The vintage Hansard trawl, featuring the four crooks elected to serve, Garibaldi, limits to the working week and an early outbreak of a troughing MP.
Starting with 1860:
"MR. HENNESSY said, he rose pursuant to notice to call the attention of the House to the Statement by the Solicitor General with reference to an advertisement in The Times newspaper for raising money to assist the insurgents in Sicily, and to call attention to a decision of the Court of Common Pleas as to the illegality of such a proceeding....The hon. Member (Mr. Grant Duff) who introduced the subject frankly owned he wished success to the revolt, and hoped that, spreading into the main land it would before long overwhelm the King and Government in utter, destruction. The hon. and learned Gentleman, in replying, said:— "The question was, whether the subscribing of money by any of Her Majesty's subjects in this country or paying it into the hands of a foreigner living here with the purpose and object described, came within the rule of common law, or was an offence against any prohibitory statute. Now, it appeared to him that, as long as what was done was limited within the bounds of a mere subscription in this country, such as this advertisement prescribed, no law of this country would be violated...Any man who thought [it] proper might put his hand into his pocket [to] take out his money and put it into the hands of another on the faith of its going to Genoa to be disposed of by General Garibaldi, without violating any law whatever".
Can't say I am entirely up to speed on the current law on this sort of thing, but I will give very short odds that such adverts and actions would be remarkably illegal these days.
Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will arrange so that the Bill to limit the hours of labour to forty-eight per week, introduced by several hon. Members, be either adopted by the Government or given facilities for its passage into law at the earliest possible opportunity?
Sir. R. HORNE
The Government proposes to introduce at an early date a measure dealing with the same matter and the suggestion of my Noble Friend accordingly cannot be adopted.They just can't leave well alone, can they?
A question that might have been phrased better:
Sir B. FALLE asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can say if the Serbs have any right to occupy Gusinje; if they have occupied Vermoshi, the summer grazing ground of the Albanian tribes; and what will be the result of such occupation?A bit of digging shows Vermoshi to be at the Northern extremity of Albania, just over the border from Montenegro. If Albanians can digest grass, I'm impressed.
Anyway, further on in the exchange:
For what it is worth, I very much doubt that this is the year as advertised, judging by this:Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCKCan the Government take no steps at all to safeguard the Albanians from ill-treatment on the part of the Serbians?Colonel WEDGWOODIs it not the duty of the British Government to protect the Moslems in Albania against ill-treatment of this sort, in view of the fact that the British Government is the greatest Moslem Power in the world?
Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the many charges and counter-charges levelled, not only against the Bolsheviks but against Admiral Koltchak, General Denikin, and the White Guards in Finland, the Government will appoint a committee of Members of Parliament to investigate these charges and to issue from time to time impartial and trustworthy statements as to the position of affairs in Russia?
Mr. HARMSWORTH I have given careful consideration to the hon. Member's proposal, but, as at present advised, I have grave doubts whether any useful purpose would be served by the appointment of a committee of the nature he suggests.
Colonel WEDGWOOD Is it possible for the Government to issue a White Paper detailing the results of the White Terror in Finland and the Ukraine as a parallel to their White Paper on the Red Terror in Russia?Either the date is very wrong, or some of our Parliamentarians could have made a killing on the nags or the stock market judging from their ability to read the future.
Not especially time-sensitive, but plus ca change etc:
Mr. SPENCERasked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can take any action to secure for Members of this House travelling on railways and holding season tickets the privilege of travelling on alternate lines?
Mr. BRIDGEMAN Regulations, of which I am sending the hon. Gentleman a copy, are in operation in. regard to the interavailability of season tickets, and I am afraid that I cannot secure their modification in favour of Members of Parliament.
Major WOOD In view of the desirability of hon. Members being able to keep in close touch with their constituents; will the hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of giving them free passes?
I will represent to the proper authorities the desire expressed by my hon. and gallant Friend.
The doubtless gallant Major sat for Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central (in the Liberal interest), so his desire for a freebie is understandable, if not wholly laudable.
Meanwhile, as an off-meter treat, readers should hie themselves here to see if there have been any parliamentarians sharing their surnames. No matches for me, alas. Our PM is the seventh Cameron, by the look of it. There have been *ten* John Smiths, and three John Smyths. And there have only ever been four Crooks in Parliament:
Reg was a Socialist, as is Doug, Joseph a Whig / Radical (nomenclature varies) and Chas was one of my lot, despite being elected to the less than leafy seat of East Ham North in 1922.