HC Deb 30 June 1891 vol 354 c1868
MR. T. FRY, for Mr. C. WILSON (Hull, W.)

I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, as the powers under which the Board of Agriculture is enabled to make rules for the conduct of the Atlantic live cattle trade were granted for an entirely different purpose, namely, to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases, and as such powers add another authority under which the shipping trade of this country is conducted, Her Majesty's Government will, during the recess, consider the advisability of bringing in a Bill to transfer those powers from the Board of Agriculture to the Board of Trade, excepting so far as they relate to the prevention of the introduction of contagious diseases?

*THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH,) Strand, Westminster

The hon. Member is, I am afraid, unacquainted with the Act to which he refers. The Board of Agriculture is required under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts to make regulation, not only to prevent the introduction of disease, but also, in the language of the Act, "for insuring for animals carried by sea a proper supply of food and water, and proper ventilation during the passage and on landing," and "for protecting them from unnecessary suffering during the passage and on landing." The assumption, therefore, contained in the question, namely, that the powers of the Board were granted for an entirely different purpose, would appear to be inaccurate. With regard to the second part of the question, it appears to Her Majesty's Government that the carriage and conveyance of cattle is a matter which comes more naturally within the province of the Board of Agriculture rather than of the Board of Trade, and they do not feel disposed to interfere with the existing arrangement.