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The 1909 Hansard Trawl - featuring magnetism, peasant food and the indignities suffered by junior naval officers

Making sure our boys at Woolwich are up to speed on magnetism and so forth:
Mr. ARTHUR LEE asked the Secretary of State for War whether it was the practice of the War Office to prescribe certain text books in science for the use of gentlemen cadets at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; if so, whether he could state the name of the author and the date of publication of a text book on electricity and magnetism recently issued from His Majesty's Stationery Office; whether, as stated in that book, practical use had not yet been made in the services to any great extent of alternating currents; and if he would inquire when the book in which this statement occurred was last revised, with a view to bringing it up to date as a trustworthy guide for military students on the modern applications of electricity?

Mr. HALDANE It is the practice of the War Office to prescribe the text books in question. The particular book in use is the official text book of electricity and magnetism, which was revised in 1902, and a reprint was recently issued pending a further revision of the manual which is under consideration. As regards any information in this book which may not be up to date, the Chief Instructor, by means of lectures and notes, adds the necessary supplementary information.
I admire Haldane's faith in the Chief Instructor.
Meanwhile, the horror of officers slumming it with the jolly jack tars:

Mr. ARTHUR LEE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the overcrowding of H.M.S. "Terrible" on her recent voyage to the East with relief crews; whether he is aware that the total number carried was over 1,100, for which the sanitary arrangements were insufficient, and also the boat accommodation in the event of it becoming necessary to abandon the ship: whether he is aware that the accommodation for officers was quite inadequate, especially for a voyage through the Red Sea in the hot season, and that ten wardroom officers had no accommodation beyond hammocks; and whether he will take steps to prevent this overcrowding in future voyages?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna)  The number stated is approximately correct, and with proper temporary organisation the sanitary arrangements in a vessel of this type should be sufficient. No representation has been received as to the ship being overcrowded, but inquiry will be made of the commanding officer on her return. The number of ward-room officers without cabins was 11. Junior ward-room officers are only entitled to cabins so far as accommodation admits, and in view of the great cost of passages by packet it was decided to take advantage of the Government opportunity.
High time we had another ship called HMS Terrible.  Changes in nuance be damned, there is tradition to be upheld

The demon drink continued to exercise the Commons:

Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS asked, if a man spent 20s. in champagne at 10s. per bottle, 20s. in beer at 2d. per pint, and 20s. in whisky at 4s. per bottle, how much in each case would be represented by duty?

Sounds rather like a school maths question, doesn't it?
Mr. HOBHOUSE The duty on two reputed quart bottles of champagne would be 1s. 3d. The data given by the hon. Member are not sufficient to enable me to work cut the sum for beer and whisky.

A nation anxiously awaits an answer to this one:

Mr. REES asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether any experiments have been made in order to compare the weight and bulk of the average Indian peasant's food with those of the average European; and, if so, whether he will inform the House of the results of such experiments?

The MASTER of ELIBANK I am not aware of any experiments of the kind mentioned by the hon. Member; but I will inquire.

But for Rees being a LIb, one might wonder whether he was attempting to sniff out a plot by the ruling calss to lower labour costs. 

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Blogger James Higham said... 3:24 pm

H.M.S. "Terrible"

Superb name for a boat.  

Blogger Pavlov's Cat said... 5:06 pm

I ways liked the Dreadnaught class
litterly 'Fear Nothing' now that's hard core.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:07 am

Agreed, high time we had another HMS Dreadnought.  

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