HC Deb 01 June 1897 vol 50 cc16-8
ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the forthcoming Naval Review at Spithead, he will follow the precedent set in the case of the Naval Review in 1887, and call the attention of the various police authorities in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton, and Isle of Wight by circular as to their duty under the Merchant Shipping Act of enforcing the law against the overcrowding of steamers, and thereby preventing the serious risk and danger to human life by such overcrowding in the event of collision on such an occasion?


Yes. I propose to issue a circular to these police authorities similar to that sent out in 1887.


I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the forthcoming Naval Review at Spithead, he will adopt the course taken at the Naval Review in 1887, and cause notices to be issued to all masters and owners of steam vessels employed between Portsmouth, Gosport, Southampton, and Isle of Wight, licensed to carry passengers, warning them against any infringement of the law by carrying more than the specified number of persons mentioned in their licences respectively, in view of the fact that such overloading is a very serious risk and danger to life in the event of even a slight collision in a crowded roadstead?


Before notice of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question appeared on the Paper, I had given instructions for the issue of cautionary notices with regard to vessels taking passengers to the forthcoming Naval Review. I have also placed myself in communication with the Home Office on the subject.


I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether there is any precedent for the exclusion of Members of this House from Westminster Hall except on payment of a sum of money for refreshments; and, under what authority is it proposed to appropriate any part of the precinets of the House to the exclusive use of certain Members for a monetary consideration?


In reply to the hon. Member, I may say that I have had, and I have, no intention of excluding Members of this House from Westminster Hall on the the 22nd June, and they will not be so excluded. At the request of a Select Committee representative of the whole House, I sanctioned the use of the Hall for a definite purpose, which I believe was approved by the House. The arrangements for the day in question rests with the Select Conimittee.


Am I to understand that the hon. Gentleman withdraws his public announcement that Members unprovided with tickets will not be admitted to the House?


I never made any such announcement.

MR. T. G. ASHTON (Beds, Luton)

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that, while lords lieutenant of counties are to be provided with seats in Trafalgar Square on Jubilee Day, no provision is to be made for sheriffs of counties; that the office of sheriff is a much more ancient one than that of lord lieutenant; and that the sheriff is, equally with the lord lieutenant, the representative of the Sovereign in the county; and whether, having regard to these facts, he will reconsider his decision with regard to the provision of seats for sheriffs of counties?


I am sorry to say that I cannot depart from my previous decision as to the high sheriffs, it being impossible, for want of space, to allot seats to them on the stands. I may mention that, as most of the lords lieutenant are provided for in other capacities, only about six applications front them have had to be met.


I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in view of the fact that, the forthcoming Jubilee Procession is to be composed in part of military and police contingents from every Colony and Dependency of the Crown, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty Will make further representations so that the sea power of the Empire may find its proper place in the Procession, either in the form of a naval field battery with a covering party of Marines or of a rocket, brigade; and whether, if none of these suggestions can he adopted and it is decided that the Royal Navy shall have no place in the Imperial Procession, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty will order that the seamen of the Fleet shall remain at their respective ports, and not be brought up to act, as sentries; in the streets, and that, their services shall be confined to furnishing guards of honour where required?


I would ask my hon. and gallant Friend to repeat his Question on Thursday, when I will be able to say more with regard to this subject. At present I can only say that I believe it would be a subject of great disappointment to the public at large and of deep regret to the naval service if they could not participate in the Procession on Jubilee Day. [Cheers.]

MR. JOHN AIRD (Paddington, N.)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty whether he could now state whether any arrangements had been made to enable Members of Parliament to witness the illuminations of the Fleet on the occasion of the Naval Review?


I am glad to say that it has been possible to make arrangements to enable a certain number of Members and their friends to remain on board the Campania for the purpose of witnessing the Accommodation can be provided for not mere than 350 persons to dine, sleep and breakfast on board the ship. They will be landed at Southampton on Sunday morning by tender from the Campania not later than ten o'clock. The Campania, after landing those who desire to return to town on Saturday afternoon, will leave Southampton Deck not later than 7 o'clock p.m. and take up a position in the Solent. The charge will be £5 5s. per head, and these arrangements are dependent upon not less than 250 persons intimating their intention of staying on board.