Tuesday, 5 August 2014


I was interested in reading what the House of Commons and Lords said in Hansard on the 5th August 1914 about the European War as it was called.
House of Commons Hansard vol.65 1914
Prime Minister…Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs- a note of which the following is a literal translation: “Belgian Government regret to have to inform His Majesty's Government that this morning armed forces of Germany penetrated into Belgian territory in violation of engagements assumed by treaty.  Belgian Government are further resolved to resist by all means in their power. Belgium appeals to Great Britain and France and Russia to co-operate, as guarantors, in defence of her territory. There would be concerted and common action with the object of resisting the forcible measures employed by Germany against Belgium, and at the same time of guarding the maintenance for future of the independence and integrity of Belgium…”
The House of Lords Hansard vol. 17 1914
The Marquis of Crewe
He reiterated what the House of Commons said about Belgium but then carried on to say …That is all, my Lords, that I have to say at this moment upon the general situation. But on the particular points of the situation as it affects us here in our daily life and the financial situation in this country, I desire to say one or two words. During the last few days the Government have been conferring at great length with the most important representatives of finance and commerce in the country, including representatives of bankers, bill brokers, the Stock Exchange, discount houses, and also with an almost complete representation of all the great industries of the country-textile, iron, docks, and the rest; and I can say that we have found an absolutely universal desire among those representatives of great interests to combine so far as possible to meet the crisis which has arisen, in the interests of the country at large. … Our main object has been that the normal life of the country should be carried on with as little displacement as is possible in the unprecedented circumstances in which we are placed, more especially as they affect the wage-earning classes. We found that both the financiers, speaking in the widest sense, and the captains of industry have been absolutely of one mind in determining that so far as possible things shall pursue their normal course, and that, so far as they are able to ensure it, money shall be forthcoming to meet the ordinary needs and concerns of life. We found that the great manufacturers are steady in determination to keep their works open so far as is possible for them, contemplating, no doubt, that in some cases they would be on short time, but with the resolve that so far as possible men or women should not be altogether thrown out of employment. They are prepared to do this even at the risk of accumulating stocks for which there may be no obvious market at the moment, and I am sure the House will agree that that is a most honourable and a most helpful determination on their part.
To read both statements you can find them either at GHC.5 for the House of Commons Hansard and GHL.5 for the House of Lords Hansard or see the electronic versions online, if you are a registered reader, in our licensed digital resources.

No comments: