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The 1909 Hansard Trawl - featuring electrical call boxes, plasterers and flags in North Down

And it's back.

So, first things first, flags:

Mr. JOHN ROCHE  May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that it is not usual to hoist the Union Jack over public buildings in Ireland on the King's Birthday, and even in the case of the brewers and distillers it has not been done?

Mr. BIRRELL  Very shocking!

Mr. T. L. CORBETT  Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Belfast and other loyal parts of the North of Ireland— I know the right hon. Gentleman treats this with contempt—it has been in the past the custom to hoist the Union Jack as the emblem of the unity of empire?

Mr. BIRRELL   I have no knowledge of it.

 Mr. JOYCE   What price do you get for flying it?

Mr. J. MacVEAGH    May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that on the last birthday of the King there was not a Union Jack flying in the whole of the constituency of North Down?

I doubt Mr Macveagh checked this in person, but then I am a bit given to cynicism.

Temperance fanatics

Sir JOHN KENNAWAY  asked whether His Majesty's Government propose in any way to modify their policy of discouraging the sale of spirits to the native races of Africa in consequence of the findings of the Committee presided over by Sir Mackenzie Chalmers?

Colonel SEELY  His Majesty's Government do not propose to modify in any way their policy of discouraging the sale of spirits to the native races of Africa, and they will continue to co-operate with other European Powers to that end.

Many years back I encountered a Nigerian beer which had 'Makes you feel real fine' on the label.  It wasn't bad, although not a patch on Lagos Guinness, drinking which is like kissing God, if the blasphemy might be excused.  

The lot of Belgian plasterers:

Mr. J. WARD Is four francs per day the standard rate of wages for plasterers in Brussels?


Mr. J. WARD  There is a lot of difference between that and the wages paid in this country.

Mr. W. THORNE  Did the right hon. Gentleman advise the contractor as to the rate of wages to be paid?

Mr. CHURCHILL  No, Sir; it is obvious that in decorating an exhibition in a foreign country you cannot import British workmen. That would cause a great deal of ill-feeling, and might destroy the purpose of the exhibition. The rule followed by the Government is to pay the current rate of wages in the district, and that, I am informed, is four francs per day for plasterers.

Well, well, well...

London Electric Call Boxes.

Mr. G. L. COURTHOPE (for Mr. Staveley-Hill) asked the Postmaster-General whether any steps are taken to ventilate the street boxes in London used for electric calls, having regard to the fact that many large towns in England have, in the interests of public health, adopted means for ventilating them?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Sydney Buxton) If the hon. Member is referring to the cabinets in public telephone call offices, I may assure him that all those installed by the Post Office have ventilators.

I will henceforth always refer to phone boxes as electrical call boxes, and if enough of my readers do likewise, spread the word etc, the gaiety of the nation will be greatly enhanced, I believe.

Dreadnoughts.  Again

Mr. BELLAIRS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether in official statistics of "Dreadnoughts" and "Invincibles" the German armoured cruiser "Blucher" has not always been excluded on the ground that she has only 8-inch guns, as given in the official Return of Fleets (Great Britain and Foreign Countries); and whether he can now state what is the armament of this ship?

Mr. McKENNA   The heavy and medium armaments stated in the official Return of Fleets (Great Britain and Foreign Countries) for the German armoured cruiser "Blucher" are correct

And here she is:

Handsome, eh?  We sunk her at the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915.

And so to the Autocar League:

Sir JOHN BRUNNER asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to a circular issued by the Autocar League requesting its members to take out their licences for motor cars, carriages, male servants, armorial bearings, game, dogs, and guns in those counties specified by the League as being favourably disposed towards motorists; and to inquire whether, in order to secure to each county its fair share of the local taxation licences, he will be prepared to introduce legislation by which it would be made obligatory upon persons liable to duty to take out their licences in the county or county borough in which they ordinarily reside?

Mr. BURNS I have received a copy of the circular referred to, and I have drawn the attention of the Treasury to the matter.

Fancy needing a licence for a male servant.  A rum business.

Electric calling apparatus:

Mr. MORTON asked the Home Secretary whether all the Metropolitan Police 474W stations have yet been connected with the general telephone system; and, if so, what has been the effect?

Mr. GLADSTONE Of the 194 police stations, 131 are now connected with the public telephone. The facilities of communication thus afforded have, I understand, been found a convenience to the public. For police purposes a separate telephone system has, of course, existed for many years.

If you can get past the menu, of course.

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