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More C20th Hansard trawling, featuring dreadnoughts, Crete and condensed milk

This is shaping up to be more fun (for me, anyway) than the contemporary stuff.

Greeks bearing gifts, so to speak:

" Mr. HART-DAVIES asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he has any official information that the Greek flag has been hoisted over the fortress at Canea, in Crete?

Sir E. GREY The answer is in the negative.

Mr. HART-DAVIES Has the right hon. Gentleman any information to give to the House as to the course of events in Crete?

Sir E. GREY That is rather a large order for an answer to a question without notice. I have telegraphed for the information asked for in the question, and that is all I have".

The good people of Crete were ruled by a Greek High Commissioner, although technically under Ottoman suzerainty at the time. Unsurprisingly they wanted the Ottomans out, what with the Turks' tendency to massacre Christians from time to time. It would remiss of me not to fit in the wholly apposite Saki quote at this stage: "The people of Crete unfortunately make more history than they can consume locally" (The Jesting of Arlington Stringham).

As a technical point, I'd like to see present day ministers attempt to answer some of the written questions that they are plagued with orally and on the spot.. It would soon sort the men from the boys.

Nothing new under the sun dept:

Mr MacNeill (Irish Nat - and a Protestant) asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the Orangemen of Maguiresbridge, county Fermanagh, attempted on Sunday and Monday, 11th and 12th July, to erect arches across the public road, and between the residence of the Catholic priest and the Catholic church, under which the Catholic inhabitants going to and from their devotions would be compelled to pass, and that the Orangemen were only prevented from accomplishing their object by the forcible intervention of the Royal Irish Constabulary; whether he is aware that two gentlemen holding the commission of the peace...gave directions to the local Orangemen, which were carried out, to display an Orange flag, supplied for the purpose by Mr. Henderson, in front of the Catholic priest's house at Maguiresbridge on that day, and that Mr. Maguire on that day headed an Orange band to the priest's door which was playing the Orange tune, "Kick the Pope"

Mr Cherry - I am informed by the constabulary authorities that no attempt was made by the Orangemen to erect arches on the 11th instant, but that on the 12th instant a banner was displayed across the street near the end of the village. I am told, however, that the Catholic inhabitants had not to pass under any arch going to or from their devotions. (etc etc)
Nanny state gone mad:

Mr. RUPERT GUINNESS (Con) asked the President of the Local Government Board whether it is the intention of the Government that grocers and others who sell condensed milk in tins or cream in sealed jars should be compelled to be registered under the Milk and Dairies Bill?

The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. John Burns) I have received representations as to the exclusion of cases of this kind from registration under the Bill, and I am considering how the matter can best be dealt with.

They shoot horses, don't they?:

Mr. STARKEY (Con - I think) asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the cruelty involved in the trade in old and worn-out horses from this country to the Continent; and whether the police will prevent the embarkation of horses which are suffering pain and not in a fit state to stand the voyage?

Mr. GLADSTONE Yes, Sir. The Board of Agriculture have by order prohibited the exportation of horses which for any reason cannot be shipped abroad without cruelty, and have made provisions for the proper treatment on board of those that are fit for exportation.

Mr. KILBRIDE (Irish Nat)

Is it not the fact that these old horses, after going to Antwerp, generally return to this country in the shape of German sausage?

And answer from Gladstone came there none.

More 'elf and safety 1909 style:

"Mr. J. PARKER (for Mr. John Ward) (Lab) asked the Home Secretary whether he has received any Report from the district inspector of Mines of a lad having been recently fined by the Longton magistrates for alleged sleeping in a mine; whether the lad is alleged to have been seriously injured as a result of so sleeping while on duty; and whether any other person was present at the time of the accident, and, if not, on what evidence the lad was convicted?


I have made inquiry of the district inspector, who informs me 1352 that the lad referred to, aged 17, who was employed as an attendant on a self-acting incline, went to sleep at half-past ten in the morning, lying across the rails. Another lad, seeing his dangerous position, attempted to drag him off the lines, but before he could get him clear an approaching tub ran over him, fracturing his thigh. The lad was subsequently prosecuted by the owners of the mine for being asleep while on duty in contravention of the special rules. As the question only appeared on the Paper yesterday, I have not been able to obtain any report of the evidence given at the hearing
Exchange o' the day:

Mr. MIDDLEMORE (Con) asked how many docks are there in the British Empire, German Empire, France, and the United States capable of holding a "Dreadnought," namely, having a length over all of 500 feet, a width at entrance of at least 82 feet, and a depth over the sill at ordinary spring tides of 27 feet.

Mr. McKENNA The number of docks actually complete and capable of taking a "Dreadnought" at normal draught is, for the countries named, as follows:—

British Empire … … 23
German Empire … … 6
France … … 5
United States … … 5

Mr. MIDDLEMORE I did not ask the right hon. Gentleman a single word about normal draught.

Mr. SPEAKER I have pointed out to the hon. Member several times he is not entitled to comment upon an answer. One great advantage which a Minister has in this House is that when he makes an answer it must be accepted until the opportunity offers in Supply to comment upon it.

Mr. MIDDLEMORE I can assure you, Sir, that the right hon. Gentleman has not answered my question.

Mr. SPEAKER The right hon. Gentleman answered it very fully.

Mr. MIDDLEMORE May I make a remark, Sir? I did not ask anything about normal draught. That is not the point. I should like to ask him, has he 23 docks capable of admitting "Dreadnoughts" 500 ft. long, 82 ft. in width at the entrance, and with a depth of 27 ft. over the sills?

Mr. McKENNA As I understand the answer, it is in the affirmative to the hon. Gentleman's question. That is the normal draught of the "Dreadnought."

Collapse of stout party, face much be-egged.

PM in turning down pointless bunfight shocker:

Mr. PIKE PEASE (Con) asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the question of summoning an international conference to consider the question of aviation in view of the strides recently made in this science?

The PRIME MINISTER This matter is being very closely watched by the Government, and, as at present advised, I cannot see that any practical purpose would be served by summoning a conference such as the hon. Member suggests.
This, lest we forget, was the dernier mot in aeroplane design at the time:

There's more, much more, but that's enough for now. So that I might have some idea as to whether folk are enjoying this - or otherwise - brief comment would be appreciated.

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Blogger Socialism Sucks said... 3:28 pm

I'm enjoying these - keep them going! Thanks!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:34 pm

Thank you. There's also the Lords and 1809 - wherein a Koh-i-Noor of a gem has already been tracked down.  

Blogger Nick Drew said... 3:37 pm

are we entirely sure that the ditty in question was "Kick the Pope" ?  

Blogger Pete said... 3:38 pm

Great - keep 'em coming!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:48 pm

Nick - One might wonder whether the report was entirely accurate, but that's what was in Hansard....

Pete - Cheers. Will do.  

Blogger All Seeing Eye said... 4:08 pm

Thoroughly enjoying these and indeed am browsing through other same-day gems.

Quite enjoyed this early example of the Terrorism Act in operation:

Q Is this Russian spy in London
A No
Q Is he going to blow up the Czar?
A Dunno


Blogger Croydonian said... 4:25 pm

ASE - That one was on the subs bench, along with the suffragettes.

I rate vintage Hansard as some of the best free entertainment out there. Yes, I know, I should get out more.  

Blogger Unsworth said... 6:23 pm

Altogether more interesting and entertaining than the garbage emanating from the 'government' these days.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:42 pm

Just wait until I start on the 19th century....  

Anonymous Time will Tell said... 8:23 pm

Slightly off topic but hopefully not that much.

Since the BBC dropped its foreign press coverage on Ceefax P149 about a couple of years ago to economise, would it be possible for you to find sources of foreign news coverage which looks at the UK on a regular, preferably daily, basis?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:28 pm

Sure, I'll rummage up some bookmarks. Do you want me to do a round up every now and then, or would you like a list?

I've found that our Antipodean and Canadian chums can't keep their eyes of the Mother Country, and the French are generally pretty keen, at least where the Windsors are concerned.  

Blogger Chris K said... 10:01 pm

those were the days, when our docks were bigger than everyone else's docks.

500 ft is a bit short for a dreadnought, they were getting on for 600ft by 1910.  

Anonymous Mr. Jolly said... 11:22 pm

I'm loving these posts too. Any chance of having a look at 1859 as well?  

Anonymous formertory said... 7:58 am

100% in agreement with Unsworth.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:15 am

Chris - and as for the cry of 'We want eight, and we won't wait', dimly remembered from A level history, I wonder whether any of our docks could have accomodated the lot.

Mr J - the rummaging continues apace. I have a bit of a weakness for the 19th century, as there was always so much going on. We are lacking characters as entertaining and multi-dimensional as Palmerston, Disraeli, Gladstone, Wellington and my personal favourite, the staggeringly useless Godereich.

FT - One gets a greater sense of ideas, and dare I say it ideology, than in current parliamentary activity.  

Anonymous Time will Tell said... 10:29 am

Croydonian 8.28pm.

Thankyou - a list would be very useful and I am sure everyone would appreciate your ability to
select the more riveting and interesting stories eg the Greenland polar bear saga.  

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