Having entered parliament earlier in the month as the Conservative member for Oldham, on February 28, 1901 Winston Churchill ventured to speak for the third time in the House of Commons asking a question of A.J. Balfour, the First Lord of the Treasury, during a debate on the conduct of the South African War. He asked, “May I ask whether, and if so when, the House will be informed of the circumstances attending the surrender at Nicholson’s Nek and other places, and of the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief thereon?” The question was, however, not answered. The speaker, William Gully, ruled that the new member’s question, “hardly arises out of the question on the Paper.”
At 12 o’clock that day Churchill called on Prime Minister Lord Salisbury at the Foreign Office and at 8:30 that evening he dined with Mrs. Lyttelton at 16 Great College Street, Westminster.