HC Deb 30 May 1881 vol 261 cc1657-8

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he will take steps to inquire whether some of the Government officials of the Arsenal at Woolwich have been using their influence with the employés in the Arsenal to induce them to sign Petitions condemning the action of the House of Commons in regard to Mr. Bradlaugh, and urging his immediate admission to the House; and, whether such Petitions have been sent round for signature during working hours?


In reply to the hon. Member, I have to say that last week I ordered inquiries to be made into the subject of his Question, and I have learnt that it is the case that one of the Government officials in Woolwich Arsenal—a junior writer in the Carriage Department—did circulate a Petition in favour of the admission of Mr. Brad- laugh to this House. I am not aware what influence he brought to bear in order to obtain signatures, and ho states that the whole affair was a joke. I fail to see any humour in this joke; and I have directed the same censure to be conveyed to this gentleman as I did last week to the promoter of a Petition in the opposite sense.