HC Deb 02 May 1889 vol 335 cc973-5

I beg to ask the Vice Chamberlain whether the Royal Agricultural Society of England have found themselves not in a position to accept the proposal of Her Majesty's Government, that they should send over to the Netherlands to inquire into the security afforded against the possible exportation of foot and mouth disease; whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to a resolution passed at a council meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society on the 16th instant, in which they desire to impress upon the Government the necessity of postponing from 1st June to 1st September the operation of the order to admit animals free from Holland, so as to give time for further inquiry; whether the Privy Council have received a Copy of the Report unanimously agreed to by the Council of the Central and Associated Chambers of Agriculture on the 30th April, censuring the admission of live animals from Germany while foot and mouth disease was known to exist in that country, and urging the withdrawal of the Netherlands order; and whether, in view of the present state of agricultural feeling on this matter, and the announcement that the propriety of further legislation on the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts, with reference to the charge for compensation and the powers of the central authority, is under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, the Privy Council will withdraw the order of the 1st March, or postpone its operation until a decision is arrived at with reference to the legislation proposed.


The subject was considered at a meeting of the Lords of the Committee for Agriculture yesterday; and an order was passed, the effect of which is to postpone the operation of the Netherlands order to September 1.


Have Her Majesty's Government given consideration to that portion of the Report referred to in my question, which indicates that the anxiety of agriculturalists cannot be dispelled except by the abandonment of the proposal to receive from a country of the geographical situation of Holland live animals without, at least, the precautions insisted on since the Act of 1878?

MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

Is there any justification whatever for the exclusion of the healthy cattle of the Netherlands from free importation into this country at the present momen?


That is a question rather of debate. As regards the question of my hon. Friend, the subject was considered, and the decision arrived at is what I have already stated. If the hon. Gentleman wishes, I will communicate his desires to the Agricultural Department.


I must press the noble Lord for an answer to my question, namely, whether there are any known diseases in the Netherlands, and whether under the circumstances and under the Act there is any justification whatever for the exclusion of healthy cattle from that country.


Perhaps the right hon. Gentlemen will give me notice of the question.

MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

Is it not a fact that disease is known to exist to a considerable extent in Germany and on the other side of the frontier line between the Netherlands and Germany?


It is a fact that disease is known to exist in Germany.

SIR J. SWINBURNE (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

Is it not the case that a very few weeks ago a cargo of cattle was landed at Hartlepool from Holland suffering from foot and mouth disease?


No; a cargo of sheep suffering from foot and mouth was landed at Hartlepool from Germany. As far as Holland is concerned there has been no diseased animals landed.

MR. CRAIG (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

In what part of Germany does the disease prevail?


Germany is a large country. I think that in 12 different parts of Germany there is disease, but without notice I cannot say offhand exactly in what portions of the country the disease exists.