HC Deb 04 May 1866 vol 183 cc437-8

said, he would beg leave to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, since the Return No. 159, relating to the Cattle Plague has been laid upon the table of the House (namely, since April 10), Her Majesty's Government have been able to decide what compensation they will propose to give to Farmers whose Cattle have been slaughtered under the Orders of the Privy Council?


, in reply, said, that the Paper referred to by the noble Lord did not give the necessary information. The Return was made on a Motion for the actual number of cattle slaughtered, but did not state the circumstances under which they were slaughtered, and whether the owners received any and what compensation, or how long the cattle had been in the possession of their owners. There were cases in which he was aware infected cattle were bought cheap—a safe speculation; for if they died there was no great loss, and if not their owners made a good bargain. He was not satisfied that in such cases any compensation should be awarded. Inquiries had been addressed by the Privy Council to the local authorities in England and Scotland to ascertain the circumstances under which the slaughter of cattle had taken place and their estimated value. He had inquired of the Privy Council what had been the result of that inquiry, and he was told that Returns had been received from 133 local authorities, none of whom had any cases of slaughter to report in which compensation was claimed, in twelve cases Returns had been received of the number slaughtered and the estimated value, and in 122 cases no answers had been returned. He was not, therefore, in a condition to give a reply to the noble Lord's Question.