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The triumphant return of the 1959 Hansard trawl...

The questions they ask(ed):

Mr. Hector Hughes  asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that each of the 10s., 5s. and 2s. 6d. stamps in Great Britain depicts a Royal castle beside the head of Her Majesty the Queen; and if he will authorise the issuing of a guinea stamp depicting the birthplace of Robert Burns beside the head of Her Majesty.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. Kenneth Thompson) The Answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir," and to the second part "No, Sir."

Given that our MPs had pre-paid envelopes, perhaps Thompson was being a little presumptious.   The rather dull set of stamps in question can be seen here.    Burns has since made it onto postage stamps on numerous occasions.  Enough of ths philately.

Head in hands and gentle rocking time:

Sir F. Medlicott  asked the Postmaster-General if, in relation to the new design for telephone kiosks, he will consider the possibility of incorporating in a prominent position in the upper part of each box, on at least two sides, the name of the village, township or district in which the kiosk is situated.

Mr. K. Thompson My right hon. Friend is considering this matter and will write as soon as possible to the hon. Gentleman.

Sir F. Medlicott  Is my hon. Friend aware that many districts, especially villages and suburbs, are very anonymous at night and that a device such as is suggested would be of great help in enabling people, especially motorists, to know where they are and would also secure still further good will to his Department?

Mr. Thompson   These are among the considerations which we will take into account, but I must remind the House that there are some considerable arguments against the course proposed.

Doubtless children yet unborn will be lisping their praise to the successors in title to the Postmaster General for aeons to come.

Meanwhile, an opportunity for some gratuitous pics of aeroplanes:

Mr. Emrys Hughes asked the Secretary of State for Air what is his estimate of the cost of the new supersonic bomber TSR2; and when it is likely to be in operational service.

Mr. G. Brown  asked the Secretary of State for Air approximately when the new strike/reconnaissance aircraft being developed for the Royal Air Force is expected to be ready for service; what will be its approximate cost; how many will be ordered; and how its performance will compare with existing similar types of aircraft such as, for example, the United States Republic F.105.

Mr. Ward  As I explained in a written answer to the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. de Freitas) on 17th December, it has been decided to develop a new strike/ reconnaissance aircraft as a replacement for the Canberra. The cost will depend upon negotiations between the Ministry of Supply and the contractors. We expect the aircraft to enter service during the mid-1960s. It would not be in the public interest to give the numbers likely to be ordered.

In the reconnaissance role the TSR2 offers advantages over the F.105 and will also be able to operate from short improvised runways which the F.105 cannot use.

It never happenned alas.  Shame, as it was rather dashing:

Competition for the F-105 on the looks front, I reckon:

Double takes dept:

Blimey- "Bill to make certain provisions of a financial nature in connection with the operation of the European Monetary Agreement, and for purposes connected therewith, presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. R. A. Butler, Sir David Eccles, Mr. Maudling, and Mr. Erroll; read the First time; to be read a Second time upon Monday next and to be printed". 
Well x3

And here's one for anyone who thinks privatisation of BT was an error (probably not many of my regulars fall into that corner, but just in case):

Mr. Body asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the growth of demand for telephones in Basildon new town, due to the rapidly expanding population; and what steps he proposes to take to satisfy the demand pending the opening of the new automatic telephone exchange.

Mr. Thompson Yes. 270 new telephones were provided in the new town last year, and it is hoped to double that number in the next twelve months. New cables are needed, and these are being provided progressively in conjunction with new road constructions.

Nothing new under the sun:

Mr. Hector Hughes asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he is aware of the danger and inconvenience caused to motorists and to motor coach and omnibus owners, drivers, passengers and the general public owing to the lack of co-ordination, uniformity of practice and timing by local authorities throughout Scotland and England in the way they in frosty and snowy weather spread or refrain from spreading sand on public roads, especially in the early morning; and if he will take steps to ensure that in these matters co-ordination is attained and greater regard is had to public safety and convenience.
Further evidence of nothing new under the sun, if under rather grimmer circumstances:

"Mr. Barnett Janner  (Leicester, North West) I beg to move, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the law in relation to the making and disposing of flick knives and other dangerous weapons." It is now about four years since I first raised this subject here, then by way of Questions. An increasing number of murders and stabbings with flick knives and similar weapons have taken place since then, and I have frequently endeavoured to rouse the Home Office out of its complacency, unfortunately, without success...For example, Mr. Justice Streatfeild, as far back as 14th November, 1957, at the York Assizes, said: "What an invention of the devil is the flick knife, which unhappily so often features in crimes of violence in this country often committed by young people. Personally I don't agree that there is any room for thankfulness or self-congratulation or complacency in that these articles are manufactured abroad."  "The fact is that they are used over here all too frequently."  He went on: "Time was within my memory when the use of cold steel at an argument was regarded with contempt and described as being un-English, but unfortunately, as time has gone on, we can no longer point the finger of scorn and contempt upon certain foreign races of whom we used to think it was very typical. It is now the unhappy fact that very often it is our country men who use them"

 And so back to the rather more amusing:

Unidentified Flying Objects:

Mr. Mason asked the Secretary of State for Air what specific instructions have been sent to the commanders of Royal Air Force stations to collect reports from air crews having allegedly sighted unidentified flying objects; what inquiries have been held following such sightings; and to what extent there is collaboration between his Department and the respective departments in Canada and the United States of America on this problem.

Mr. Ward  R.A.F. units have standing instructions to report unusual flying objects when they cannot readily be explained. Reports which may have a bearing on air defence are investigated. No special collaboration with Canada or the United States is required.

And to wrap up, from a debate in the Lords on giving female peers voting rights:

Lord Pethick-Lawrence -In connection with that, I should like to tell the House this true story of what Mr. Asquith once said to a person in private conversation. He was asked by a friend: "Why do you continue to oppose the introduction of women to the Parliamentary vote? Don't you think it just? Don't you think they are sure to get it?" He replied: "Yes, I agree that it is just, and I feel certain they will get it; but, please God, not in my time". That, I think, is the position of a great many people who are fighting a rearguard action in this matter of the admission into this House of those women who are Peeresses in their own right.

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Blogger Nick Drew said... 11:18 am

TSR-2 trumps ... well, anything really

recall the old gag: the Tornado, originally known as MRCA, = must refurbish Canberras again

very strange thing: the Wright brothers first flew in 1903, the Canberra a mere 46 years later - and was operational for 57 years !

all the meaningful development in airframes took place in the first 50 years of aviation: Concorde, B70, SR71 all '50's designs  

Anonymous puzzled of nether wallop said... 6:01 pm

Personally I favour a 37.27p Postal Order featuring Algernon the Sexually Ambiguous Stoat.

But that goes without saying.

Sorry to labour the obvious, old chap...  

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