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A vintage Hansard trawl, featuring 'the truth about the navy', troublemaking foreign types and mudguards

Cost over-runs - a lot older than government IT projects.  At least 150 years older....

COLONEL WILSON PATTEN ....During the lifetime of the late Sir Charles Barry various steps were taken more or less ineffectually, in order to ascertain when the Houses of Parliament would be finally completed. Like the clock just alluded to by the hon. Member for Peterborough, the Houses, commencing at an estimate of £750,000 had already cost the nation £2,400,000. Now, at the death of Sir Charles Barry it became an object of special interest to the public to know whether the works wore completed; if not, how much remained to be done; and what would be the extra cost.
My wicked fellow republicans:


said, he would beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether more seats round the larger trees in Kensington Gardens and the Parks can be placed there for the accommodation of the public; also, whether the large piece of ground lately used as a reservoir for one of the Water Companies, opposite Grosvenor Gate, can be thrown into the Park for the use of the public; and whether the unsightly iron railing round the Statue of King Charles I., at Charing Cross, might not be advantageously removed? 

Mr Cowper
He quite concurred, he might add, with his hon. Friend in condemning the unsightly iron railing which surrounded the statue of Charles I., and he knew of no necessity for its being continued. It was a work of ancient date, and had been erected probably from a feeling that some of the mob might at that time be disposed to mutilate the statue as being an emblem of principles of which they disapproved.
 Maoris, thousands of 'em:


in rising to put a Question on this subject, said the disturbances to which he wished to call the attention of the House had their origin in the circumstance that a native chief had taken it upon himself to endeavour to prevent the sale of a plot of land in the province of New Plymouth, with which the owner was desirous to part. To such interference the Government of the colony could not, of course, submit, and martial law had been proclaimed in the province. The consequence had been that the Europeans had been brought into collision with the natives, and it being recollected that a number of the settlers were at some of the outlying positions, a force of about 265 strong, including volunteers, colonial militiamen, and some men of the 65th Regiment, had been sent out to secure their safety....There could not be the slightest doubt that but for the arrival of Captain Cracroft and his blue jackets— who deserved all honour for their gallant conduct—these unfortunate settlers would have been cut to pieces during that night, being short of ammunition....He had received a letter from a gentleman largely connected with the colony, which stated:— "The European population of that province is only about 3,000 souls. The lands are principally held by the natives, who appear to have been encouraged to resist the sale of them by Europeans of the very vilest character who have settled among them, such as runaway convicts, sailors of different nations, and others, who, preferring a life of licentiousness, have lived among the natives, and encouraged them, not only by their advice but by subscriptions, to resist the Queen's authority."

Sailors of different nations, eh?

Fast forwarding some 50 years, and it is still those dodgy foreigners with their dodgy foreign ways causing trouble to the military and so forth:

Mr. RIDLEY asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention had been called to a case which came before the Rochester magistrates on Tuesday, 7th June, in which a Dutchman named Van Drunnen, in the employ of a Dutch firm of shipbreakers engaged in breaking-up His Majesty's ship "Anson," was fined 2s. 6d. and 15s. costs for assisting British bluejackets to improperly absent themselves from duty at Chatham Dockyard by rowing them across the river in his boat; and whether he would give instructions that in future when any British ships were to be broken up the work should be given to British hands?

 Mr. McKENNA The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. It would not appear that any stipulation such as that suggested in the second part of the question would have any effect in the prevention of such an occurrence as that referred to in the first part of the question, and no additional restriction of that nature is proposed.

Helpful, Mr McK, very helpful.

Big tease o' the day:

Mr. MIDDLEMORE (for Mr. Meysey-Thompson)  asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has read the book styled "The Truth about the Navy" which was issued by Admiralty Order to the men's libraries on His Majesty's Fleet in 1906; whether he is aware that it contains matter of a political character, also sentiments with regard to a friendly nation that might cause irritation; whether he is aware that it contains statements that amount to a defence of Admiralty policy, on which there has been much public controversy; and whether, looking to the fact that these books have been issued to some fleets and not to others, he will order the immediate recall of all these books from the ships' libraries of all the vessels in the Navy?

Mr. McKENNA I believe I read the paper-bound pamphlet referred to in the question two or three years ago, but I have not seen it since, and I am unable to recollect whether it "contains matter of a political character or sentiments with regard to a friendly nation which might cause irritation." As I have no reason to doubt that the title of the pamphlet accurately represents its contents, the statements therein would amount to a defence of Admiralty policy. I do not think the matter is of sufficient importance to justify a consideration of the question whether it should be recalled from ships' libraries.
And can I lay hands on the text of this work?  Nope.

Disturbances in the Euphrates Delta:

Mr. REES asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether he could give the House any information regarding the recent disturbances in the Euphrates delta; and whether the position of the Sheikh of Koweit had been injuriously affected by any of the reported or unreported hostilities between the Arab tribes at the head of or along the southern shore of the Persian Gulf?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. McKinnon Wood) Some hostilities have occurred between the forces of the Sheikh of Koweit aided by Bin Saoud and those of Sheikh Sadur of the Muntafik tribe, after which the former retired. We have no information to show that the position of the Sheikh of Koweit has been injuriously affected by these occurrences.

Not quite 'the mother of all battles' then.

The vexed issue of 'mudguards':

Mr. REES asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will consider the propriety of requiring the provision in the case of motor-driven vehicles of front mudguards of such a character that vehicles to which they are fitted would push in front instead of overrunning obstacles before them?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill) The question of imposing such a regulation on motor vehicles generally is one which comes within the province of the Local Government Board. But if my hon. 1309 Friend is referring to motor omnibuses licensed in the Metropolitan Police District, the answer is that the Commissioner of Police has from the outset impressed upon proprietors the importance of providing a suitable guard, and has intimated to them that when one is available certain concessions will be made as to the minimum road clearance of these vehicles. No satisfactory device, however, of the nature indicated has yet been submitted to him.

Mudguards?  They sound more like snowplough / cowcatcher type things to me.

Great defunct job titles of our time:

Mr. HUGH BARRIE asked whether it is in contemplation to fill the post about to be vacated by Sir George P. O'Farrell, inspector of lunatics, by the appointment of a candidate who is thoroughly conversant by training and experience with the administration of lunatic asylums and the practical treatment of the insane?

Mr. BIRRELL  Yes, Sir.

Birrell is to be applauded for his brevity.  I envy O'Farrell his business card.

Gratuitous chart o' the day:

Mr. LONSDALE asked the number of persons in Ireland who were boycotted at the beginning of each month of the present year, January to June inclusive, under the headings, respectively, of wholly boycotted, partially boycotted, and minor boycotting?

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Blogger Nick Drew said... 9:47 pm

The Truth About The Navy ?

something with the same title first published 1884, see this: it caused (a) a sensation (b) £ 5 million additional funds voted for the Navy very soon after (c) the Naval Defence Act of 1889

rumoured to have been 'influenced' by the energetic (and rather devious) Admiral Jackie Fisher: it certainly served his purposes well

military politics just as charged then as now - maybe even more so (see W.S.Churchill passim)  

Anonymous Kim Il Kim said... 9:54 am

This is all very well, but what about the Ju Che navy? And last nicht's Ju Che goal against bourgeois Brasiw?

I'm only here for the Ju Che.

16.6.99 (mercredi)  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:06 am

Nick - Much appreciated.

KiK - as and when KCNA has something to say, I will relay its thoughts....  

Blogger Nick Drew said... 3:25 pm

you were hoping for Rum Sodomy & the Lash, weren't you Mr C ?  

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