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The 1909 Hansard Trawl - featuring possibly the stupidest question of ALL time, the board of HSBC and the misfortunes of Burmese prisoners

File under 'Nothing new under the sun' - Politicians intent on interfering with the banking system:

Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.  (Or HSBC as she is now known, although I prefer Honkers & Shankers)

Mr. BELLAIRS  asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the support which the Foreign Office has given in important negotiations to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and the recent action of the bank in connection with a proposed railway loan...the Government will make it a condition of future British support that the members of the committee in London, the directorate in Hong Kong, and all holding positions of trust in the bank should be British subjects?

The UNDER-SECRETARY for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. T. McKinnon Wood) The rule in such cases is that support is given, when it otherwise appears desirable, to companies in which the preponderance of shares is held by British or naturalised British subjects. I am, therefore, unable to make the condition desired.


Whereas banks get given 'a helping hand' these days if they have employees in seats held by the Labour party.


Just what was Johnny Spaniard up to?

Mr. DILLON asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the British Government have given any assurances to the Government of Spain with regard to more extended operations in Morocco; whether he has any reason to believe that the Spanish Government contemplates the occupation of Tetuan or any  considerable portion of Moorish territory; and whether His Majesty's Government has been sounded by the Spanish Government in reference to such enterprises?

Mr. McKINNON WOOD The answer to all these questions is in the negative.
Well he got that wrong, but I can't see three years ahead so perhaps it would be unfair to expect a greate degree of prescience on the part of McKinnon-Wood.


Dreadnoughts again.

Mr. GRETTON  asked how many battleships of the "Dreadnought" type have been launched for the British Navy, and at what date will the last launched be in commission and ready to take her place with the battle fleet, respectively?

Why Gretton could not look up the first fact is beyond me


Mr. McKENNA The answer to the first part of the question is eight, and to the second, probably January, 1911.
And if the indelicacy might be excused, What The.... 

Mr. KILBRIDE Is any part of the delay due to the unreadiness of the brewers to contribute?

Mr. McKENNA No, Sir.
And so, as night follows day, to the Kaiserliche Marine


Mr. GRETTON asked how many battleships of the "Nassau" type are now building in Germany, and if these battleships are superior to the "Dreadnought" type in displacement or armament; and whether the number of heavy guns is greater and the size of the secondary guns heavier?...Have any ships been laid down in Germany since the date of that Return?....asked if the German Government commenced last year to build battleships superior in nearly every respect to the "Dreadnought" type; how many battleships in Germany are nearing the time for launching; and how many German battleships are now laid down and in hand or to be laid down in the immediate future?
....
And not getting it all, frankly, we have the Lib/Lab member for Stoke blundering into the debate:

Mr. JOHN WARD Could not the hon. Gentleman suggest to our representatives, especially in Germany, that they should get someone to put similar questions in the German Parliament, so that we might get all the information from them that they get here?
Even 100 years down the line, the temptation to cradle my head in my hands and gently rock back and forth is almsot overwhelming.   

Whipping in Indian gaols:


Sir Henry Cotton asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he can state the total number of cases in which whipping has been inflicted as a gaol punishment in each province in India during the years 1906, 1907, and 1908?

I think I can be forgiven a chart at this juncture:


What was it with the Burmese?  Either the incarcerated or the gaolers. Maybe its rep as a flogging state was what drew Orwell there.

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Blogger Pavlov's Cat said... 5:11 pm

The brewers? I couldn't even begin to surmise why the brewers would be involved ( or not as it is supposed here)  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:30 pm

I found myself wondering if the questioner had been overdoing it on the laudanum.  



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