§ MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE(for Mr. BYRON REED) (Bradford, E.) (Newington, W.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a paragraph in The Leeds Daily News of Thursday, December 6, as follows:—An Irish landowner recently evicted several tenants. His bailiff, acting under instructions, distrained the cattle of one of the evicted tenants. On attempting to dispose of them in Ireland he was Boycotted. Consequently they were consigned to a salesman in 863 Liverpool, the bailiff going with them, and being followed by the evicted tenant. He (the tenant) is said to have informed the cattle salesman that if he disposed of the cattle it would be at his own peril. The salesman, therefore, refused to sell, and the cattle were taken by the bailiff to Newcastle. The same proceedings took place there as at Liverpool, the cattle not being sold. The bailiff then brought them to Leeds, where they were sold yesterday at the cattle market. The evicted tenant, who stood by, was heard to say to the salesman, Mr. David Wright, of Halifax—'At your peril sell the cattle: your portrait will be taken, and you will be shot.' Notwithstanding this threat, Mr Wright disposed of the cattle at full market prices, although many persons refused to purchase;and, whether the Government will take any steps to prevent such cases of intimidation?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
In reply to inquiries I have made I have received Reports from the authorities at Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle-on-Tyne, which do not, however, enable me to trace the consignments of cattle with any certainty. The paragraph quoted in the Question appears to be inaccurate in many particulars; but there is some evidence to show that attempts were made to interfere by threats with a sale of cattle at Leeds and another at Wakefield. These acts are, undoubtedly, breaches of the law; and if I am able to procure sufficient evidence I shall certainly direct prosecutions to be instituted.
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
asked, if the threats were not essentially due to the repugnance of the dealers to buy; and whether the right hon Gentleman had any evidence of the two statements in the Question—"At your peril sell the cattle," and "Your portrait will be taken, and you will be shot."
§ MR. MATTHEWS
Yes; I have evidence not that the tenant—for I cannot identify the person—but a man, said to be an Irishman, threatened the salesman at Halifax in the words quoted. I have no evidence to show that there was any indisposition on the part of the purchasers to buy.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
In the first instance the Report of the Mayor; in the second the Report of the Chief Constable; and in the third also the Report of the Mayor.