I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that the recently appointed General Manager of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board has endeavoured to have the cattle landed, utterly regardless of the interests and requirements of the trade at Birkenhead; whether he is aware that one lot of 400 were taken possession of by the Dock Board and stored in seveu different places, a proceeding which harassed the owner, the cattle, and the buyers, and that the ss. Numidian was put into dock on the Liverpool side with her cattle on board in order to have her cargo discharged; whether this is against the Orders of the Board of Agriculture; and whether a sworn local inquiry will be instituted in this matter?
§ MR. H. GARDNER
I am aware of and much regret the friction which exists between the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and the importers of cattle at Liverpool, and I should be glad to do anything in my power to remove the difficulties which have arisen, but I cannot, of course, assent to the proposition contained in the first of my hon. Friend's questions. I have no reason to suppose, from the inquiries I have made respecting the various matters which my hon. Friend has brought under notice, that any breach of the Orders of the Board of Agriculture has occurred on the part of the Docks Board. I have no power to 132 institute a sworn local inquiry as suggested, but I instructed one of my Inspectors to visit Liverpool, and to place himself in communication with the trade and the Docks Board, and I am hopeful that it will not be long before harmonious relations between the various parties concerned are restored.