HC Deb 20 December 1906 vol 167 cc1697-8
MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)

I beg to ask the Secretary †See Col. 981. to the Admiralty whether the attention of the Board of Admiralty has been drawn to certain leaflets that were distributed on the lower deck of all the ships at Portsmouth on the eve of the general election; whether he has any reports showing that the recent disturbances at Portsmouth were in any way due to the effect produced by those leaflets; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to prevent the distribution of such leaflets in the future.


My attention has been called to this matter by the hon. Member's Question and by a letter from him. The Admiralty have no reason to believe that these leaflets had any connection with disturbances which took place eleven months afterwards. As there is no evidence to show how the leaflets were in fact distributed, it is impossible to make any regulation on the subject.


asked whether it was not a fact that these leaflets contained misstatements of a remarkable kind; whether they were not in the nature of an incitement to insubordination; and whether it was not desirable that some steps should be taken to prevent in the future the distribution of leaflets of this kind.


Nobody knows how they came to be distributed.

Captain HERVEY (Bury St. Edmunds)

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would obtain the opinion of the commanding officers at Portsmouth as to whether these leaflets had anything to do with the disturbance. He understood that in their opinion they were directly responsible for it.


I should like notice of that Question.

*MR. BRAMSDON (Portsmouth)

asked whether it was not a fact that the only possible effect this innocent leaflet could have had was to convince members of the lower deck that they should vote for the present Members, and thus conduce to the great victory they had won.

[No Answer was returend.]