HC Deb 10 August 1877 vol 236 cc780-1

(Viscount Sandon.)


Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, the measure had become necessary, because it had been discovered that the Government had no power to deal with the Colorado beetle, if it should appear in this country. The House was no doubt aware that the devastations caused by that insect in America had been of a most serious character. Potato crops had suffered to a very great extent, and turnips, mangel-wurzel, and other green crops had also fallen victims to the assaults of the beetles. It was proposed to give the Privy Council power, resembling that which it possessed with reference to cattle diseases, to prohibit the importation of any articles which were likely to bring this terrible visitor to our shores, and also to order the destruction of any crops in which the beetle had appeared. It was further proposed that the local authority should be vested with the same power which it had under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act. The Bill would extend to Ireland, where it was especially necessary to take steps for the protection of the potato crops. All Orders of the Privy Council made under the provisions of this Bill would be laid before Parliament in the usual manner, and provision would be made for compensation in case the powers conferred by this measure were exercised. The House would feel that the only hope of dealing effectually with this terrible insect was to attack it immediately it made its appearance on our shores, and that no measures could be too strong that would ensure its extermination. The House might rest assured that the Privy Council would be exceedingly loath to put the powers conferred by this Bill into force except in case of necessity. He hoped and believed that these powers would enable them to keep this destructive insect out of these Islands.

He begged to move the second reading.

Motion made, and Question proposed, ' That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Viscount Sandon.)


asked, whether the Bill would enable Orders to be made to prevent the importation of potatoes from England into Ireland?


said, that on looking at the Bill, he thought that the Lord Lieutenant would have power to make such Orders.


remarked that the subject was one of such great importance that he should have been glad if the noble Lord the Vice President had given them a little more information with regard to it. The noble Lord had not informed the House whether the Privy Council was taking steps to obtain skilled assistance for the extermination of this very noxious insect.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.