asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If he has received any report of the death of cattle from lung-disease in Ireland since the 1st of January last; and, if so, whether he 254 will introduce a Clause in the Cattle Disease (Ireland) Bill, allowing retrospective compensation to that date in cases where cattle having that disease died or were slaughtered, and reliable proof thereof can be given?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
There have been some reports of deaths among cattle in Ireland from disease since the 1st of January last, but I am happy to say they are not very numerous. I can see no reason why compensation should be granted to the owners of cattle which have died of this disease, nor to owners who have voluntarily slaughtered their cattle affected with it, not being compelled to do so by the provisions of any Order in Council. My hon. Friend is aware that no order has, as yet, been made for the compulsory slaughter in Ireland of animals affected with pleuro-pneumonia; and therefore any such retrospective compensation as his Question suggests could not, I think, be properly granted, to say nothing of the great practical difficulties which would attend any attempt to assess it.