The maintenance of these Regulations is based upon my view of what will best contribute to the general comfort and convenience of the great mass of people for whose enjoyment the park is primarily intended.
A fairly modest slapdown, all things considered
However here comes another horror - diseased potatoes being sent by post.  Yes, really.
Mr. COURTHOPE (It just had to be him, didn't it?) asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that a practice has arisen among potato growers of transmitting diseased potatoes through the post for examination and diagnosis; and whether, in view of the losses which are being caused by the potato disease known as black scab and the infectious nature of this disease, he will issue orders prohibiting the transmission of diseased potatoes through the post?

Mr. BUXTON I am having inquiry made on the subject.
Lucky for the nation's posties it was not his other hobby horse, telegraph poles, that were being sent by post, eh readers? 
And ending with something positive:  Royal College of Surgeons (Admission of Women)
Mr. KEIR HARDIE asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received for sanction and ratification the new bye-laws of the council of the Royal College of Surgeons regarding the admission of women to their examinations, agreed to on 1st April last...

Mr. GLADSTONE I have already, on the 25th ultimo, signified to the council my decision to approve these bye-laws. My approval will be given as soon as they submit the formal document for my signature. I understand that they cannot do this before their meeting on 14th October, but it will still, I believe, be possible to complete the necessary formalities in time for women to be allowed to enter for the examination of the Royal College to be held in January next.

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Blogger Pavlov's Cat said... 4:17 pm

The Emergency Men were employed by landlords to burn out tenants after eviction during the Irish Land War 1860-1890's to prevent return.
A Land Grabber was a perjorative term for an Irishman who moved onto an evicted persons farm and then claimed the 'right to buy' it as their own under the Land Refomation Acts

Short story The Emergency Men by George H. Jessop  



Blogger Pavlov's Cat said... 4:20 pm

and not to step on your turf , but a quick googling shows that this was all legal back in 1889

Hansard 1889

MR. SEXTON

I wish to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he has any information as to the reported burning of the houses of evicted tenants at Clongorey by emergency men, accompanied by a large force of police; and whether, as the execution of the law had been completed, the Government authorized the use of the forces of 1253 the Crown to effect this destruction of property?

MR. BALFOUR

The police were there simply to protect the persons in charge of the houses from which the tenants had been evicted. The hon. Member's version of the story is not quite accurate.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:24 pm

Who needs reference libraries when you have this blog's readership's expertise?

PC - Much obliged, thank you.  



Blogger Pavlov's Cat said... 5:01 pm

You're welcome

I like 'The Lunacy Board for Scotland.' they didn't mess about with political correctness in those days, a looney was a looney.  



Blogger Mark Wadsworth said... 5:43 pm

I like the one step leading to another quote!  



Blogger Croydonian said... 6:16 pm

Mark - Glad I'm not the only who took a shine to that quote.  



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