HC Deb 09 June 1841 vol 58 cc1355-60

On the motion that the Speaker do leave the chair for the House to go into Committee on the Dog Carts Bill,

Mr. Pryme

opposed the motion. The Bill was an interference with a humble class of traders. He was glad to see his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the House. If his right hon. Friend would consent to allow an ass to be used [laughter], it might seem very ludicrous to the House to name the animal; it might perhaps be more agreeable to right hon. Gentlemen if he called the animal by the name of donkey. What he meant to say was, that if an ass were allowed to be used with the same license as was paid for using a dog, it would tend materially to lessen the number of dog carts, at least by one-tenth, throughout the country. He would conclude by moving that the Bill be committed this day six months.

Mr. Warburton

seconded the motion, because he was satisfied that it was a waste of the time of the House to legislate on such trivial mutters. Last year it had been attempted to excite a feeling on the subject by appealing to their humanity, and stating that the dog was not proper for a beast of draught, surely those who had made such a statement must have forgotten the Kamschatka dogs. The object of the measure was to prevent persons possessed of small means and in humble life, who could not afford to employ other animals, from doing their best to gain a livelihood. If the reason for putting down these carts was that dogs were small animals and liable to throw down horses, then they ought to graduate the dimensions of all animals suffered to draw in the streets, and to prohibit Shetland ponies.

Sir It. H. Inglis

said, that having the honour to be one of the persons whose names were on the back of this bill, he would just shortly reply to the objections of the hon. mover and seconder of the amendment, that the more straightforward course for getting rid of this bill would be, by moving that so much of the Metropolitan Police Act as relates to the use of dogs in drawing carts and other vehicles be repealed. He could not see why the dogs in the country should be treated worse than the dogs of London. The hon. Member for Bridport had spoken of the dogs of Kamschatka, but he might have come still nearer home, for dogs were used as beasts of draught in Lapland and in Holland. But in Lapland and Kamschatka they ran over snow, and in Holland upon sand; therefore they did not suffer in the same way as in this country. He supposed, that the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State, did not attach less importance to humanity now, than when he supported the measure which applied to the metropolis; and therefore he expected he would vote for this bill.

Mr. Hume

said, that he had been a Member of the committee before which the evidence was taken which led to the proposal of this bill. Upon the evidence adduced before that committee he would not give it his support. If the question were one of humanity, why should donkeys be allowed to be ridden? He believed there were no animals who were worse used than donkeys, and if the question were put on the ground of humanity, the bill should be applied to them. There was no doubt any animals might be abused, but that was no reason why they should never be employed. There were laws already in existence to punish cruelty to animals, and he thought it better to leave the dogs to the protection of those laws. Every one might see that dogs drew carts with the greatest pleasure, at least they seemed to have a great desire to do so. He thought the House should not legislate upon matters which it would be much better to leave to the good sense and humane feelings of the community.

Mr. East

replied. He had introduced the bill for the purpose of supposing those cruelties to dogs which took place no less in the country than in town. It should always be remembered, that the feet of dogs were not protected by nature so as to enable them to bear heavy weights. The bill was extremely simple, following closely the provisions of the Metropolitan Act, but extending it to the country. The dogcart nuisance was not only offensive to humanity, but was oftentimes productive of serious consequences. Only within the last few months the Lynn coach had been overturned by a dogcart, and much mischief was the result. He hoped, therefore, that the House would allow the bill to be proceeded with.

The House divided on the question that the Speaker do now leave the Chair: —Ayes 141; Noes 30: Majority 111.

List of the AYES.
Adare, Viscount Buller, Sir J. Y.
Alston, R, Burrell, Sir C.
Antrobus, E. Calcraft, J. H.
Bagge, W. Campbell, Sir J.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Canning, rt. hn. Sir S.
Barneby, J. Chute, W. L. W.
Barrington, Viscount Clerk, Sir G.
Bell, M. Collier, J.
Blackstone, W. S. Conolly, E.
Botfield, B. Craig, W. G.
Briscoe, J. I. Cresswell, C.
Broadlev, H. Crewe, Sir G.
Brodie, W.B. Crompton, Sir S.
Brotherton, J. Darby, G.
Buck, L. W. Darlington, Earl of
Denison, W. J. Martin, J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Maule, hon. F.
Dugdale, W. S. Mordaunt, Sir J.
Duncombe, hon. W. Morgan, O.
Duncombe, hon. A. Nicholl, J.
Duncombe, T. Noel, hon. C. G.
Eaton, R. J. O'Connell, M. J.
Egerton, Sir P. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Ellice, rt. hn. E. Ord, W.
Estcouit, T. Packe, C. W.
Evans, W. Paget, Colonel
Farnham, E. B. Pakington, J. S.
Fazakerley, J. N. Patten, J. W.
Fielden, W. Pechell, Captain
Fellowes, E. Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Filmer, Sir E. Pigot, rt. hon. D.
Fitzpatrick, J.W. Plumptre, J. P.
Freemantle, Sir T. Price, R.
Freshfield, J. W. Pusey, P.
Gordon, hon. Captain Rae, right hn. Sir W.
Goring, H. D. Rice, hon. E. R.
Goulburn, it. hon. H. Rich, H.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Roche, W.
Grey, rt. hn. Sir G. Rolleston, L.
Guest, Sir J. Round, C. G.
Hale, R. B. Round, J.
Hamilton, C. J. B. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Hardinge, rt.hn. Si.rH Russell, Lord J.
Harland, W. C, Scholefield, J.
Heneage, G. W, Sheppard, T.
Hepburn, SirT. B. Sibthorp, Colonel
Herries, rt, hn. J. Sinclair, Sir G.
Hinde, J. H. Smith, A.
Hindley, C. Smith, G. R.
Hodgson, R. Smith, R. V.
Holmes, W. Smyth, Sir G. H.
Hope, hon. C. Somerset, Lord G.
Hotham, Lord Sotheron, T. E.
Houstoun, G. Spencer, hn. Captain
Howard, P.H. Stanley, E.
Humptrery, J. Stanley, Lord
Hurt, F. Stansfield, W. R. C.
Hutt, W. Stewart, J.
Irton, S. Stuart, W. V.
James, W. Sturt, H. C.
Kelburne, Viscount Sugden, rt. hn. Sir E.
Knight, H. G. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Lambton, H. Turner, E.
Law, hon. C. E. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Lowther. hn. Colonel Vere, SirC. B.
Lowther, J. H. Verney, Sir H.
Lushington, rt. hn. S. Waddington, H. S.
Lygon, hon. General Wilbraham, hon. B.
Mackenzie, T. Wood, B.
Mackenzie, W. F. TELLERS.
Mackinnon, W. A. East, J. B.
Mahon, Viscount Inglis, Sir R. H
List of the NOES.
Ainsworth, P. Hawes, B.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Hector, C. J.
Baines, E. Herbert, hon. S.
Bryan, G. Hume, J.
Buller, C. Jervis, J.
Courtenay, P. Jones, J.
Dennistoun, J. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Evans, G. Macaulay, rt. hn. T.B
Milton, Viscount Strutt, E.
O'Brien, W.S. Thornely, T.
Parker, J. Walsh, Sir J.
Rawdon, Col. J. D. Wilbraham, G.
Richards, R. Wilde, Sir T.
Salwey, Colonel TELLERS.
Sanford, E. A. Pryme, G.
Strickland, Sir G. Warburton, H.

House in Committee.

On the first clause,

Mr. Warburton

said, that by that clause, it' a child were riding upon a Newfoundland dog in a private garden, a constable might enter the garden, take the parties before a sitting magistrate, and have them convicted in the penalties of the Act.

Colonel Salwey

thought such legislation was wholly unworthy of the House.

Mr. Fox Maule

said, the bill was confined to high roads, and the hon. Member had put a forced construction on the clause.

Clause with amendments agreed to.

On the clause authorising constables to apprehend offenders without a warrant, and take them before a magistrate, being put,

Mr. Warburton

proposed, that it should be omitted altogether.

Mr. C. Buller

said, that a policeman had no power to take up a person guilty of an assault without a warrant, but in the graver offence of employing a dog to draw a cart, it appeared that he was to have the power. He complained of this great legislative enactment, that it was imperfect, inasmuch as it made no provision for the objects of its peculiar care. When they had taken up the man, what did they propose to do with the dog? He was deprived of his only natural protector, and did they intend to leave him to the wide world, without any food but such as he could get by chance without attacking some unfortunate passenger. A bill was brought in by a worthy Alderman some years since, for the prevention of hydrophobia, which had been treated with great ridicule by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth. One clause of that bill empowered a constable to take up any mad dog. In consequence of various imperfections that bill was referred to a Select Committee, the Members of which had, he supposed, been chosen for their names. These were Mr. Lamb, Mr. Fox, and himself(Mr."Bull"er)—who was at the time a very young Member. That committee, however, had elicited some most important medical testimony, from which it appeared, that hydrophobia was one of the rarest diseases known, and that it never originated spontaneously, but was always the consequence of absolute contagion. The hon. Member for Shoreham supported the measure on the ground of humanity to bad riders, as dogcarts made horses shy, and unhorsed gentlemen who were not very firm in their saddles; but if they were to legislate for the safety of gentlemen who could not ride well, they ought to go further. Many horses shyed at a wheelbarrow—and he never knew a horse who would pass a knife-grinder's wheel without shying. Therefore, if they wished to carry out the Legislative foresight for gentlemen who could not ride well to the full, they ought to follow up this great measure, by a bill against knife grinders' wheels and wheelbarrows.

Clause agreed to, as were the other clauses.

The House resumed; Report to be received.