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100 years ago: Mr Lansbury's outburst

29 June 2012

Mr Lansbury's outburst

The Church Times.

June 28th, 1912.

IT IS a very long time since the House of Commons was made the scene of an outburst of such indecent violence as that of which Mr Lansbury was guilty on Tuesday. The occasion was Mr Asquith's refusal to discuss, in the absence of the Home Secretary, the responsible Minister, the question of making concessions to the Suffragists now in Holloway, all of whom, the Prime Minister remarked, could obtain release at once on condition of promising not to repeat their offences. Thereupon Mr Lloyd George's "friend Lansbury" advanced towards the Treasury Bench, shook his fist in Mr Asquith's face, and accused him of murdering women. "You ought to be hurled out of public life," he ejaculated, ". . . you will go down as a Government that has tortured women." In vain Mr Speaker asked him to be quiet, and, after continued uproar, changing from entreaty, he called upon Mr Lansbury to leave the House for the rest of the sitting. "If the hon. Member will not withdraw," he said, "I shall have to take severe measures." With much difficulty he was persuaded by his immediate friends to obey the command of the Chair. It was perhaps as well that he took their advice, for his further disobedience would probably have excluded him from the House until the end of the Session. We are at a loss to understand how the efforts of women at self-realization are furthered by such indiscreet championship as this.

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