HC Deb 13 March 1913 vol 50 cc424-5

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he has considered the representations made by the Incorporated Chamber of Commerce of Cork and the South of Ireland Cattle Trade Association, urging the cruelty from a humane point of view of the regulation making it necessary to keep Irish cattle standing on a hard, slippery surface for twelve hours at the port of debarkation, after having been on their feet from twenty to thirty hours on passage from the Southern Irish ports, and probably from ten to twelve hours prior to being shipped; and whether he will comply with their request to make the detention period pro rata according to the average length of voyage of steamers between the different ports of Ireland and Great Britain, or in proportion to mileage?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Runciman)

I have made careful inquiries with reference to the representations to which the hon. Member refers. I am informed that the statement that the animals are kept standing in the lairs for twelve hours is not well founded; that, on the contrary, they are frequently so exhausted on arrival that they lie down almost immediately after admission and rest during the whole period of detention, the effect of which is very beneficial to them. I am not prepared to adopt the suggestion made in the last part of the question.

92. Mr. W. O'BRIEN

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he has been made aware that the Killarney Rural District Council have passed a resolution against the ruin that is being inflicted on the cattle trade in Kerry and elsewhere by the restrictions put upon districts where no disease of any kind has appeared, and calling on the leaders of all Irish parties to compel the withdrawal of all such restrictions immediately; and whether, failing any united action by Irish parties, he will again consult the Irish Department of Agriculture as to whether there is any reason for the continuance of the twelve hours' detention after debarkation?


I do not appear to have received a copy of the resolution to which the hon. Member refers. But I have inquired into similar allegations made in other resolutions of which copies have been sent to me, and I do not find that they are justified by the facts. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.


That is to say, they will not consult the Irish Department of Agriculture about the matter?


We have been in constant consultation, and it is unnecessary to carry it further at the present time. The system is working quite smoothly.


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he will take immediate steps to compel the London and North-Western Railway Company to supply at Holyhead suitable lairage accommodation for all classes of stock unshipped at that port, and which must be detained for twelve hours under the recent Order of his Department?


I am informed that, owing to the exceptionally large number of cattle imported from Ireland during the last two months, the railway company have not hitherto been able to provide accommodation for swine at Holyhead, and the Board have no power to compel them to do so. The landing place at Holyhead, however, is now being reconstructed, and I hope that when the work is finished it will be found possible to provide accommodation for all classes of animals.