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----...---parliament in Ikief.…




MONDAY, APRIL 5TH. HOUSE OF LORDS. A second reading was given to a bill to further secure the payment of the salaries of clerks and workmen in the winding up of companies, by giving them priority to the claims of debenture holders. The Military Works Bill was read a second time, the Voluntary Schools Bill was read a third time and passed, and the Military Lands Act Amendment Bill passed through Com- mittee. Their Lordships were sitting for an hour. HOUSE OF COMMONS. On the consideration of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Bill as amended by the Committee, Sir C. Dilke moved that sections 27 and 76 of the Friendly Societies Act, 1886, and so much of section 28 of the same Act as relates to the sending reports and abstracts of valuation to the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies, should apply to the pension fund the bill proposed to establish as if it were a regis tered friendly society. Mr. Galloway, on behalf of the promoters, having accepted the motion, it was agreedgto, and the bill was ordered for third reading. Mr. Curzon, answering Mr. Schwann, (said diplomatic relations with Venezuela bad not yet been renewed, but the Government were ready to give most friendly consideration tc any proposal for their renewal which might be received from the Government of Venezuela, by whom they were broken off in 1897. In reply to Captain Donelan, Mr. Brodrick said the general officer commanding at Alder- shot reported that Private Grindle, of the King's Royal Rifles, appeared on parade on St. Patrick's Day with shamrock in his cap. He was twice ordered to remove it by Second Lieutenant Blundell, and on his refusing to do so he was made prisoner. The commanding officer awarded him 168 hours imprisonment for direct disobedience to the order given by the officer in charge—not for wearing the sham- 1 rock. The general officer commanding, con- sidering that Lieutenant Blundell should not have given the order to remove the shamrock without referring the question to the officer commanding, had ordered the entry in the de- faulters book to be expunged. Sir J. Gorat informed Mr. H. Roberts that as soon as the Voluntary Schools Bill became law it was intended to lay on the table a minute with reference to the associations to be formed under the measure. Replying to Mr. Dillon and Mr. H. Lewis, Mr. Curzon said the Government had received a telegram from the Consul in Crete stating that he had no knowledge of the Mussulmans rescued from Candano having been rearmed. Answering another question, Mr. Curzon said the Government had no information of the reported capture of three Greek sailing ships by a British cruiser. Asked by Mr. Morley what Powers had sent troops to Crete, and what reasons had been given by the Power or Powers who had not sent troops for not sending them, Mr. Curzon said all the Powers, with the exception of Germany, had throughout been represented by military contingents in Crete, and all, without exception, by naval forces. The Government had received no official statement of the grounds on which the German Government had refrained from sending any military contin- gent to Crete. Sir W. Harcourt asked Mr. Balfour if he would state at what date the Turkish troops would be withdrawn from Crete, whether it was the present intention of the Government to employ the forces of the Crown in the block- ade of Greece, and whether the Government would make to the House of Commons a state- ment on the present position of affairs in Crete and Greece, and the policy of the Government in relation thereto. Mr. Balfour said the Government had repre- sented to the Porte the advisability of with- drawing the Turkish troops from Crete, and without doubt that end would be eventually accomplished. No date could, however, yet be fixed. If it appeared necessary for the main- tenance of peace, the Government would not hesitate to join the other great Powers in blockading Greece. In the meanwhile the Powers were making a joint declaration at Athens and Constantinople by which the main- tenance of peace might be attained. The declaration was to the effect that in case of conflict on the Greek frontier the aggressor would be held responsible for all the conse- quences of a disturbance of the general peace, and that, whatever the result of the struggle might be, they would not consent to the aggressor deriving the smallest advantage. Sir W. Harcourt expressed his disappoint- ment that no statement of the policy of the Government had been made, and gave notice that he would move an Address to the Queen praying that the forces of the Crown might not be employed against the people of Greece or against the people of Crete. Mr. Balfour said that if the motion was in- tended as a vote of censure he would give Thursday for the debate. Sir W. Harcourt replied that his motion was intended to obtain a statement of the Govern- ment policy, but he could not say it was a vote of censure. Mr. Balfour then stated that he could not consent to interrupt the ordinary business of the House for the discussion. Sir W. Harcourt replied that he would put the notice on the paper, and Mr. Balfour might t)ke the responsibility for its discussion or non-discussion. On the resolution authorising the payment of an increased grant to necessitous school boards, Sir J. Gorst rose to explain the pro posals of the Government with reference to these boards. He said the Government pro- posed in all cases where the rate was three pence, but did not rise so high as fourpence, to leave the schools exactly as they were. When the rate had risen to fourpence they proposed to read the Act as though 7s. 10d. were substi- tuted for 7s. 6d. There would, in fact, be an automatic sliding scale, which would go up fourpence for every penny of the rate until it reached 2s. 6d., which was the highest rate provided for under the bill, and in which case if any school district had a 2s. 6d. rate the Act would be read as if 16B. 6d. were substituted for 7s. 6d, The extra amount to be distributed by the bill would be £ 110,612. He moved— 'That it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys to be provided by Parliament of an addition to the grant payable to school boards under section 97 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, by increasing the sum of 7s. 6d. therein mentioned by fourpence for every complete penny by which the rate there- in mentioned exceeeds threepence, provided that the sum so increased shall not exceed 16s. 6d. After some discussion, in which Mr. Acland, Sir H. H. 14owler, and Mr. A. J. Balfour took part, the resolution was agreed to.







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