HC Deb 24 July 1868 vol 193 cc1748-9

said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer in reference to the Metropolitan Foreign Cattle Market, Whether he has made any arrangement with the Corporation of the City of London for carrying out this scheme of agricultural protection, or whatever it might be called? The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated a few days ago, in answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ashton (Mr. Milner Gibson), that no definite arrangement had been come to with the Corporation on the subject. Since then, however, a Notice had been put on the Paper, developing a scheme under which it appeared that the metropolis would be taxed generally by a rate to be levied on all cattle brought to Smithfield Market. That Notice had disappeared from the Paper, and he should, therefore, like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any understanding had been come to with the Corporation of London for carrying out the provisions of the Bill; and, what in fact was the exact state of the negotiations between the Government and the Corporation on the matter?


said, there was no agreement or understanding with the City Corporation. An Amendment of which Notice had been given by his noble Friend the Vice President of the Council had been withdrawn from the Paper, because they understood from the highest authority that it was against the Standing Orders. That Amendment therefore would not be proceeded with.


said, he wished to know whether it was not the fact that the Court of Common Council, or the Markets Committee of that body, had been called together to give an answer to the proposal which was to have been submitted by the Government, although that proposal was in violation of the Standing Orders of that House, and whether, through not taking care to inform themselves beforehand that their proposal was irregular, the Government had not adopted a course calculated to place the Corporation in a false position?


said, that before the noble Lord the Vice President of the Council rose, he wished to repeat his Question of the morning respecting the reported outbreak of the cattle plague in Russia.


said, that since the Question of his hon. Friend the Member for Northumberland (Mr. Liddell) was put to him at the Morning Sitting, he had ascertained that information on the subject had been received at the Office, and he found the report alluded to by his hon. Friend was perfectly true. There had been an outbreak of Siberian plague in Livonia and other provinces, and also of rinderpest near St. Petersburg. Cattle plague had also broken out in Lower Egypt, at Gheza and Gezera, near Cairo, and other districts. In answer to the Question of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goschen), he had to state that that clause was framed on the proposition of one of the officers of the Corporation of the City of London; that that officer was mainly instrumental in drawing the clause; that he had laid it on the table after that gentleman had drawn it, and that he was not responsible for its informality.