HC Deb 24 July 1844 vol 76 cc1334-7

House in Committee on the Slaughtering of Horses Bill. On the question that the Preamble be postponed,

Mr. T. Duncombe

was anxious to know whether the Government approved of or supported the Bill? If not, he thought it ought not to be proceeded with, because it greatly increased the powers of both the magistracy and the police.

Sir J. Graham

said, he had not given much attention to the Bill. He had referred it to the chief magistrate and the commissioners of police, but as yet he had received no report upon it.

Mr. Duncombe

said, that this Bill was admitted to proceed from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. That alone he would consider a sufficient reason for opposing it, as no encouragement ought to be given to societies for meddling with everybody's business but their own. There were many most barracking and vexatious provisions in this Bill. For instance, one Clause enabled a policeman to go into any yard and ascertain whether the horses and cattle (the latter word, according to the interpretation Clause, including every species of animals from a bull to a pig and a goat) there confined, had a sufficient quantity of nutritious food and water, and if they had not, to supply them with enough, and charge double for it. He objected to this absurd and pettyfogging legislation. It was like the Committee appointed the other day to inquire into the condition of lap dogs.

Mr. Cowper

said, as the delay asked for would be tantamount to losing the Bill this Session, he would resist this Motion. The hon. Member for Finsbury was facetious about societies that meddled in other people's affairs. But suppose there should be parties in the country raising a subscription to purchase an estate for an hon. Member as a reward for his activity in that House, and they should ask him to subscribe, what, according to the hon. Gentleman's views, ought to be his answer? Nothing but this—"Why should I subscribe for an hon. Gentleman who does nothing but meddle in other people's affairs? He hoped the hon. Gentleman would withdraw his opposition.

Mr. Duncombe

moved that the Chairman should report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

Committee divided:—Ayes 11; Noes 104: Majority 93.

List of theAYES.
Bouverie, hn. E. P. Mitcalfe, H.
Buller, C. Pechell, Capt.
Collett, J. Wall, C. B.
Escott, B. Wawn, J. T.
Langston, J. H. TELLERS.
Manners, Lord C. S. Duncombe, T.
Martin, J. Elphinstone, H,
List of theNOES.
Ackers, J. Chute, W. L. W.
Aldam, W. Corry, rt. hon. H.
Allix, J. P. Courtenay, Lord
Arkwright, G. Cripps, W.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Curties, H. B.
Damer, hon. Col.
Baring, H. B. Darby, G.
Barnard, E. G. Denison, E. B.
Barneby, J. Dickinson, F. H.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Dodd, G.
Beckett, W. Douglas, Sir H.
Beresford, Maj. Douglas, J. D. S.
Borthwick, P. Duncan, G.
Botfield, B. Egerton, W. T.
Bowes, J. Eliot, Lord
Bowring, Dr. Entwisle, W.
Brotherton, J. Esmonde, Sir T.
Bruce, Lord E. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bruges, W. H. L. Forbes, W.
Chetwode, Sir J. Forman, T. S.
Childers, J. W. Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T.
Fuller, A. E. Peel, J.
Gardner, J. D. Plumridge, Capt.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Pringle, A.
Gore, M. Reid, Sir J. R.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Rendlesham, Lord
Grosvenor, Lord R. Rolleston, Col.
Hamilton, Lord C. Round, J.
Harcourt, G. G. Rous, hon. Capt.
Hawes, B. Rushbrooke, Col.
Henley, J. W. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Herbert, hon. S. Sibthorp, Col.
Hill, Lord Marcus Smith, J. A.
Hodgson, R. Smith, rt. hn. R. V.
Hope, hon. C. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Houldsworth, T. Somerset, Lord G.
Hutt, W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Irving, J. Spooner, R.
Kelly, F. R. Stewart, P. M.
Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Knight, H. G. Thesiger, Sir F.
Lennox, Lord A. Thornhill, G.
Lindsay, H. H. Trotter, J.
McGeachy, F. A. Verner, Col.
Manners, Lord J. Vernon, G. H.
Marsham, Visct. Wodehouse, E.
Maxwell, H. J. P. Wood, Col.
Meynell, Capt. Wortley, H. J. S.
Mitchell, T. A. Wyse, T.
Mundy, E. M. Yorke, H. R.
Napier, Sir C. Young, J.
Newdegate, C. N.
O'Brien, A. S. TELLERS.
Ogle, S. C. H. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Patten, J. W. Mackinnon, W. A.

On Clause 4,

Mr. Escott

said, this Clause enacted penalties of not less than 40s. or more than 5l. for offences that were already punishable under the statute law. He exceedingly lamented that the right hon. Baronet would not tell the Committee whether he thought the time of the House ought to be occupied by the further discussion of this measure. Why not enforce the penalties that were awarded by the existing law? The hon. Gentleman might say that the inspectors were lazy, but he wanted to know if this Bill would make them more energetic in the performance of their duties. He was confident the Bill would not effect the benevolent intentions of the hon. Gentleman, for benevolent he admitted them to be, and he considered it most frivolous and absurd legislation. The tendency of such legislation was to make infamous wretches, who inflicted cruelty on dumb animals, more cruel when they could do so with safety. A 5l. fine was only calculated to make a man who had paid it, vent his spite in a more virulent degree when he had an opportunity. We ought to trust to education and to the improvement of the moral condition of the people, rather than, to legislation. It was impossible to make people moral and humane by petty Acts of Parliament.

Clause agreed to.

On the 9th Clause, penalties to give one moiety to the informer and the remaining moiety to the poor.

Mr. Estcott

moved that the words referring to the informer he omitted, with a view to give the whole penalty to the poor.

The Committee divided on the question, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question:—Ayes 51; Noes 5: Majority 46.

List of theAYES.
Ackers, J. McGeachy, F. A.
Aldam, W. Manners, Lord J.
Allix, J. P. Milnes, R. M.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Mitchell, T. A.
Muntz, G. F.
Barnard, E. G. Newdegate, C. N.
Bentinck, Lord G. Packe, C. W.
Beresford, Major Plumridge, Capt.
Borthwick, P. Pringle, A.
Bouverie, hn. E. P. Rendlesham, Lord
Brotherton, J. Round, J.
Bruce, Lord E. Rushbrooke, Col.
Bruges, W. H. L. Sibthorp, Col.
Chetwode, Sir J. Smith, rt. hon. T. B.
Curteis, H. B. Smyth, Sir H.
Darby, G. Spooner, R.
Denison, E. B. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Dickinson, F. H. Thesiger, Sir F.
Flower, Sir J. Trench, Sir F. W.
Forman, T. S. Trotter, J.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Wall, C. B.
Hawes, B. Wodehouse, E.
Hodgson, R. Wortley, hn. J. S.
Hope, hon. C. Young, J.
Kelly, F. R.
Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E. TELLERS.
Lennox, Lord A. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Lincoln, Earl of O'Brien, A. S.
List of the NOES.
Collett, J. Yorke, H. R.
Langston, J. H. TELLERS.
Pechell, Capt. Duncombe, T.
Wawn, J. T. Escott, B.

House resumed. Bill to be reported.