HC Deb 05 August 1878 vol 242 cc1278-81

Bill, as amended, considered.

A Clause (Declaration of infected area in foot-and-mouth disease by Privy Council,)—(Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson,) —added.

Amendments made.

Clause 35 (Local authorities to be treated as incorporated).


moved, in page 19, at end, to add as new paragraph— (3.) Where the district or part of a district of a local authority, described in the Second Schedule, is or comprises, or is comprised in a port or part of a port, the Privy Council may from time to time, if they think fit, in relation to that port or part of a port, by Order, make any body, other than the body constituted the local authority by the Second Schedule, the local authority for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to foreign animals, and, in connection with the local authority so made, prescribe the local rate, if any and the clerk of the local authority.


thought that this clause had the appearance of enabling the Privy Council to punish a local authority by superseding their authority, though legally constituted.


said, the clause was amended from that which was struck out of the Bill when passing through Committee. The object was in certain ports, such as Liverpool, Birkenhead, Sunderland, and Hull, where the local authority were not the controlling authority, to enable the Privy Council to put them in that position. At first it was intended to limit the clause to the ports he had quoted; but, on consideration, he had extended it to all.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 60 (Application of Parts II. and III. to Scotland).


proposed, in page 28, line 23, to leave out "made under this Act," and insert, as new paragraph— (ii.) If, where required by this Act to keep an animal separate so far as practicable, or to give notice of disease with all practicable speed, he fails to do so,


said, he objected to the alteration proposed to be made in this clause, and thought it was better as it stood. The effect of the alteration would be to give a local authority power to make any regulations it pleased.


remarked, that there had been no real alteration; but the words "made under this Act" were only struck out as unnecessary.


said, that as the only objection to the clause as it stood rested on tautology, it would, in his opinion, be better to leave the words in rather than run the risk of passing a clause giving to the local authority power to make any regulations they liked.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment proposed, In page 29, line 5, to leave out after the word "suspected," to the end of the Clause, and insert as new paragraph,—"(2.) And on a second conviction within a period of twelve months of an offence against any one of the sub-sections of this section, he shall be liable, in the discretion of the court of summary jurisdiction before which he is convicted, to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding one month, with or without hard labour, in lieu of the pecuniary penalty to which he is liable under this Act." —(Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."


proposed, as an Amendment, to strike out the words "with or" from the clause, thus making any person re-convicted liable only to imprisonment without hard labour. He did not wish to divide upon the matter; but he thought it was too much for a second offence to make a person liable to hard labour. Imprisonment to a person in his position would be quite sufficient punishment.

Question put, and negatived.

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Amendment proposed to the said proposed Amendment, in line 5, to leave out the words "with or."—(Major Nolan.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'with or' stand part of the proposed Amendment,"


said, he would tell the hon. and gallant Member why the Amendment could not be accepted. He had endeavoured to limit, as far as possible, the penalties in these cases. He had provided that the punishment of imprisonment with or without hard labour should only be inflicted for the second offence within a period of 12 months of a similar one. It was not to be a second offence against any section, but an offence similar to the one previously committed. Under these circumstances, magistrates were given discretion to deal with offences as the justice of the case required, and anyone offending in the way he had stated would be justly considered a persistent violator of the law, and should be punished accordingly. For the first offence confinement for one month was the limit.


observed, that to those who would probably come under the operation of the Bill imprisonment alone, without hard labour, would be a sufficient degradation. The subject was one of very considerable importance, and if the Government pressed the clause, he would move that the debate be now adjourned.


seconded the Motion. He said that, according to the clause, a man was liable to imprisonment with hard labour upon a second conviction within 12 months of any offence against "any one of the subsections of this section." He did not, therefore, understand how the Secretary to the Treasury could say that the second offence must be a similar one to the first.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned." —(Mr. Meldon.)


said, that he had been informed by the draftsman to whom the preparation of the clause had been intrusted that it carried out the instructions he had given, and that the only cases where imprisonment with hard labour could be inflicted for a second offence, was if such an offence be against the same section as that under which the previous conviction had taken place. The Government had adopted these provisions on the suggestion of the hon. Member for South Leicestershire (Mr. Pell), although they had not carried them out so stringently as he had recommended.


thought that the debate should be adjourned, and that a provision by which a man could be sentenced to hard labour should not be passed without full consideration. Those Members who represented the agricultural interests would incur much odium, if they permitted such a clause as this to pass.

Question put, and agreed to.

Debate adjourned till To-morrow.

House adjourned at half after Three o'clock.