In many European legislatures members vote by a show of hands, or by standing up. This is a simple matter when every member has a reserved seat. Nowadays in many other countries an electric system of voting is used. Members have only to press a button. In the House of Commons members have to leave their benches and walk out into two corridors (called the Lobbies). As they pass out they are counted by four persons — two for each side — and it may take ten or fifteen minutes before the figures are announced.
It has often been said that the people of Great Britain are fond of tradition, that they dislike revolutionary changes. This is true, but there are other reasons why the shape of the House of Commons was not changed after the war, and why its members keep to other practices that may seem, to Europeans, old-fashioned.
Speaking on 28 October 1943, Mr. Churchill (as he then was) said: “The characteristic of a Chamber formed on the lines of the House of Commons is that it should not be big enough to contain all its members at once without overcrowding, and that there should be no question of every member having a separate seat reserved for him. The reason for this has long been a puzzle to uninstructed outsiders, and has frequently excited the curiosity and even the criticism of new members.
If the House is big enough to contain all its members, nine-tenths of its debates will be conducted in the depressing atmosphere of an almost empty or half-empty Chamber. The essence of good House of Commons speaking is the conversational style, the facility for quick, informal interruptions and interchanges … But the conversational style requires a fairly small space, and there should be, on great occasions, a sense of urgency. There should be a sense of the importance of much that is said, and a sense that great matters are being decided, there and then by the House.”
Those words referred to the size of the Chamber. Sir Winston Churchill also spoke about its shape. Its shape, he said, should be oblong, not semi-circular. The semi-circular assembly made it too easy for members to move to the right or to the left; it caused political parties to break up into small groups. He preferred political parties to political groups. The party system, he said, was much favoured by the oblong form of Chamber. The semi-circular form of Chamber had often been harmful to parliamentary government as known in the House of Commons and in the land of its birth.
The problems of how a Chamber should be shaped and of how members should be seated and how they should vote have often been discussed. They were discussed in the House of Commons in 1930. Another Prime Minister, Mr. Stanley Baldwin, said then, speaking of the method of voting, that the British system had much in its favour. When members left their seats to walk out of the Chamber into the Lobbies, they came back much cooler and much quieter! The ten or fifteen minutes needed for a division gives time for passions to cool and for tempers to become calm.
The people of Great Britain find that the British system suits them, but other peoples may find it unsuitable. Methods of government are not export articles like bicycles and motor-cars.
In Sweden and Norway members of the political parties, instead of sitting separate as in Britain and France, sit mixed together. Their seating arrangements depend not upon political parties, but upon the part of the country that the members represent. Every country must have the arrangements that are best suited to its needs.
The people of Great Britain seem to believe that the two-party system suits them best. At the beginning of the last century there were two great parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives. When members of the new Labour Party were returned to Parliament, it seemed likely at first that there would be a change from the two-party system. Since 1945, however, Britain has returned to the two-party system. The number of Liberal members in the House of Commons is small, and neither the Conservative nor the Labour Party depends upon their support.
1. How do they vote in the House of Commons?
2. Do the traditions in Great Britain seem old-fashioned to Europeans?
3. What did Sir Winston Churchill say about the size of a Chamber in 1943?
4. Why, in Winston Churchill’s opinion, the shape of the Chamber should be oblong, not
5. What happens to the members of the House of Commons when they come back from
6. Can methods of government be export articles like bicycles and motor-cars?
7. In Sweden and Norway members of the political parties, instead of sitting separate as
in Britain and France, sit mixed together. What is better in your opinion?
8. What kind of party system suits the people of Great Britain best?
1. Соедините соответствующие словосочетания
1. legislature a) not having been taught or told
2. a show of hands b) hall or corridor
3. lobby c) law-making body (e.g. Parliament in Great Britain, Congress in the USA
4. outsiders d) voting by raising hands.
5. uninstructed e) persons who are not Members of Parliament and who have no knowledge
of its traditions, customs, etc
2. Замените сложное дополнение в следующих предложениях дополнительными придаточными предложениями.
1. We expect them to be discussing this question now. 2. Everybody knows him to be a good sportsman. 3. Everybody considered the publication of the collection of documents to be very important. 4. We know him to be nominated for the chairman of the committee. 5. I believe this work to be very important. 6. They heard this instrument meet the industrial requirements.
3. Переведите следующие предложения на русский язык, обращая внимание на модальное сказуемое:
1. She must have failed to understand this rule, that’s why the exercises are done in the wrong way. 2. You ought to have helped him but you didn’t. 3. He should have answered the letter. 4. Something must have happened with the telephone, it is out of order. 5. They might have already returned from the expedition. 6. She ought to have known this rule better. 7. She speaks English beautifully. She may have studied a long time. 8. He was to have had a music lesson in the morning but the teacher called up to cancel it. 9. We needn’t have taken so much food for picnic. 10. He shouldn’t have taken the corner at such speed. 11. Our telegram must have never reached them. No wonder they have not come to meet us. 12. Can she really have been sleeping so long? 13. The baby may have been crying since it woke up. 14. You could at least have met me at the station, couldn’t you? 15. John might have gone to the movies yesterday. 16. You needn’t have troubled.
4. Замените сложноподчиненные предложения простыми, употребив сложное подлежащее:
1. It is said that the delegation has arrived.
2. It is believed that the weather will change.
3. It seems that he has many difficulties in his work.
4. It is expected that he is working at this problem.
5. It is said that the solution of this problem is not easy.
6. It is believed that the flight was completed yesterday.
7. It is supposed that he has completed his research.
5. Замените сложноподчиненные предложения простыми, употребив сложное
дополнение. Подчеркните сложное дополнение
1. I consider that he is very good at mathematics. 2. I think that this question is too difficult for me to answer. 3. I believe that you are making much progress in your English. 4. I saw that she entered the laboratory. 5. They expect that we shall solve all problems. 6. We noticed that she was writing something. 7. These specialists expect that this new device will show high accuracy.
6. Замените придаточные предложения предложенным герундиальным оборотом.
Образец: Before we start an experiment, we collect the necessary data. (before) – Before starting an experiment, we collect the necessary data.
1. We achieved good results in our work because we used modern equipment. (by)
2. When we were testing the machine, we found that it needed improvements. (on)
3. You will never know mathematics well unless you work hard at it. (without)
4. Before the students graduate from the institute, they write their diplomas. (before)
5. When I complete my work, I shall inform you of the fact. (on)
6. While I was solving these problems, I paid much attention to the correct computations.(while)
7. Устно переведите следующие предложения на русский язык, подчеркните независимый причастный оборот:
1. The translation having been done, we went for a short walk. 2. There being an extensive system of free evening and correspondence education in the Russian Federation, a great number of people are part-time or correspondence students. 3. College courses finished, all the Russia’s graduates hope to get work according to their speciality. 4. The new methods having been introduced, the productivity of labour at the plant went up. 5. There is always water vapour in the air, the amount depending upon various conditions. 6. Technical and scientific problems having been solved, the first space flight could be realized. 7. It being very late, we had to return home.
8. Сделайте предложения восклицательными с помощью слов what, what a, how
Образцы: 1) She plays the piano well. – How well she plays the piano! 2) It is a beautiful day. – What a beautiful day!
1. St. Petersburg is a beautiful city.
2. She has good taste in everything.
3. We are having beautiful weather now.
4. It must have been a very interesting experience
5. It was a strange thing for him to say.
6. My brothers have learned English very quickly.
9. Переведите следующие предложения на русский язык, обращая внимание на форму причастий:
1. The workers having refused to return to work, the manager dismissed them from the plant. 2. Holiday accommodation and facilities being cheap, all the students can spend their vacation in camps and rest homes. 3. The man reading near the window is our teacher of English. 4. Having seen so little of the country, he could not give full answers to all your questions. 5. And saying so he left the room. 6. Having arrived two days before the opening of the conference, they had enough time to do the city. 7. Knowing how fond he is of good music, I brought him a few records.
10. Поставьте частицу to, где это необходимо.
1. We made her … repeat it all again. 2. Why not … wait a little longer? 3. I felt her … shiver with cold. 4. You ought not … show your feelings. 5. You seem … know these places very well. 6. I heard the door … open and saw a shadow … move across the floor. 7. He told me … try … do it once again. 8. I’d rather … walk a little before going to bed. 9. There is nothing … do but … wait till somebody comes … let us out. 10. He is expected … arrive in a few days. 11. You needn’t … ask for permission, I’ll let you … take my books whenever you like. 12. You had better … make a note of it. 13. Will you help me … move the table, please? 14. We should love you … stay with us. 15. She was not able … explain anything. 16. We got Mother … cut up some sandwiches. 17. Look here, Jane, why .. be cross? 18. I’ll have … go there. 19. There doesn’t seem … be anything wrong with you. 20. She helped me … get over my fear. 21. Rose wanted them ... stop laughing, wanted the curtain … come down. 22. She was not … blame. 23. What made you … deceive me? 24. You are not … mention this to anyone. 25. He was heard … say so.