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قراءة كتاب Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 153, July 11, 1917
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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 153, July 11, 1917
PRIDE. LORD DERBY.
At the close of Questions a stalwart young man in khaki advanced to the Table, and, amid the cheers of the Members and to the obvious delight of Lord DERBY, who sat beaming with parental pride in the Peers' Gallery, added the signature "STANLEY" to a roll which has rarely been without that name since "the Rupert of debate" signed it there close on a hundred years ago.
Excess profits provided the theme for some lively speeches to-day. Major HAMILTON did not see why farmers should escape the tax, and instanced the case of a potato-grower who had made ten thousand pounds out of a couple of hundred acres. Several Members connected with the shipping interest protested against the tax. Mr. LEIF-JONES implied that it was more disastrous than the U-boats, and Mr. HOUSTON loudly protested at being represented as a harpy.
By these complaints Mr. BONAR LAW was absolutely unmoved, and for very good reason. He had himself a few thousands invested in shipping, and, as he was getting about fifty per cent., instead of the modest five per cent. which he had anticipated, he had come to the conclusion that even under present conditions the trade was doing pretty well. After this confession of an involuntary profiteer the tax was agreed to. But the farmers, with next year's Budget in view, are praying that the conscientious CHANCELLOR will not invest his surplus profits in land.
Wednesday, July 4th.—We all know the ex-poacher-turned-game-keeper. The converse process has taken place in the case of Lord PORTSMOUTH, who, when he ceased to be a Minister of the Crown, became a bitter critic of successive Administrations. His complaints of our blockade policy were frigidly acknowledged by Lord MILNER and hotly resented by Lord LANSDOWNE, upon whom Lord PORTSMOUTH'S ruddy beard always has a provocative effect. It is all very well to talk of being ruthless to neutrals, but if we had adopted the noble lord's policy early in the War would the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes be to-day floating side by side all over London?
Mr. LYNCH'S latest suggestion for the furtherance of his Republican propaganda is that the COMMISSIONER OF WORKS should remove from the streets all statues of deceased monarchs, and replace them by those of great leaders of thought. Sir ALFRED MOND absolutely refused. The worst kings sometimes make the best statues, and he is not prepared to sacrifice JAMES II. from the Admiralty even to put Mr. LYNCH himself on the vacant pedestal.
"P.R." came up smiling for another round, and, having secured the services on this occasion of Mr. ASQUITH as judicious bottle-holder, was expected to make a good fight of it. The EX-PREMIER scouted the notion that the new plan of voting would fill the House with freaks and faddists, a class from which, he hinted, it is not, even under present conditions, entirely immune. But the majority evidently felt that there could not be much amiss with a system which had returned such wise and patriotic persons as themselves to Parliament, and they outed P. R. by 201 to 169.
Thursday, July 5th.—It is hardly surprising that the Government has decided not to proceed at present with its great scheme of nationalizing the liquor-traffic. The announcement that, in order to meet the requirements of the harvest-season, the brewers should be allowed to increase the output of beer by one-third, brought a swarm of hornets about the CHANCELLOR'S head. Mr. LEIF-JONES (irreverently known as "Tea-leaf JONES") was horrified at the thought that more grain and sugar should be diverted to this pernicious liquid; Mr. DEVLIN and other champions of the trade were almost equally annoyed because the harvest-beer was to be of a lower specific gravity. The storm of "supplementaries" showed no sign of abating, until the SPEAKER, who rarely fails to find the appropriate phrase, remarked upon "This thirst for information," and so dissolved the House in laughter.