HC Deb 17 February 1866 vol 181 cc727-30

[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 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.]

Bill, as amended, considered.


said, that some of the Scottish boroughs were very small; he knew one instance where the population of a borough consisted of only 400 persons. The Bill, as it now stood, made the magistrates of boroughs the local authorities by whom the slaughter of diseased cattle in towns was to be ordered. He feared that in some of the small Scottish boroughs the magistrates would, from a fear of entailing expense on their fellow townsmen, shrink from ordering the slaughter of cattle. He therefore moved, after Clause 5, to insert the following clause:— The powers of each Cattle Plague Board shall extend over the whole of the county for which it is appointed, and over all burghs situated therein, excepting cities and burghs which have the right to elect Members to Parliament, and whereof the population within the Parliamentary boundaries of any such burgh exceeds ten thousand.


said, that when the county which he represented (Wigtonshire) was threatened by the cattle plague the magistrates of a small burgh on the borders of the county refused to prevent a cattle bazaar being held in their town, although frequently remonstrated with on the subject. He strongly urged the House to insert the proposed clause in the Bill.


protested against the adoption of a clause which would disfranchise nearly sixty Scottish boroughs. He had had opportunities of knowing, from the meetings of the Convention of the Royal Burghs held in Edinburgh every year, that there was no set of men more intelligent or more anxious to do their duties than the municipal authorities. Why, then, should a stigma be cast upon the Scotch people by this Amendment? If there was any difference between England and Scotland, it might be supposed that the £10 constituency in Scotland would elect a better class of magistrates than the mere ratepayers in an English borough.


said, that the addition to the clause was not proposed in order to disfranchise the boroughs in any sense, but in order to secure harmonious action throughout the country. He was willing that the magistrates should be represented in the county boards, and should there unite in laying a common plan of action. But, unless some such security was taken, all the evils of conflicting action and jurisdiction would be revived.

After a short conversation,


said, he did not see any reason for drawing such a distinction between English and Scotch boroughs as would be drawn by the clause now under discussion. He believed the magistrates of the small Scotch boroughs were quite competent to discharge the duties imposed on them by the Bill.

Clause negatived.

Clause drought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the said Clause be now read a second time."

The House divided:—Ayes 100; Noes 146: Majority 46.

Clause 4 (Definition of "District," "Local Authority," "Local Rate," and "Clerk of Local Authority").


proposed to add the following proviso:— Provided, that within the City of London arid the liberties thereof the Court of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen shall, for all the purposes of this Act, except that of making a rate, be deemed the local authority, but for the purpose of making a rate for the purposes of this Act the Metropolitan Board of Works shall be the local authority.

Motion agreed to.

Proviso added to clause.

Clause 15 (Slaughter of Cattle herded with Diseased Animals).

SIR EDWARD BULLER moved to add the following proviso:— Provided always that the Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, or any two or more of them, may reserve animals (ordered to be slaughtered as aforesaid) for the purpose of experimental treatment.

Motion agreed to.

Proviso added.

Clause 21 (Regulations as to Movement of Cattle).


said, the first part of the clause prohibiting the removal of cattle by sea would injuriously affect the agricultural interest of the various islands around Scotland. The cattle of Argyllshire were not fat cattle fit for the market, but were young lean beasts sent down to be fattened. He therefore proposed to add such words as would permit sound cattle to be moved by sea from one part of a county or district to another part of the same county or district with the permission of the local authorities.

Another Amendment proposed, in page 7, line 30, to leave out the words "place in," and insert the words "part of the mainland of,"—(Mr. Edward Craufurd,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."


said, he could not agree to the insertion of the words proposed by the hon. and learned Member, as they would admit of a much wider construction than the hon. Member supposed them capable of. For instance, if the words were inserted as proposed, cattle might be removed from the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth.


remarked that the proviso to be introduced into the Bill permitting lean cattle to be removed at certain periods would meet the proposal of the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill re-committed, in respect of Clauses 35, 37, and the last clause; considered in Committee, and reported; as amended, considered; to be printed as amended. [Bill 22.]

On Motion that the Bill be read a third time,


said, he had been reminded by a letter which he had received from the country that one thing had been omitted from the Bill. It had been resolved that the railway companies should not carry cattle in their trucks; but it had not been declared illegal to carry anything else in them. He found from the information his correspondent had supplied him with that the railway authorities were carrying wood, bricks, tiles, and other things in their cattle trucks. He thought it was incumbent upon the House to make some stringent provisions, ordering that until the trucks had been disinfected to the satisfaction of some thoroughly competent person nothing whatever should be carried in them.

Motion agreed to.