User talk:Andrew Gwilliam

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Please note that due to a serious injury to my wrist, I cannot guarantee a quick response to anything posted here!  (September 2011)

British nationality law and the Republic of Ireland[edit]

I think the question of how the IFS viewed the issue of its citizenship is more nuanced than your recent edits imply. The Irish Free State Passport and the Question of Citizenship, 1921-4 presents quite a contrasting perspective. RashersTierney (talk) 00:50, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately I don't have access to JSTOR, so couldn't read the article; perhaps you could summarise for me any particular issues from that article that you feel need addressing?
I certainly don't claim any special expertise on British (let alone Irish) nationality law, but hope that my edits at least present a fuller picture than the article did before I changed it. I'm certainly happy to be corrected on any howlers or missed subtleties. (However, I tried to be conscious of the somewhat narrow scope of the article in contrast both with the main article on Irish nationality law, and on the non-legal aspects of "citizenship".) Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 20:18, 8 May 2011 (UTC).

The easiest to do would be simply to e-mail you a copy, but that would probably be a copyvio, so I'll try to extract a few salient snippets.

  • p397 Because the term 'common citizenship' appeared in both the treaty and the constitution, in theory the citizens of the Irish Free State remained British subjects until 1935 when the Irish passed the Irish Nationality Act;5 but in practice the change came much earlier, in April 1924, when the Irish government rejected the British demand that the description 'British subject' be printed on each Irish passport.

In December 1922, when the Irish Free State came into being, the minister for external affairs, Desmond FitzGerald, took immediate steps to issue Irish passports. In this he followed the practice of the other self-governing dominions which had been issuing their own passports for some time.

  • p398 He submitted this [wording] to the executive council for consideration on 23 January 1923. Someone at the discussion questioned the proposed wording: 'Passports are granted (1) to natural-born British subjects, (2) to persons naturalized in the Irish Free State, in the United Kingdom, in other British colonies, or in India' . As a result, a third category was added and placed at the head of the list: 'citizens of the Irish Free State' . The British wanted FitzGerald to accept something he and his colleagues could not do under any circumstances: to define Irish citizens as 'British subjects' .
  • p399 FitzGerald returned to Dublin and prepared the official reply to the British note of the previous December. Approved by the executive council and sent to London on 4 March, it offered Ireland's final wording: 'citizens of the Irish Free State and the British Commonwealth of Nations' .
  • p403 He [Fitzgerald] immediately ordered that the passports, as approved in February with the words 'citizens of the Irish Free Statea nd the British Commonwealth of Nations', and not 'British subject' , be issued to the general public.
  • p404 The British response to the Irish decision to issue their passports without the use of the words 'British subject' slowly formed in April and emerged as a change in the consular instructions in early May. British officials would not recognise the new Irish passports.38 There the matter remained until after the imperial conference of 1926 when the British suggested another attempt to resolve their differences. FitzGerald was still the minister for external affairs and he showed some interest in the British offer, but the executive council rejected it and the Irish continued to issue their own passports in the form they wished.39 The problem finally was not cleared up — at least from the Irish point of view — until the passage of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act in 1935. In this story it is clear that on the question of designating nationality on an Irish Free State passport the Irish from the start knew that they could not use the words 'British subject' . Once the British appreciated this, the Colonial Office under both Devonshire and Thomas tried to accommodate the Irish, but the Foreign Office to the bitter end would agree to nothing but the use of 'British subject' for fear of what the failure to use those words would mean in other parts of the empire. Even the argument that the Irish position violated the treaty, however, did not move Cosgrave's government, nor did the thought that it would destroy any hopes of immediate union of the two Irelands stop FitzGerald from issuing the passports without British approval.

O'Grady is clear; whatever the theory, in practice as far as the IFS gov. was concerned, a separate citizenship was evident as early as 1924 and no mutually acceptable formula of words could be found to 'fudge' the fact. RashersTierney (talk) 00:05, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the details! Clearly there's stuff here that needs to be fed into the article; I see it already seems to be covered in the article on Irish passports. Somewhat ironically, I'm off to Ireland myself very shortly (on holiday), so don't have time to add anything more for the moment. Thanks again, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 20:12, 9 May 2011 (UTC).
Enjoy your hols! Don't forget your passport ;- ) Drop me a line when you get back and we can discuss this further. RashersTierney (talk) 22:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Now that I'm back and have had time to reconsider this, I have removed/altered some of the wording that I had inserted into the article, and have added a paragraph specifically referring to the passports controversy. I am not entirely happy with the result, but at least the text's deficiencies are the same as those of the related articles concerning Irish passports and Irish nationality law, in that the truth is told, but not necessarily the whole truth! Subject to the following paragraph, though, your eyes will perhaps see remaining deficiencies, or even new ones, that mine have missed.
Clearly more work needs to be done on all these articles, to fully flesh the picture out. That requires research using material to which unfortunately I do not presently have access. Issues that are unaddressed by the articles as they currently stand include (a) the attitude of the Free State's courts to the existence or otherwise of the status of "British subject", (b) citations establishing that the United Kingdom's courts nevertheless generally considered Free State citizens to also be "British subjects", and (c) how exactly the Foreign Office's refusal to recognise Free State passports was finally resolved.
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 21:27, 2 June 2011 (UTC).
My own access to academic papers is also no longer what it was, unfortunately, but I do have some material relating to Irish constitutional developement during the period of the Irish Free State. When time permits, I still occasionally visit a number of libraries where JSTOR and some other sources can be downloaded. If you think I can be of help with sourcing papers or books, don't hesitate to ask. Hope the hols went well btw. RashersTierney (talk) 22:34, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I have my own copy of a number of books relating either specifically to the Irish Free State (e.g. "The Restless Dominion"), or which relate to Commonwealth constitutional issues for the relevant period (e.g. Mansergh's "Documents and Speeches on British Commonwealth Affairs"). And a number of such books are also available online from various digital libraries. All I'm missing is access to a good law library, and access to those journals!  ;-)
My trip to Ireland was good fun, thanks. Circumstances threw a few things at us, but we still got to see and experience a fair bit. I'm definitely going back some time, there's still so many things left to see and do, and it's such a great place to be on holiday! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 18:23, 3 June 2011 (UTC).
You may find the British and Irish Legal Information Institute link of interest. RashersTierney (talk) 10:35, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me of this site; I lost my bookmarks as the result of a hardware failure a little while back! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 16:15, 4 June 2011 (UTC).

I am discussing content of the above article with RT on its talk page; As you are talking to him too, perhaps you could chip in your bit on its talk page. 84.203.70.133 (talk) 06:58, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Alternative names for Northern Ireland[edit]

Thanks for your edits on the above; definite improvements. 84.203.70.133 (talk) 22:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the kind words, but it was pretty much just a bit of spit and polish! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 22:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC).

The Acts of Parliament (Commencement) Act 1793[edit]

I have reverted your recent edit to this article. The layout of the Short Titles Act 1896 makes it absolutely clear that the definite article is part of every short title that it confers. See, for example, "The Public General Acts, 1896", HMSO, 1896, which contains a copy of the Act. James500 (talk) 20:17, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I completely disagree.
By the time the Short Titles Act 1896 was passed, initial definite articles had long since been abandoned for short titles; the Short Titles Act itself (s. 5) is quite clearly called "Short Titles Act, 1896", for example. However, the use of an initial "The" as a grammatical or printing convention is to be found routinely in columns of Act schedules containing short titles until some time in the second half of the twentieth century. Thus the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1973 in its schedule refers to "The Road Traffic Act 1960" when the short title of that Act as given by s. 271 is "Road Traffic Act, 1960". There are countless other examples to be found in the statute book.
Although my notes certainly have gaps, I can't find any Act more recent than 1876 which gives itself a short title with an initial "The", and I doubt that there was ever a moment's intention for the new titles conferred (or in some cases, reconferred) by the Short Titles Act 1896 to follow a unique naming convention, out of kilter with contemporary legislation.
And because I'm feeling mischievous, I'll point out that you haven't noticed the missing comma!  ;-)
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 15:20, 13 July 2011 (UTC).

I apologise for not earlier answering your remarks in this section. I did not notice them. (1) Who says that the short titles given in those Schedules are not correct? Who says that the inclusion of the definite article is a grammatical or printing convention? Do you have a source for that? (2) For sources that expressly and unambiguously assert that the definite article is part of the each of the short titles conferred by the Short Titles Act 1896 and the Statute Law Revision Act 1948, see (a) the 2005 reprint of Halsbury's Statutes and (b) The Statutes, Third Revised Edition, HMSO, 1950. (3) It appears to me that section 271 of the Road Traffic Act 1960 says "this Act may be cited as the Road Traffic Act 1960" (my emphasis). It does not say "this Act may be cited as Road Traffic Act 1960". If the definite article was not intended to be part of the short title, the phrasing of the said section 271 makes no sense. (4) If you are trying to suggest that the definite article needs to be capitalised or put inside quotation marks in order to be part of the short title, as it was in printed copies of certain Acts during the 1870s, I refer you to the decision in Duke of Devonshire v O'Connor mentioned below. James500 (talk) 17:20, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Canadian date format[edit]

In Canada, all 3 date formats are accepted, and none have any official preference over any other. Please observe WP:DATERET and do not change date formats in Canadian articles.--JimWae (talk) 00:39, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

No assumption was made regarding what's acceptable or otherwise in Canada; I was simply under the impression that dd month yyyy was a Wikipedia "house style" since that's what I'd seen elsewhere. Seems a bit daft not to have a house style, but that's the stupidity of Wikipedia. Anyway, your correction is duly noted and I shall refrain from "being bold" on this point in future. Thanks, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 00:45, 22 July 2011 (UTC).

Interwiki-Bot-Problem with "The Crown"[edit]

Hei Andrew, i left a note on my talk page, concerning the above mentioned issue. The bot owner is on holidays but he advised me, how to take care of the problem. I hope, it is solved now! --cefalon 08:47, 27 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cccefalon (talkcontribs)

Pages for charter acts of 1793, 1813, and 1833[edit]

Hi there, I noticed that you have some interest in the acts regulating East India Company's rule. Would you be interested in making (stub) pages for Charter Act of 1793, Charter Act of 1813, and Charter Act of 1833? See the page Company rule in India for reference. The latter two acts there are linked to subsections of the East India Company page, but it might be nice to have independent pages for them. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 23:41, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Having taken articles to WP:FAC, and eventually looking to do the same for this article, I am under the impression that they want scroll bars there. It keeps the illustrations evenly formatted. Not sure I understand your edit summary. Care to explain some more. Thanks. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:29, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I think they look terrible! In my view, the reader should not have to fiddle around with a small scroll bar in the middle of his or her screen simply in order to read a relatively short piece of text; certainly this would be considered an example of poor coding on any other website. However, in light of your response I have stopped making further edits of this sort for the time being.
Responding to your earlier comment regarding the "missing" articles for the 1793, 1813, and 1833 Acts, I was already wondering about adding them. I agree that these Acts should have their own articles (as indeed should some more of the post-Company Acts). I will do as you have suggested, and start creating stub pages for them. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 00:40, 2 August 2011 (UTC).
Thanks. I will ask around at FAC again. They made me add the scroll bar on at least one page. Yes, it does seem pointless for a little bit of text. Thanks for offering to do the pages. You can get a lot of sources on Google Books (if you search for, say, East India Company Charter Act of 1793) For example, Here, is one old source that seems to have some details. See page xii (contents). Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:56, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Editors Barnstar Hires.png The Editor's Barnstar
Hi Andrew,

Many thanks for cleaning up my (amateurish) translation of ms:Persekutuan Tanah Melayu on Federation of Malaya!

You seem quite knowledgeable about the history of the British Empire. Would you be interested to copyedit together? I plan to translate ms:Pendudukan Jepun di Tanah Melayu, Borneo Utara dan Sarawak to Japanese occupation of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak in the upcoming weeks. Though I can read and write Malay, I struggled with historical terms e.g. names of organisations and posts in the former governments.

Best wishes,
cmglee

cmɢʟeeτaʟκ  18:32, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank you! I would be very happy to assist; just leave a message here when you wish. I will add that I consider my strength to be the constitutional history of the British Empire.

Regarding the article "Japanese occupation of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak", my first thought is that this should possibly be two separate articles: Japanese occupation of Malaya (or perhaps Japanese occupation of Malaya and Singapore), and Japanese occupation of Borneo. It makes sense to have a single article on the Malay-language Wikipedia, because these territories together make modern-day Malaysia. But I think for the English-language Wikipedia this grouping of territories looks artificial?

Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 19:12, 5 August 2011 (UTC).
Thanks. Would it be in order if I leave terms which I cannot translate in italics then message you to have a look? About splitting the article, I think it being a single article or multiple articles should be independent of language (i.e. if it should be split in English, so should it in Malay). As I haven't started translating it, I don't know whether there is much information on Japanese occupation of Borneo; if not, it's probably best to keep it as is (as you noted, "these territories together make modern-day Malaysia.") cmɢʟeeτaʟκ 11:48, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
We shall have to agree to disagree on the article names! I didn't explain my point very well anyway. It's not a problem.
Because I don't speak Malay, my suggestion is that you translate in the way you did with the Federation of Malaya article: if you're uncertain about the English term for something, have a guess at it (put it in italics if you wish), let me know, and then I'll correct it if necessary. For example, it was easy for me to see that "Legislative Assembly" was wrong, and just as easy to check that "Legislative Council" was the correct term. There's nothing wrong with "Legislative Assembly" as a term in English, it's just not what that particular institution was called in the case of the Federation of Malaya. I hope what I'm suggesting is clear!
Regards, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 20:28, 20 August 2011 (UTC).
Thanks again, Andrew. If it's not too much inconvenience, could you please have a look at my translation on Japanese_occupation_of_Malaya,_North_Borneo_and_Sarawak#Timeline and Japanese_occupation_of_Malaya,_North_Borneo_and_Sarawak#North_Borneo? The language in the Malay article is rather poetic, so I was uncertain how to translate some parts. I've indicated these and military terms in italics. If you could fix them, that'd be most appreciated. Thanks, cmɢʟeeτaʟκ 18:24, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I've had a look at your translation (good work, by the way!) and have made it a bit more "English", as well as correcting some of the terminology. I freely admit that military history isn't something I know much about, but I think it's basically all correct.
Two comments: (1) The text seems to be using "British" in some places to mean "British/Indian/Australian", and in others to mean perhaps just "United Kingdom" or "British/Indian", but I don't know enough to be able to add the necessary clarification. (2) I have no idea whether the reference to the Japanese 15th Division is correct.
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 18:28, 29 August 2011 (UTC).
Many thanks again for cleaning up my translation, Andrew. I don't know enough about Malayan military history to be able to address your points (1) and (2) either!
On a personal note, sorry to read about your injury. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, cmɢʟeeτaʟκ 17:56, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Lead clean-ups[edit]

You've shown a good hand at cleaning certain leads, please glance at United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Thank you and Greetings, Osioni (talk) 09:38, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

I've had a stab at overhauling both the lede and some of the rest of the article. It still needs more work doing to it, but at least some of the cruft no longer clutters up the introduction! Feel free to let me know if there's anything in particular that I've missed. Cheers, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 22:09, 20 August 2011 (UTC).
I also applaud your efforts there. The page is a difficult subject, not least because for a generation from the 1920s both the British and the Irish tried to finesse all kinds of questions. The Anglo-Irish Treaty used the term "Imperial Parliament", presumably to avoid using others. I find it astonishing that the Union with Ireland Act 1800 is still in force. There's a text online here. Moonraker (talk) 05:04, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately the Union's existence tends to be neglected on both sides of the Irish Sea. It seems to be the case that in Northern Ireland they look at their local history during this time; in the Republic they ignore it, except as a brief backdrop to the famine, or to the battle over Home Rule in the 1880s and early 1890s, or of course as an even briefer lead-up to the events of 1912–23; and in Great Britain it gets overlooked in a manner ironically reminiscent of how nationalist Ireland felt ignored by the British at the time. That said, my impression is that there's been a growing academic interest in this period in the Republic.
The term "Imperial Parliament" was a well-established phrase by the time of the Treaty to describe Westminster's role in relation to the rest of the Empire. The imperial aspect is something that also gets overlooked: Gladstone's ideas for a parliamentary body at Dublin were clearly influenced by Whitehall's familiarity with creating and dealing with colonial legislatures, while (conversely) Unionist fears about such a body leading to Irish independence were also influenced by the gradual development of political independence in the self-governing colonies that was already clearly evident by the time of the First Home Rule Bill.
You might be interested in the text of the 1800 Act as originally enacted, which you can find here at my own website. Which reminds me, I need to get the Act passed by the Parliament of Ireland uploaded there as well!
Regards, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 12:42, 21 August 2011 (UTC).

A barnstar![edit]

Exceptional newcomer.jpg The Exceptional Newcomer Award
For exceptional work on British India pages. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 13:59, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Most kind of you. I'm not sure it's deserved, but I'll take it for those times when I've worked hard on something and nobody's noticed!
;-)
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 14:04, 21 August 2011 (UTC).

English and British[edit]

At Talk:British Raj you said "...British (or even English and British) rule in "India"". It's a nice distinction which is mostly overlooked here. I have just started an article on the English colonial empire (not sure if it would be better at English colonies) which you may like to cast an eye over. Moonraker (talk) 04:10, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I'd seen you'd been slogging away at that. Well done! And for whatever it's worth, I think "English colonial empire" is the better title, in part because "it does exactly what it says on the tin" for both the general reader and the specialist. The term "colonies" is not only somewhat anachronistic, it also doesn't really accurately describe the loose nature of some of these outposts, e.g. Surat and other "factories"in the early years, the difference in formal and actual status of Newfoundland, and the African forts. I have to admit that I've not looked properly at the article yet, but I certainly shall! Regards, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 10:27, 29 August 2011 (UTC).
Many thanks for your notes on my page, and indeed for the barnstar. I am going to be busy in real life for a week or two, but your tips for improving the article will be a great help when I have more spare time again. I have made a small start on the arrival of royal colonies - I found that royal colony was a redirect to British Overseas Territories, so I redirected it to Crown colony and added some notes there to make the page serve for both, but I am not sure that was a good idea. You may feel it merits its own article? Moonraker (talk) 01:38, 30 August 2011 (UTC)


Antigua And Barbuda[edit]

I told you Antigua and Barbuda is not supposed to be in that list... Why did you undo my revision? Linux731 (talk) 01:51, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Firstly, it would be helpful when posting on someone's talk page to clearly state which article you're discussing.
I reverted your edit because it wrecked the table formatting (as I have already explained to you on your talk page). If you look at the result of your edit here, you will clearly see what I mean; the listing for "The Americas" became intertwined with the details for Zimbabwe in the "Africa" listing!
I restored the substantive intent of your edit (i.e. the removal of the spurious second entry for Antigua and Barbuda under "Africa") in a subsequent edit of my own, the effect of which you can see here.
Finally, I have already explained all this in response to your comment on the article's talk page (Talk:List of sovereign states by date of formation#MANY errors!!!).
I suggest that before picking up on a specific individual edit by someone else, you should look at the context by clicking on the "View history" tab at the top of the relevant article page. If you don't already do so, you will also find it useful to add Wikipedia pages of interest to your watchlist. By doing this you would have seen that I hadn't simply reverted your edit and left it at that.
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 08:39, 31 August 2011 (UTC).

Sorry to hear[edit]

US Navy 060812-N-6501M-017 Navy Lt. Marcella Oden, a physical therapist aboard the Military Sealift Command (MSC) hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), gives a lecture on the diagnosis and treatment.jpg Please Get Well Soon
Wish you all the best in your recovery Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:03, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you! In the circumstances, I've been very lucky: I "only" have a severed artery, with no other serious damage. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 02:54, 7 September 2011 (UTC).

Please take good care of it and let it heal before getting back in earnest on Wikipedia, especially since typing on a keyboard tends to put pressure on the wrist. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 07:07, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I shall certainly be editing only sporadically and in a pretty superficial manner! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 16:04, 7 September 2011 (UTC).
sorry to hear about it - get well soon! Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 11:02, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I thank the learned counsel! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 14:16, 8 September 2011 (UTC).

Thank you to cmɢʟee for his/her wishes.

I had an assessment at the hospital yesterday, and they're very happy with my progress. My wrist is still stiff, and I have to be careful what I do with my right hand, but things are definitely improving! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 20:06, 14 September 2011 (UTC).

welcome back! hope things are improving with the wrist. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 13:14, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! It's undoubtedly much better than it was, but it's by no means fully healed, and it does give me sporadic problems. So although I'm here, I'm not exactly back yet! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 11:41, 29 November 2011 (UTC).


(1) "The South Sea Company" and (2) "United Kingdom [of Great Britain and Ireland]"[edit]

Hi, why the changes? Eddaido (talk) 23:11, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Presumably you're referring to the series of articles where I've replaced links to "The South Sea Company" with links to "South Sea Company". The simple explanation is that the relevant article is at the latter, not at the former. Also, there doesn't seem to be any reason to refer to "The South Sea Company", i.e. with a capitalised definite article as the first word of the company's name. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 03:34, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
I won't enter a proper squabble about this but with more modern incorporations it is easy to find the correct legal name of the entity. Presumably there will be somewhere the original charter? which will give its correct name. I've look in old newspapers of the day (1720s) and though they always put the definite article first they do not capitalise it - but such (capital letter) practices were different then. It seemed/seems to me that you have been a bit presumptuous, just tidying the world as you see fit but you may know more (than I do). Do you? Eddaido (talk) 04:09, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
For whatever it's worth, the correct name of the company would appear to be something along the lines of: "The Governor and Company of Merchants of Great Britain trading to the South Seas and other Parts of America, and for encouraging the Fishery".
I don't understand the reason for the tone of your comments. It is unusual to treat a definite article as forming the first word of a name, and this is reflected in the article name "South Sea Company". The Manual of Style also agrees with this. (I have had no involvement in either naming the former or compiling the latter.) I have simply removed an unnecessary redirect, replacing it with a direct link to the article in question.
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 04:36, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
So you are really saying it sounds unusual to you to begin a corporate name with The. OK. I'll repeat, I won't enter into a proper squabble (because it is impossible to ascertain a "correct" name other than the usage in use for centuries). Its necessary for a legal entity to have a name by which it is recognized/identified and the law until recently was very clear about that - full correct company name and many began their name with the definite article - this, I take it, is the part that is unfamiliar to you. About the MOS (a law unto itself, fixes the article name) - you will see that within this particular article the definite article is always used (counter to the MOS) because it is (in this case) convention (and so allowed by the MOS). Don't you see you are flouting the convention? Perhaps your omission of the definite article sounds less weird to you than to me, nevertheless it sounds weird. To sound equally odd I'll sign off The Eddaido (talk) 05:50, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
You appear to be confusing (a) the use in English of the definite article with the name of something, and (b) the use of the definite article as part of the name of something.
The name of the organisation in question as per common usage is "South Sea Company" (and not "The South Sea Company"). Unsurprisingly, the relevant Wikipedia article is located at "South Sea Company" (and not at "The South Sea Company"). Ergo, links from other Wikipedia articles should be pointing to "South Sea Company" (and not to "The South Sea Company").
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 13:12, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
Your statement "The name of the organisation in question as per common usage is "South Sea Company" (and not "The South Sea Company")." is just plain wrong. Sorry Andrew, the confusion is yours. The company's territory was known as The South Sea (my capital T) not just any south sea but the sea around South America and more particularly (later) its western side. (Someone has added to the company's Wikipedia article that this was "Europe"'s name for the region, there were however for Europe other south seas.) Current custom is to have no definite article in a company name, this is recent. None of this is my idea. Eddaido (talk) 20:24, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Apparently you have a highly idiosyncratic understanding both of English grammar and of how Wikipedia articles are named. It also appears that you have not noticed that names of Wikipedia articles beginning with a definite article are extremely uncommon! I repeat: You appear to be confusing (a) the use in English of the definite article with the name of something, and (b) the use of the definite article as part of the name of something; and you have not provided any evidence that the South Sea Company is part of the latter category. I have no intention of wasting my time on this any further. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 09:42, 18 September 2011 (UTC).
There's a ton of evidence of conventional usage in this case. However in Wikipedia you have (puzzlingly) gone through and changed it which is why the discussion has happened. Your repeated references to Wikipedia article-naming requirements is just your personal confusion and of your own making. Why do you keep harping on it? It doesn't support your private theory about the South Sea Company. Eddaido (talk) 04:07, 19 September 2011 (UTC)


And about Wavell, when he was born the UK included Ireland! Eddaido (talk) 23:23, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

You're presumably referring to Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell. The term "United Kingdom" encompasses the entire period of that state's existence from 1801 to date; there is no need to be more specific in (e.g.) the case of someone from England. Removing the piping of "United Kingdom" for his place of birth removed the absurdity whereby Wavell was implied to have been born in a different state to the one in which he later lived, for which he later served, and in which he later died. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 03:34, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
Yes, you've "presumed" correctly but your change is quite wrong. Will you revert it or shall I? Eddaido (talk) 04:09, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
I have no intention of reverting it. Your comment is also entirely unconstructive, since you acknowledge that my statement is correct and offer no contrary argument! And once again your tone seems unwarranted, with your use of "presumed" in scare quotes. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 04:36, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
Your correct presumption was about the subject of my note to you. Wavell was born when Ireland was a part of the UK. You have chosen to move the link to a page for a subsequent period. Anachronism. Is that clear now?
I repeat: The term "United Kingdom" encompasses the entire period of that state's existence from 1801 to date. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 13:22, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
And about tone, a couple of "presumably referring"s did go up the nose a bit, on top of the erm edits discussed above. Eddaido (talk) 05:50, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
I wrote "presumably referring" because at no point have you clearly indicated (let alone linked to) the article(s) in question! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 13:22, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
And you had no difficulty in finding the right answer.
Oh, good grief! Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 09:42, 18 September 2011 (UTC).
What you have changed is the link under United Kingdom that defines UK for any reader who may not understand. Had you forgotten that? Eddaido (talk) 20:24, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
For the last time: The term "United Kingdom" encompasses the entire period of that state's existence from 1801 to date. This is not some personal innovation on my part!
As with the discussion above re "The South Sea Company", I do not intend to waste any more of my time on this. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 09:42, 18 September 2011 (UTC).
OK, I'll fix the UK thing. Eddaido (talk) 03:53, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

The comma in short titles[edit]

Hello. In Duke of Devonshire v O'Connor (1890) 24 QBD 468 at 478, Lord Esher MR said that the punctuation that is included in Queen's Printer's copies of Acts of Parliament is not part of an Act of Parliament. Has that case been over-ruled? If it has, please tell me. If not, please stop adding the comma and saying that it absolutely is part of the short title, as it might not be. Thank you. James500 (talk) 10:56, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

With respect, I think your focus is too narrow: Wikipedia is not a legal encyclopaedia, and this is not an abstruse question before the courts of the correct law regarding a statutory provision.
All the Acts concerned are historical documents. Given that the Queen's/King's Printer copy of the Act includes the comma, we end up with a discrepancy between the wording of the text of the Act (i.e. the source document) and the wording used in (and naming of) the relevant Wikipedia article. I think my including the comma in the infobox, together with an explanatory note, provides a neat solution to this little problem. Judicial rulings relating to the interpretation of legislation are simply not relevant.
However, I will point out that 19th-century rulings on punctuation, etc. in Acts were still trying to view legislation through the lens of the pre-1850 system, whereby the "true" text of the Act was the manuscript enrolment in Chancery. But since 1850 or so the only "official" text of (public general) Acts has been the Queen's/King's Printer copy, which routinely uses punctuation throughout. That punctuation is present in the text of the relevant Bill's passage through Parliament, and thus it is Parliament which has inserted the punctuation (in contrast with the former system where punctuation, marginal notes, etc. were added by the Queen's/King's Printer only after the Act had received the royal assent). As such, although I don't have a contrary judicial authority to hand, there is certainly commentary worthy of respect from people such as Francis Bennion doubting the applicability of those old rulings to modern legislation. I will conclude by pointing out that Esher also said that there were "no such thing as brackets", which by your argument means we should not include those either!
Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 11:46, 19 September 2011 (UTC).
No judicial authority, but I've dug up the following from Halsbury's Laws of England (4th edition reissue, Vol. 44(1) "Statutes"), which I hope you will accept as suitably persuasive authority:

Its punctuation is part of an Act and is one of its unamendable descriptive components. [...] Modern Acts are carefully punctuated by or under the supervision of the drafter. The printer has no part to play and must faithfully reproduce the punctuation found in the vellum copies. Moreover the interpreter is by statute required to treat the published version of the Act, complete with punctuation, as authoritative. Accordingly, in the absence of any indication that a mistake has occurred, the interpreter must take the printed punctuation as part of the Act, for what it is worth. [para. 1277] [my emphasis]

Judges have sometimes said that unamendable descriptive components are not part of the Act; but the entire instrument is put out by Parliament as its Act and must be accepted as such. Under the functional construction rule, the significance to be given by the interpreter to any component of an Act must be assessed in conformity with its legislative function as such a component. [para. 1270]

[After stating that "little weight is attached" to "unamendable descriptive components of the Act"] However to treat any component of an Act as in some way unreliable goes against a principle of law expressed in the maxim omnia praesumuntur rite et solemniter esse acta donec probetur in contrarium (all things are presumed to be rightly and duly performed unless the contrary is proved). Any suggestion that certain components of an Act are to be treated, for reasons connected with their parliamentary history, as being unreliable or not part of the Act is thus unsound and contrary to principle. [para. 1256]

Acts beginning with the Tanganyika Republic Act 1962 are [...] given short titles which lack [a] comma [before the calendar year]. Moreover earlier Acts originally equipped with a comma in their short title are now said to be correctly cited without one [...]. The authority for this last statement is a note, apparently based on the proposition that commas in Acts are to be disregarded, by the then First Parliamentary Counsel, Sir Noel Hutton QC: see 82 LQR 24–24 ["The Citation of Statutes"]. It is of doubtful validity, however, since the short title of an Act is normally conferred either by the Act itself or by a Short Titles Act or other Statute Law Revision Act. No person or body is empowered to override an Act of Parliament, though the point is scarcely worthy of the special enactment required to meet it. [from footnote 10 to para. 1268]

Devonshire does of course provide guidance of sorts as to how to interpret a statutory provision that is of unclear or disputed meaning. But a bald statement on the face of an Act that the Act "may be cited as X" (or some similar formula) seems beyond question to me. For example, s. 2 of the 1962 Act states in the Queen's Printer copy: "This Act may be cited as the Acts of Parliament Numbering and Citation Act, 1962". This seems a very straightforward declaration (leaving aside the issue of the definite article). Thus, the comma is as much a part of the short title as the word "Act" or the year in numerals following it. Regards, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 17:27, 19 September 2011 (UTC).

To be honest I am getting increasingly out of my depth here, but it seems to me that what this passage from Halsbury is actually saying is that the question of how these Acts should be cited is unsettled. The passage says that the note by Sir Noel Hutton QC is of "doubtful validity". It doesn't expressly say that the note is plainly invalid, even in their own opinion. I suggest expanding the article short title in relation to this question and including a passage in articles on pre-1962 Acts with short titles expressly directing readers to look at that article if they want to know about the comma. James500 (talk) 20:08, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

I shall follow the lead set by your last sentence, in trying to untangle our swords!
I've seen your name on numerous occasions in the revision history of legislation-related articles, and it seems clear to me that for the most part we both have (a) an active interest in improving their precision, etc. and (b) a largely similar outlook as to what is sloppy, imprecise, etc. in those articles. For example, I see that you recently corrected a fellow editor with regard to a particular bugbear of mine, whereby the listing for Acts/chapters in the Chronological Table of the Statutes have been "converted" into short titles due to a misunderstanding as to what those listings actually represent; on a related note, I fairly recently removed a whole swathe of spurious and doubtful "short titles" from the lists of English Acts of Parliament down to the Interregnum (i.e. down to 1483, from 1485 to 1601, and then from 1603 to 1641). I believe you've been responsible for adding to a number of articles an explicit authority for the short title, which besides being A Good Thing also helps narrow down those articles which still have a spurious "short title". An unrelated bugbear that we've both done our best to eradicate is the non-capitalisation of "Act". There are probably various other examples where we're working on parallel lines.
As such, I think it would be productive for us to work together on these issues. I have my own database of details for the public general Acts of Parliament from the various jurisdictions in the British Isles; admittedly it is far from complete, but it's based on examining the "original" text of each Act. My database includes details of any short title (whether conferred by the Act itself or by another Act), and the relevant section. I also have facsimile copies of The Statutes of the Realm down to the end of the reign of James I, an original copy of the Short Titles Act 1896, and photocopies or photo copies of various other Acts including of most of the Statute Law Revision Acts.
Leaving aside other points raised in our discussion, I would certainly be happy with a discussion of some sort in the "short title" article touching upon the various issues that have been raised (and would add that a similar point to be commented upon is the use of italics for proper nouns in short titles down to the 1860s). I have already been including a link to that article when adding my notes regarding the authority for particular short titles (although I may have inadvertently failed to do this on occasion).
I do feel that explicit reference in an article should be made to the precise form of the short title as printed in the original text of the relevant Act. I'm not sure if you're entirely convinced on this point, but despite our disagreement, I don't think your view is a million miles away from my own, since we clearly both desire precision based on an authoritative foundation. Perhaps if my footnotes were worded differently, you would find them more satisfactory? At present I'm using a form of words something like this: "Short title as conferred by s. [number] of the Act; the modern convention for the citation of short titles omits the comma after the word "Act"". Would something like the following be more acceptable in your view: "Short title as printed in s. [number] of the original Queen's [or King's] Printer's copy of the Act; the modern convention for the citation of short titles omits the comma after the word "Act""?
Apologies for writing so much here, and I hope we can find a way forward on this.
Regards, Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 21:40, 19 September 2011 (UTC).

(1) I agree that the footnote that supports the short title should contain an explicit reference to the comma that was included in the Queen's/King's printer copy. I am not sure what precise form of words should be used, but it should not say that the omission of the comma is wrong unless it is clear that the omission is wrong. (2) I am not sure whether the comma should or shouldn't be printed in the text of the short title itself. There seems to be some support for the authority of this note by Noel Hutton, and post-1962 Acts, and the majority of books, don't seem to use the comma when citing Acts, including, as far as I can see, Halsbury's Laws itself, in spite of what is said in volume 44(1) of that work. Conversely, the criticism of the note's authority in Halsbury appears to me to be equivocal. (3) I think that a thorough examination of the circumstances around this change in 1962 needs to be carried out and what is found put in the article short title. The article in the Law Quaterly Review mentioned by Halsbury would be a good place to start. I cannot say whether I will be able to do this myself. James500 (talk) 11:25, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I have made this edit which I consider provisional. I would be grateful if you would add the date of the reissue that you used, as I seem to think that there is more than one.

I have now added essentially the same passage to Short title. I apologise for failing to sign my preceeding comment. James500 (talk) 07:12, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

The definite article[edit]

(Heading inserted for clarity. James500 (talk) 16:05, 19 September 2011 (UTC))

On a related note, you've reverted (inter alia) my removal/unbolding of an initial "The" from the stated short title within Acts of Parliament Numbering and Citation Act 1962. Firstly, if the page is correctly named, then the bolded name of the article in the lede should match it; if the page is incorrectly named, then it should be moved; in other words, either both should begin with "The", or neither. Secondly, the idea that short titles have an initial definite article is unwarranted (except for certain specific exceptions from the 19th century); see the running heading printed at the head of the page of this particular Act, for example. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 12:04, 19 September 2011 (UTC).

(1) As to your first point, I have not decided whether the article should be moved at all. I am certainly not ready to move the page at this moment as it might for practical reasons be necessary to move all the articles on Acts of Parliament that have short titles en bloc. The page name does not in principle have to appear in the lede of an article, or to appear in anywhere in an article at all. It is not in principle necessary for anything in the lede of an article to be bolded. (2) What are the "certain specific exceptions from the 19th century" that you refer to and why do you think that they are different? (3) Who says that the running heading, printed at the head of the page of Queen's printer copies of this Act, (not being an operative clause) is relevant to determining what the short title of this Act is, and that the effect is what you say it is? Do you have a source for that? James500 (talk) 16:05, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Just in case you don't notice, I have now responded to your related comments in this section above. James500 (talk) 17:31, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

(please pardon me butting in) Noting my interest in the Andrew Gwilliam response to the penultimate paragraph of this section. Eddaido (talk) 22:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Your message[edit]

Hello. Thank you for your message on my talk page. There is no need to apologise. Regards, James500 (talk) 05:46, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Manitoba Schools Question[edit]

Thanks for undoing the revert that some other editor did to my additions to the Manitoba Schools Question page a while ago, and then for editing it. I've made some further substantial additions to it - if your wrist and time permits, would welcome your good offices in the editorial department. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 02:57, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Interview with Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Hi Andrew, I hope you are well, hope your wrist is improving. My name is Matthew Roth and I'm a Storyteller working on the 2011 fundraiser with the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco. In past years, we've relied on Jimbo to carry the bulk of the fundraising weight and he's done very well helping us hit our yearly funding targets. This year, however, we're broadening the scope and reach of the fundraiser by incorporating more voices and different people on the funding banners and appeals that will start running full-time on November 7th. We're testing new messages and finding some really great results with editors and staff members of the Foundation. You can see the current progress of the tests here. I'm curious if you would want to participate in an interview with me as part of this process? The interviews usually last 60 minutes and involve a number of questions about your personal editing experiences, as well as general questions about Wikipedia and its impact in the world. Please let me know by emailing mroth (at) wikimedia.org. Thanks! Matthew (WMF) 17:41, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Re: Changing quoted text[edit]

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Hello, Andrew Gwilliam. You have new messages at Glacialfox's talk page.
Message added 00:05, 30 November 2011 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Parliament of India[edit]

Parliament of India translates as भारत की संसद in hindi. You can even check it out at Google translate or at the official Lok sabha site [1]. So I was right but for that I undid your edit instead of reverting to the previous version. I am correcting now.-- R.Sivanesh © 17:35, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for sorting that out. Andrew Gwilliam (talk) 15:59, 11 December 2011 (UTC).

Irish Free State (Constitution) Act 1922[edit]

Hi, and thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia. It appears that you recently tried to give Irish Free State (Constitution) Act 1922 a different title by copying its content and pasting either the same content, or an edited version of it, into Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922. This is known as a "cut and paste move", and it is undesirable because it splits the page history, which is needed for attribution and various other purposes. Instead, the software used by Wikipedia has a feature that allows pages to be moved to a new title together with their edit history.

In most cases, once your account is four days old and has ten edits, you should be able to move an article yourself using the "Move" tab at the top of the page. This both preserves the page history intact and automatically creates a redirect from the old title to the new. If you cannot perform a particular page move yourself this way (e.g. because a page already exists at the target title), please follow the instructions at requested moves to have it moved by someone else. Also, if there are any other pages that you moved by copying and pasting, even if it was a long time ago, please list them at Wikipedia:Cut and paste move repair holding pen. Thank you. Road Wizard (talk) 23:43, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Nomination of Irish head of state from 1936 to 1949 for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Irish head of state from 1936 to 1949 is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Irish head of state from 1936 to 1949 until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. Scolaire (talk) 08:45, 8 June 2013 (UTC)