HC Deb 15 March 1843 vol 67 cc971-4

Mr. East moved the committal of the bill to prevent the employment of dogs in drawing carts, and as beasts of burthen.

Mr. Barclay

rose, pursuant to the notice he had given, to move an amendment, "that the bill be committed that day six months." It appeared to him, that the bill was an arbitrary and an aristocratic measure. In such a place as London, with its dense and crowded population, he would admit that Parliament might not unfairly be called upon to legislate on the subject of employing dogs as beasts of draught and burthen, and in fact Parliament had limited its enactment on that subject to the metropolis and its vicinity; but the bill before the House went greatly beyond that, and proposed that the use of dogs for the purposes already stated, should be prohibited in every part of England and Ireland. This, he must say, was an uncalled for and an unnecessary violation of the rights of a large class of humble dealers by whom dogs were used. The parties using them for purposes of drought were generally knife-grinders and hawkers of various small wares through the country and in towns; the aid of dogs were found very useful to bakers, butchers, and other traders. The prohibition of this aid from dogs was not justified on the plea that so employing them was cruel, but if hon. Members went that length for the purpose of preventing what they considered cruelty to dogs, why not carry out the application of the principle somewhat further? What would those hon. Members think of seeing a foxhound tied to a tree and there unmercifully whipped because it had run after a hare instead of a fox? From cruelties of this kind, or of any kind, the dogs employed by such small dealers as he had mentioned were wholly exempt. Indeed, so far from being subjected to ill usage, they were treated with kindness and affection. [A laugh.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh at it, but he would repeat that it was so. The dog often slept on the same bed with his master, was fed at the same board, and in fact, this friendly intercourse caused an affectionate attachment to grow up between the dog and his master, and the relation in which they thus stood tended to civilize the one and the other. But he objected to this bill not alone with reference to the dogs. He contended, that it would be doing great injustice to that humble class of traders who travelled about the country to vend their wares, but who, by this bill, would be thrown out of employment, because they could not continue their business without the assistance which they were accustomed to derive from their canine fellow-labourers. [Laughter.] The subject might be a subject of derision and laughter to some hon. Gentlemen, but in those who would be deprived by the bill of the valuable services, the comfort, and assistance of their dogs, such treatment was calculated to excite sentiments of any thing but respect for the legislation of Parliament. He did hope, that the House would hesitate before they deprived a numerous body of little traders of the comfort and assistance of these valuable animals. The hon. Member concluded by moving his amendment.

Mr. Hume

asked what documents there were before the House justifying this legislation?

Sir R. H. Inglis

said, the motion with which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Barclay) ought to have concluded was to repeal so much of the Metropolitan Police Act as forbade the use of dog-carts within fifteen miles of Charing Cross; for if it were right to legislate so for London and the environs, it was right to legislate on the same principles for the rest of England—for Manchester, for Liverpool, or for Sunderland. It ought to be remembered that a measure of precisely the same kind passed the House of Commons two sessions ago, and it was only owing to peculiar circumstances that it was not renewed last Session. He supported the motion for the committal of the bill.

Mr. Grantley Berkeley

reminded the House, that if this bill passed, all the dogs now employed would be inevitably killed; the present was the season for house lamb; and if so many dogs were to be destroyed, people must be very careful what they purchased.

Mr. Hume

saw no ground for interference in such trifling matters when there were so many more subjects worthy of legislation, and imperatively requiring it. It was much more important to legislate for men than for dogs.

Lord A. Lennox

said, he was earnestly in favour of this bill, in which his constituents felt great interest. The hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. D. Barclay) had said that there was no great cruelty used to these animals. Perhaps that might be the case among the hon. Member's constituents, but in Sussex, where he lived, he could assure the House it was very different. There, he knew that dogs were compelled to drag carts twenty, thirty, forty, and even fifty miles a-day. He supported the bill with the greatest pleasure.

The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question, Ayes 129; Noes 35: Majority 94.

List of the AYES.
Acland, T. D. Hodgson, F.
Acton, Col. Hodgson, R.
Adare, Visct. Hope, hon. C.
Adderley, C. B. Hope, G. W.
Allix, J. P. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Arkwright, G. Hughes, W. B.
Armstrong, Sir A. Irton, S.
Baring, right hn. F. T, Johnstone, Sir J.
Barnard, E. G. Lascelles, hon. W. S.
Barrington, Visct. Lennox, Lord A.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Lincoln, Earl of
Beresford, Major Lowther, J. H.
Broadley, H. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Brotherton, J. Mackinnon, W. A.
Burroughes, H. N. Mc Geachy, F. A.
Byng, G Mahon, Visct.
Byng, right hon. G. S. Manners, Lord J.
Cardwell, E. Marjoribanks, S.
Chelsea, Visct. Master, T. W. C.
Chetwode, Sir J. Masterman, J.
Christopher, R. A. Maunsell, T. P.
Chute, W. L. W. Morgan, O.
Colquhoun, J. C. Morris, D.
Compton, H. C. Neeld, J.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Neeld, J.
Craig, W. G. Newdigate, C. N.
Crawford, W. S. Nicholl, right hon. J.
Cripps, W. Norreys, Lord
Denison, E. B. O'Brien, W. S.
Dickinson, F. H. Ogle, S. C. H.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Pakington, J. S.
Douglas, J. D. S. Palmer, R.
Duncombe, T. Patten, J. W.
Duncombe, hon. O. Pechell, Capt.
Eastnor, Visct. Peel, J.
Ebrington, Visct. Plumridge, Capt.
Egerton, W. T. Praed, W. T.
Egerton, Sir P. Pringle, A.
Evans, W. Protheroe, E.
Farnham, E. B. Pusey, P.
Feilden, W. Rolleston, Col.
Fellowes, E. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Filmer, Sir E. Round, C. G.
Flower, Sir J. Rushbrooke, Col.
Forbes, W. Russell, C.
Fremantle, Sir T. Sheppard, T.
Fuller, A. E. Shirley, E. J.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Shirley, E. P.
Gill, T. Somerset. Lord G.
Gladstone, Capt. Sotheron, T. H. S.
Glynne, Sir S. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Gore, W. R. O. Tollemache, J.
Gregory, W. H. Trench, Sir F. W.
Grimston, Visct. Trollope, Sir J.
Hale, R. B. Trotter, J,
Hamilton, W. J. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Hamilton, Lord C. Waddington, H. S.
Hanmer, Sir J. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Hardy, J. Wodehouse, E.
Hatton, Capt. V. Wood, G. W.
Hay, Sir A. L. Worsley, Lord
Heathcote, Sir W. Wynn, rt hn. C.W.W.
Henniker, Lord Young, J.
Hepburn, Sir T. B. TELLERS
Hervey, Lord A. East, J. B.
Hindley, C. Inglis, Sir R. H.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Macaulay, rt. hn. T. B.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Mangles, R. D.
Baring, H. B. Marshall, W.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Matheson, J.
Brownrigg, J. S. O'Brien, A. S.
Busfeild, W. Philips, M.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Ross, D. R.
Dennistoun, J. Russell, Lord J.
Duncan, G. Scott, R.
Elphinstone, H. Stuart, W. V.
Forster, M. Strutt, E.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Towneley, J.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Tufnell, H.
Hallyburton, Lord J. F. Vane, Lord H.
Hastie, A. Wilde, Sir T.
Hill, Lord M. Wrightson, W. B.
Howick, Visct. TELLERS.
Hutt, W. Barclay, D.
Listowel, Earl of Hume, J.

Bill passed through committee and ordered to be reported.