§ [The Bill having been Committed, Re-committed, and Considered as Amended, without having been re printed, great difficulty has been experienced in following out the 511 Motions for Amendments, particularly those of which no Notice had been given. When a Clause has been agreed to, with or without Amendment, the small figures added refer to the No. of the corresponding Clause in the re-print of the Bill No. 22.]
§ Order of the Day for Committee read.
§ On Question, That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair;
§ MR. PUGH
said, he wished to say a word with reference to that part of the country (Carmarthenshire) with which he was connected; that was at present uninfected, as were, he was happy to Bay, ten counties in Wales. All, of course, were for preventing diseased cattle from being brought into the district, but there seemed to be no reason for stopping the free movement of cattle throughout the whole of that uninfected area. In the interesting memorandum published in The Times yesterday on the course of the distemper in the last century, it was stated that then also an attempt was made totally to prohibit the movement of cattle for a limited period, but that it was abandoned on account of the violent opposition which it encountered. He wished that nothing of the kind should happen now; that they should have no occasion to retrace their steps; or to say of any part of the Bill improvedé emanavit. It would be seen from the same memorandum that in the subsequent outbreaks the safety of the country was sufficiently provided for by the proclamation of infected places, and the prohibition of the removal of cattle from them. He hoped that drawing a cordon around them or something of the kind might now, or soon, be found to be sufficient. There were other districts similarly situated. It would be a satisfaction to all to know that their case had been considered, though their wishes might not be gratified to the full extent. He would leave the matter in the hands of the Government. All that was wanted was, to relax the stringency of the 21st clause, so as to except the uninfected districts, which could be done when they came to that clause or in a subsequent stage of the proceedings.
said, that on Tuesday last, before the adjournment of the House, he had made a suggestion which he thought it would be well to adopt. It was—That the compensation clauses, which excited much diversity of opinion, should be made into a separate Bill, and that the stamp- 512 ing out clauses should be gone through at once with a view to expedite matters.
§ Motion agreed to: —House in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.
§ Clause 3 postponed.
§ Clause 4 agreed to.
§ Clause 5 (Local Authority in Counties in Scotland).
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, he wished to ask, with a view to the progress of the public business, whether the explanation which the Lord Advocate was about to give was the same as that which he intended to give at the meeting in the tea-room to-morrow. It was his object to facilitate the progress of the Bill, which he had been in hopes would be passed through Committee that night. But if there were an arrangement by which a section of the Government was to meet a section of the Members of that House to-morrow it might have the effect of preventing the passing of the Bill through Committee that night. He trusted that the Lord Advocate would make his explanation then with the view of expediting the Bill.
THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, the explanation which he intended to give had reference not to the meeting to be held tomorrow, but to one which had been held two or three days ago, in which the Scotch Members were unanimously of opinion that tenant-farmers should be associated with the local authorities in working the Bill.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, he would not delay the Committee on any matter which was not of first-rate importance, but to his mind there were some points in the clause which were highly objectionable, and which he would have eliminated. In the first place the tenant-farmers, who were properly disposed to associate with the justices of counties in forming County Boards, and whom it was proposed very justly to associate with the Commissioners of Supply, were to be nominated by the lord-lieutenant. That was not respectful to the tenant-farmers, who were quite as capable of electing their representatives to the Board as the magistrates themselves. In the second place, it was proposed that in case the county authorities should be remiss in enforcing the Act, the Secretary of State, through the sheriff of the county, should have power to do so. 513 Now, there was no reason whatever to introduce a provison which contemplated that the local authorities would not do their duty. No provision of the kind had been introduced with regard to England, and it was equally unnecessary with respect to Scotland.
§ LORD HENRY SCOTT
said, he would recommend the postponement of the clause until after the meeting to be held to-morrow, as it involved questions of great importance.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, that as it was desirable that the measure should be proceeded with without delay, this clause, which applied only to Scotland, and was likely to raise some discussion among Scotch Members, should be postponed.
§ MR. BAILLIE COCHRANE
said, he did not see how the postponement of the clause would expedite the progress of the Bill.
§ SIR ANDREW AGNEW
said, that celerity was the object which they had in view, and he did not see how it was possible in a short time to get tenants to hold mass meetings to elect representatives.
THE LORD ADVOCATE
said, that it was the universal opinion on this subject that whatever was to be done should be done without the slightest delay. Now, the tenant-farmers of Scotland were not a legally-constituted body, and if they were to elect the members of the County Board, providing the machinery for that election would cause much loss of time. He therefore thought it would be better to leave the election of the Board to the Lords Lieutenant and Commissioners of Supply. With regard to the latter part of the clause, he had no desire to retain it if the feeling of the Committee was against it.
§ MR. CUMMING-BRUCE
said, he should support the Amendment. The election of the County Board ought to be left in the hands of the tenant-farmers, who were the persons interested, and not intrusted to the Lords Lieutenant, whose appointments were based on purely political grounds.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, he wished to ask the Lord Advocate what number of persons the proposed County Boards were to consist of?
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, he thought that the numbers proposed were, especially for large counties, too small. He moved, as an Amendment, that the words 514 in the clause should be "not less than four, nor more than fifteen."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, he desired to draw attention to the omission of any qualification for the tenant-farmers who were to be nominated by the Lord Lieutenant. He would move an Amendment to insert the words "valued in the valuation roll in force for the time at £100 a year or upwards."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. DUNLOP moved that the sheriff of the county should form part of the Local Board.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. CARNEGIE moved the insertion of words making "Lord Lieutenant and the convener of the county ex officio members of the Local Board."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE moved the omission of the words at the end of the clause empowering the Home Secretary to nominate the persons to carry out the Act in Scotland, in case the Lord Lieutenant or Commissioners of Supply neglect to do so.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON moved an addition to the clause, giving the local authorities of counties power over all the boroughs within their respective counties, except as to compensation—that being left to the boroughs. He proposed to exempt Glasgow and Edinburgh. The great number of local jurisdictions in the counties had been the great difficulty in putting the Orders in Council into execution. Any disputes arising should be left to the arbitration of the sheriff, whose decision should be final.
The LORD ADVOCATE
said, he could not agree to the Amendment. The clause was framed like the similar clause relating to England. If the burghs were to be legislated for by the County Board, it would be necessary for them to be represented at the Board.
said, that if Edinburgh and Glasgow were to be exempted, he should claim a similar exemption for Aberdeen.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, that unless his Amendment were agreed to, it would be possible for the boroughs to neglect carrying out the regulations. In some of the Scotch boroughs the Orders in Council and those of the county local authorities had been set at naught. If the Government objected to his Amendment in its present shape, he would suggest that the chief magistrate in the boroughs should be associated with the county authorities.
§ MR. CUMMING-BRUCE
said, he hoped that the Amendment would be accepted; although he admitted that, if Edinburgh and Glasgow were exempted, Aberdeen, Dundee, and one or two other of the larger towns should enjoy a similar exemption.
§ SIR ANDREW AGNEW
said, he trusted that the operation of the Bill would not be frustrated by the clashing of the local authorities. He thought that the Lord Advocate might frame a proviso that would meet the wishes of the hon. Member for Ayrshire.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, that if the Government would adopt the suggestion of the right hon. Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) and define the powers to be exercised, then these discretionary powers would not be required; but if the Bill were to remain in its present shape, the Amendment of the hon. Baronet would defeat the whole object of the Bill.
§ Amendment put, and negatived.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to. [cl. 5.]
§ Clause 6 (Power to assemble General Sessions).
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, there appeared to be an intentional omission in this clause. By the clause it would appear that the justices would have power to convene a general sessions at any time. What he would propose was, that it should be confined to the first convening of the sessions, they having power to adjourn from time to time. The object of the Bill was simplification; but he was afraid confusion would be increased if general sessions could be convened by any two justices, each session acting independently and antagonistic to the other.
§ SIR FITZROY KELLY
said, the clause ran thus—Any two or more Justices of a County may, by writing under their hands, require the Clerk of the Peace to summon a General Sessions of the Justices of the County for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.Now, he apprehended it was quite neces- 516 sary that the local authorities in the various counties should be at once constituted without delay under the Act, in order to be in readiness to carry out its provisions, and it might so happen that in certain counties the justices might altogether object to the Act being brought into operation there. He would, therefore, suggest that the clause should be made imperative in its language, and instead of beginning with the words "any two or more justices may," should commence thus:—"The Clerk of the Peace in every county in England and Wales shall be and hereby is required to summon a General Sessions," &c. The effect of that would be to have the proper local authority constituted at once in every county.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, the object of the clause was to facilitate the meeting of a general sessions without delay where the quarter sessions have not been adjourned, and to obviate the inconvenience arising from the necessity of giving a lengthened notice. He had addressed a letter to the chairmen of quarter sessions, pointing out the expediency of adjourning for short periods, and in many cases they had done that. Where that was so, it was not necessary that these general sessions should be convened, because the quarter sessions could meet from time to time. In some counties that had not been done, and in these it was necessary there should be power to convene a general sessions. Perhaps it would be better to provide that where no adjourned sessions was appointed to be held within two or three days from the passing of that Act a general sessions should be convened forthwith. He would prepare a clause which should meet the object of the Amendment.
said, he hoped that care would be taken not to set up two authorities, for as the Bill was now drawn it was very doubtful whether the general sessions and the quarter sessions would not be in existence both together.
§ MR. WALDEGRAVE-LESLIE
suggested that the Secretary of State should insert the words "in England and Wales," so as to make it clear that the provisions should not clash with those of Clause 5.
§ Clause postponed.517
§ Clause 7 (Power of Local Authority to form Committee of its own Members and others).
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, that under this clause there might he an unlimited number of committees, leading to greater confusion than that which even now existed. At first the Government began with the petty sessions; afterwards they felt it necessary to extend the area to the quarter sessions; but even then they found that every quarter sessions throughout the kingdom drew up a set of orders all more or less differing. The object of having an Act of Parliament, therefore, was to go a step further, and make the action national and uniform. The existing machinery was sufficient in all respects except uniformty; but that clause, as it stood, was actually a retrograde step, for it disintegrated the quartet-sessions, and introduced confusion worse confounded. The proper course would be to enable the quarter session of a county to delegate its authority to only one standing committee. He would have only one committee in each county except in particular cases, such as in the county of Hants, including the Isle of Wight, in which case he would have a second committee, taking care, however, to prevent the two from clashing. In that way they would avoid the issuing of clashing orders, and the committee could act within proper restrictions in the intervals between the general meetings. He hoped that that clause would also be postponed for re-construction.
§ SIR HARRY VERNEY
said, that in order to make the Bill popular it would be best that the executive committees should be of mixed composition, having non-magisterial members upon them.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, that if the local authorities were to have the power of granting licences for the removal of cattle, of issuing orders for their slaughter and of regulating matters of that kind, it was absurd to suppose that one committee in the centre of a county would be sufficient in cases where immediate action was necessary at any particular spot. He suggested that the clause should be postponed.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that the object of the clause was merely to afford 518 facilities to the quarter sessions to discharge their duties. An hon. Member suggested they should have the power of appointing an executive committee. He presumed if it were found necessary to appoint more than one committee rules would be laid down for their guidance, so as to ensure uniformity. He thought this might safely be left to the quarter sessions, but he had no objection to postpone the clause and some of the subsequent clauses, as he thought that they might be discussed to greater advantage when the House had decided what the powers of the local authorities should be.
§ SIR JOHN SIMEON
said, that the Isle of Wight eminently required to be left to deal with the case by itself, and as far as that island was concerned the Orders in Council gave a convenient authority. The Isle of Wight was a petty sessional division of the county of Hants; and it would be a great inconvenience for the inhabitants to have to receive their orders from a central committee for the whole county, sitting probably at Winchester.
§ COLONEL EDWARDS
said, that a considerable section of his constituents living in a district containing large herds of high bred short-horned cattle, varying in value from £25 to £500 each, complained bitterly of the arbitrary power of the local authorities contemplated by the Government Bill. It appeared to him that by the provisions of that Bill the Board would have power to destroy all the animals in one farm or farm-stead, if in one solitary instance infection was proved or even suspected. He (Colonel Edwards) deprecated this arbitrary power as a gross injustice and a virtual confiscation of property when the amount of compensation was to be so disproportionate to its value. His constituents feel that as in many cases where the rinderpest has broken out, and where isolation has been resorted to at the earliest stage, many cures have been effected—also, that in cases where the immediate slaughter of the suspected animal has taken place the disease has been arrested—that exceptions might fairly be made where such an amount of property was involved, and where no proportionate compensation was allowed to the owners, many of whom must otherwise be utterly ruined.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, it would perhaps be better to postpone the whole of the first part of the Bill until the House had determined what the temporary provisions should be.
§ SIR JOHN TROLLOPE
We should in that case come to the temporary provisions of the Bill at once. If you do not have such a clause as this you will not carry out the provisions of the Bill at all.
§ Clauses 7, 8, and 9 postponed.
§ Clause 10 (Appointment of Inspectors and other Officers).
§ Clause postponed.
§ Clause 11 (Power of Entry for Inspectors, &c).
§ MR. LONG
said, he hoped that when this clause should come under consideration, the right hon. Gentleman would mate provision for the compulsory disinfection of cattle inspectors, it being strongly felt in many counties that the greatest carriers of cattle disease were the cattle plague inspectors.
§ Clause postponed
§ Clause 12 (Limit of Duration of Part I).
§ Clause amended, and agreed to. [cl. 11.]
§ Clause 13 (Slaughter of diseased Animals).
§ MR. AYRTON
said, that the clause, as it stood, held out a premium on the shifting of diseased cattle from one place to another, inasmuch as while it provided that compensation for the slaughter of a diseased animal should be paid by the local authority, it contained no condition that the animal should have been in the particular locality for a certain number of days previous to its being killed. The point was a very important one for the Metropolitan Market, for he was afraid that if any one in the country districts suspected that his cattle were diseased, he would immediately hurry them up to that market, where of course it would soon be discovered that they were attacked by the plague. They would, upon that discovery being made, be at once slaughtered, and the 520 metropolis would be obliged to bear the burden of paying the proposed compensation.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that anybody bringing diseased cattle to the metropolitan or any other market would be liable to a penalty. He had prepared a proviso in reference to compensation, the effect of which was that it should not be given in the case of any animals removed from one place to another in contravention of the Act.
I wish, before we go further, to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary whether he does not think it desirable to postpone for the present the clauses relating to compensation. It is admitted on both sides of the House that it would be well to pass as quickly as possible a measure which is meant to put an end to the plague; but then this question of compensation might be discussed more at leisure. I beg hon. Gentlemen to bear in mind that the purport of this Bill is almost entirely unknown in the country. There are hundreds of thousands of persons who may be called upon to pay the tax under this Bill who have never seen the Bill and do not know in the least what we are discussing at this moment. I have never known, since I have been in Parliament, a general measure of taxation, as many feel, of a very doubtful character, hurried through the House in the manner in which from the pressure of the case—I am not blaming anyone for it —but from the pressure of the case it is sought to hurry this. I yesterday made some observations to the House upon this question. I feel we are in danger in our haste of committing a mistake, which, after all, is of no great pecuniary importance probably to anyone, but is of great importance as establishing a precedent on which this House, may be called upon in future times to do that which we shall find it difficult to refuse, and I hope still more difficult to grant. The three clauses which touch the question of compensation are the 13th, the 16th, and the 18th. The 31st has reference to the rate. The 13th says that every animal diseased shall be slaughtered, and that the owner shall receive, providing the amount does not exceed £20, for any beast a sum equal to two-thirds of its value. Now, bear in mind that this is an animal already ill of this complaint. It is not a sound beast—as we call it in Lancashire—in the "shippen" or in the field. It is a beast that, judging 521 from experience, has no great chance of life. Now, this clause enacts that it shall be slaughtered by authority—that the owner of it, who in all probability would part with it with pleasure for a sovereign or two sovereigns, is to receive two-thirds of its value in case the sum is not more than £20. My hon. Friend the Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill) yesterday put this point to the House, and he put it in a manner which is absolutely unanswerable. You are killing this beast by authority, but that in all probability is precisely what the tenant, the owner himself, would do to save from danger the rest of his stock. It is not worth, at the moment you kill it, one-quarter, perhaps not one-tenth that which you propose to give, and, therefore, I say you are departing even from the recognized principle of this Bill—you are giving compensation where it is not for the public good and not to prevent the spread of the disorder. You are buying from an owner, an unfortunate owner—but fortunate, if this Bill passes—you are buying from him at a high price a beast in the last stage of existence whose price in the market would perhaps be nil. Now this is one point. I understand the hon. Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Hunt). He believes in the efficacy of isolation. I wish some other authority—the right hon. Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe), for instance, who appears now he is out of office to be an authority on everything—I wish he could tell us, as one of the Cattle Plague Commissioners, whether he considers that if cattle on a particular farm can be entirely isolated from all communication with cattle on any other farm, whether, under such circumstances, it is necessary for any purpose but saving the healthy stock on the farm to destroy that portion of the stock which is diseased. I heard the other day of a gentleman, in the county of Surrey, who has some fields with a high wall round. No man is permitted under any pretence to go inside those divisions, in which he has valuable cattle. The plague has raged all round hitherto—in fact, I am told by the hon. Member for Guildford that he does not know of any part of the country in which the plague has been worse; yet in these particular spots there has been no plague whatever, because there was an entire absence of communication with any surrounding farms where the plague existed. Now, if you could assure this isolation, then I take it to be granted that you would prevent the spread of the disease from an in- 522 fected farm to a healthy farm. Now, if you are killing diseased cattle, supposing that my position with regard to that be right, you are lulling a man's sick cattle in order that you may save the best of his cattle. [An hon. MEMBER: His neighbours'.] No! an hon. Member says his neighbours'. Of course his neighbours', if their cattle are allowed to commingle in the field. But if kept separate and isolated, then, I say, he is not doing this for the good of his neighbours, but for the good of his own stock and the good of his own farm. I think I am only arguing fairly from the statements made during these debates. Now, you come to kill the healthy stock on some farm. Why do you do it? You do it to prevent the risk to that stock from the infection spreading from the diseased portion of his stock. That is clear. Well, if you kill that healthy portion, you kill it clearly to avoid the extra risk to the farmer, and you offer him a compensation which, perhaps, it may be better for him to take than stand the risk. If the infection does not spread, he will not gain by getting the compensation; but if the infection do spread, and the rest of his herd have to be destroyed, then of course he is a great gainer by getting three quarters compensation. I am placing this before the House to show how almost entirely the course you are pursuing by the Bill is a course directed to the special advantage or the special salvation of the property and interest of the farmer. I am not at all going to argue that nobody else has any interest whatever. We all, I hope, have some interest in each other's welfare. But as far as the question of legislation is concerned, this Bill is directed —I am not going to say unwisely directed —for the advantage of those who are the owners of stock. If this be so I cannot comprehend how any man in this House can imagine that you have any claim on the general property of the country or upon the property of those who are not the owners of land, the cultivators of the soil, or the possessors of stock. If a man had his house on fire, it would be a monstrous proposition that he should bring an action against the fire-brigade because injury had been done by a deluge of water. In this case you kill diseased cattle that those around the sick may not be infected; but if you think the danger is great, you kill them, and you offer a compensation equal to three-fourths the original value of the healthy stock. Now, I believe every 523 Gentleman in the House will agree with me that it is a misfortune that there has not been established throughout the country long ago powerful insurance societies—I mean powerful by the possession of large capital for the purpose of providing during the ordinary course of years for calamities such as this. That, I think, is the general opinion on both sides of the House, and you now come to ask that the House shall do that on account of this pressing emergency—this unexpected calamity—shall do that which, if the farmers had been as prudent as many other people, they would have done for themselves. Now Gentlemen, do not let it be supposed that I am contending you should do nothing, or that Parliament may not wisely do much in this matter. I am not arguing that Parliament may not now, if it likes, assist the landowners and tenants by some general organization of insurance. In the ordinary form it may be now too late. It would seem to be thought so, for you look to taxation, by which the same result, as near as may be, may be brought about as would have been brought to the unfortunate farmers who have losses, had they in past years established a general and great system of insurance. I am not against that, but I ask hon. Gentlemen of this House this question, and I hope I shall not he met by insulting and offensive observations, which have nothing to do with this question, and which have nothing to do with my argument. I put it to every gentleman here who has a sympathy with farmers, and who has, as I hope we all have—a sympathy with justice—I ask him would he think it likely, were a general system of insurance established for cattle, that people that had not any cattle, or any land, should be compelled or expected to subscribe to the funds of a great insurance society for the purpose of relieving the calamities that might fall upon those concerned in agriculture? Clearly not. If there was a great insurance society for farmers' cattle, farmers and cattle-owners would be the only persons who would subscribe to that insurance association. Therefore now, when Parliament wishes, as it were, to bring into one comprehensive scheme a general plan of relief, I think we ought to have regard to that principle and that fact, and abstain from the imposition of any rate or tax whatsoever in connection with this matter except upon that great, influential, and most wealthy class of society connected with 524 the ownership and cultivation of the soil. Hon. Gentlemen may fancy that I am arguing this way from some personal opposition to that class. I have never imputed to any Member on that side of the House so mean a motive for anything which he did. In all probability—in fact —certainly, as far as I am concerned— this matter will have the least possible influence—it would not take more probably out of one's pocket than the dinners of a week. I am not speaking with reference to what any person will have to pay. I think the House—and I hope they will believe me—are about to adopt a principle which heretofore they have never adopted, and which, if they accept it now, will bring them into great difficulty at some future time. I think it will have a most pernicious influence upon every class of the country that may chance to come under any special calamity. Lately we have had some great calamities. There was in Yorkshire, a few years ago, the bursting of a reservoir at Holmfirth. At Sheffield there was but recently another accident of the same kind, which caused an enormous amount of damage. In Lancashire there has been a failure in the supply of cotton. In all these cases there has been a magnificent generosity shown on the part of the public, so much so that in each case there was a very considerable percentage of the money subscribed returned to those who subscribed it. Nothing could be more generous on the part of the nation; nothing could give more pleasure than such a fact. But if you establish the principle of this Bill, that when the cotton spinners or the shipowners on the one hand, or the farmers on the other, shall come under the pressure of a great calamity like this—and especially a calamity against which they might have provided—that they may come to this House for assistance, it will do much to dry up the springs of benevolence and bring many other persons to the Bar of this House asking for similar measures founded on the pernicious principle on which this Bill is built. I appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite, as the most wealthy class in this country—as the class with the greatest amount of certain property —as the possessors of the income, I would say, that is most unvarying except that it is constantly increasing. Hon. Gentlemen know perfectly well—much better than I do—how much their incomes have increased since we ruined them in bulk about twenty years ago. Supposing that 525 compensation must be given—if the measure be confined as it ought to be confined to owners and occupiers of land—-you may give extensive relief as much as you will by this Bill, and it will not make any essential difference to any Gentlemen I see before me or to any of their friends, On the other hand, it will keep Parliament from the commission of an error that if committed now will bring us, I am persuaded, into many occasions of difficulty hereafter. The clauses of this Bill are so intimately connected that it is almost impossible to offer observations upon one of them without touching upon the others. I may be allowed to say, therefore, that the proposition to give retrospective compensation is one that the House should not tolerate for one moment. We have heard from many Members of the House what has been done in different counties. There have been subscriptions, insurance societies, and arrangements suited to the ideas of the different gentlemen and farmers in the different counties, and compensation of one kind or another has been made. That is infinitely better than what is proposed by this Bill. There was not a single landholder or farmer who anticipated, until the Bill was introduced, that the Government measure would contain a provision for retrospective compensation. It would be well that the Government should consent to have that clause left out of the Bill. I have heard of a case to-day in which a farmer, who was very foolish, bought three or four beasts that were not in good health when he bought them. He introduced them amongst sixty or eighty head of cattle, and lost nearly the whole of them. He had a sympathizing and generous landlord, who told him it was a bad thing, a great misfortune, and said he would help him to pass over the difficulty. But though this farmer was a foolish man in buying sickly stock, he was a man of great independence and pluck. He confessed to the landlord that he had done a foolish thing; but that it was entirely his own fault, and that being his own fault he would carry himself through it, and would not ask the landlord to give him anything. I see an hon. Gentleman who looks very much as if he wished his tenants were of the same mould. In the generosity of that landlord, and the independence and courage of that tenant you have, if you like, the model for the best class of landlords and tenants throughout the country. I beg the House also to 526 bear in mind what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill) as to the question of the extent of the compensation. I protest against the Chancellor of the Exchequer coming here in two characters. My right hon. Friend refines to a sixpence in a speech on the Budget. If we want to get rid of the most trumpery licence duty, the fate of the whole country might be depending upon it. But now, because this is a matter of county expenditure—and local expenditure—that does not come into his great speeches; he has not a word of sympathy for the persons who are to pay the tax, nor does he seem to care how much the House is likely to saddle the country with. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give us his opinion on this matter. He ought to be as much an economist now on a question of local taxation as if the measure had reference to the taxation of tea or coffee, or to the expenditure for the military or civil service. I have spoken fully; therefore, although it would be possible to say a great deal more, I will just in a few words of summary put the matter to the House thus:—This Bill has been brought in in great haste, and under a feeling of great excitement. The haste is apparent in the fact that there are almost as many opinions on it in the House as there are persons. Clauses are postponed, Amendments are proposed, and possibly in this emergency a Bill satisfactory to no one, and least of all to those who brought it in, will be passed. The districts not being known no one in the country can discuss it, nor will an opportunity be afforded for their doing so. It is not put off till the Easter holidays—that every one may see it. It would not be wise that it should be so; but it is a thing unusual that we should go on from day to day with the different stages of a Bill of this kind involving a large amount of taxation—it may be an entirely new kind of taxation—for a purpose hitherto never recognized by this House. I have had no communication from Birmingham. I have had no communication from Lancashire, except from one person, who wrote that surely the Members for his town will not be likely to let a Bill of this kind pass in a hurry, involving as it does this new principle. The House will not do wisely if it passes the compensation clauses of this Bill, goes through Committee with it to-night, and reads it a third time to-morrow, it having been read a second time so recently as 527 yesterday. Avoid this precipitation in a matter of taxation about which the great body of the people know nothing, having never been consulted in the matter. I have only further to move that this clause, and the other clauses respecting compensation, shall be postponed for the further consideration of the Government.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, my hon. Friend has just laid down the principle that the clauses of this Bill are so connected together that it is impossible to discuss any one of them without considering the others at the same time, and I must say he has acted very largely in accordance with that principle. I must, however, be allowed to say, that if his impression be shared by many Members of the House, we have but little chance of gaining the object most of us have at heart —namely, that of passing this Bill quickly. Differing respectfully from him, there appears to me no reason whatever why the various questions, doubtless very important ones, referred to by my hon. Friend, should be discussed on the consideration of the clause before us. My hon. Friend has spoken upon the amount of compensation, if any, that should be given; upon the sources from whence that compensation is to be raised; upon the question as to whether the Bill ought to be hastily passed; upon the principles of isolation and of slaughtering, and of the manner in which I am disposed to treat the question. Now, these questions are entirely distinct from each other. In the first place, I will answer the question addressed to myself. My hon. Friend says I have no interest or care for any expenditure, so long as such expenditure is local and derived from local resources. To show how far that accusation is from being correct, I will at once acknowledge that, in my opinion, both my hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill) hit a blot in the Bill when they pointed out that the rate of compensation for the slaughter of sick animals was too high. Still it would be a great mistake, in my opinion, to fix the rate of compensation in such cases too low. The hon. Member for Westminster says that the outside value of the sick animals is to be ascertained by taking the ratio of the number of animals that recover to those that die. No doubt the value of the animal might be easily ascertained in that manner, but there is something else to be considered before you determine this question. You must take into consideration the natural 528 tendency of the farmer in the great multitude of cases to hope too much. He calculates too favourably on the chances of his own cow or beast recovering where other people's cattle have died. It is not the interest of the farmer alone we are now considering. We wish to offer an inducement to him to come forward and make known directly any cases of disease which may occur among his cattle. Under these circumstances, it would be useless to fix the amount of compensation at too low a rate; while, at the same time, I admit that there is considerable danger in fixing it at too high a rate. We should not only have the magistrates meeting in quarter sessions, but the tenant-farmers acting with them, and it might have the effect of slackening their energies; but I think we ought to wait until we come to that portion of the clause. I hope my hon. Friend will permit us to go on with the clause before us before he calls upon us to consider what reduction shall be made in the amount of compensation to be paid for the slaughter of sick animals. But I do not think it would be necessary or very wise to allow in the case of the slaughtering of such animals so high a compensation as that fixed by the Bill. Upon the question of slaughtering sick animals I cannot agree with the hon. Gentleman, who says that it is only necessary to isolate a farm to prevent the spread of the disease. In a part of the country with which I am familiar the traffic has been stopped, and the farms have been altogether isolated, yet the disease has flown from farm to farm. To use the form of expression adopted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe), when the volume of infection reaches a certain point the air becomes impregnated with it, and you cannot trust to isolation as a protection. It appears to me, I confess, that the slaughtering provisions in the Bill lie at the very root of the matter. In point of fact, if it were not for these provisions there is no reason why we should be assembled here at all. It is in order to pass provisions of this character that this Bill has been introduced. With regard to the source from whence this compensation should be provided, that is a question which will arise upon the clause to which my hon. Friend has referred; and the question of compensation is one entirely different in character and principle from that of the source from which that compensation is to be provided. I submit that there are only two questions before-us arising out of 529 this clause. One is whether you are to provide for the coercive and compulsory slaughtering of infected cattle; and the other is whether you can so provide without providing also that compensation shall be given. It appears to me that these two propositions so limited hardly admit a dispute. That being so I will not trouble the Committee longer, but will wait until we come to the terms of compensation, in which I think some modification may be made.
I do not wish to delay the progress of the Bill; but I thought that upon the two points as to the amount of compensation and the sources from whence it was to be derived, considering their importance, and that there was a difference of opinion in the House, it might be as well for the Government to take another day for their consideration, so as not to commit the House to a hasty determination. The House will doubtless divide upon the question of the sources from whence the compensation is to be derived, and the majority can then take whatever course it thinks fit. But I think it would be wise of the House to alter the Bill in that respect. I will now withdraw my Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. JOHN HARDY
said, that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham was mistaken in thinking that simple isolation of a farm would preserve it from the disease. He differed from the hon. Member in the opinion which he entertained, that the slaughtering of cattle was merely for the benefit of the farmer. He might mention an instance which occurred in the county with which he was connected, in which a farmer, finding that the plague had broken out amongst his cattle, slaughtered the whole of them in order that the disease might not spread throughout the district. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to think that the compensation proposed was too high. The hon. Member for Westminster considered that it was much beyond the value of the animal. Now he (Mr. Hardy) thought it improper to take the valuation of an animal in a dying state, which might not be worth the value of its skin. When a man had kept cattle through the winter and they were ready for market, £20 would scarcely pay for the value of any one of them. When the disease made its appearance on a farm everything was thrown into confusion, and nothing could compensate the farmer for the failure of his trade. The hon. Member for Birmingham seemed to have decided in 530 his own mind against compensation altogether. It was very hard that it should be levied on those who had suffered. It ought rather to be levied upon those who had not suffered. The hon. Member for Birmingham had blamed the farmers for not insuring; but he could tell the hon. Member that in one county they had insured, and had at one time between £3,000 and £4,000 in hand, which had all been swept away in consequence of the breaking out of the cattle plague. In another part of the same county, a society had been established to meet the losses arising from the disease, and great credit was due to the lord-lieutenant for the efforts which he had made in procuring its formation. With regard to what had been said by the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill), that the farmer might be induced to slaughter his animals in order to obtain the price that would be paid as compensation for them, it might just as well be argued that a carpenter would be induced to burn his tools for what he would get in his insurance upon them. He did not think the compensation proposed was at all too much, and he hoped that any compensation voted by this House would come from the Consolidated Fund, in order that the whole country might join in paying it.
§ MR. WALDEGRAVE-LESLIE
proposed to insert the word "immediately" or the words "with all convenient speed," after the words directing all animals affected with the plague to be slaughtered. If the diseased animals were to be slaughtered, there should be no delay about their slaughter, any more than about their burial, which the succeeding clause directed to be done as soon as possible.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that the word "immediately" was a relative term. To what would it have reference in this clause? Immediately, after what? If they attempted to be very minute they would defeat the object of the Bill.
said, he wished to ask whether hon. Gentlemen were desirous of adding to the force of the words compelling a slaughter. He saw in the public papers that some gentleman had discovered a treatment for the disease which was supposed to have been effectual in several cases. If an intelligent farmer found that a certain course of treatment was successful, would it not be a monstrous proposition to say that he was to slaughter his diseased cattle at once under a heavy penalty? Certainly this was an odd sort of legislation.
§ Amendment negatived.531
said, a remark had been made on the other side of the House, that those who had not suffered ought to pay. But nine-tenths of the population had suffered by the cattle plague. Had they not suffered by it in the payment of at least 2d. a pound more for meat, and in the enhanced price of milk and butter? Why should they be called on to pay over and over again? He begged to move, as an Amendment, the omission of all the words after the word "such," for the purpose of inserting the words "amount as is named in the schedule," instead of the words, "not exceeding twenty pounds as may equal two-thirds of the value of the animal."
§ An hon. MEMBER said, that there were many cattle insurance associations in different parts of the country. Were the farmers to be compensated from those funds as well as by the Government? In that case they would give their animals the rinderpest at once, because they would get a double compensation.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he did not see the slightest advantage in putting off the question of compensation till they came to the schedule.
§ MR. HUNT
said, he did not want a maximum amount for every animal, but a maximum amount for each class of animals. He therefore thought it desirable to have a schedule. He was of opinion that the clause should contain words to the effect, "not exceeding in any case the amount provided in the schedule to this Act with reference to beasts of the class to which the certificate relates." He thought it was desirable to have a schedule in which the amount of compensation should be divided into classes, taking yearlings, two-year-olds, three-year-olds, and, perhaps, making a difference between milch cows and steers as separate classes. He also called attention to the fact, that Clause 13 related not only to neat stock, but to sheep, lambs, goats, and swine, the interpretation clause providing that the word "animals" should relate to all those beasts, and that only the word "cattle" should relate to neat cattle alone. In that case, if there were no distinction between the separate classes, they might have to pay as much as £20 in compensation for the loss of a ram. A bull calf of a few days old, if it came of a valuable breed, might be worth 100 guineas. Were they to pay only £20 for it? He should support the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, that if they were to go into all these details they never would get on with the Bill. Clause 17 provided that the local authority might require the value of any animal slaughtered under the Act to be ascertained by officers of the local authority, or by arbitration. He thought the object of his hon. Friend (Mr. Hunt) would be attained by this clause. He did not think there was any fear of more than the value of the animal being given, seeing the source from which the compensation was to come.
MR. J. B. SMITH
said, that in Warsaw thirty-five Russian roubles were given for a bull, twenty-five for a cow, and fifteen for a calf—a much lower rate than that proposed by the Bill.
said, he thought his hon. Friend had forgotten what the question of compensation meant. The object of it was to induce the owners of cattle to declare the disease. It was not merely to compensate him but to save the country. Now, if the owner of a valuable beast knew that he would get nothing like the value of his cattle after they were slaughtered, of course he would not declare the disease, and the object of this Bill, to stop the spread of the plague, would be foiled. If we were to go to the precedents of foreign countries, which in the interest of the agricultural community was much to be desired, because abroad agriculturalists were better treated than in England, he thought it would be preferable to have recourse to Belgium than to Poland. In Belgium the amount of compensation, according to the declaration recently made by the Minister of State, amounted to more than the value of the animal itself, for two-thirds of the value was allowed to the owners, who were also permitted to sell the meat when not unfit for human food. The result was that in the majority of cases the compensation amounted to the value of the animals. If the hon. Gentleman had devoted as much attention to the subject as it was to be wished he had done, he would have found that the great majority of the animals killed are perfectly fit for human food. The Commission, indeed, was wholly unable to discover any case of human disease resulting from the consumption of this meat. He particularly wished to direct the attention of the right 533 hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary to the example of Belgium, because it showed that the result of giving large compensation had been that the existence of the disease had always been promptly declared, and when it had broken out it had been extirpated with ease, so that Belgium had almost entirely escaped the calamity.
§ SIR ANDREW AGNEW
said, he should oppose the Amendment. If it were proposed that the compensation should be divided into classes it ought to be done at once, and the Bill proceeded with.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he trusted that the provision would be so made, that if an animal destroyed were of any value afterwards it might be sold, and allowance made for the sale in the compensation which was provided. He also called the attention of the hon. Member for North Northamptonshire (Mr. Hunt) to the fact that different kinds of stock in different counties were of different values. He thought provision should be made for that, and that they ought to have two scales, so that the local authorities might be allowed to distinguish between the different values, and place the animals in those different scales. If they only laid down one scale it would not be found to work properly.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, he should support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Aberdeen, because it embodied the recommendation put forward by the hon. Member for Birmingham—a recommendation which deserved a greater amount of consideration than it had met with in the House. When the right hon. Gentleman (the Secretary of State for the Home Department) announced this measure, he said it would be a matter for the consideration of the House whether it might not be desirable to deal at once with those parts of the question in which all were agreed, and postpone those with regard to which there existed differences of opinion. Now, these questions of slaughtering and compensation involved such difficulties that he would even now press on the Government whether they ought not to be embodied in different Bills, and whether it would not be desirable to deal at once with that portion of the subject on which a large proportion of the House was agreed. He was surprised at the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) asking whether isolation had not failed. He might, perhaps, refer to localities where the system of isolation had led to a great diminution in the amount of disease; but 534 then, on the other hand, it might be asked whether the system of slaughter had not failed. The Report of the Royal Commission gave a history of ten years of the disease in the last century, when upwards of 180,000 animals were slaughtered without any signal result, and the disease at last died out of itself. As to the system of compensation it was one of despair, and declared the utter inutility of any remedial system. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir George Grey), who brought forward the Bill, remarked that there had been a great change of opinion on the subject during the last fortnight. In his belief public opinion was changing at the present moment. Hitherto public opinion had been chiefly founded upon the solitary case of Aberdeenshire. Well, in that county the disease had broken out again. It was all very well to say you can slaughter, and you will put down the disease; but the question was whether, by adopting that plan, the disease could be put down altogether. For his part, he did not believe it could. Did hon. Gentlemen read the newspapers, and bad they seen a letter written by the Member for Kincardineshire, and which appeared in The Times of yesterday? In that letter the hon. Gentleman gave an extract from a communication he had received from Kincardineshire. It was as follows;—Farmers here have generally been in favour of the 'stamping out' on the same plan as in Aberdeenshire, but within the last week a change of opinion has taken place, in consequence of the successful treatment of the cattle disease by Mr. Alexander. Mr. Garland, of Cairnton, has followed the same treatment; he has a stock of seventy-five, forty of which were attacked, and only one died. In my parish, of which I am convener of the plague committee, I find one herd all recovering from similar treatment, while, at another farm, where no salt had been given, but as much straw and turnips laid before the beasts as they could eat, all had died. As far as our experience has gone, all who have used salt for some time and liberally have had no losses. I have been using it for three months, and have had only one case. I killed the beast because I was in front of the advance, but I believe it would have recovered,In Aberdeenshire there was a case where a man was foolish enough to place a diseased animal in the same byre with fifteen others which were not suffering from it. Now, that was a natural result of the "stamping out" principle, which taught people to be negligent. He had that morning read an account of a meeting held at Ayrshire, at which one gentleman said— 535We find the treatment so successful in some instances that we are not at all in favour of the killing principle now.It was clear that public opinion was undergoing a change even now—in Scotland, at all events—and he, for one, would not subscribe to the doctrine that we ought to use the language of despair, and adhere to it as if it was our only resort. The House ought, however, to stick to that part of the Bill on which all were agreed. In his own neighbourhood he did his utmost to teach the people self-reliance. Local assurance societies had been formed, both there and in other parts of the county, and had met with signal success. If a large amount of compensation were granted in addition to what was received from these societies, people would be anxious that their cattle should catch the rinderpest. [Cries of "No, no!"] At all events some persons would, though the great body of the owners of cattle might not be so unscrupulous.
MR. BANKS STANHOPE
I think that it would be comparatively easy for those Members of the House who are connected with the farming interest to draw up a compensation schedule, stating a maximum sum per head to be allowed for cows, for three-year-olds, for two-year-olds, for one-year-olds, and for animals above and under six months. Any arrangement such as that alluded to by the hon. Member (Mr. Hunt) in which £20 would be given as compensation for a bull calf would be objectionable. Calves often are worth £40, £50, or £60; but at the same time great dissatisfaction would be engendered if a difference in favour of fancy cattle were made as compared with tenants' cattle. After what has passed, I \must say a few words on the subject of compensation, but not in the spirit of the hon. Member for Birmingham, who, whatever his own feelings may be—and all must give him credit for honesty—has on two successive days discussed a subject which is felt to be outside of party in speeches more provocative of angry feelings than any speeches I have ever heard. Yesterday I think the hon. Member for Birmingham could not have read the Bill at all, for he talked of farmers receiving compensation for losses. They do not ask for that, and the moment it is admitted that they do not seek to be secured against accident or misfortune, all that the hon. Member for Birmingham has said on that head vanishes into air. The farmers do not ask the 536 country to pay for any cattle that die by the visitation of God; but they do ask that every animal slaughtered by Government or by local authority under its direction should be paid for. The central Government has no right to tell him what to do with the animals upon his farm, except at a particular time and for a particular reason. The approach of a meat famine and the necessities of State constitute such particular time and reason, and these facts being admitted, and the slaughtering being allowed to be not for the good of one class, but for the good of all, the farmers have a moral right to demand payment, not of a proportion of the value of the animals slain, but of their whole value. Their leave is not asked; they must kill, whether they will or no. The hon. Member for Birmingham has talked as if the question affected only the rich landlord. ["No, no!"] I beg pardon; the hon. Member instanced a landlord with an income of £15,000 a year, and asked if the country was to make up his losses. But the question does not affect rich landlords only. There are districts in which, practically, the landlords are not so rich as the tenants under them. In the county where I live there is a perfect unanimity; but, curiously, in the other part of the county an enormous proportion of the losses has been sustained by the small tenants and by large farmers who live under landlords who are not practically so rich as their tenants. It is not, however, a question between a big man and a little man. The farmers ask for nothing as a gift. They ask only for that to which they have a right. If this House, in its wisdom, declares that a man's farm shall be entered and his cattle slain, the demand is that he should be paid for them. The money so paid is not a gift, and the farmers will not thank the House for it; they will admit that the action of the Government is necessary; and because it is, they will give all the assistance they can to the Government. But I must ask, and I will ask the hon. Member for Birmingham with greater pleasure than I could ask any other person, if the consumer has no interest in the matter. Many of the hon. Member's constituents are hardworking men, artificers in iron, whose heavy toil makes animal food a necessity. If its price rise to 1s. or 2s. a pound, what increase must be made in the wages of the artificers of Birmingham to enable them to eat that amount of flesh meat which is necessary to the maintenance of the health and strength required in their 537 work? I was quite astonished to hear the hon. Member say we were creating a panic. [Mr. BRIGHT: I said—Legislating under a panic] There is no panic—our opinions were formed two or three months ago. The alarm that was felt arose from the consumers, who are gradually becoming aware that their interests are identical with those of the producers. But I assert that the House by carrying this measure will prevent a panic. But if the hon. Member succeed in dividing one class from another, there will be a panic in less than six months; and you will find, as is invariably the case, that those who ridicule the danger are the first to lead the panic. I could not follow the argument of the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. Stuart Mill) as to the amount of the sum to be paid, but understood him to object that it was too high. But it should be remembered that, when a man is told to slaughter, he has no chance of saving his cattle, a proportion of which, if allowed to live, might recover; but by allowing nine out of ten to die naturally, a focus of infection would be permitted which might carry off his neighbour's cattle. Having been a breeder of shorthorns, I know the value of a herd and the difficulty of regaining one. It requires twelve or fourteen years, or more, and a man has, therefore, every inducement to keep his herd together, and his animals alive as long as he can. It is a delusion to suppose that the increased price of meat will compensate the producer, because the stock of young animals will be reduced, and store stock will rise enormously in value. Besides, by losing animals, he will be prevented from farming his land well. Wheat requires manure, and the making of manure J necessitates the consumption of straw, and I have advised a farmer who has lost his cattle, but had his farmyard full of straw, to buy as many swine as he could, and put J them into the yard, in order to get the straw upon the land. That, however, is very bad farming. And if the system were adopted on anything like a large scale, the consequences must be very serious. I assert confidently, that if to any considerable extent the number of cattle in this country were diminished, and the opportunities of having manure made in the farmyards fell off in consequence, the area of land under wheat must be diminished to a proportionate extent. The double catastrophe would thereby be entailed upon the country of having to depend to an increased amount both for meat and food upon foreign 538 countries, while the supply of milk at home would be also greatly restricted. I put it to hon. Members opposite, representing large and populous constituencies, what would be thought of the wisdom of Parliament if we were instrumental in creating or prolonging a state of things in which we might have at once both a meat and a wheat famine. As regards healthy cattle, there is an apparent harshness in the course which has been recommended; but I am persuaded that to extirpate the disease, it is best and cheapest to kill all that are likely to die before they catch the actual disorder, for whatever their sale produces, will be so much saved from the county rates. The insurance societies alluded to by the hon. Member for Birmingham, are altogether beside the question. Within my own memory, insurance societies have existed till one fine day pleuro-pneumonia made its appearance, and they all broke. Those were societies formed upon the best possible rules, but no insurance companies can be expected to make head against a calamity which sweeps and devastate the whole land. Upon this question I can assure the Committee that it is the desire of the representatives of the agricultural interest to act fairly and honestly. Let old differences between town and country be forgotten; let the consumer join with the producer in devising the best remedy under the circumstances, and let us all join in aiding Her Majesty's Government to prevent, by every means in our power, the further progress of this foul disease which is spreading destruction and desolation through the land.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, his hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire (Sir Edward Colebrooke) had suggested that they might proceed with those portions of the Bill upon which they were all agreed. If there was one point more than another on which such agreement appeared to exist, it was that a system of slaughter in the case of diseased animals should be adopted. That opinion had been expressed in the most unqualified terms by the Royal Agricultural Society, the conference at St. James' Hall, the Scottish Farmers' Club, the Highland Society, and by the agricultural interest generally. Now, nobody could recommend the adoption of a system of slaughter without some system of compensation. The only question, therefore, was whether the subject of compensation should be disposed of at once, or its consideration postponed till they came to 539 the schedule. He must say he thought it was better to dispose of it at once. He had been asked to express an opinion whether owners whose cattle were slaughtered would be entitled to recover the value from insurance offices in which they might be insured and from the county rates as well. He apprehended that if there were still in existence any societies which would pay for loss of cattle occasioned by death from the rinderpest, no claim could be established against them save for actual loss, and if the owner were paid out of the county rates for the cattle belonging to him which were slaughtered he would have suffered no loss, as he would have been compensated for it.
§ COLONEL WILSON PATTEN
said, he thought it would be a great mistake and a great evil if they made this in any way appear a compensation Bill. It would give dissatisfaction to every agricultural interest, and everybody connected with land ought to take care that not a shadow of pretence was suffered to exist for calling it a compensation Bill. If his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had only followed up his observations by making some definite proposal as to the amount, he thought the question might have been easily settled. The question of compensation ought only to be entertained so far as it bore on the means of inducing the proprietors of stock to assist in getting the cattle disease extirpated promptly by the most stringent measures, that being the sole object of the Bill. If they carried the money question at all further than this, they placed themselves in a false position. The payment of so large an amount as two-thirds of the value might give a wrong impression as to the true object of the measure.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, it was very desirable to detach the various points of the discussion, and to keep them apart from each other as much as possible. They were not now discussing the amount of compensation to be awarded, but simply whether it should be dealt with at once or deferred till they came to the schedule. Having settled that point, two others remained—namely, that raised by the words "not exceeding £20," and next, whether the words "two-thirds" should be adopted.
said, the hon. Member for Northamptonshire (Mr. Hunt) having improved upon the phraseology of the Amendment, as originally submitted, with 540 the leave of the Committee he begged to withdraw it.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
MR. HUNT moved the omission of the words "not exceeding £20," and the insertion in their place of the words—
But not exceeding in any case the amount specified in the schedule to this Act in reference to animals of the class comprising that to which the slaughtered animal belongs.
§ SIR JOHN TROLLOPE
said, he thought they ought to come at once to some definite conclusion as to whether they would name a maximum price for all beasts slaughtered, or whether a fixed proportion should be allowed of the value in each case, whatever that value might happen to be. The question was a very simple one, but they must face it at last.
§ Question proposed, that the words "not exceeding £20" stand part of the clause.
said, that the Motion made by the hon. Member for Northampton was that the words "not exceeding £20" be omitted. If it was intended to move subsequently the insertion of any words instead of £20, it might be convenient to put the Question on the words "not exceeding," but if it was the wish of the Committee that he should put the Question on the words "not exceeding £20," he should do so.
§ Question put, That the words "not exceeding £20" stand part of the clause; put, and agreed to.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that as the clause now stood it left no discretion to the persons whose duty it might be to ascertain the value of the animals. He was of opinion, that independently of the question raised by the hon. Member for Westminster there ought to be some discretion in the matter. In Aberdeenshire one of the rules of the association allowed the owner to claim an indemnity of two-thirds of the value of his cattle that died of the disease. But when they took into account the great difference as to the chances of an animal recovering when seen in the first attack and when it had reached the last stage of the disease, it was clear that there must be a great difference in the estimate of its value at those different stages. He did not see how to meet that except by introducing 541 the words "not exceeding." Then came the question whether they should leave the words "two-thirds," or adopt some other words. His hon. Friend had ascribed to him a position which many other hon. Members were better able to assume. His own opinion certainly was that words "not exceeding one-half the value" would be a fair arrangement. That would be, he thought, a liberal inducement for farmers to declare the existence of the disease in their stock, and would leave power to the local authorities to adjust the precise value in each case. Though he attached great weight to the Aberdeen precedent, yet he thought it would mislead them if they followed it to the letter. He understood that in Aberdeenshire there were two associations founded on a voluntary basis, one for the assurance of cattle, and the other for the extinction of the plague, and that was the reason they had placed their rate of compensation so high. He moved, therefore, to omit the words "two-thirds," and to insert the words "a sum not exceeding £20, and not exceeding one-half the value."
§ MR. BAILLIE COCHRANE
said, he wished to ask were animals to be slaughtered compulsorily, and yet compensation be paid to only half the value?
§ SIR FITZROY KELLY
said, he had heard with great surprise and regret the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman to alter the Bill of the Government in deference to the views of the hon. Member for Birmingham. It was now sought to cut down the compensation which might be given to a person whose beast was destroyed against his will, to a sum which might be far less than the value to him of that beast. Now, in what position did they place the owners of cattle in the county which he had the honour to represent? If no Act was passed at all, they left the owner of cattle to do what he could for himself. In Suffolk they had a system of voluntary assurance, under which any one whose cattle died of the plague was entitled to compensation to the amount of two-thirds the value of the beast. But now it was proposed to pass an Act by which officers of the Government could go to a man's farm and kill his cattle, and yet they would not compensate him to the value of three-fourths or two-thirds, or even one-half, because by the substitution of words which were not in the clause as originally framed it was absolutely left open to those who had to assess the compensa- 542 tion to award less. What would be the consequence? If there was no Act of Parliament, under the voluntary system of insurance which existed in Suffolk a man would be entitled to three-fourths of the value. If the value was £120, he would be entitled to £90. Well, the House stepped in, and under the irresistible power of an Act of Parliament they put this man's cattle to death, deprived him of his claim against the insurance association, and, instead of £90, the utmost he could receive would be £60—it might be even less. He would not confine these observations to the county of Suffolk; they would apply to any county where there might be an assurance association. If, instead of allowing a man to do what he liked with his own, to take his chance of a cure—and that there was some hope they had heard from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne yesterday, and they saw from the announcements in the newspapers today—if when, perhaps, no mischief might be done, and the cattle might recover either by the remedy of Mr. Worms or some other person, they would not allow the cattle to be cured, but forcibly slaughtered them, they would do a grievous wrong by laying it down that the compensation should not exceed one-half. He would venture to say that they ought to adhere to the decision of the Government when framing the Bill, and should not reduce the amount below two-thirds.
said, that the difficulty set up by the hon. and learned Member would in no wise be affected, whether the compensation were fixed at two-thirds or one-half. It would be the same if three-fourths of the value were fixed upon as the maximum of compensation. The difficulty might be overcome by an alteration in the rules of the insurance society, and they could make their rate of compensation accord with the rate of compensation fixed by this Bill.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he very much regretted the course taken by the right hon. Gentleman, which was evidently founded upon the fallacy conceived by the hon. Member for Birmingham, who had asserted that the Bill bad been framed solely for the benefit of cattle owners. If the assertion were a correct one, then the course taken would have been justified; but, as a matter of fact, the Bill established a great principle of public policy. When men were called upon to destroy their property for the public good, they should be 543 fairly recompensed. It was true that cattle were depreciated in value immediately they were attacked by the rinderpest; but it was not proposed to act upon the principle of restoring the value of that which was almost valueless. The principle offered for the acceptance of the House was that an inducement should be offered to owners of cattle to bring up their possibly diseased stock that the inspector might deal with the animals according to law. The measure under consideration must, in his opinion, be justified upon that principle of public policy or not at all; and he earnestly urged the right hon. Gentleman to hold out a liberal inducement to the owners of cattle to declare when their stock was diseased.
§ MR. DENT
said, in his opinion, as a practical man, knowing something of the value of cattle, one-half of the value of a sound beast was a sum sufficiently ample to induce an owner of cattle to come forward. Indeed, £20 was the highest value that could reasonably be placed upon any animal except bulls, and he did not think the House should be influenced by the prices of high-bred stock, valued according to the caprice of fashion. He thought the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a very fair one. Many farmers had complained to him of shameful oppression in having their animals slaughtered without compensation, but he had never met with any one who would be a stickler for having more than half the value of the animal.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL
said, he quite agreed with the principle of a liberal compensation, on the ground of compulsory slaughter. When a man's property was taken from him for the purpose of carrying out some public work, he was given more than the value by way of compensation perhaps 20 per cent more, because of the compulsory sale. The principle upon which that practice was founded should not be lost sight of in the case under consideration. He also thought something should be done to induce farmers to give information. Then they came to the application of the two principles. The right hon. Baronet had admitted that the value of a beast attacked by rinderpest was reduced to next to nothing. One-half of its value when sound was, in his opinion, an ample advance upon next to nothing, and would, no doubt, act as a powerful motive upon the mind of every owner of cattle.
§ MR. A. W. YOUNG
said, the question 544 of value had been argued as though the animals to be put to death would be healthy ones, but this Bill would give a compensation to men who had diseased animals. He read the Bill as proposing compensation in accordance with the value of the beast when the inspector came to it. He was apprehensive that the clause, as it stood, was not quite distinct, and left it in doubt whether the value allowed was to be half the value of the sound or of the diseased animal. It could not surely be intended that they were to take the value of the animal after it was seized by the disease.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he would suggest the insertion of the words "when sound." That would make the matter quite clear.
§ SIR JOHN TROLLOPE
said, he would remind the House that the assessment was not made by the Government but by the local authorities, who would, no doubt, be a mixed body of ratepayers with some farmers among them. They would certainly not fix a higher value than was just, because the compensation would come out of their own local rates. He certainly thought the right hon. Gentleman would do well if he allowed the clause to stand as it was.
§ MR. W. DUNCOMBE
said, the phrase "next to nothing," in reference to value, had been used. But in the county he had the honour of representing a mild form of the disease existed. Many animals which had been attacked afterwards recovered; and it would be unfair to the owners of these to reduce the compensation proposed from two-thirds to one-half. It should always be borne in mind that an animal may possibly recover from the disease if attacked. He very much regretted that the Government had listened to the solicitations of the hon. Member for Birmingham. He certainly never expected to get much from the right hon. Gentleman for the agriculturists, but he had hoped for a more liberal suggestion than that last made. He did not expect the right hon. Gentleman would have proposed to dole out the moiety of compensation in any meagre spirit.
§ An hon. MEMBER said, that while agreeing with the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he would suggest that for the words "not exceed," "as may equal one-half" should be substituted.
§ MR. BONHAM-CARTER
said, he hoped the right hon Gentleman would 545 press his proposal. He was sure the Amendment would meet the views of the local authorities.
§ MR. DUTTON
said, he thought that two-thirds of the value of an animal, compulsorily slaughtered by a Government inspector, was certainly not too much to offer its owner. That was the proportion fixed in Aberdeenshire. At the same time, he thought it was just to limit the amount of compensation to be paid for any single animal destroyed to a sum not exceeding £20. It was true that there were many animals in the country of far greater value than £20, but such fancy animals were entirely in the hands of rich proprietors of stock.
said, that the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) had informed the House that the right hon. Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) was an authority on every subject. Now, he (Colonel Gilpin) thought that it was the hon. Member for Birmingham who had an opinion on every subject, opinions for the utterance of which it should be remembered the hon. Gentleman had no official responsibility. It did appear that those opinions had great weight with her Majesty's Government, for on that night they had seen the Chancellor of the Exchequer yield on the important subject of compensation to the advice of the hon. Member for Birmingham. He had already heard something about divided counsels in Her Majesty's Government, and in the change which had taken place the House had an example of them. He entered the House that night with the full intention of giving his support to the Bill introduced by the Home Secretary, but he should oppose the change which the Chancellor of the Exchequer, yielding to the advice of others, proposed to make in it.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, that the hon. Member for Birmingham had advised the farmers to protect themselves from the losses which they may suffer from the cattle plague by mutual assurance societies. The hon. Gentleman was probably not aware that in Warwickshire there were many mutual assurance societies in operation, largely profited by the farmers of that county. These assurance societies —though compulsory slaughter was not enforced—paid to the owners of all cattle destroyed by the plague the very sum which the Government had originally proposed— namely, two-thirds of the value of each animal. There surely was no reason for the Government reducing the scale of com- 546 pensation below that paid by the assurance companies.
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS
said, he must call attention to the strangeness of the course pursued by Her Majesty's Government. After one of the illogical and violent speeches of the hon. Member for Birmingham, the Chancellor of the Exchequer suddenly, without notice, announced his intention to alter the proposal of the Government. But the Home Secretary, who was responsible far the contents of the Bill, had not given the slightest inkling of his intention to yield on this point, or any indication that he had based his calculations upon an erroneous principle. The right hon. Gentleman stated that those animals which were to be slaughtered were purchased by the State, and called upon the Committee to decide whether that principle was right or wrong. But was the House now to be told that the principle on which the Government had acted was erroneous, and that they were wrong? The Government were prepared to obey the hon. Member for Birmingham, who seemed on this and other occasions to be virtually the Government. This was a surprise on the House of Commons, and he hoped that the Committee would vindicate the conduct of the Government up to within half an hour ago, and carry this clause as it originally stood in the Bill.
said, the noble Lord ought to bear in mind that he had made no proposition to the House, and that the proposition of the Government received the support of the hon. and gallant Member for North Lancashire (Colonel Wilson Patten), whose opinion on the subject was as valuable as that of any other Member. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) said the insurance association of that county gave two-thirds as compensation; but there it was given in return for a premium of insurance which the farmers had paid. He maintained that it was a monstrous proposition that there should be paid out of the rates the same proportion as was given in return for premiums. He hoped the Committee would accept the proposition of the Government, as a reasonable settlement of a question of some difficulty.
said, he had listened with attention to the debate, and thought the reasons advanced by the hon. and gallant Member for North Lancashire (Colonel Wilson Patten) were sound. The hon. Member had said, and with this he (Mr. 547 Henley) agreed, that they did not ask any compensation for cattle that died, but that if the Government chose to come upon a person's property and to kill some of his cattle for the public benefit, he had a right to compensation. But at what rate was this to be fixed? From his experience, which unfortunately was large, he had come to the conclusion that more than one-half the cattle which caught the plague lived. He, therefore, thought one-half a very fair proportion. But all these questions were very difficult; they knew so little, and were groping in the dark. The cattle which recovered from the disease deteriorated; they did not come out of the disease at the same value as they went in. He thought one-half a fair value.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, I am much interested in this question in common with the hon. Member for Birmingham and other hon. Members. For myself I have endeavoured to consider it with reference to the country generally, and not merely with reference to my own constituents. Some of them are more deeply involved in this great disaster and calamity than any other body of her Majesty's subjects, for they own or occupy at this moment a greater portion of grazing land of a peculiar character than probably exists elsewhere in England. They have thousands of acres—which not merely in the memory of man, but for countless generations, have never been mown—the richest and finest land in England. Giving credit to the Government from the beginning for determination to act in the manner most advantageous to the public interest, I have endeavoured as far as I could to support it in the course which it should recommend Parliament to adopt. But, notwithstanding this endeavour, I am perplexed by the position in which I am placed; because, within the last twenty-four hours, many Gentlemen on this side of the House have deigned to consult me what course they ought to adopt under circumstances of extreme difficulty, and especially with reference to the clause before us, and the principle involved in it. I have avoided all abstract consideration of the circumstances, and have said to them, "I think on the whole your best policy and duty is to support the Government under the difficult circumstances in their attempt to do their best." It is in some degree influenced by the general counsels which I have thus given that we find ourselves in the present position. But I am astonished at what I have 548 just heard. It is perplexing, and to a certain degree painful—when you have made up your mind to support the Government in the course which they recommended—to listen to a speech of the Minister of the Crown, in which suddenly we are told that Her Majesty's Government have changed their opinions. We have come down to support the Government, and we find that our support is repudiated. I very much regret it. I cannot conceive that Her Majesty's Government could have arrived at their original principle of the compensation to be awarded under this clause in a harum-scarum manner. They must have given the matter deep consideration, and that consideration must have been founded on a vast multitude of facts and data. No doubt they had to decide on a question of so pressing a character with a greater quickness and promptitude than they would have been called upon to decide on questions of importance which are not so urgent, but no doubt also they brought to the subject greater exertion of their intellects, and greater energy and determination. It is very much to be regretted that men of abilities and experience, that a statesman in the position of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, especially upon such a subject, of which he is master, had not been able in the Cabinet to arrive at a conclusion of a more consistent character than that brought before the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would then have saved his friends, and those who sit opposite to him on this side of the House, who are anxiously desirous to support the Government, from much embarrassment. I cannot say that I have arrived at a different conclusion from that arrived at by the right hon. Gentleman originally. As the Bill was brought in under circumstances of great difficulty, I think, on the whole, it was the wisest proposal that could have been recommended to Parliament. But the Government has suddenly, and within half-an-hour, changed its opinion. I will not go into the merits of the question. I am ready to how to the opinions of the hon. and gallant Member for North Lancashire (Colonel Wilson Patten), and my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley), which upon such a subject are of considerable weight. If they were not weighty, I cannot say that in a few minutes I should be prepared to change my opinions. But, on the whole, it would be unwise to oppose the opinion which 549 the Government now patronise and uphold. The Government have changed their views; if the Government had come forward and recommended originally the course which they now recommend, though I might have doubted whether it was the wisest course, I have not the slightest doubt that we should not have divided under the circumstances. This act, there cannot now be the least doubt, is one of crude legislation; but I must, on the other hand, point out the immense benefit of acting with decision. The Government have changed their views. I do not wish to sanction that change, and I am inclined to support their previous opinion. But I do not recommend my friends to divide against this change of views. At the same time, they cannot forget the strange manner in which this change of views has been brought about.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
I am happy to have to thank the right hon. Gentleman for the moderation of his language during the recess, which was calculated to strengthen the hands of the Government, and I am glad that he is now prepared to give a general support to the Bill. I cannot help thinking, however, that the right hon. Gentleman has attached undue importance to the course now taken by the Government. The alteration, after all, is merely one of detail in the Bill. Having laid the Bill before the House, the Government could not refuse to agree to any modification of its clauses. Influenced by the opinion on both sides of the House, the Government have come to the conclusion that the object of the Bill will be better accomplished by proposing compensation to the extent of one-half rather than two-thirds. This is a matter on which the House has a right to express an opinion, and the Government would have been wrong to say they would insist upon their original proposal. If the object had been only to ascertain the value with a view to compensation it would have been fixed at a much lower rate, but the object is to induce owners to declare the existence of the disease with a view to the destruction of the animals infected. It was urged that this object could be effected by substituting one-half for two-thirds, and the Government accepted the alteration.
§ Words "and not exceeding one-half of the value of the Animal immediately before it was affected with the cattle plague"inserted.550
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to. [cl. 12.]
§ Clause 14 (Burial of diseased Animals).
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, there was reason to believe that the flesh of animals in the early stage of the disease was not unfit for human food. If, however, the present clause passed, the animal would have to be buried, flesh, skin, and all. Would it not be well now the compensation was reduced to a half, to leave some discretion to the local authority to decide whether the flesh might not be used for food?
said, that admitting such flesh to be fit for food, it would be unwise to allow it to be circulated. The course suggested would be the most likely means of disseminating the disease.
said, he had heard at Manchester of a case in which a farmer had buried a diseased beast with six feet of soil over it, but earth heaped up above the level of the ground. The dogs had subsequently scratched away the earth and devoured the carcass. He would propose an addition to the clause, enacting that the cattle should be buried with not less than six feet of earth below the natural surface of the ground.
said, he concurred in the suggestion, and wished to know whether any penalty was attached to a non-performance of the provisions of the Act? The local authorities were to "take care" that certain things were done, but no penalties, so far as he had observed, were leviable upon the owners of cattle for breach of the provisions of the Act.
§ MR. HUNT
said, he doubted whether it would be possible in all cases to carry out the Amendment of the hon. Member for Birmingham. In certain soils it would be utterly impossible to bury the animals eight feet deep, which would be necessary if there was to be not less than six feet of earth between the animal and the surface. Not only was such a course impracticable, but it was also undesirable. Within twelve miles of his own neighbourhood the soil was of such a character that the inhabitants objected to the burying of the dead cattle, on the ground that the springs which supplied their wells would be rendered unserviceable. Even the words in the section, as they originally stood, he thought too strict. They ought to have some other and more suitable mode of disposing of the 551 carcases than burying them, and, though he was not prepared to make any proposition on the subject, he thought that the Government might possibly suggest some means of getting over the difficulty.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, that carcases which could not be buried might be burnt, and that such a contingency should be met by a paragraph in the Bill to that effect.
§ MR. HUNT
said, he was perfectly prepared to acknowledge the beauty of the theory, but had objections to its being put in practice. He had paid a visit to one of the London cowsheds, and was informed that the carcases of the dead animals had at first been burnt, but the result was so offensive to the neighbours that the proprietors were threatened with indictments for nuisances.
MR. LOCKE KING
said, he thought the clause had better remain in its original form; for all knew that with a sufficient quantity of quicklime the carcases were speedily consumed. He apprehended that in the case alluded to by the hon. Member for Birmingham the dogs had got at the remains of the buried animals because no quicklime had been used.
said, he did not coincide with the summary process by which the hon. Member for Birmingham proposed to surmount the difficulty. In many places they could not dig six feet into the ground without penetrating far into the gravel, and thus affecting the purity of the springs, and the consequence of the burial of thirty, forty, or sixty beasts under such circumstances would be the poisoning of the whole of the people in the neighbourhood—a result which he believed would hardly be advocated by the hon. Member for Birmingham. Wherever the carcases could be buried at a sufficient depth without inconvenience people would be glad enough to do so, because hillocks were regarded with no favour. Where, however, the ground from its nature could not permit of so deep a burial they ought to insist upon having the ground heaped over the carcases, and then trust to the quicklime for preventing further mischief. He hoped that the hon. Member for Birmingham would not press his Amendment, because he believed that its adoption would lead to many inconveniences. To drag cattle any distance, and through other fields, for instance, would be tantamount to incurring great risk of spreading the infection.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he thought the object sought by the hon. 552 Member for Birmingham would be insured by the use of the words "not less than six feet to the satisfaction of the local authorities." He would, therefore, move the adoption of those words.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said. He hoped those words would compass the object. He might, however, state that in Cheshire many of the cows had been buried immediately outside the cowhouses, close to the villages, and the stench proceeding from the soil was so great that there were grave apprehensions it might breed a pestilence. He thought that some clause should be introduced forbidding the burial of the carcases in the vicinity of dwelling-houses.
said, he could bear personal testimony to the inconvenience and unpleasantness arising from the burial of some of these animals in the Isle of Wight.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, he thought that, remembering the varying nature of the soil, the local authorities might be trusted as far as regarded digging the trenches sufficiently deep. In Cheshire the nature of the soil was clayey, and in the Isle of Wight chalky, and in order to avoid the inconveniences alluded to by hon. Gentlemen it would be better to leave the matter to the discretion of those whose duty it would be to see after these matters.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he would remind the House that the Bill provided for difficulties of that nature by allowing the local authorities to acquire suitable ground for burying the carcases.
MR. LOCKE KING
said, he believed that the provision for enforcing the employment of sufficient quick-lime would be found to answer every purpose. It was the best disinfectant which could be used.
§ Amendment negatived.
MR. SURTEES moved the addition of the words—
Every inspector, cattle overseer, or other officer appointed by the local authority, shall report weekly to the local authority the number of animals that have died or been slaughtered through the cattle plague, and shall certify to the proper burial of such animals, and such Report shall be forwarded to the Home Secretary.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that any such provisions should be dealt with in discussing those clauses which related to the duties of the inspectors.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that where animals were ordered to be slaughtered by the local authorities the expense of their burial would not be borne by the owner.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to. [cl. 13,]
§ Clause 14, as amended, agreed to. [cl. 13.]
§ Clause 15 (Purification of Sheds, &c, of diseased Animals.)
§ SIR EDWARD BULLER moved the omission of the word "field." He said that he could not see how a field could be disinfected.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, it was necessary, if a diseased animal were slaughtered in a field, that the place where the animal was killed should be cleansed.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
§ SIR EDWARD BULLER moved to substitute the word "direct" for "prescribe," so that the clause should read "and every local authority shall direct the disinfection of clothes, and the use of due precautions," &c.
§ CAPTAIN CARNEGIE
suggested that some penalty should be provided in the case of inspectors and others neglecting to disinfect themselves.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU moved an Amendment, including within the operation of the clause any place in which a diseased animal had been kept during the continuance of the disease, as well as the place where it died.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. HUNT
said, the language of the clause required all hay, straw, litter, or other articles with which a diseased animal had been in contact to be burnt or destroyed. In some cases that would be impossible. An animal might die in a farmyard which was full of wet manure, and he thought they should require that manure to be disinfected.
said, he would suggest the insertion of some words of limitation after "burnt or destroyed," as, for example, the words "if necessary."
§ VISCOUNT MILTON moved the insertion of words at the end of the clause to the effect that no inspector or other officer appointed by the local authority should visit cattle in more than four separate farms or homesteads in any one day of twenty-four hours, or inspect cattle in the same close or part of a close consecutively on the same day in the same clothes, under the liability to a penalty not exceeding £10.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, the last part of the Amendment should be postponed till they came to the duties of the inspectors, and the Committee had just given power to the local authorities to direct the mode in which officers employed by them should be disinfected. The first part would create serious inconveniences. The great difficulty hitherto had been to get competent persons as inspectors, and if they were not allowed to make more than four visits in a day the number must be so multiplied that they could not hope to get men fit for the duty.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to. [cl. 14.]
§ Clause 16 (Slaughter of Cattle herded with diseased Animals).
I have to suggest an alteration in accordance with the view I have taken of the Bill altogether. I am against the system of indiscriminate slaughter, and I believe the time will come when we shall look back on this Bill as not very wisely framed in this respect. I propose the second line shall run thus—The local authority may cause to be slaughtered, with the consent of the owner, any animal that has been in the same shed,and so on. The Committee will see that I do not wish to leave it to a local authority to determine whether the healthy cattle of any farmer in this country shall be slaughtered whether the farmer thinks it desirable or not. In support of my proposition, I should like to read to the Committee a letter which a Member of this House has placed in my hands within the last quarter of an hour, bearing upon this question, and upon a remedy which has been very much talked about within the last few days. It is a letter addressed to Baron M. de Rothschild, M.P., from a veterinary surgeon, a gentleman of intelligence, and is in these words—Aylesbury, Feb. 15th, 1866.Sir,—In reply to yours respecting the cattle plague at your farm at Pribor, I beg to inform you that there are 119 head of stock there, and 555 the first animal was attacked on Thursday, February 8th. On Saturday, two more were affected; on Monday, one; Tuesday, four; Wednesday, three; and this morning (Thursday), two more, making a total of thirteen. On Saturday I had the honour of an interview with Mr. Worms, who very kindly detailed his plan of treatment. I immediately adopted it, and am happy to say with the greatest success, having only lost one, and that the first which was attacked. But I do not consider this a fair case, as the heifer was ill for at least forty-eight hours before we adopted Mr. Worms's treatment. All the others are doing well.I am adopting the same treatment on other farms with the same success. In fact, I would now as soon attend cattle labouring under the plague as any other disease, feeling assured that I should not lose a greater percentage.—I have the honour to be, your obedient servant,GEO. A. LEPPER.P.S.—Altogether I have treated twenty-seven calls, and I find great benefit from repeating the medicine in half doses every twelve hours in severe cases.On a matter of this nature the public is very likely to have its hopes excited and to have its hopes not realized. The letter which I have read supports my view of this Bill. The hon. Member for Oxfordshire says with great truth that since the Orders were issued with reference to the cattle plague men dressed with a little brief authority, perhaps not always the most intelligent of men, have come into farmyards and told the farmers what cattle shall be slaughtered. That proceeding is a most outrageous violation of the first principles of freedom. Well, this Bill proposes by a permanent enactment to continue this state of things. It proposes that the local authority, if he thinks fit, may cause to be slaughtered any animal that has been in the same shed, the same herd, or flock, with any infected animal in his district, although the particular animal may not have shown the slightest sign of illness. We know very well that a great many cattle do not take the plague, as we find that there are persons who do not take sickness from other persons afflicted by disease. I maintain that it is contrary to common sense and to the natural right of every man that somebody should come into his farmyard and insist upon killing a beast that appears to be in ordinary health. Therefore I propose to alter this clause, so as to prevent the local authority from causing these animals to be slaughtered without the owner's consent. I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen will take that as a reasonable proposition. I have been more astonished at the disposition to slaughter than almost anything else. I think the plan of indis- 556 criminate slaughter which has been recommended is a monstrous mistake, which we shall all be ashamed of hereafter. I beg, therefore, to move the alteration I have suggested in this clause.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, does it require an Act of Parliament to produce the effect sought for by the Amendment of the hon. Member for Birmingham? I should fancy that any animal might be slaughtered with the consent of its owner. On that ground I think the Amendment of the hon. Member quite unnecessary. It also appears to me that such an Amendment would do away with the principle of compensation, a result, probably, the hon. Member would not regret. Now, I hope it will be understood that I uphold the principle of compensation, not merely as a matter of justice to those whose property is destroyed by order of the local authority, but also as a matter of public prudence, and for the general advantage of the country. I confess that unless I believed it to be necessary for the general advantage I should not support the principle of compensation, I admit that those who suffer under visitations like that we are endeavouring to mitigate ought to receive some assistance extra from that which they may acquire by their own exertions. But I must also admit that public subscriptions are the natural resource to appeal to under ordinary circumstances, and if all we had to consider were the losses of the farmers, it would be, I think, a legitimate question to discuss whether their losses should not be supplied by their own exertions and by private sympathy and charity. But a great principle is here involved. I believe that by admitting the principle of compensation you are indirectly preventing the spread of the calamity which we are now endeavouring to eradicate. It is, Sir, on that ground, I support the provisions of this Bill. The hon. Member for Birmingham seems to think this is a question of private justice and not one of public policy. But, looking at it, as I do, in the latter point of view, I shall support the principle of compensation. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Birmingham is quite unnecessary, inasmuch as it requires no legislation to allow an animal to be slaughtered with the consent of its proprietor.
said, that the right hon. Gentleman had totally misunderstood what he had said. By the clause as it stood, the local authorities could kill all these cattle without the consent of the owners. 557 The cattle might be healthy, though liable to a certain suspicion, and he insisted that the right thing was that the slaughter should only take place with the consent of the owners. Of course, the owners could slaughter the cattle without the consent of the local authorities, but by the Bill the local authorities could slaughter them without the consent of the owners.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, according to the present reasoning of the hon. Member for Birmingham, it was possible to cure diseased cattle, and that the time might come when they would repent of having framed an enactment requiring those animals to be slaughtered. Now, unless the cure on which the hon. Member so much relied proved effective before two months, being the period to which the operation of the Bill was limited, there was very little ground for supposing that they would repent of their legislation. But the hon. Member for Birmingham on a former occasion said he thought the chances of the recovery of diseased animals were so slight he did not think that they ought to grant the owners two-thirds of the value as compensation for their losses; and now the hon. Gentleman had come down to the House with a plan which he said he had discovered for the cure of the cattle plague.
said, the noble Lord entirely misapprehended him. What he had said, in respect to the question of compensation to the owner for the loss of his cattle, had reference to the destruction of diseased beasts. What he was speaking of now had reference to cattle apparently healthy.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, he had never heard before of curing cattle that were healthy. He must return the hon. Member his sincere and hearty thanks for the speeches which he had made yesterday and that night against compensation to the owners of cattle ordered by the local authorities to be destroyed; because, in the county of Huntingdon, which he (Lord Robert Montagu) had the honour to represent, there was an uncomfortable number of farmers who unfortunately felt an admiration for the hon Gentleman, but who were not likely to indulge in such a sentiment any longer.
§ MR. NEATE
said, he was prepared to carry the principle of compensation to a greater extent than probably anybody dared to propose in that House, and, therefore, it was not because he was afraid of compensation that he supported the Amend- 558 ment, but because he believed that this indiscriminate slaughter unnecessarily added to the losses already sustained. Having intercourse with farmers, he knew that there was no disposition among them to submit to any such legislation, and, therefore, he was of opinion that the slaughter should only take place on the joint action of the owner and inspector, and that the owner should be entitled to compensation.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, the Amendment would completely neutralize the effect of the clause, which was framed to meet cases where the slaughter of animals which had been in contact with the disease was as essential for the prevention of disease as the slaughter of animals which had been actually attacked by the plague. Where the contiguity had not been so close as to give reasonable ground to apprehend the spread of infection, the slaughter of the animal might not be necessary, and, therefore, a discretion was given to the local authorities, which there was no reason to suppose would be unwisely exercised.
§ MR. DENT
said, he was in favour of slaughtering all diseased animals, but he was against the indiscriminate slaughter of those which had been merely in contact with diseased cattle. They should be kept under proper surveillance, and slaughtered at the first indication of the disease. Cases had come under his notice where contact with the disease had taken place and the animals escaped, and where one animal out of a herd had been attacked with rinderpest while all the rest remained healthy. The Royal Agricultural Society, according to the resolutions which they passed, were against the indiscriminate slaughter of animals, merely because they happened to be in contact with diseased beasts. He was quite prepared to give compensation for animals slaughtered with the consent of the owners, and he did not understand the hon. Member for Birmingham to mean that the owners should not be paid.
said, that he could tell the hon. Member for Birmingham, who seemed so confident of the success of the treatment adopted by Mr. Worms, that that gentleman had under his care thirty cows at Datchet and left them, as he fancied, cured, but they had all since died.
§ SIR FRANCIS CROSSLEY
said, he hoped the House would give due considera- 559 tion to the proposal of the hon. Member for Birmingham. He would state what had occurred in his own case. He had the rinderpest on his farm. His bailiff sent immediately for the Government inspector, who recommended the slaughter of six bullocks and four cows which had the disease, and also the whole herd of thirty bullocks that had been in contact with those that were attacked. They were sent to the London market with a Government certificate; as a great many animals had been slaughtered under similar circumstances. They were sold at a great sacrifice—at a loss of £700. He decided not to adopt the same course with eleven oxen that remained, but rather to see what could be done to cure them. Three were taken with rinderpest, while two out of the three had been completely cured, and were now well and hearty. By-and-by a fourth was affected, and that also was cured, so that three out of four had been cured. He therefore thought it hard that a bullock should be killed without the consent of its owner, and the hon. Member for Birmingham was quite right in the proposition he had made. If the owner gave his consent let the animal be slaughtered and the owner recompensed. In his own case, instead of being recompensed he had been charged £12 for the inspector coming down and giving his advice.
§ MR. HUNT
said, he was convinced that a great deal of harm had been already done by the remedies which had been put forward for the cattle plague—all sorts of specifics had been sent to the newspapers; and the consequence was that owners of cattle taken with the disease relied on these remedies. He believed the best remedy was the poleaxe. He had at one time some little hopes that vaccination might prove an effectual remedy; but after full inquiry he had satisfied himself that it was not to be relied on. He sincerely trusted Mr. Worms' prescription might prove successful—it consisted of a very strong vegetable stimulant, but the highest authorities in London distrusted it. ["Name!"] He should, perhaps, have said the highest official authorities—he meant the officers of the Privy Council, ["Oh, oh!"] Surely those who advised the Government might be supposed to be the highest authorities. Those authorities distrusted Mr. Worms' remedy; he had not satisfied professional people that his remedy was likely to prove effective. He thought it might be most 560 mischievous if it went forth on the authority of the hon. Member for Birmingham that there was a likelihood this remedy would prove effectual until they knew more about it. He understood that this very day an offer had been made to place a sufficient number of cattle, having undoubtedly cattle plague, under Mr. Worms' care, and if he succeeded with them there would be reason to believe that something had really been found to prevent this dreadful disease spreading. Then they might dispense with slaughter; but, meanwhile, he would implore those who had animals seized not to trust to Mr. Worms' remedy. The animals he had experimented upon might not have had the cattle plague. A great many inspectors in the country did not know cattle plague when they saw it, and he believed hundreds of cattle had been slaughtered by inspectors which never had the plague. If the animals treated by Mr. Worms really had cattle plague, he should like to wait a certain number of days to see that they did not die after all. Until something more certain was known on the subject it would be exceedingly foolish not to pass this clause. He quite agreed with what was stated the other night by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe), that the Government should have power of striking out from this Act the provision relative to slaughter in case some remedy should be discovered. He did not despair of a remedy; but after all the researches which had been made in foreign countries, none had yet been discovered. A most interesting report was made on the subject by a professional man in 1701 as to the outbreak of this disease in Italy; it was made under the direction of the Sacred College. He described all the symptoms of the disease exactly; he mentioned the various attempts that were made to cure it, and his essay on the subject was very well worth perusal; but he came to the conclusion our own veterinary surgeons had come to, that nothing but the poleaxe could get rid of the disease.
said, that the district inspector of Bedfordshire had informed him on Tuesday last that he had thoroughly investigated the matter, and had convinced himself of the efficacy of Mr. Worms' remedy. After trying it on animals undoubtedly attacked by rinderpest he was astonished at the result. The animals presented every symptom of returning health; the eyes of the diseased animals had become quite clear, their coat sleek, 561 and they ate ravenously; but whether there might be re-action, he could not say. His present opinion was very much in favour of Mr. Worms' remedy; and that the disease under which the cattle laboured on which it had been tried was rinderpest there could be no doubt whatever. With regard to the Datchet case, there was great difficulty in proceeding with the cure, because the place where the animals were located was wholly unsuited for trying the remedy—it was nothing better than a pigstye.
§ MR. CARNEGIE
said, he fully agreed with the hon. Member for Northamptonshire that the public were likely to be led away by an accumulation of false remedies. He agreed that there should be some limit to the power of the local authority, and the suggestion of the hon. Member for Birmingham was, he thought, a fit and proper one. Even inspectors, it appeared, might be mistaken as to this disease, and for that reason great caution should be taken in the slaughter of healthy animals. The proposal of the hon. Member for Birmingham had been misunderstood. It was that healthy cattle should not be slaughtered without the consent of their owner, and if slaughtered with his consent, that he should he entitled to compensation. As it appeared to him that the proposal of the hon. Gentleman was reasonable, therefore he should vote for it, if the House divided upon the Question.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
said, that in the county he represented (Ayrshire) there were 2,500 farmers, who were in great measure dependent upon their dairy cattle, and no district could be more opposed to an indiscriminate slaughter, inasmuch as the compensation offered was a trifle in comparison with the loss of carefully bred stock which could not be replaced for years. Moreover they would lose the current profit on it, and it was out of the dairy stock that they paid their rent. But these very tenant-farmers implored Parliament to pass such a measure as the Committee were now considering, as the only thing that could save their property from total destruction. He had in his pocket a copy of a petition signed by most of those farmers praying that whenever the disease broke out among a herd the whole of that herd should be slaughtered, and compensation be awarded only at the rate of three-fourths of the value of the animals destroyed. It would be perfectly safe to place such a power in the hands of the 562 magistrates of the county, as they would not be at all inclined to destroy the property of the farmers, or throw an undue burden on the county rates. He had seen the most extraordinary proofs of the way in which the disease might be stamped out. In one instance, where a farmer had brought the disease in his clothes from a place twenty miles distant, the whole of his stock was at once slaughtered, and the result was that the infection was destroyed. On the other hand, where, instead of slaughtering, it was attempted to cure the cattle without separation, the disease had spread in a wide radius, and in the result, 100 beasts fell victims to the plague where only ten need have been killed. Therefore, he implored the Government not to surrender the clause.
§ MR. MARSH
also hoped that the clause would be permitted to pass as it stood. The disease had been completely stamped out in Australia by slaughtering inspected herds, whereas all attempts to effect cures had signally failed. Inoculation and vaccination had both been tried, but without success, the only result being that when the latter was tried, the tails of the animals had dropped off.
§ MR. GREEN
said, he had for a long time protested against the slaughter of cattle infected with the disease, believing that some remedy would shortly be discovered that would stay its ravages; but he had now entirely changed his opinion, and was convinced that the only way to stay the cattle plague was—under proper authority, exercised with proper discretion—to destroy not only cattle actually diseased, but all those which had been in contact with them. He would give them some practical illustrations. He knew of a case where the disease having broken out among a number of cows in October, all the diseased cattle were slaughtered and buried, and all the sound beasts were slaughtered and sent to the market. The result was, although the herd were situated in the centre of a town, and another herd was kept in the neighbourhood, the disease was completely stamped out. In another instance, where cures had been attempted, twenty out of twenty-two cattle died of the plague. He recommended that the two remaining should be kept for the purpose of cure, if possible, and the consequence was, that they were the cause of infection to a neighbouring herd the whole of which died. These facts had convinced him that the only effectual remedy for the disease 563 was to slaughter every beast that had been in contact with an infected animal.
MR. OWEN STANLEY
hoped the House would not consent, at a time when we had lost so many animals by the disease, to give a power which would lead to the ruthless slaughter of thousands of our remaining cattle. He was certain that the disease was not so fatal as was generally supposed, for he found from Returns he held in his hand that in the only two counties in North Wales which had been attacked, more than 50 per cent of the infected animals had recovered; and he understood that the case was the same in Scotland. If they had proper statistics of the disease, he thought it would he found that it was the short-horns that the disease attacked so fatally; whereas the number of deaths of the hardier breeds which were most common in Wales and Scotland, were fewer in proportion. It might be all very well to place the power in question in the hands of the local authorities of the central parts of England, but that was a very different thing to placing it in the hands of the local authorities in the remote parts of the kingdom, who were sure to act rashly in the matter. He should certainly vote for the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Birmingham.
§ MR. TOLLEMACHE
said, the county he represented(Cheshire)had suffered from the disease more than any other in the kingdom. After what had been said by the hon. Member for Birmingham and by the hon. Gentleman below him (Colonel Gilpin) on the subject of Mr. Worms' system of treatment, he felt bound to state what had been his experience of that treatment in Cheshire, where the frightful ravages of the disease had induced them to try every remedy that had been proposed. Immediately he saw Lord Leigh's letter in the newspapers, he sent directions to his bailiff to try Mr. Worms' system on his cattle; and he afterwards found that his brother had also tried it. So far as their experience had gone he was sorry to say it had entirely failed. It had produced no good result whatever, the mortality being as great where it had been tried as it was before. He sincerely hoped that Her Majesty's Government would maintain the clause in question in the shape in which it then stood, as nothing would please the farmers of Cheshire more than the slaughter of infected animals. He thought Parliament might, with propriety, leave a discretionary power of this kind in the hands of the local authorities.
said, he wished to make one observation on the question of the hon. Member for Northamptonshire, as to who where the local authorities? The local authorities were bodies who would be very much guided by their inspectors, who, as the hon. Member had himself stated, in many instances did not know the rinderpest when they saw it; and he was unwilling to leave a vast amount of property in the hands of such men, to be destroyed at their will. The matter was of great importance; and as there had been a strong expression of opinion among the Members of the House in favour of his Amendment, he felt it to be his duty to divide the Committee upon the question.
§ Question put, "That the words stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: —Ayes 388; Noes 50: Majority 338.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill,
§ Clause 17 (Value of slaughtered Animals).
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he proposed to add a proviso, excluding from compensation persons who had violated the Orders.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to. [cl. 16.]
§ Clause 18 (Cattle slaughtered by Order of Inspectors previous to Act).
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that the clause had reference to retrospective compensation, to which many objections had been raised. He would propose that the clause should be negatived, in order that the House might have an opportunity of fully considering the subject on a future occasion.
§ Clause struck out.
§ Clauses 19 and 20 (Isolation of infected places).
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that the hon. Member for Northamptonshire (Mr. Hunt) had given notice of his intention to move the postponement of these two clauses. As the Government wished to facilitate discussion on the subject, he would not object to the course proposed to be taken by the hon. Gentleman.
§ Clauses deferred.
§ Clause 21 (Regulations as to Movement of Cattle).
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that some hon. Gentleman had pointed out the other day that the words "except by land" 565 might imply that the removal of cattle by canal or river was allowed. He would, therefore, propose to substitute the words "except by sea."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. HUNT
said, that the Committee was well aware that the point involved in the Amendment of which he had given notice, was whether the restrictions upon the movement of cattle and the exceptions too should be statutory, or should be left to the discretion of the local authorities. His proposal upon the Notice paper would be to leave out all the words after "land," which, however, had been converted into "sea." He did not now propose to leave out all the words, but in line 35,"No cattle shall be moved, except by railway," &c, he proposed to leave out "except by railway;" and he further proposed to add two paragraphs, separately. The first was, "No cattle shall be moved on any railway before the 25th day of March, 1866."That would be absolute, and there would be no exception whatsoever. The second paragraph was—No cattle shall be moved along any highway, or any canal, navigation, or river, except as this Act expressly authorizes.If he succeeded in carrying that, he should endeavour to insert the exceptions proposed in his own Bill. It would be open to hon. Members to propose other exceptions, and to embody the third Resolution passed at the meeting in the tea-room. The principle he contended for was that all restrictions and exceptions should be expressly named in the statute, and should not be left permissive to local authorities. He now moved the omission of the word "except" by railway.
§ Amendment proposed, in line 35, to leave out the word"except."—(Mr. Hunt.)
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, the hon. Gentleman's proposition that no cattle be removed along any railway involved the! stoppage of every market for the sale of fat cattle throughout the United Kingdom. Now, it was desirable to keep certain markets open in large towns for the sale of fat cattle for immediate slaughter, subject to the licence of the local authorities, with the proviso that in towns with less than 40,000 inhabitants the licence of the magistrates of the county in which the borough was situate should be required as well as that of the local authority of the borough. If they shut up all those mar- 566 kets they would necessarily at once change the whole supply of live meat for the consumption of the inhabitants of every part of the kingdom into a dead meat supply. It was a question which the House, he thought, was fully competent to decide; but he hoped they would very seriously consider the consequences of the step they were now asked to take. He believed that it would much interfere with the supply of food to the people and raise the price of it very materially. Let him recall to the recollection of the House observations which, at the time they were made, produced a considerable impression on the House—which were addressed to him by Mr. Thompson, the chairman of the West Riding Association. Mr. Thompson pointed out forcibly—and he had had various communications from other parts of the country confirming what he said—that the sending of the butcher to the farm in every case to slaughter animals would not only have the effect in some cases of making the meat so slaughtered unfit for human food and lead to diseased meat being brought to market, but would also have a tendency to spread the disease, as the butcher going from farm to farm might carry the infection with him. He reminded them of these observations in order that the House before coming to a decision might consider their bearing on the present proposal. Take the cattle from Ireland, which were landed at Liverpool and elsewhere—they would require to be immediately slaughtered, instead of being at once put into railway trucks, and forwarded to Manchester and other large towns in Lancashire and the manufacturing districts. He could not help thinking that the House would be taking a rash step in adopting a proposal which would have the effect of stopping every market in the kingdom. He had been told since the Bill was brought in, that at the present time store cattle were being moved on various lines of railway in England. He should have thought the restrictions placed by the local authorities on the movement of cattle would have prevented that. If that was the case it ought to be stopped. He did not wish that cattle should be moved by railway further than was necessary to supply great markets for fat beasts, and he would restrict railway companies from conveying cattle except to some place where a market was licensed for fat cattle. That would prevent the possibility of any movement of store cattle by railway.
said, he desired to give the reason why he preferred the direct plan of the hon. Member for Northamptonshire (Mr. Hunt) to the proposals of the Government. Either course would involve great inconvenience. The Government Bill said no licence should be given to carry upon railways if the cattle would have to pass through an infected place. How was it possible for any person granting a licence to know whether any portion of a 100 miles of railway passed through an infected place? He was driven to accept the plainer and simpler proposal of the hon. Member for Northamptonshire, and to stop all traffic for a certain time, which would give opportunity for the disinfection of trucks; and the time occupied in passing the Bill would be sufficient notice to those interested, and would enable them to make such provision for the supply of the food markets as the circumstances of the case might require. Seeing that the Government, who drew the Bill with a full knowlege of all the inconvenience that must be occasioned by such a regulation, felt it necessary to introduce a provision to the effect that cattle should not pass through any infected district, he felt that the expediency of the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Northamptonshire could no longer be questioned. For the object in view it was much more efficacious, and upon a balance of inconveniences—these things, after all, being very much questions of degree—he believed his hon. Friend's proposal would prove least vexatious. He therefore should not shrink from giving it his hearty support.
§ MR. AYRTON
wished to throw out for the consideration of the Government a middle course. The proposition of the hon. Member opposite might be adopted if a dispensing power were admitted, under which the Queen in Council would be at liberty to issue orders applicable to any special case that might present itself. ["No, no!"] It was one thing to give authority to the Queen in Council, and another to rely upon the discretion of the local authorities.
said, he could not disguise from himself the strong feeling of dissatisfaction with which the proposed enactment would be received in the large towns of the north of England, one of which he had the honour to represent. According to a letter which he had received from the Mayor of Newcastle, 2,000 head of cattle were sold in that town on last Tuesday, had since been slaughtered, and were now in 568 course of consumption in that district. In the ordinary course of things, an equal number would probably be brought into the market every succeeding week. But once this clause was enacted, the 2,000 head of cattle which otherwise would find their way into the market would be excluded from it. ["No, no!"] As live cattle they certainly would. It was said that a dead meat supply would be substituted; but he had no hesitation in declaring that this substitution could not be made without the greatest possible inconvenience. One of the great trades of the country would be revolutionized, and it was presumption to suppose that people could be reconciled to the change all at once by Act of Parliament. Moreover, they were about to take this step without laying before the people of the country any case establishing the necessity. The case as shown amounted merely to a balance of chances; for the advocates of these extreme measures could not deny that even under their scheme infection might freely continue. Meat, they said, was to be killed on the farms and brought into the towns. But the animals could not be killed without butchers and inspectors going about from farm to farm and from slaughterhouses to places where there were healthy cattle; and these persons might carry infection with them. At Newcastle the disease had prevailed for some time. It extended over a portion of the town, but not to the remainder; and latterly it had declined so much that, if not absolutely extinct, it was as nearly so as possible. From all he had ever heard, he believed no apprehensions were entertained in Newcastle of the entry of cattle into the town to be slaughtered; but, of course, he did not say the same with regard to egress. To stop the entry of cattle reported by the inspector to be healthy, and coming expressly to be slaughtered, did appear to be carrying matters to an extreme that was not at all warranted by circumstances.
§ MR. LOWE
I will not detain the House above a minute. I think my right hon. Friend (Mr. Headlam) was rather unfortunate in the instance he selected, because I cannot conceive the great town of Newcastle dying of famine with the sea and the whole Continent open to it. But my right hon. Friend has not correctly stated the case before the House. The question is not as to the degree of laxity or stringency to be applied to the movement of cattle, but whether such regulations as Parliament thinks fit to be made shall be made by Parliament 569 itself in the clauses of an Act embodying both the rule and the exception, so that they who run may read, and so that every man throughout the country may know by what rule to regulate his conduct; or whether you will send this question back again to be legislated upon by I know not how many local authorities. These local authorities have just got through the labour, imposed upon them by the Order passed in December, of framing codes of rules. For this purpose they had to construe about twenty Orders in Council; they had the utmost difficulty in passing these rules; and now that they have been passed, in many parts of the country they are utterly discordant and at variance with each other. The question is whether you will send back the matter to these local authorities, embarrassed by a new and complicated Act of Parliament, in order that they may reconstruct, with reference to this new Act of Parliament, their own former rules, their own complicated and inconsistent codes. All that will take two or three weeks to accomplish, and when accomplished the state of things so brought about will remain in existence two or three weeks more. Will the House act upon such principles, or will it lay down one single unvarying rule, to be acted upon by the whole country? When the House has once laid down a general rule it will, of course, be competent to any gentleman to give effect to whatever opinions he may entertain as to the relaxation of the rule, by proposing such exceptions as he may think fit to introduce. But the question, in this case, where the whole interests of the nation are concerned, is, whether one uniform rule should be enacted by Parliament, or whether Parliament shall shrink from the duty which its high position imposes upon it, and delegate that which it ought to do itself to a number of local bodies, well knowing that they cannot possibly discharge that duty. If this suggestion of one simple rule had been laid down and carried out by the Government at the time when it was recommended by the whole Cattle Plague Commission, at the end of October, I believe we should not be sitting here to deliberate upon this question. The option of doing right in this matter returns to us again, and returns to us for the last time —we do not avail ourselves of the opportunity now it is gone from us, and we know not what may be the consequence. We all know that when the grass grows again, cattle must be put out to feed on that 570 grass; and all the rules that we may enact here, like the web of a spider, will be broken through by the necessities of mankind. It is just this precious time that we have got, and we cannot be too strict or too careful in the use we make of it. We may be able to improve the opportunity; but it can never be recovered if lost. If we do not get the disease under by the middle of April prepare yourself for a calamity beyond all calculation. You have seen the thing in its infancy; wait, and you will see the averages, which have been thousands, grow to tens of thousands, for there is no reason why the same terrible law of increase which has prevailed hitherto should not prevail henceforth. It is the last opportunity we have of stopping the disorder. I hope the House will not be led aside by any local interests or feelings of selfish advantage which particular counties may fancy—and fancy most falsely— that they have in this matter, contrary to that of the nation at large.
undertook to say, from a conversation held by him with the traffic manager of one of the principal railways, that there would be no such difficulty as suggested in conveying to the metropolis a supply of dead in place of live meat for the London market. In forty-eight hours from the time the order was given the whole of the appliances of that railway, which brought more meat to London than any other of the metropolitan railways, would be so regulated as to meet the requirements of the novel traffic; and that, not merely between the points from which the supply was drawn and the metropolis, but from town to town and from market to market.
MR. H. A. BRUCE
said, that though nothing could be easier than to convey by railway any number of cattle to the various centres of population, they must be first brought to the railway, and in very many parts of the country there were no facilities whatever for killing cattle and then conveying them to the railway. During the course of this debate the House had been treated liberally by hon. Gentlemen with their own personal experiences. His right hon. Friend (Mr. Headlam) had been twitted for having given an imperfect instance when he stated that Newcastle would be deprived of its 2,000 head of cattle with the sea open. But he would give an instance within his own personal knowledge. His own borough (Merthyr Tydvil) was the centre of a district of 571 200,000 people entirely removed from the sea. Within the limits of that district for ten miles around the actual quantity of meat produced would not be sufficient for a tenth, or even a twentieth part of the population. How, then, was it possible that all of a sudden cattle could be killed and brought to such a district? If he was told that their meat might be got from Gloucester, Worcester, and other such towns, he would ask how were these first to be conveyed there, all access by railway being prohibited by the Bill, and by highways by the local anthority? They made it necessary for the butcher to go to every farmhouse and kill the animals under what conditions he could, and the meat was to be conveyed to some railway station. How did the hon. Member for Northamptonshire meet the difficulty? Put up slaughterhouses in every parish he would say. But would not that keep up a constant stream of infection? In fact, the exceptions which were introduced in the Bill of the hon. Member for Northamptonshire himself were so considerable, and those which he had authorized were so great that the general rule which he proposed to lay down was no general rule at all. The hon. Gentleman and those who supported him would expose many districts of the country to great inconvenience, without giving the smallest degree of security that they would extinguish the disease.
§ SIR JOHN SIMEON,
who was met with loud and continued cries for a Division, was understood to oppose the Amendment.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, he could wish that this Amendment had been moved by some hon. Gentleman sitting behind the Treasury Bench, because he believed the point involved to be the touchstone of the Government Bill, and the keystone of its success. What he feared was this—that the Motion having been made by an hon. Gentleman opposite, it might assume in the division somewhat of a party character. ["No, no!"] He trusted that would not be so, because he and other hon. Gentlemen believed that we were in the midst of a great national calamity. Taking simply a national view of this great question, he firmly believed that if this Amendment was not carried the time they had spent upon the measure was so much time thrown away, and that the Bill which they would send forth as the result of their labours to-night would not be worth the paper upon which it was printed. Within the 572 last few days he had attended two meetings, one held in St. James' Hall, the most influential he had ever seen—half the House of Lords and half the House of Commons, without distinction of party, were present on the occasion. A rule, and a wise one, was laid down that the Members of either House should not take part in the discussion, but should hear what the representatives of the agricultural interest from all parts of the country had to say. Well, without the slightest opposition, except from two butchers who came from Scotland, a Motion similar to that of the hon. Gentleman was carried unanimously. He attended on Monday last a conference, or rather meeting, of certain persons, Members of both Houses, who were specially selected as representing parties on both sides. A Whig nobleman, Lord Spencer, the Chairman of the Commission on which his right hon. Friend the Member for Calne sat, was in the chair, and the Earl of Lichfield, another Whig nobleman, lord-lieutenant of Staffordshire, and who lived in the midst of a dense population who would suffer much if the supply of meat was stopped, was the person who suggested the course which had now been followed by the hon. Member for Northamptonshire, and not a single dissentient hand was held up. Nor were the interests of the great towns neglected, because there were gentlemen present who represented the great railway interest throughout England and Scotland, and they assured the meeting that they could carry any quantity of meat as fish was now carried, and much more easily, as fish was more delicate. They also said that it would come to market in a much better condition than it did now; and they added that the difficulty which they felt was in dealing with a state of things in which one local authority did one thing and another another; whereas, if there was one rule they would then know what to do. He believed that this was not a party but a great national question, and unless they accepted the Amendment of the hon. Member a heavy responsibility would lie on the House.
MR. OWEN STANLEY
said, that by this clause it was provided that all cattle coming into this kingdom by sea should be slaughtered at the "ports at which it arrived. It seemed to be generally supposed that all the Irish cattle came to this country through Liverpool and Bristol; but while some 54,000 head arrived in Liverpool to be taken to London and other 573 places, nearly 40,000 came to Holyhead, At Liverpool there might be means for slaughtering the cattle thus imported, but there were no such facilities at the small ports. He hoped that provision would be made for enabling cattle coming from Ireland to be brought to the principal markets in London and the great towns without danger.
said, that he was one of the Members who attended the meeting alluded to by the noble Lord (Lord Elcho), and it was quite true that he then stated that the railway companies would cheerfully sacrifice their trade in the transmission of live stock to London, and undertake to bring up any quantity of dead meat, and distribute it all over London wherever required. The fact was, that there were clauses in the Bill which prevented them from carrying live stock, as it was impossible to travel from Aberdeen, Holyhead, or Bristol to London without passing through infected districts without being liable to be stopped. What were they to do with all these trucks of cattle if they were stopped? The railway with which he was connected would not attempt to do it.
§ MR. WEGUELIN
said, that although the people of Wolverhampton were partly supplied from the agricultural districts surrounding them, they drew their chief supplies from foreign countries through the ports of Liverpool and Hull; and the members of the Town Council had asserted that if the supply of food to that large mining population were interfered with they would not answer for the peace of the borough. He desired also to assert that no case was known of the disease having followed a line of railway. In his own county of Berkshire instances had occurred of the disease having followed the river most closely, and apparently quite neglected the line of railway.
§ MR. CUMMING-BRUCE
said, he had received particulars that morning of the disease having been communicated to cattle in Inverness by the straw which had been taken from a railway truck.
§ Question put, "That the word except' stand part of the clause."
§ The Committee divided: —Ayes 181; Noes 264: Majority 83.
§ Amendment made.577
|Acland, T. D.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Agar-Ellis, hon. L. G. F.||Hadfield, G.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Hamilton, E. W. T.|
|Akroyd, E.||Harris, J. D.|
|Allen, W. S.||Hartley, J.|
|Ayrton, A. S.||Hay, Lord W. M.|
|Bagwell, J.||Hayter, Captain A. D.|
|Baines, E.||Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.|
|Baring, hon. T. G.||Henderson, J.|
|Barnes, T.||Henley, Lord|
|Barrow, W. H.||Hodgkinson, G.|
|Barry, G. R.||Holden, I.|
|Bazley, T.||Howard, Lord E.|
|Biddulph, M.||Howes, E.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Hughes, W. B.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Hurst, R. H.|
|Bowyer, Sir G.||Ingham, R.|
|Bright, Sir C. T.||King, hon. P. J. L.|
|Bright, J.||Kinnaird, hon. A. F.|
|Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.||Layard, A. H.|
|Bryan, G. L.||Lamont, J.|
|Buller, Sir A. W.||Lawrence, W.|
|Buxton, Sir T. F.||Lawson, J. A.|
|Buxton, C.||Leatham, W. H.|
|Calcraft, J. H. M.||Leeman, G.|
|Cardwell, rt. hon. E.||Lefevre, G. J. S.|
|Carington, hon. C. R.||Lewis, H.|
|Cave, T.||Lindsay, Colonel R. L.|
|Cavendish, Lord E.||Locke, J.|
|Cavendish, Lord F. C.||Lusk, Alderman A.|
|Cheetham, J.||Mackinnon, Capt. L. B.|
|Childers, H.C. E.||M'Laren, D.|
|Clinton, Lord A. P.||Mainwaring, T.|
|Collier, Sir R. P.||Marjoribanks, D. C.|
|Colthurst, Sir G. C.||Martin, C. W.|
|Cowen, J.||Martin, P. W.|
|Cowper, hon. H. F.||Merry, J.|
|Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.||Milbank, F. A.|
|Crawford, R.W.||Mill, J. S.|
|Crosland, Colonel T. P.||Mills, J. R.|
|Crossley, Sir F.||Mitchell, A.|
|Dalglish, R.||Moffatt, G.|
|Dawson, hon. Capt. V.||Moncreiff, rt. hon. J.|
|Dilke, Sir. W.||Moore, C.|
|Dillon, J. B.||More, J.|
|Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.||Morley, S.|
|Dunlop, A. M.||Morris, W.|
|Enfield, Viscount||Morrison, W.|
|Erskine, Vice-Adm. J. E.||Neate, C.|
|Esmonde, J.||Nicol, J. D.|
|Ewart, W.||Norwood, C. M.|
|Fawcett, H.||O'Beirne, J. L.|
|Fildes, J.||O'Brien, Sir P.|
|Foley, H. W.||O'Donoghue, The|
|Forster, C.||Oliphant, L,|
|Forster, W. E.||O'Loghlen, Sir C. M.|
|Foster, W. O.||Onslow, G.|
|Gaselee, Serjeant S.||Otway, A. J.|
|Gavin, Major||Paget, Lord C.|
|Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.||Palmer, Sir R.|
|Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E.||Peel, A. W.|
|Gladstone, W. H.||Pelham, Lord|
|Glyn, G. G.||Peto Sir S. M.|
|Goldsmid, Sir F. H.||Philips, R. N.|
|Goldsmid, F. D.||Platt, J.|
|Gower, hon. F. L.||Potter, E.|
|Gower, G. W. G. L.||Potter, T. B.|
|Graham, W.||Price, R. G.|
|Gray, Sir J.||Price, W. P.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Pugh, D.|
|Gridley, Captain H. G.||Rawlinson, Sir H.|
|Rearden, D. J.||Synan, E. J.|
|Robartes, T. J. A.||Torrens, W. T. M' C.|
|Rothschild, N. M. de||Tracy, hon. C. R. D. H.|
|Russell, A.||Trevelyan, G. O.|
|Russell, Sir W.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|Samuda, J. D' A.||Vivian, H. H.|
|Samuelson, B.||Waring, C.|
|Schneider, H. W.||Watkin, E. W.|
|Scourfield, J. H.||Weguelin, T. M.|
|Seymour, H. D.||Westropp, H.|
|Sherriff, A. C.||Whalley, G. H.|
|Simeon, Sir J.||Whitbread, S.|
|Smith, J. A.||White, J.|
|Smith, J. B.||Whitworth, B.|
|Speirs, A. A.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Stacpoole, W.||Woods, H.|
|Stanley, hon. W. O.||Wyld, J.|
|Stansfeld, J.||Young, A. W.|
|Stock, O.||Brand, hon. H. B. W.|
|Sullivan, E.||Adam, W. P.|
|Adderley, rt. hon. C. B.||Cooper, E. H.|
|Andover, Viscount||Cox, W. T.|
|Anson, hon. Major||Cranbourne, Viscount|
|Anstruther, Sir R.||Craufurd, E. H. J.|
|Archdall, Captain M.||Cubitt, G.|
|Aytoun, R. S.||Cust, hon. C. H.|
|Bagge, W.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Barclay, A. C.||Davey, R.|
|Baring, hon. A. H.||Dawson, R. P.|
|Barnett, H.||De Grey, hon. T.|
|Bateson, Sir T.||Dering, Sir E. C.|
|Bathurst, A. A.||Dick, F.|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Dickson, Major A. G.|
|Beaumont, H. F.||Disraeli, rt. hon. B.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Dowdeswell, W. E.|
|Beecroft, G. S.||Du Cane, C.|
|Bentinck, G. C.||Duff, R. W.|
|Benyon, R.||Duncombe, hon. A.|
|Biddulph, Colonel R.M.||Duncombe, hon. W. E.|
|Bingham, Lord||Dunne, General|
|Blennerhasset, Sir R.||Dyke, W. H.|
|Bourne, Colonel||Dyott, Colonel R.|
|Bovill, W.||Eaton, H. W.|
|Bridges, Sir B. W.||Edwards, Colonel|
|Bromley, W. D.||Egerton, Sir P. G.|
|Brooks, R.||Egerton, hon. A. F.|
|Bruce, Lord C.||Egerton, E. C.|
|Bruce, Major C.||Egerton, hon. W.|
|Bruce, Sir H. H.||Elcho, Lord|
|Buckley, E.||Evans, T. W.|
|Buller, Sir E. M.||Fane, Lt.-Col. H. H.|
|Burghley, Lord||Fane, Colonel J. W.|
|Burrell, Sir P.||Farquhar, Sir M.|
|Butler-Johnstone, H.A.||Fellowes, E.|
|Campbell, A. H.||Fergusson, Sir J.|
|Carnegie, hon. C.||Ferrand, W.|
|Cartwright, Colonel||FitzGerald, Lord O. A.|
|Cave, S.||Fleming, J.|
|Cavendish, Lord G.||Floyer, J.|
|Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.||Foljambe, F. J. S.|
|Cholmeley, Sir M. J.||Forde, Colonel|
|Clifton, Sir R. J.||Forester, rt. hon. Gen.|
|Clive, Capt. hon. G. W.||Fort, R.|
|Cochrane, A. D.R.W.B.||Fortescue hon. D. F.|
|Cole, hon. H.||Freshfield, C. K.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Gallwey, Sir W. P.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Gaskell, J. M.|
|Conolly, T.||George, J.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Gilpin, Colonel|
|Courtenay, Lord||Goldney, G.|
|Goodson, J.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Gore, J. R. O.||Mitford, W. T.|
|Graves, S. R.||Monk, C. J.|
|Greene, E.||Montagu, Lord R.|
|Gray, Lieut.-Colonel||Montgomery, Sir G.|
|Griffith, C. D.||Mordaunt, Sir C.|
|Grosvenor, Earl||Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.|
|Grove, T. F.||Naas, Lord|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Neeld, Sir J.|
|Hamilton Lord C. J.||Neville-Grenville, R.|
|Hamilton, I. T.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Hamilton, Viscount||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Hanbury, R. C.||North, Colonel|
|Hankey, T.||Packe, Colonel|
|Hardy, G.||Paget, R. H.|
|Hardy, J.||Pakington, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Hartopp, E. B.||Parker, Major W.|
|Heathcote, hon. G. H.||Parry, T.|
|Heathcote, Sir W.||Patten, Colonel W.|
|Heneage, E.||Peel, rt. hon. General|
|Henley, rt. hon. J.W.||Peel, J.|
|Herbert, hon. P. E.||Pennant, hon. Colonel|
|Hervey, Lord A. H. C.||Percy, Lord H.|
|Hesketh, Sir T. G.||Powell, F. S.|
|Hodgson, W. N.||Pritchard J.|
|Hogg, Lt.-Colonel J. M.||Read, C. S.|
|Holford, R. S.||Rebow, J. G.|
|Holland, E.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Holmesdale, Viscount||Robertson, P. F.|
|Hood, Sir A. A.||Royston, Viscount|
|Hope, A. J. B. B.||Russell, Sir C.|
|Horsfall, T. B.||St. Aubyn, J.|
|Hotham, Lord||Sandford, G. M. W.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Schreiber, C.|
|Hubbard, J. G.||Sclater- Booth, G.|
|Huddleston, J. W.||Scott, Lord H.|
|Jervis, Captain||Selwin, H. J.|
|Johnstone, Sir J.||Selwyn, C. J.|
|Jolliffe, rt. hn. Sir W. G. H.||Severne, J. E.|
|Jolliffe, H.H.||Seymour, G. H.|
|Kearsley, Captain R.||Sheridan, R. B.|
|Kekewich, S. T.||Simonds, W. B.|
|Kelly, Sir F.||Smith, S. G.|
|Kendall, N.||Somerset, Colonel|
|Kerrison, Sir E. C.||Stanhope, J. B.|
|King, J. K.||Stanhope, Lord|
|King, J. G.||Stanley, Lord|
|Knight, F. W.||Stanley, hon. F.|
|Knox, Colonel||Stirling, W.|
|Knox, hon. Major S.||Stone, W. H.|
|Lacon, Sir E.||Stuart, Col. Crighton-|
|Laird, J.||Stuart, Lt.-Colonel W.|
|Langton, W. G.||Sturt, H. G|
|Leader, N. P.||Sturt, Lt.-Colonel N.|
|Legh, Major C.||Surtees, C. F.|
|Lefroy, A.||Surtees, H. E.|
|Lennox, Lord G. G.||Sykes, C.|
|Lennox, Lord H. G.||Taylor, Colonel|
|Leslie, C. P.||Thorold, J. H.|
|Liddell, hon. H. G.||Thynne, Lord H. F.|
|Lindsay, hon. Colonel C.||Tollemache, J.|
|Long, R. P.||Tomline, G.|
|Lopes, Sir M.||Torrens, R.|
|Lowe, rt. hon. R.||Tottenham, Lt.-Col. C.G.|
|Lowther, J.||Treeby, J. W.|
|Mackie, J.||Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.|
|M'Lagan, P.||Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Manners, rt. hon. Lord J.||Turner, C.|
|Manners, Lord G. J.||Vandeleur, Colonel|
|Meller, W.||Verner, E. W.|
|Miller, S. B.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Mills, C. H.||Vernon, H. F.|
|Milton, Viscount||Walcott, Admiral|
|Waldegrave-Leslie, hon. G.||Wise, H. C.|
|Wyndham, hon. H.|
|Walker, Major G. G.||Wyndham, hon. P.|
|Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.||Wynn, C. W. W.|
|Walrond, J. W.||Wynne, W. R. M.|
|Walsh, A.||Yorke, J. R.|
|Walsh, Sir J.||Young, R.|
|Welby, W. E.|
|Western, Sir T. B.||TELLERS.|
|Williams, Colonel||Hunt, G. W.|
|Williams, F. M.||Dent, J. D.|
|Winnington, Sir T. E.|
Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. HUNT
then moved that after the words now added the following words be inserted:—No cattle shall be carried along any highway or any canal navigation, or river, except in those cases expressly named in the Bill.If this were assented to be should then propose to make those exceptions which he had embodied in his Cattle Plague Bill. It would be open to any number of additional exceptions, in favour of any district, I in accordance with the third Resolution. The principle of the paragraph, however, was this, that the movement of cattle on highways should be restricted, and that all exceptions to that movement should be named in the Bill.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
said, that he and many other Members had only considered the Government Bill, and they were now asked to adopt the clauses proposed by the hon. Member for Northamptonshire in his Bill. He thought that time should be given for the consideration of those clauses, and he therefore moved that the Chairman report Progress, and ask leave to sit again.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
concurred in the Motion for reporting Progress. It was impossible to assent to the principle that the Committee were to adopt exceptions, without knowing what the exceptions were to be.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, it was competent to decide whether there should be exceptions or not, and then what was to be the nature of them. He thought the proposal to report Progress a reasonable one at that advanced hour (a quarter past twelve.)
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that no notice of Motion had been given upon the Order for Supply tomorrow; therefore, there was nothing to prevent its being the first business of the day.
§ MR. HUNT
feared that he should have no other opportunity of giving notice of the exceptions he intended to propose. He would, therefore, state that he intended to move the exceptions enumerated in his Cattle Plague Bill with the addition that male animals might be moved for breeding purposes. With regard to the practical suggestion made by the Member for Berkshire, there might also be a special exception as to moving young calves, not on foot, but in carts.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow,