Sir WILLIAM HOLLAND (for Mr. Beauchamp) asked the Postmaster-General if he could make any statement in regard to his negotiations with the Marconi Company and with Lloyd's in reference to the acquisition by the Post Office of the radio-telegraphic shore stations?
The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Sydney Buxton) I am glad to say that arrangements have been completed with the Marconi Company for the transfer to the Post Office of all their coast stations for communication with ships, including all plant, machinery, buildings, land and leases, etc., and for the surrender of the rights which they enjoy under their agreement with the Post Office of August, 1904, for licences or facilities in respect of coast stations intended for such communication....The inclusive consideration to be paid to the company is £15,000.
Mr. WADSWORTH asked the President of the Board of Trade, if he is aware that the approximate price of coal in the United Kingdom is given in the General Report and Statistics for 1907 (Mines and Quarries, Part III.) at 9s. 4.41d.; and can he or his Department testify to the complete accuracy of the price given in the Report?
The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Gladstone) I beg leave to answer this question on behalf of my right hon. Friend. The approximate average price at the mines of coal in the United Kingdom for the year 1907, as given in the General Report and Statistics, is 9s., not 9s. 4.41d. The latter is the price for Ireland.
Mr. T. F. RICHARDS asked the hon. Member for the Crewe Division, as representing the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, whether he can state the number of licensed houses owned or leased by them outside the area of the county of London?
Mr. JAMES TOMKINSON The number of public-houses on the estates vested in or managed by the Commissioners (outside the area of the county of London) is 192.
Mr. O'GRADY asked the Secretary of State for War whether an investigation is being made by the Army Council into the fatal shooting accident to the Rev. Mr. Hodgson in the Territorial camp at Guisborough; if so, when was the inquiry commenced; and can he state the probable time of its completion, and whether the report will be published in full when ready?
...Poor show, frankly.
Mr. O'GRADY Is it the intention of the Department never to make any report?
Mr. ACLAND These reports, as I mentioned yesterday, are not for publication. Of course, the War Office are taking steps to prevent any such similar occurrence.
Mr. ARTHUR LYNCH asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that in Australia an objection exists to the terms Colonies and Colonial as applied to the Commonwealth or its component parts; and whether he will take steps to secure that in future in official documents and in oral references in Parliament on behalf of His Majesty's Government the employment of such terms as indicated will be avoided?
The UNDER-SECRETARY for the COLONIES (Colonel Seely) Yes, Sir; there is no doubt that such an objection exists, but certainly in the Colonial Office and, so far as I am aware, in all formal communications with or references to Australia, the practice is well settled of making use of the correct expressions Commonwealth or States as the case may be.
Mr. WARDLE (Lab, Stockport) asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the practice extensively carried on in Germany and America whereby wardrobe and lavatory accommodation is provided for workmen at the place of their employment; and whether, in view of the benefit in public health and cleanliness to be derived from such a practice, he will consider the advisability of securing the extension of the practice in this country?
The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Gladstone) My attention has been called to this matter, and, in connection with mines, it has received the consideration of the Royal Commission on Mines. The hon. Member will find their recommendations on the subject in Part XVIII. of their recently issued Report. In the case of a number of trades where the conditions of work make the provision of lavatory and cloak-room accommodation especially important for the health of the workpeople, the employer is now required under the Factory Acts to provide it; and in many other cases such accommodation is supplied voluntarily by employers. The Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories for 1908 notes, I am glad to say, a growing tendency to provide improved facilities for washing in many districts, and the question is receiving the constant attention of my Department.
Captain MORRISON-BELL asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has received any further information as to the proposed sale of fencing round the military cemetery at Standerton?
Mr. HALDANE I am still awaiting a report from South Africa which is expected shortly. I will let the hon. and gallant Member know the facts as soon as information reaches me.Standerton is a Boer War cemetery, with casulaties from when we were besieged by the beastly Boers. The only image I have been able to find is this:
Labels: United Nations
Mr. CATHCART WASON asked if any representations have been made by the Governor of South Nigeria to the authorities of Dahomey, French West Africa, with reference to raising the duty on imported spirits so as to check smuggling from French territory into British; and, if so, what reply has been returned by the French authorities?
Colonel SEELY The Governor of Southern Nigeria has not yet reported the result of the representations made by him to the Governor of Dahomey on the subject of an increase of the duties on spirits.
Sir GILBERT PARKER May I ask if a representation was made by the Governor of Southern Nigeria to the French representative in Dahomey concerning the raising of duty from British territory?
Colonel SEELY The representations, to which alone this question refers, are as to the question of smuggling. Raising the duties in one part would be of no use if the spirits come in over the boundary.
Mr. GEORGE GREENWOOD (Lib, Peterborough) asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to the case of the headmaster of the national schools at Ashford, under the Middlesex County Council, who was convicted by the magistrates at Feltham, on or about 6th September last, of assaulting a little boy of 10 years of age, one of the scholars under his charge, by flogging him with great and unreasonable severity, and fined £5, being the highest penalty which the magistrates were competent to impose....and whether he will prohibit the use of flogging in all schools under the direct supervision and control of the Board of Education?
The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Runciman) I have communicated with the local authority with regard to this case and I am informed that it will come before a sub-committee on 18th October...The answer to the last paragraph is in the negative.
Mr. HADDOCK asked the President of the Local Government Board if he could state the total sum expended upon the administration of the Poor Law from 1834 to the latest date ascertainable?
Mr. BURNS The aggregate expenditure of boards of guardians and other local authorities in England and Wales, which is ordinarily classed as relating to the relief of the poor, during the period of 75 years ended at Lady-Day, 1909, was approximately £597,000,000.
Mr. P. J. POWER asked the President of the Board of Trade if he was now in a position to state the reply given by the Great Southern and Western Railway Company (Ireland) to the complaint made by the travelling public that they make no provision for heating third class carriages on most of their trains, and prohibit their servants, without obtaining special leave, from supplying third class passengers with foot-warmers; and could he state the nature of the communication made to the railway company by the Board of Trade?
Mr. CHURCHILL A copy of the hon. Member's previous question was sent to the Railway Company for their observations, and the Company replied that it was not usual to supply foot-warmers to passengers travelling third-class over their system. On receipt of that reply the Board of Trade wrote to the Company asking for fuller information, and when that information is received I will communicate with the hon. Gentleman again.
Mr. POWER Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the company does not delay giving a definite answer until Parliament rises? Those of us who have to travel third class on this system suffer intensely.
Mr. ARTHUR LYNCH Does the right hon. Gentleman keep himself in touch with the state of feeling in Clare?
Mr. BIRRELL Oh, yes; I receive very frequent communications from county Clare, and generally from all parts of that neighbourhood.
Mr. DENIS KILBRIDE (Irish Nat, South Kildare) Would the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of appointing a small commission in lunacy to inquire into the lunacy or sanity of those people?
Mr. KEIR HARDIE That comes badly from an Irishman.
Mr. BELLAIRS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether blue serge and white duck are the only dress available for the Royal Marines on board ships for shore campaigns; whether he is aware that the former is a prominent target and the use of the latter would lead to chills; and, if so, whether he can state what steps the Admiralty propose to take to enable the Royal Marines to light on shore on equal terms with foreign troops without undue delay in receiving stores of khaki from England?
Dr. MACNAMARA Khaki is not considered suitable for the general duties of Royal Marines afloat; adequate arrangements are made for its supply in cases where its use may be necessary.
Sir SEYMOUR KING asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what decision has been arrived at as to the advisability of making officers of the Indian Army eligible for rewards for qualifying as interpreters in European languages other than Russian?
The MASTER of ELIBANK Indian Army officers have been made eligible for rewards for qualifying in French, German, Italian, Dutch, modern Greek, and Portuguese.
Mr. RENTON asked the Secretary of State for War how many officials, established and non-established, including non-pensionable employés, were employed by his Department on 31st March, 1906, and on 30th June, 1909, respectively?
The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Haldane) To reply fully to the question as it stands would involve enormous labour, and the compilation of statistics from all parts of the world. If the hon. and gallant Member would explain to me privately what is the object of his question I will see what I can do to help him in the matter.
Mr. BELLOC (yes, him) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Foreign Office had received information as to any act of cruelty committed in the Congo Free State since the establishment of the new régime; and, if so, could he inform the House as to the nature of the atrocity, its date, the place in which it occurred, and the name of the Belgian official responsible for it?
The UNDER-SECRETARY for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. McKinnon Wood) I see no object in giving special publicity to any isolated act of cruelty. It would have comparatively little importance unless it were an illustration of a system of oppression. The system which existed under the old régime of the Congo State is described in published Consular Reports. Whether, or to what extent, that system has been changed by the Belgian Government will appear from the next publication of Reports, which will be made in due course.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department a question of which I have given private notice, whether he has any official information concerning the state of health of Mrs. Leigh and Miss Charlotte Marsh, prisoners in Winson Green, Birmingham, and whether it has been found necessary to administer food to those ladies by force, and, if so, under what authority that has been done?
Mr. KEIR HARDIE Can the hon. Gentleman say if the full operation is the food being pumped through the nostrils of these women or inserted by a tube down the throat? What has been the treatment?
Mr. MASTERMAN I think the ordinary method is the second one.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE The tube is inserted into the stomach and food pumped into it—horrible outrage, beastly outrage.
Mr. SNOWDEN May I ask if the hon. Gentleman will convey the suggestion to the Home Secretary that he should make application to Spain or Russia in order to adopt the most brutal and up-to-date methods of barbarism?
Captain MURRAY asked the Postmaster-General whether it is proposed to discontinue the sale of foolscap penny postage envelopes
Mr. BUXTON The 1d. embossed envelopes of "foolscap" size were introduced in 1903, but they met with very little demand, and indeed the initial stock was not exhausted until May last. The sale of these envelopes was clearly not sufficient to justify a further issue, and I decided to withdraw them. Two other sizes of 1d. envelopes and two sizes of ½d. envelopes are issued by the Post Office, and have a very large sale.
Sir JOHN BETHELL (Lib, Romford) asked the President of the Local Government Board if he can give the number of males of foreign nationalities who were employed in the county of London at the date of the last Census, or at any later period, in hotels, in restaurants, and in private houses, other than shops or business premises, respectively?
Mr. BURNS The Census Reports do not afford the precise information required by my hon. Friend, but they show that the number of males of foreign nationality who were employed in London at the date of the last Census in domestic indoor service was 5,188, and that the number of such males occupied in connection with the provision of board and lodging and dealing in spirituous liquors was 5,475. See pages 162 and 168 of the volume of the Census relating to London.
LORD REDESDALE....I am afraid that I shall be accused of taxing your Lordships' credulity when I tell you that whereas in Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Italy, and Holland there are well-organised, well-equipped, and well-endowed schools of Oriental languages, in London, which is the capital of the country which, apart from its paramount interest in India, in the Malay Archipelago, and in Africa, has larger dealings, and has had dealings, extending over a larger period of time, with the Far East, with China, Japan, and Korea, than any other country—in London there is no school of Oriental languages.....The University of London deals chiefly with Hebrew and with the Indian languages, and from the India Office it receives an annual grant of £300. King's College receives an annual grant of £100 from the Colonial Office for the teaching of Hausa; and these miserable pittances, which are really an insult to educated men, are all that is given by Governments in London at the present time for Oriental teaching. Imagine going out to Africa and making yourself an expert in the Hausa language in order to have the supreme hope of coming home to a professorship of £100 a year!
....We Europeans, no matter what language we speak, draw almost all our imagery from the ancient classics and from the Bible. We talk about a woman being as beautiful as Venus, of a man being as strong as Samson, of the fall of the Walls of Jericho, and we compare a person to Achilles sulking in his tent, and by all Europeans we are understood; but when you talk with an Oriental gentleman you must understand what takes the place of those familiar images in his language.
We have always been pulling the chestnuts out of the fire for the foreigner in the Far East. The Opium War, the Arrow War, the war of 1860 in which the French joined us, and other movements in which we have taken a leading part and in which hundreds of lives and millions of money have been spent, have all been for the benefit of other countries as much as our own.
The Earl of Cromer ....Lord Palmerston is alleged to have once said—....Never pay the least attention to a European who has lived in the country a number of years and speaks the language like a native. Do not believe him: he is always wrong.But even if Lord Palmerston ever said that, I imagine he did not intend to deprecate the study of Oriental languages, but to indicate that he thought the man on the spot was apt to get rather into a groove and that his views had to be tested and corrected by those of wider and more general experience.
Let me give your Lordships one or two instances. I remember talking to an Oriental in a very high position in Egypt on an important political point, and I laid before him my arguments, which were, I thought, of a nature to influence a Western mind. I found, however, that they produced not the least effect. Then it occurred to me in the course of conversation to introduce an apologue from the "Arabian Nights," which I found produced a much more clear effect than all my Western logic. Then I remember Lord Wolseley sending me a proclamation which he was about to issue in the Soudan, and which he wished translated into Arabic. It seemed to me so very Western that I asked an Oriental friend of mine who was a great scholar if he would look over it and tell me what he thought of it. He told me that the grammar was perfect and that he understood what Lord Wolseley meant, but he thought that to the Soudanese the proclamation would be high Greek. I asked him to put the ideas into his own language, and in a couple of days he produced a document which read much more like a chapter of Isaiah than an ordinary official document.
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (VISCOUNT MORLEY OF BLACKBURN)
There is one Indian point I should not excuse myself if I omitted. Lord Cromer said, and I was extremely glad to hear him say it, that he hoped this School of Oriental Languages, when it was founded and set working, would not merely be a school of language, but would also be a school for the study of the ideals, the customs, the habits, the religions, and all that gives a character, in truth, to the populations concerned.
Sir WILLIAM COLLINS asked the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, if he can state the number of acres of hops which have been grubbed in Germany and in England, respectively, during the last two years, and what is the proportionate reduction of the total acreage under hops in each country thereby effected?
Sir E. STRACHEY The decrease in the acreage under hops during the last two years is approximately 23,000 acres, or 14.4 per cent., in Germany, and 12,400 acres, or 27.6 per cent., in England.
Mr. WILES asked the Secretary of State for War if he can state why it is specially stipulated in the tender forms sent to contractors for the supply of forage for troop horses that oats grown in South Africa and South America may not be supplied?
Mr. HALDANE South American and South African oats are excluded from Army contracts in this country because the feeding properties of such oats at present obtainable are not considered to be of equal value to those of oats grown an the United Kingdom, Russia, or North America, and are not fully up to the quality stipulated for in the contract specification. Should, however, the quality of the oats in question improve in the future, the removal of the restriction will be considered.
Mr. LEVERTON HARRIS asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it is the intention of the Government to place the two provinces of Northern and Southern Nigeria under one governorship?
Colonel SEELY The question has been raised, but is not immediately urgent, and I am therefore not at present in a position to state the views of His Majesty's Government upon it.It happened in 1914. Previous names for Nigeria under colonial rule were the Niger Coast Protectorate and my fave, the Oil Rivers Protectorate.
Mr. SUMMERBELL asked the Secretary of State for War if he can state the number of recruits of His Majesty's forces who-presented themselves for enrolment during the past 12 months, and who were accepted as physically fit to serve, and giving the numbers for each town over 100,000 population?
Mr. HALDANE submitted the following tables, showing the number of men who presented themselves for enlistment into His Majesty's forces during the period from 1st July, 1908, to 30th June, 1909, and who were accepted as physically fit to serve, giving the numbers for each town over 100,000 population:—
Total number of men inspected, 59,686.
Total number of men found fit to serve, 43,134.
Mr. B. S. STRAUS asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any official information respecting a massacre of Jews at Kieff last week; and whether he can give any particulars?
Sir E. GREY I have received no information on the subject, and the report referred to has been contradicted in the Press.
Mr. J. P. FARRELL asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that muscular paralysis of the arm has become prevalent in the female branch of the telegraph service by reason of the long hours of duty imposed, especially in big offices; whether he is aware that hysteria, nervous breakdown, and other symptoms follow; and whether an alternation of duties will be devised whereby these maladies could be obviated and greatly prevented?
Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON I shall be glad if the hon. Member would furnish me with particulars of any case of paralysis of which he has cognisance, and I will at once inquire into it. I am not aware of any prevalence of the ailments referred to in the question.
Mr. BELLAIRS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what will be the estimated total cost of the refit of the destroyer H.M.S. "Violet"?
Mr. McKENNA The approximate total cost of the recent refit of H.M.S. "Violet" was £7,055.
Mr. WEDGWOOD BENN asked the Home Secretary whether any new regulations are contemplated to control costermongers and street sellers in the City of London; if so, what the regulations are; and whether provision will be made to safeguard the interests of those people who gain their livelihood in this way?
Mr. H. GLADSTONE I understand that such regulations under Section (2) of the City of London (Street Traffic) Act of this Session are contemplated, but have not yet been framed. I have no doubt that in making them the City authorities will consider the interests of all parties concerned. The regulations have to receive the Secretary of State's approval before they come into force.
Mr. JOHN WARD asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he can state the manufactured condition of the cotton recently declared to be contraband of war by the Russian court of appeal?
Sir E. GREY It is stated to have been raw cotton.
Mr. MILDMAY asked whether there is now any nearer possibility of the conclusion of an International Convention in connection with the fisheries of the English Channel upon the lines of that in force since 1884 in connection with the North Sea fisheries?
Sir E. GREY There is at present no question of an International Convention on the lines indicated in the question; but His Majesty's Government are in communication with the French Government with a view to the conclusion of a Convention with France for the regulation of the Channel Fisheries.
Mr. MacNEILL asked whether the representations made by the British and foreign consuls to the authorities of Morocco have had any effect in stopping the tortures inflicted on political prisoners in that country; and, if not, what action does His Majesty's Government propose to take in this matter?
Sir E. GREY No case of the torture of prisoners has been brought to the knowledge of His Majesty's Government since the date of the representations referred to.
Mr. MacNEILL Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that a man has been killed in prison since? Has he not used the ordinary means of communication?
Sir E. GREY I have no information to that effect.
Mr. PATRICK O'BRIEN (for Mr. Hay-den) asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that Sergeant Carrigan, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, on last Saturday evening ordered Mr. Mark M'Cormack, a licensed publican in the town of Castlerea, to remove a flag bearing the stars and stripes which he had hung out upon his house to honour two American citizens who were visiting the town...
Mr. REDMOND BARRY I am informed that Sergeant Carrigan did call the attention of the publican in question to the fact that it was a breach of the Licensing Acts to display any flag from his licensed premises except the accustomed sign of the house. In doing so, I understand that the sergeant acted on his own initiative, the law being quite clear that any such display is an offence under the licensing code....
Mr. MOONEY Is not the Act of Parliament dealing with the display of flags an Act dealing with illegal and secret societies, and is it not a fact that in Dublin every day of the week the large hotels and public-houses display flags, and the police take no action, and is it not the fact that in this case the action of the sergeant is based on the allegation that the United States flag was a party emblem?
Mr. REDMOND BARRY I do not know that there is any foundation for the suggestion.
Mr. JOYCE May I ask whether it would be illegal for a publican in Ireland to fly the Union Jack?
Mr. SPEAKER That is a hypothetical question. The hon. Member should give notice of it.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has received any official Reports from the Government of India to the effect that a bomb had been thrown at a train in Eastern Bengal with the object of securing £90,000, which was known to be aboard the train, to be used in furtherance of the Anarchist cause; that the three natives in charge of the treasure showed great courage, pulled the communication cord, and refused to leave the treasure van, which was shattered; and that the bomb used was one of an extremely high explosive power; and, if not, whether the Government of India are taking any, and, if any, what steps, under the Press Law or otherwise, to put an end to the transmission of such unfounded statements?
....And Mr Last Word himself:
The UNDER-SECRETARY Of STATE for INDIA (The Master of Elibank)...The Secretary of State has no official knowledge of the report referred to; and with regard to the last part of the question of the hon. Member for Merthyr, I would remind him that Reuter's message was apparently a bonâ fide report based on the statements made by the Indians in charge of the van. The Government can scarcely undertake to deal with every unfounded statement in the Press that forms the basis of questions on India in this House.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE May I ask whether, in view of the strict interpretation of the law applied to the native Press in regard to reports concerning Europeans, the India Office will consider the advisability of applying this law to unfounded reports that cause bitter irritation when referring to natives?
Mr. SPEAKER The hon. Gentleman should give notice of that question.
Mr. MacNEILL Will the hon. Gentleman ask the Secretary of State to take steps to deport some of the members of this brigade of liars?
Mr. SPEAKER That question also requires notice.
Mr. LUPTON Is there any reason to believe that the gritty substance in the mines has a more injurious effect on the natives than on the Chinese; and, if so, whether he will take steps to have the gritty substance removed by water or otherwise from the atmosphere of the mines?
Mr. REES Is it not the case that the Kaffirs have not enough grit for the job?And back to less grave matter: Motor Cars (Horse-power).
Colonel SEELY I am afraid I am not able to state in what different degrees the gritty substance affects different races.
Mr. ARTHUR LEE Will the Treasury see that whatever standard is adopted the owners of cars, bonâ fide believing that there is a certain horse-power in their cars, will not have their rating increased for the purposes of taxation?
Mr. HOBHOUSE It is quite impossible to give that assurance off-hand. I will endeavour to see what can be done.
Mr. WARDLE asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the action of the North British Railway Company in refusing to supply artificial limbs to employés who have been injured in the execution of their duty; and whether he is prepared to consider an alteration of the law to compel employers to make this provision?
The UNDER-SECRETARY for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. C. F. G. Masterman) The Secretary of State is informed by the company that they do not now as a matter of general practice supply artificial limbs to injured employés in addition to paying compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The workmen's claims under the Statute, which are met in full by the company, are very onerous, and the company do not feel justified at present in undertaking further expenditure by way of compensation. The Secretary of State does not think the time has come for the revision of the Workmen's Compensation Act.
Mr. G. L. COURTHOPE (for Mr. Joynson-Hicks) asked whether, having regard to the fact that the police have recently made regulations compelling motor omnibuses and motor cabs to place thereon a device for making a continuous noise when the speed exceeds certain limits, the Home Secretary will take the necessary steps in conjunction, if necessary, with the Board of Trade to have the same device placed upon tramcars?
Mr. MASTERMAN This matter is still under consideration, but the application of this device to tramcars presents special difficulties, because of the varying limits of speed authorised for those vehicles.
Mr. HORATIO MYER Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the tramcars pass along the Embankment at the rate of more than 20 miles an hour?
Captain FABER asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state the reasons for dispensing with the services of the two naval officers of the Naval Intelligence Department who were called before the Sub-Committee of Imperial Defence by Lord Charles Beresford, seeing that no specific reorganisation of the Department has yet been carried out?
Mr. McKENNA A reorganisation of the Department is being carried out, and in consequence of the changes involved the services of the two officers in question will not be required after they have been carried into effect.
Captain FABERI is it a mere coincidence that one of these officers was ordered away the very day that the inquiry ceased?
Mr. McKENNA Coincidence has nothing to do with it.
Captain FABER Then why was he ordered away?
Mr. McKENNA No, Sir; the hon. Gentleman is in error. The officer in question was invited to take his holiday from the date. [Laughter.] I do not in the least desire to answer the hon. Gentleman.
Mr. FELL asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if any Reports have been received from the Consuls and Business Agents in France or Germany as to the feeling with regard to the Budget in those countries, and the effect it will have upon trade between those countries and Great Britain; and if there are any Reports or Papers on the subject which can be presented to this House?
The UNDER-SECRETARY for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. McKinnon Wood) I have not received any such Reports or other communications from France or Germany.
Mr. FELL I am unwilling to put these questions down if there is no object in doing so. May I ask if the Reports will come to the Board of Trade from the Consuls or business agents?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD I cannot at all understand how the Budget is likely to have any effect upon the trade between Great Britain and these countries.
- I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
- The reason why I cannot tell;
- But this I know, and know full well,
- I do not love thee, Dr Fell.
Captain FABER asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that at the brick-making centre at Fletton the price of bricks has fallen from 23s. 10½d. in 1898 to 10s. 6d. in 1909, or 1s. 6d. below cost price; and whether he will, therefore, take steps to exempt common brick-clay from the Mineral Duty?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hobhouse)
Of course I am not aware of Fletton brick prices, you blithering idiot.My right hon. Friend is not able to say whether the figures quoted by the hon. and gallant Member are correct. He is not prepared to introduce a special exemption for brick-clay.
Mr. HUNT (Con) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will say how much out of £100 worth of beer of a specific gravity of 1.055 at 33s. for 36 gallons will be paid to the State as duty by a retailer of beer after the passing of the Finance Bill; how much out of £100 worth of whisky of 25 per cent. below proof at 18s. a gallon will be paid to the State as duty by a retailer of whisky after the passing of the Finance Bill; and how much out of £100 worth of champagne at 120s. a dozen will be paid by a wine merchant as duty to the State?
Mr. HOBHOUSE The duty on 60 20–33rd barrels of beer of 36 gallons each brewed in the United Kingdom, and of a specific gravity of 1.055 deg., would be £23 9s. 8 4–11d. The duty on 111 1–9th gallons of whisky, strength 25 per cent. 396 under proof, would be £61 9s. 2d. The duty on 16 8–12th dozen reputed quart bottles of champagne would be £6 5s.
Mr. HUNT May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the increase in the taxation on the working man's whisky up to 300 per cent. and on his beer up to 31 per cent. is the latest great effort of the Liberal party to lessen the burden of taxation on the poor?
Mr. LANE-FOX (for Mr. Leverton Harris) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he would say by how many points respectively the following Government securities have risen or fallen between 1st September, 1908, and 1st September, 1909; British Two and a-half Per Cent. annuities, French Three Per Cent. Rentes, German Three Per Cents., Italian Five Per Cents., and Spanish Four Per Cents.?
Sir F. BANBURY Am I to gather that every foreign security has risen except ours?
Mr. HOBHOUSE Yes; I believe that is so, owing to the uncertainty as to whether the Budget will be passed.
Sir JOHN JARDINE (Lib) asked the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been drawn to the case of William Norris, a boy of 14 years of age, who was, on the 2nd instant, sentenced by Sheriff-Substitute Baillie at Jedburgh to be birched for taking trout from Bowmont Water; ...
The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND (Mr. A. Dewar) Inquiry has been made, and it appears that the prosecution was not a private one or under the Tweed Acts, but was at the instance of the Procurator Fiscal for contravention of the Trout and Freshwater Fish Acts by taking 42 trout by means of wire snares. Two boys were prosecuted, both of whom pled guilty. Norris, being under 14 years of age, was sentenced to four strokes of the birch. The Probation Act is applicable, but I am informed that the boy had been previously twice convicted of malicious mischief, and had been repeatedly cautioned by the police.
Mr. JOHN WARD (Lab Does not the hon. and learned Gentleman think that it is an atrocious punishment for a boy?
Mr. SPEAKER That is a matter of opinion.
Mr. KEIR HARDIE asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been drawn to an envelope which is being used by an anti-Socialist organisation, presided over by a Member of this House, and on which is printed in red ink the words socialism and murder; whether it is a breach of the Post Office regulations to make His Majesty's mails the vehicle for propagating an offensive innuendo against a political movement; and, if so, what action he proposes to take in the matter?
Mr. BUXTON The Postmaster-General has authority to stop in the post any packet on which there appears words of an "indecent, obscene, or grossly offensive character." The inscription in question, however, whatever may be thought of its taste, appears to me too inept and devoid of meaning to be regarded as coming within these terms.
Mr. RENWICK asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the shortage of horses for military purposes, he has considered the advisability of retaining in this country for the British Government some of the numbers of thoroughbred horses which, having been found unsuitable for racing, are sold in the autumn months, such horses being principally bought for military purposes in France, Germany, and Belgium, and for breeding and other purposes in South America?
Mr. ACLAND As there is no present shortage of horses for military purposes it does not appear necessary to consider the possibility of carrying out the hon. Member's suggestion.
Mr. STANIER Do not foreign Governments pay more for their horses than we?
Mr. ACLAND Yes. They buy very largely a type of horse which is no use to us at all.
Mr. RENWICK - (not waving the white flag quite yet) Would not these horses which are suitable for foreign Governments be equally suitable for the British Government?
Mr. ACLAND We obtain a perfectly adequate supply of those that we want at a reasonable price.
Mr. W. THORNE asked whether the 11 soldiers who were discharged during the week ending 19th September, 1909, at Colchester, on account of bad teeth, were discharged from the Army entirely, or only discharged from the colours to the first-class Army Reserve?
Mr. ACLAND Thirteen men of the 8th Hussars, who are under orders for service in India, were rejected as medically unfit on account of defective teeth. The sum of £1 per head is granted for dental treatment of men with defective teeth, but as the cost of such treatment was assessed at a larger sum for these men, they were given the option of paying the extra amount required to make their teeth sound or of being discharged as medically unfit for further service. Three men elected the former course and 10 the latter.
Mr. W. THORNE Were these men discharged entirely or relegated to the Army Reserve?
Mr. ACLAND They were discharged as medically unfit.
Mr. ACLAND The military authorities attach great importance to soundness of teeth, particularly when men are going on foreign service. If a man cannot get his teeth made sound it is very much better, especially considering the large number of suitable recruits coming forward at present, not to retain him.
Mr. J. D. REES Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Indian Government already have complained of the cost of the capitation charge, and that a soldier without good teeth is no use for India, as he cannot chew the tough mutton?