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A quick Hansard trawl - featuring the 1959 Queen's speech, and sundry 1909 odds and ends

The class of 1959 showed up briefly today, so to speak, with - inter alia - Betty Saxe Coburg Gotha Battenburg's speech.  Some highlights:

""The six weeks' tour of My Realm of Canada which My Dear Husband and I undertook this summer was a great happiness to us. It gave us the opportunity to extend our knowledge of that mighty and developing country and to meet personally so many of My Canadian people. It was with special pleasure that, with the President of the United States of America, I opened the St. Lawrence Seaway, a practical illustration both of the co-operation of these two great neighbours and of the increasing  industrial strength of the Canadian nation. We were able to make a brief visit to Chicago, where we were deeply impressed by our reception".

Which is nice.

My Government have taken part in the Conference on the Discontinuance of Nuclear Weapons Tests, and progress has been made in drafting an international agreement, My Government have also recently agreed with other Governments, including the Soviet Union, to set up a new body to facilitate further negotiations on general disarmament".


"My heart was warmed also by the great friendliness with which My Dear Husband was greeted when he visited India and Pakistan to attend the Conference of the Indian Science Congress and the Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science, and by the loyal welcome given him in those of My Territories he visited on his way home.
"Other members of My Family have made visits to Nigeria, on the introduction of self-government for the Northern Region, and to others of My Territories and Peoples under My Protection in East and West Africa. The loyalty and friendship which met them everywhere has brought Me much happiness. 


"My Government regretted the need for a state of emergency to be declared in Nyasaland. More recently, provision has been made there for increased African participation in the Legislative Council and for the addition of two African members to the Executive Council.

 "An Act has been passed which provides a further £95 millions for Colonial Development and Welfare Schemes in the period up to 1964 and which enables My Government to make loans to Overseas Governments of up to £100 millions towards their development programmes. "

My Government regretted the need for a state of emergency to be declared in Nyasaland. More recently, provision has been made there for increased African participation in the Legislative Council and for the addition of two African members to the Executive Council.

The economic affairs of the country have continued to improve. Production and employment have increased; the balance of payments has been favourable; and prices have remained stable. An Act has been passed providing for substantial assistance from public funds towards the reorganisation and re-equipment of the cotton industry.
"Legislation has been enacted to remove remaining war-time emergency legislation and other dependent Defence Regulations, and specific statutory provision has been made for such few limited economic controls as are still required.

And so on.

Anyway, back to 1909, which is generally more entertaining:

How do you impress foreign Johnnies?  With a man o war or two, maybe?  Nope, nothing says Alpha Male quite like having a post office, as any fule kno:

Mr. HENNIKER HEATON asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs  whether his attention has been called to the announcement made that the British post office in Tientsin, China, would, on the grounds of economy, be closed on 10th October next; whether Germany, France, and Russia had post offices at Tientsin, and if the Governments of those countries had called on the residents there to pay half the cost; whether a petition had been presented by the British residents at Tientsin stating that it was not compatible with our honour and prestige to close our British post office at Tientsin, while Germany, Russia, France, and Japan maintain post offices at that important place?

Colonel SEELY   I understand that arrangements have now been made for maintaining the British post office at Tientsin for the present. I have no information with regard to the contributions of foreign residents towards the cost of their post offices, nor as to the petition referred to by the hon. Gentleman.

Phew, a nation sleeps easily again.

Mr. T. F. RICHARDS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he was aware that 4,566 cases of flogging with the cane were reported to have taken place in the Navy during 1907; and would he say what action, if any, he intends to take to put an end to this form of punishment?

Mr. McKENNA  I have been unable to trace the meaning of the figure suggested by the hon. Member as to the number of cases of caning in the Navy during 1907, unless it be the average number of boys borne on board ship. The actual number of canings in 1907 was under 1,000. The hon. Member is further mistaken in using the word "flogging"; flogging and birching, though still in the list of punishments authorised by the Naval Discipline Act, have been suspended by Admiralty Order, the former since 1881, and the latter since 30th January, 1906. The King's Regulations authorise caning on the breech with the clothes on in the case of boys and buglers under 18, but by Admiralty Orders dated 2nd March, 1906, this punishment is only to be inflicted under the actual order of the captain, and is not to be carried out in public.

An all important nuance, I'm sure. 

Mr. GINNELL asked the Attorney-General whether his attention, or that of the Director of Public Prosecutions, had been directed to the recent convictions before a London police magistrate of persons exhibiting and selling as Irish certain articles not of Irish origin or manufacture; and, in view of the prevalence of such offences and the difficulties private persons meet in attempting such prosecutions, would he say why they are not instituted by the Crown?

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir William Robson) My attention has been directed to the case to which the hon. Member refers.  (Etc etc)

And I bet Sir William didn't employ illegal immigrants....

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if a man spends 20s. in the purchase of two bottles of champagne at 10s. per bottle, 20s. in beer, of a specific gravity of 1.055 at a cost of 2d. per pint, and 20s. in whisky, of 25 per cent. below proof, at 4s. per bottle, how much in each purchase would be represented by duties?

Mr. HOBHOUSE The duty on two-reputed quart bottles of champagne would be 1s. 3d. The duty on 120 imperial pints of beer, brewed in the United Kingdom, and of a specific gravity of 1.055, would be 3s. 2¾d. The duty on five-sixths of a gallon of whisky, strength 25 per cent. under proof, would be 9s. 2⅝d.

I'm still in a state of shock at the baseline for a pint of fomaing ale being £3 in these parts, so I would happily suffer those levels of excise.

Mr. BELLAIRS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that, in addition to the "Tsingtau," "Vaterland," and "Vorwärts," Germany is about to send a fourth river gunboat, the "Otter," to the River Yang-tse-Kiang; whether he can state the dates of launch of these vessels and their armaments; what are the names of the British river gunboats on this river; and what are the dates of launch and the armaments of these vessels?

Fatherland and Forward - Pretty butch names.  'Otter' appears to mean, erm, otter.

Anyway, we were not taking this lying down:

The British gunboats permanently employed on the Yangtse are:—

Date of Launch. Armament.
"Thistle" 1899 24-in.Q.F,412-pr. 8-cwt. Q.F., 6 .45-in. maxim.
"Kinsha" Purchased in 1900 2 12-pr. 8-cwt. Q.F., 8 .303-in, maxims.
"Nightingale" 1897 2 6-pr. Q.F., 4 .303-in. maxims.
"Snipe" 1898 2 6-pr. Q.F., 4 .303-in. maxims.
"Teal" 1901 2 6-pr. Q.F., 4 .303-in. maxims.
"Widgeon" 1904 2 6-pr. Q.F., 4 .303-in. maxims.
"Woodcock" 1898 2 6-pr. Q.F., 4 .45-in. maxims.
"Woodlark" 1898 2 6-pr. Q.F., 4 .45-in. maxims.
The gunboats "Bramble" and "Britomart" also cruise occasionally on the Yangtse.

Oh my word.  I am sure the Kriegsmarine was pretty intimidated by the Nightingale, let alone the Britomart. If only HMS Terrible had been somewhere in the neighburhood...

Whining boy #1:

    Mr. CLOUGH

    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received any communication from the Settle and District Farmers' Association concerning the high rates charged by the Midland Railway Company for the carriage of milk from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Leeds; and whether he has yet succeeded in obtaining from the railway company a reduction of these rates?


    I have received a communication from the Association on the matter, and it has been referred to the railway company, who have explained that the owners' risk rates generally charged for the conveyance of milk are as follows:—

        * Up to 20 miles, ½d. per imperial gallon; minimum charge, 6d.;
        * Above 20 and up to 40 miles, ¾d. per imperial gallon; minimum charge, 9d.;
        * Above 40 and up to 100 miles, 1d. per imperial gallon; minimum charge, 1s.

Sounds reasonable to me.

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Blogger All Seeing Eye said... 12:47 am

Our blog-adopted HMS Terrible would have had to have found a way to better the mascot kept on board HMS Kinsha - a pet leopard.

The leopard was retired, incidentally, from this role after unsuccessfully attempting to eat the ship's cook.  

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