Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Relief from the Budget, or the 1911 Hansard trawl

Doubtless it reflects badly on me, but once I know the Budget headlines I find it all almost as dull as I did as a child, albeit without the horror of children's TV being spiked for the day.

Anyway, here comes, or rather there went the Kaiser:

Mr. NOEL BUXTON asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether a special invitation will be extended to the Imperial Chancellor, Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg, to accompany the German Emperor on his approaching visit to London, with a view to greater expedition in the conclusion of an agreement between Great Britain and Germany on the questions pending between the two countries?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Edward Grey) The German Emperor is coming on a private visit to the King on His Majesty's invitation, and it would not be proper that I should make any other statement about it.
I think they were cousins or somesuch.  I lack the energy to check.

What's up with the Friendly Neighbour to the West?


Are we to consider that Canada is part of the British Empire?

Sir E. GREY  I need only refer to the very explicit and loyal declaration of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Mr. REMNANT  In view of the unsatisfactory answer, I propose to call attention to this matter on the adjournment of the House.

Naked special pleading dept:

Mr. BOLAND asked whether steps will be taken, by way of loan or otherwise, to enable fishermen on the coast of South Kerry to equip their boats with motor engines and to provide fishermen with nets suitable for the herring fishery?
Answered in the affirmative.... 
Mr. BIRRELL The Congested Districts Board are prepared to consider applications for loans for the supply of boats, including motor boats, and fishing gear. Recently the Board have agreed to lend money for the purchase of a motor boat for Dingle.

Why on earth should they have got any help?  Any more than farmers should have loans or gifts of tractors etc.

As before, Irish members do seem to expect omniscience on the part of the Chief Secretary for Ireland:

Mr. LONSDALE  asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that since 1st March there have been three serious outrages of firing at and wounding in county Clare; and if he will state on what grounds the County Inspector of Clare reported to the Lord Chief Baron at the recent assizes that the condition of affairs in the disturbed area in Clare was steadily improving?

And such faith was well rewarded:

Mr. BIRRELL The Inspector-General informs me that there have been two cases (not three) of firing at and wounding in county Clare since 1st instant.
And again:

The HON. MEMBER  further asked whether on 12th March, at Bally-harrahan, in the Ruan district, about six miles from Ennis, a farmer named Patrick Ryan was fired at and hit in the right thigh, on the back of the right hand, and on the jaw; and whether anyone has been arrested in connection with this outrage?

Mr. BIRRELL  The facts are as stated. One arrest has been made.

One would have to rise very early to be in with a chance of catching out Mr Birrell....

Curious matters Welsh:
Mr. HINDS  asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why no Welsh copies of the information for emigrants are displayed in the post offices of Welsh-speaking districts of Wales; and whether assurances will be given that such notices will in future be supplied, especially in the rural districts?

Hinds was a Welsh MP, and not a Cymrophobe - oddly enough.  Maybe he didn't like being an MP and hoped to have his constituency vanish from under him by emigration.
The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)  I understand that it has not been the practice to translate into Welsh the quarterly posters displayed by the Emigrants' Information Office in post offices in Wales because it was felt that the number of intending emigrants unacquainted with English was not sufficiently large to justify the additional expense.

And so from ethnic cleansing to mud guards:

Mr. LANSBURY  asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that splash-boards for the prevention of mud-splashing are now fixed to the motor-omnibuses plying along one route in the Metropolis; and will he consider the advisability of issuing through the police a regulation compelling all motor vehicles, and especially motor-omnibuses, to adopt those guards?

Mr. CHURCHILL  I am not aware that special devices of this kind are fixed to any motor omnibuses now plying in the Metropolis; but the Commissioner of Police has expressed his willingness to have them tried experimentally; and he has repeatedly told local authorities and others that he is ready to consider the question of compelling motor omnibuses to carry such special mudguards, as soon as an efficient device is submitted to him. None of the mudguards submitted so far have proved satisfactory. I have no power to make any such regulations for motor vehicles generally.

Typical Socialist - thinks legislation is the answer to everything...

Looks to me as though this fellow didn't check his change at the bar:

Mr. HENRY TERRELL  asked the Secretary to the Treasury, if he can state in what manner and under what statute he proposes to proceed to prevent the importation of cardboard tokens in imitation of coins?

Mr. HOBHOUSE The Board of Customs and Excise are being instructed to stop the importation of these "imitation coins" under the provisions of the Revenue Act, 1889, Section (2).
Wild horses will not drag from me the name of the pub, or even the non-metropolitan region where I was given a dodgy fiver in change some time back which the staff then had the temerity to refuse when I tried to bounce it back to them later (my being unaware that it was dodgy up until then).

Sticking with pubs:

Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY  asked the Chief Secretary, whether he is aware that, recently, the sergeant of police at Broadford, in the county of Limerick, forbade the publicans there to give drink to travellers when attending hurling and football matches or funerals, and that a couple of Sundays ago they were not allowed to supply any drink, though persons travelled over three miles to a hurling match there; whether, if this be denied by the sergeant, he will direct a local inquiry into the matter so that the publicans may get an opportunity of vouching for its accuracy, or take any other steps that he may think necessary?

What a blighter.

Mr. BIRRELL I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a similar question asked on the 16th instant by the hon. Member for North Cork.
And so to this:

Mr. ASTOR asked the President of the Local Government Board, if he will say what are the principal diseases in respect of which aliens are ejected under the Aliens Act; how many have been refused admission into England in 1909 and 1910 by the medical officer; and what number were rejected under each of the specified diseases?  

And the 1909/10 totals were as follows:

Trachoma 299
Other eye diseases 25
Venereal diseases 90
Skin and scalp diseases 25
Lunacu or idiocy 5
Tubercular diseases 8
Miscellaneous diseases 10
Infirmities likely to lead to chargeability (including cardiac disease, deformity, senile decay, paralysis, etc.) 161.

And yes, I am going to make an aside about the doubtful pleasure of investigating aliens for loathsome diseases.

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