Thursday, 17 February 2011

A little light 1861 Hansard trawling, featuring plunder, prisons and plugs

From 1861.  An apparent bit of 'After you Cecil...':

"MR. VINCENT SCULLY rose for the purpose of offering an explanation of a statement that fell from him in the debate of the preceding evening. He had quoted a French despatch, stating that the French General had forbidden the forces under his command to commence plundering the Summer Palace of the Chinese Emperor until the English troops had arrived. From knowledge which he had since acquired he was led to believe that the despatch was either not authentic or that its statements were incorrect; and he was ready to acknowledge the correctness of the statement made by the noble Lord on the previous evening. The remarks that he had offered had called forth comments from some of the gentlemen of the press; but he should as soon think of tilting at a windmill as of endeavouring to rebut their hostile comments".

Someone probably hasn't tried gaol food (Neither have I, but I am confident it is not Michelin star standard):

Sir George Lewis "....One day in the beginning of the present month a disturbance occurred while the convicts employed on a small island named St. Mary's, in the Medway, were at dinner. The ten convicts who were implicated in that disturbance alleged as the reason of it the poverty of the soup which was furnished for their dinner. That complaint, however, was entirely unfounded, and was merely a pretext for creating a disturbance".

Plugging one's business in the House?

GENERAL UPTON said, he would now beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, If all means were taken by the Official Director of Electric Telegraph Companies, himself one of the ex officio directors of the Red Sea Telegraph Company, to insure complete and uninterrupted insulation in the Red Sea Telegraph Cable by an efficient and continuous testing of the Cable during the process of its manufacture, as empowered by the agreement entered into with the contractors.—Chairman's Letter of the 28th day of September, 1858?

MR. PEEL said, that he was informed that proper and sufficient measures were taken to test the cable during the whole course of its manufacture. The company had servants of its own resident upon the premises of the contractors, who were exclusively engaged upon the operation of testing the cable.
I'm amazed the General did not mention the competive prices the RSTC offered.

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