HC Deb 04 March 1886 vol 302 c1906

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the following statement in The Freeman's Journal of 1st March 1886: — Although no stipulation is made in the agreement about boycotted cattle, an honourable undertaking has been given to the cattle dealers, which they regard as highly satisfactory. The promise is such that no boycotted cattle will be shipped by the steamers to the Steam Packet Company; and to the following statement made by Mr. John O'Connor, M.P., at a meeting of the Cattle Trade Association, and reported in the same paper:— Let us see what we have gained. First, the main principle for which we have contended, namely, that, so far as the Steam Packet and Bristol Navigation Companies are concerned, the Port of Cork is blocked against the exportation of cattle seized or sold for rent; and, whether the Government intend taking any steps to enforce on common carriers trading from the Port of Cork the legal obligation of carrying all cattle delivered to them for carriage in the course of their trade, and to prevent such carriers from being prevented from performing this duty by intimidation?


asked, whether it would not be entirely unusual and unprecedented to attempt to supersede the Common Law with regard to common carriers?


I think it would. I am not aware that the undertaking referred to has been given which is mentioned in the second paragraph of the Question. The obligations of common carriers are part of the law of the land, enforceable by all those who suffer from a breach of them, and it is no part of the duty of the Government to take any special action in that matter. In any proved case of intimidation the Government will, of course, enforce the law.