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The 1959 Hansard trawl - featuring the travails of Sir Keith Joseph, the miracle of the water pump and the wit of George Thomas

Some how I do not associate the sainted and much missed Sir Keith Joseph with this sort of thing:

Mr. Iremonger asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware that the purposes and operation of the Clean Air Act are being thwarted by the shortage of smokeless fuels in Greater London; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph No, Sir. My right hon. Friend has no doubt that there will be ample supplies of good smokeless fuels to permit the creation of many more smoke control areas in Greater London.

It would be unfair not to wheel out the old story about SKJ when out and about remarking to Sir Peter Scott or somesuch:  "But how do the birds know it's a bird sanctuary?"

Still, it got worse for him:
Mr. Dodds asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what progress he has made in reducing the pollution of the River Thames and the stench from it in the vicinity of Erith...    

Mr. Dodds Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that the stench largely arises from untreated sewage? I asked whether it will be treated next year.

Sir K. Joseph  I realise that, but the stench is not only from untreated sewage. I was talking about the problem of dealing with the stench.

Who'd be a minister, eh readers?

A marginally more glamorous topic:

Mr M Stewart Are there any statistics such as appeared in the Report of the Litter Committee to show whether less litter is being dropped, because I take it that what we want is not necessarily more prosecutions but less litter? 

I bet they the 'Great and the Good were queuing round the block to join that one. 

The clearly vexed issue of the Ty'n-y-Coed Hotel, Capel Curig (Annexe)

M r. T. W. Jones asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs on what grounds he decided to allow the annexe of the Ty'n-y-Coed Hotel, Capel Curig, 956 to be registered as a club in spite of the objections of all the local authorities concerned; and whether he will now reconsider his decision, in view of the concern expressed by all shades of public opinion.

And gearing up to enjoy himself, the Min of H & LG & WA:

Mr. H. Brooke The sole issue which came before me was a planning appeal to decide whether or not planning permission might be given for the conversion of one room in the annexe to a hotel for the purposes of a club. On consideration, it appeared to me that there were no adequate planning reasons for refusing permission, and therefore I allowed the appeal. When an appeal decision has been given the law makes no provision for then altering or withdrawing it, nor in this case would I see any ground for doing so.   I have received a number of protests not from all shades of public opinion but from temperance and religious organisations and their members.
And the man who would be one of the finer Speakers of modern times must have consulted widely:

Mr. Thomas Is the Minister aware that he could not have taken a decision more completely out of harmony with the feeling of the Welsh people? Is he aware that he has the united hostility of the Welsh people to this decision which is regarded as his back-door way of beginning Sunday opening in Wales?  
 Not quite as foolish as claiming to represent the entire working classs, but still a pretty bold claim.

Feel the sarcasm:

Mr. Chetwynd In this twentieth century, has the right hon. Gentleman not heard of such things as pumps which make water go uphill if necessary? Is it not ridiculous that we can have one authority with ample supplies while a neighbouring authority in the next basin is facing drought? Is not something more urgent needed than the words of the Government today?

Right, pop quiz:

What is, perhaps, the most famous site in the British Commonwealth?

Piccadilly Circus reckoned Kenneth Robinson, noting "Does the Minister appreciate the widespread dismay that has greeted this vulgar and unimaginative proposal for the development of what is, perhaps, the most famous site in the British Commonwealth?"

The reference to 'the development proposals for the northern sector of Piccadilly Circus' do not make it entirely clear whether it is the now site of the Trocadero or that of the all night Boots above which is a blaze of lights.

A probably not especially interesting personal sidetrack:

Mr. Donnelly asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what steps he has taken to provide employment in the Milford Haven area when the present construction work on the Esso and BP sites comes to an end in 1960.

Mr. H. Brooke The Esso and B.P. installations will themselves provide a considerable amount of permanent employment

Like my father, God rest his soul, and my mother. 

Some wit from George Thomas:

Is the Minister aware that he has a very bad name in Wales—[An HON. MEMBER: "What is it?"] Mr. Speaker, you would rule me out of order if I described it.

The things they say:

Mr. Hale asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he is aware that Mrs. Schofield of Clackwell Street, Rochdale Road, Oldham, is living in a house of one room and scullery downstairs with no fireplace, holes in the floor and holes in the roof; and what steps he proposes to take to safeguard the health of this household.

Mr. H. Brooke  I was not aware of this case because no one had brought it to my knowledge.

Indeed, Mr Brook, indeed.

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Blogger James Higham said... 4:28 pm

Untreated sewage - yummy.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:31 pm

Everyone's fave....  

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