HC Deb 12 March 1919 vol 113 c1291

About a fortnight ago I was asked by several Members with regard to the matter of cards being placed in their seats. I was asked whether the time had not now come when we might discontinue the card upon which is printed the warning that the hon. Member who uses the card and place it in his seat must in the meantime remain within the precincts of the House. I am afraid that that instruction has been rather honoured in the breach than in the observance. It seems to me we might now at all events try to dispense with that condition, and not any longer use the card which bears that inscription at the top of it. On the other hand, by the leave of the House, I am going to make a change with regard to cards. I have arranged for a messenger to be in attendance here every morning from eight o'clock till the House meets and he will hand out to each Member as he arrives one card. It has sometimes occurred that when about a dozen or fifteen Members have come here from eight till a quarter past, the number of cards found on the seats when they have been counted half an hour later has been twenty, twenty-five or thirty. I think that this proposal will put a stop to that curious phenomenon. I also propose to date every card, so that the card cannot be used more than once. There will therefore remain only two cards, those used at Prayer Time by hon. Members who attend Prayers and also the pink Committee card which an hon. Member can place in the slot over his seat when he comes down, if he is in attendance at a, Committee and is not able to be at Prayers. I think this arrangement will be to the general convenience.

Colonel THORNE

Have you considered what is going to happen assuming that an hon. Member files in at one entrance, passes round, and then comes in again?


I think the messenger would very soon recognise him.