HC Deb 10 March 1868 vol 190 cc1287-8

said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education. Why, having, on the 13th of May, 1867, declined to state to the House the contents of the Report made by Professor Simonds by order of the Privy Council upon a case of Cattle Plague alleged to have occurred at Burnaston, in the county of Derby, he read to the House on the 29th of November last the Report of the same gentleman upon a similar case in Berwickshire?


said, in reply, that on the 13th of May, 1867, he stated fully the ground of his refusal to produce the Confidential Report of Professor Simonds. It was because a rule had been made by the Privy Council that such Reports should not be made public. The reason of that rule was that, under the Act of 1866, it might give rise to litigation in every case where the Confidential Report differed from the certificate of the local Inspector. On the 29th of November, however, they were no longer under the Act of 1866, but under that of 1867, and the doubt no longer remained. The Privy Council, therefore, rescinded the aforesaid rule. Moreover, the case of Langrigg, in Berwickshire, was widely different. Cattle plague had entirely disappeared from the country. If the Privy Council had permitted the place to have been accounted "infected," it would have followed that the cattle plague had been again introduced into the country, and a very reasonable panic would have been spread, which the Privy Council deemed it very desirable to allay.