HC Deb 26 August 1880 vol 256 cc98-9

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether he is able to communicate to the House Mr. Duiguid's Report on the diseased cattle "ex Iona;" and, whether he has received any further communications from America on the subject of cattle disease?


asked, with reference to that important communication from America—he meant the Report of Messrs. Read and Pell—Whether the attention of the Privy Council has been directed to the opinion of these distinguished Commissioners that it was questionable whether Texan fever was contagious; to their statement that there were no traces of pleuro-pneumonia, or of foot-and-mouth disease in the Middle and Western States; and to their recommendation of "some reasonable quarantine?" He wished to know, whether the Privy Council will consider in the Recess the best means of giving effect to the recommendation of "some reasonable quarantine" in place of the existing restrictions?


in reply, said, he should answer the Question of the hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Gurdon) first. He should be very happy indeed to communicate the Report referred to to the House. He had received further communications with respect to that question, and, among others, one from Mr. Victor Drummond, who was acting, for Sir Edward Thornton, as the Representative of England at Washington. He would read the letter—

"Rye Beach, Aug. 10.

"My Lord,—With reference to Questions asked lately in the House of Commons respecting the desired modifications of cattle quarantine regulations, I have the honour to inclose herewith an extract from The Boston Herald, giving a very succinct account of what has been gathered respecting pleuro-pneumonia in this country, and of the remarks made by Dr. Lyman, sent specially by the United States Department of Agriculture to the United Kingdom, to examine cattle imported from America reported to be infected with pleuro-pneumonia, and to endeavour to obtain some modifications of the restrictions imposed by England on the importation of cattle. He was, it appears, also instructed to represent to the Privy Council and to persons of influence that cattle embarked at Boston were entirely free from infection, and to show that a modification of restrictions in favour of Boston would work no injury to English herds. On Saturday last, the 7th inst., however, the Agricultural Department at Washington received a letter from Dr. Lyman, declaring that he could ask no more for Boston than for other ports, as he found that three-fourths of the cases of pleuro-pneumonia among cattle landed in England from America came from Western cattle exported from Boston. Thus Dr. Lyman corroborates a danger which Mr. Mundella showed still to exist from the infection of imported American cattle without the present restrictions.

"I have the honour to be, my Lord, with the highest respect, &c.


He also received a telegram yesterday from Mr. Moore, the Inspector at Liverpool, stating that a cargo of cattle landed from Baltimore consisted of 99 animals, and 9 undressed carcases. Twenty-six animals had been thrown overboard on the voyage, and a post-mortem examination of those which had been killed showed the existence of splenic fever in six cases. Indeed, without any wish to alarm the House, this case appeared to him to be much worse than former cases. In this instance prompt measures had been taken to destroy everything connected with the cattle. He was glad to find that the Americans recognized that they were doing right in this country in providing that American cattle at present should be slaughtered on board.