§ Order for Committee read.
§ House in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clause 2 (Application of Act),
§ MR. KENDALL
said, that unless Cornwall were excepted from the operation of the Bill its extensive mining interests would be destroyed. The Commissioners 770 stated that to extend the Bill to that country would be to preserve the salmon at a preposterous cost. He begged, therefore, to insert "in the county of Cornwall" after the word Ireland.
§ MR. CLIVE
said, that no precedent could be found for excluding an English county from the operation of a general Bill; and to admit the Amendment would be fatal to the measure, because other counties would immediately put in a claim for a similar indulgence. The Bill contained a proviso in a subsequent clause to the effect that persons should not be liable to penalties where they could show that they had used the best practical means in their power to render such matters harmless, and that would not be very difficult to proprietors of such undertakings as the Cornish mines do. He was ready to insert in the clause words limiting the expenses of applying a remedy to the sum of £200.
§ MR. HUSSEY VIVIAN
protested against damaging the great commercial interests of the country for the sake of preserving a few fish.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 3 (Commencement of Act),
§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK
said, the date at which the Act was to commence was the 1st of September; whereas some of the fisheries were actually let till the middle of October, the close season being in some rivers much later than in others. He would move to insert the words "except as hereinafter provided," in order to enable him to move Amendments at a later stage.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Clause agreed to; as was also Clause 4.
§ Clause 5 (Penalty on mixing poisonous substances in rivers),
§ MR. AYRTON
said, that as representing a large constituency who dwelt on the banks of the Thames, he would appeal to the common sense of the Committee and of the country against the provisions of this extraordinary Bill. The issue raised by the clause was whether the people of the country were to live by their industry, or whether industry was to be suppressed that salmon might flourish. It seemed to him that, under the clause, where a manufac 771 turer had works draining into a river, the question would not be merely one between him a person having a vested right in the fish, but it would be a question between the owner of the works on the one side and the salmon on the other. He asked whether the right of protection was vested only in the owner of the fish, supposing there was one, or whether it was vested in the salmon themselves?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
thought that with some slight alteration the clause ought to be passed. He believed that the result of passing some such Bill as that would be to preserve to the public a very important article of food. He proposed, however, to substitute the word "salmon" instead of "fish."
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Clause agreed to, as were also Clauses 6 to 11, inclusive.
§ Clause 12 (Penalty on taking the young of salmon),
§ MR. GARNETT
said, he would move, by way of Amendment, the insertion of the words "except by rod and line," with the object of protecting sportsmen who might happen to draw out salmon fry.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 6, line 3, after the word "destroy," to insert the words "except by rod and line."
said, there was such difficulty in distinguishing between trout and young salmon that the Under Secretary of State had been considerably puzzled by some specimens which were exhibited to him, and the gentlemen at the head of the Irish fisheries, he believed, had decided wrongly.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 45; Noes 80: Majority 35.
§ Clause 19 (Weekly close time),772
§ LORD NEWPORT
said, he thought it a harsh measure to close the rivers from Friday until the following Monday. He, therefore, moved as an Amendment, that the word "Saturday" be substituted in place of "Friday."
§ Amendment proposed, in page 8, line 19, to leave out the word "Friday" and insert the word "Saturday."
§ Question put, "That the word 'Friday' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided.—Ayes 103; Noes 16: Majority 87.
§ Clause agreed to; as were also the remaining Clauses.
§ Houses resumed.
§ Billreported; as amended, to be considered on Monday next.
§ House adjourned at a quarter after Three o'clock.