HC Deb 23 April 1861 vol 162 c982

said, he would beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works, If there is any truth in the report that the Royal Agricultural Society are about to hold a Cattle Show in Hyde Park; and, if so, to explain the reason why the Government have consented thereto?


said, that the Royal Agricultural Society had for some time been intending to place their exhibition of implements, or the chief portion of it, in the great building which was to be erected for the International Exhibition of the year 1862; and it appeared to many supporters of that society that a desirable opportunity would at the same time be afforded of exhibiting animals in some part of the Metropolis that would be within a convenient distance of the same edifice. The Exhibition of 1862 would no doubt bring to London a large number of people, not only from England, but also from every portion of the civilized world, and a favourable opportunity would thus arise for showing our own countrymen and foreigners what our farmers could do in improving the breed of agricultural stock, while some amusement would be placed within the reach of the inhabitants of London, many of whom probably had never seen a bull, or a prize ox or a well-bred sheep, except on the hooks of a butcher's shop. He believed that such an exhibition in some central part of the Metropolis would be an advantage and a boon to the public. But, of course, in affording that gratification to a vast number of people it was right to take care that it did not interfere with those purposes of recreation to which the parks were chiefly devoted; and all that had been done up to the present time was that it had been determined the Royal Agricultural Society should be at liberty to exhibit their animals in one of the Metropolitan parks; but no selection had yet been made of the precise spot which was to be employed for that purpose.