HC Deb 07 July 1914 vol 64 cc915-23

I beg to move, "That leave be given to introduce a Bill to increase the penalties for malicious injuries to cattle and other animals in Ireland, and to disqualify persons convicted of certain offences connected therewith from being elected to or sitting or voting in the Parliaments of the United Kingdom or of Ireland."

My object in asking the leave of the House to introduce this Bill to increase the penalties for malicious injury to cattle and other animals in Ireland is to try to stop, or at any rate, lessen the number of cases of maiming cattle which have occurred in the past and are still going on now. I do not think that hon. Members opposite realise, and at any rate, the public outside do not realise, the number of such cases. A few years ago there took place in Staffordshire cases of cattle maiming, and the whole country was horrified, and public opinion demanded that every step possible should be taken to find out the offender and punish him. But in Ireland the same sort of thing goes on weekly. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Hon. Members behind seem to challenge that view. During the last year for which we have got statistics, 1912, there were over eighty cases of cattle maiming, and during the last five years the average has been 81.8 cases reported. Therefore, I am justified in saying weekly, because on an average there are very nearly two a week. This habit of cattle maiming, brutal and disgusting as it is, is a growing one, because during the five years preceding 1907 the average was seventy-two. It is quite possible, and I am afraid probable, that in the near future, when feeling in Ireland over the Home Rule question has grown stronger and more heated than it is at the present time, persons who seem to think that they can avenge themselves on cattle instead of on individuals, may endeavour to do it to an even greater extent. It seems to me that the same school of thought which induces some of the militant suffragettes, because they are angry with right hon. Gentlemen opposite, to go and burn down churches, operates in the case of these people who seem to think that because they have a grievance against some individuals, the best way of avenging themselves is to go and mutilate cattle who are innocent and have not done anything at all to them. If that feeling is going to increase, surely the sooner we take some steps to deal with it, the better.

We have had some indication this afternoon of the way in which possibly a Dublin Parliament may be conducted. I, for one, do not feel content to leave these unfortunate animals at the mercy of hon. Gentlemen behind me. If this bad feeling increases in Ireland, as I am afraid it is likely to do—if we accept speeches such as those of the hon. Member for East Mayo, who told us some years ago, "When we come out of this trouble we will remember who were the people's friends and who were their enemies, and will deal out rewards to one and punishment to the other," I hope, at any rate, that they are not going to deal out their punishment to these unfortunate cattle. I feel sure that this House will agree with me in saying that we should take every step possible to safeguard these animals against any further outbreak lest this habit should become a permanent habit among a certain section of the Irish people. One thing quite clear is that the Act as it stands is not adequate. I do not know whether the Chief Secretary for Ireland is satisfied with the way in which these cases have been dealt with, but, if he is, he is certainly very easily pleased. On looking up the statistics published by his Department, I find that whereas the number of cases during the last five years amounts on an average to eighty, the number of convictions at Quarter Sessions is only four. The right hon. Gentleman seems to think that justice has been done if the persons who own the cattle and horses are compensated, because the present procedure is that if a man has cattle or horses maimed he can go to the County Court and claim damages, and he can have those damages assessed on the locality, so that he himself gets a certain amount of compensation, but nothing is done to punish the offender.

The right hon. Gentleman, in his answers to questions in the House, admits time after time that these offenders are not brought to book, but that compensation is paid to the owner. I hope, by introducing this Bill, to increase the penalties, and if possible to stimulate the right hon. Gentleman opposite in finding these offenders and punishing them. I think that the people who commit outrages such as these should be punished in a somewhat similar way. We cannot now apply the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I certainly think that we might impose—at any rate for a second offence — a whipping as a deterrent. I will read two or three recent cases. Here is one case: On 9th January, 1913, Anastatia Sydney claimed £85 compensation in respect of the alleged malicious driving of nineteen head of cattle, and the cutting off of the tails of seventeen of the said cattle. His honour gave a decree for £25 with costs and expenses. In a second case, on 18th January, 1913, James Webb claimed £25 compensation for alleged malicious injury to two horses—his property. About five or six in the morning he found the halters of a mare and a colt cut. The colt's tail was cut off close to the dock, and the mare was stabbed as with a knife in the chest. The wound was from four to five inches long, and was a direct clean cut down the breast and the chest. A veterinary surgeon gave evidence as to the injuries to the mare, and said that the wound was a perfectly clean one, and must have been done with some clean-bladed instrument. The judge gave a decree for £15 for the mare, and said that it was a sad thing that people had to pay for these irresponsible acts of blackguards.


What are you reading from?


In the next case, which was in January of this year, David Reid, a farmer, near Claudy, applied for £25 compensation for the loss of a brown mare, alleged to have been fatally stabbed on the night of the 19th October. James Howatt, veterinary surgeon, said that the animal was totally disembowelled. There was a clean cut wound five inches long on the near side, and an incised punctured wound on the other side. The judge gave a decree for £25.


The hon. Member has almost exhausted his allotted time.


There are many more cases.


On a point of Order. May I ask you, Sir, if, while my hon. Friend is making a speech, it is possible to stop hon. Members opposite from interrupting, seeing that he is limited to time? [Interruption.]


I propose to increase the fine from £20 to £50, and to allow, on a second conviction, the magistrate or the judge to order whipping in addition to or in substitution of imprisonment; and further, I propose to disqualify anyone convicted of these offences from sitting or voting in the Parliaments of the United Kingdom or of Ireland.


If the hon. Member who has moved this Motion wants to stop effectually, either in England or in Ireland, or anywhere in the United Kingdom, the horrible offence of cattle maiming, he would have no stronger supporter than myself; but I observe that the Bill which he proposes to introduce is to be confined entirely to Ireland and is not to apply to England. I assume it is not to apply to England because cattle maiming is unknown in England, and because of the fact that, wherever an outrage on cattle was committed in England, the perpetrator was always brought to justice. If this be an honest attempt to put down cattle maiming, I wonder it never struck the hon. Gentleman to ask who was the prime promoter in Ireland of cattle maiming. This House is familiar with the name of Sergeant Sheridan, who was stationed at Hospital, in the county of Limerick. He it was who stabbed a donkey and swore the act against a man named Murphy, who was tried before a packed jury and got two years' penal servitude for what was Sergeant Sheridan's own act. That was admitted by the late Chief Secretary (Mr. George Wyndham) at that Table.


May I ask, Sir, whether the hon. Member is opposing this Bill or not?




I heard very little about the Bill in the speech of the hon. Member who introduced it, but I intend to oppose it because it is a piece of hypocritical—[Interruption]—it is a piece of hypocrisy that appeals to the Noble Lord. The hon. Member who has just spoken (Mr. Rupert Gwynne) told us this afternoon that we have had a sort of foretaste of what is likely to be done in an Irish Parliament. I will tell him two things that the Irish Members are never likely to do. They are not likely to throw books at their opponents—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"]—and they are not likely to sell Ascot tickets with a view to matrimonial alliances. [HON. MEMBERS: "Name, name!"] On a former occasion the Noble Lord above the Gangway interrupted an hon. Friend of mine who was speaking from the Labour Benches, and I happened, by way of interruption, to say that when Irish Members went to America it was not for the purpose of cadging for American millionaire wives.—[Interruption.] On that occasion the Noble Lord above the Gangway who had interrupted, sent a note to my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. T. P. O'Connor), in which he said, "As long as I have been in the House of Commons that was the best shot I ever got." It is a curious fact with regard to cattle-maiming outrages in England, that in nine cases out of ten they always happened in the constituencies of Conservative Members.

Mr. GEORGE LLOYD (Staffordshire, West)

May I ask you, Sir, whether the hon. Gentleman is in order in discussing English cases on this Bill?


I see no reason to stop him.


I oppose the introduction of this Bill because it is an insult to Ireland so long as England is ten times worse in this respect than Ireland. The hon. Member mentioned the case of the mutilation of a horse; he gave some harrowing details as to what occurred to the animal. I have a list here of the outrages which have occurred in England. I am not going to weary the House by reading it, or by giving details of cases of mutilation of horses in England which are infinitely worse than anything that was ever

done in Ireland. There was the well-known Wyrley case which occurred in the constituency of a Tory Member. In that instance a wound twelve inches long was inflicted on the horse, entrails protruding from it. The hon. Member did not mention that case in introducing his Bill, which has for its object the putting down of these offences, but no doubt he is prepared to extend his Bill to England on my suggestion. His original intention was to defame and insult Ireland, and try to make the outside world believe that ruffianism is confined to Ireland, and that there is no ruffianism in the immaculate constituencies represented by the hon. Member and his Tory friends in this House. These out-rages were rife in England in 1908. They have abated somewhat since, but there is now another outbreak. The hon. Member says there are only four convictions in Ireland of the perpetrators of these horrible outrages. I forget how many, in the aggregate, of these outrages were committed in England. Will the House be surprised to hear that there was not a single conviction—

Mr. SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 11, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to increase the penalties for malicious injuries to cattle and other animals in Ireland, and to disqualify persons convicted of certain offences connected therewith from being elected to or sitting or voting in the Parliaments of the United Kingdom or of Ireland."

The House divided: Ayes, 130; Noes, 261.

Division No. 150.] AYES. [4.27 p.m.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University) Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)
Anstruther-Gray, Major William Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)
Baird, John Lawrence Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hardie, J. Keir
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Clay, Captain H. H. Spender Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, London) Clive, Captain Percy Archer Harrison-Broadley, H. B.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Clyde, J. Avon Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)
Barnes, George N. Craik, Sir Henry Hewins, William Albert Samuel
Barnston, Harry Crooks, William Hills, John Waller
Barrie, H. T. Dixon, C. H. Hill-Wood, Samuel
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Duncannon, Viscount Hoare, S. J. G.
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Du Pre, W. Baring Hope, Harry (Bute)
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish- Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Bigland, Alfred Faber, George Denison (Clapham) Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)
Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.) Horne, E.
Boscawen, Sir Arhtur S. T. Griffith- Falle, Bertram Godfray Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)
Bowden, G. R. Harland Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes Larmor, Sir J.
Bridgeman, William Clive Ganzoni, Francis John C. Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)
Burn, Colonel C. R. Gardner, Ernest Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)
Butcher, John George Gibbs, George Abraham Lloyd, George Ambrose (Stafford, W.)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Gilmour, Captain John Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Goldsmith, Frank Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Colonel A. R.
Castlereagh, Viscount Grant, J. A. Long, Rt. Hon. Walter
Cautley, Henry Strother Greene, Walter Raymond M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Guinness, Hon.W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds) M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)
Magnus, Sir Philip Remnant, James Farquharson Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton) Sanders, Robert Arthur Watson, Hon. W.
Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton) Sassoon, Sir Philip Weigall, Captain A. G.
Mount, William Arthur Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Weston, Colonel J. W.
Newdegate, F. A. Sharman-Crawford, Colonel R. G. Wheler, Granville C. H.
Newton, Harry Kottingham Stanier, Beville White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)
Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston) Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)
Norton-Griffiths, John Starkey, John Ralph Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)
O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid) Staveley-Hill, Henry Wills, Sir Gilbert
Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A. Steel-Maitland, A. D. Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Stewart, Gershom Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)
Paget, Almeric Hugh Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford) Winterton, Earl
Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central) Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Talbot, Lord Edmund Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Perkins, Walter F. Thomas-Stanford, Charles (Brighton) Yate, Colonel C. E.
Peto, Basil Edward Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North) Younger, Sir George
Pole-Carew, Sir R. Tickler, T. G.
Pretyman, Ernest George Touche, George Alexander TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Pryce-Jones, Colonel E. Tullibardine, Marquess of Rupert Gwynne and Viscount
Quilter, Sir William Eley C. Valentia, Viscount Helmsley.
Rawson, Colonel Richard H. Walker, Colonel William Hall
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Doris, William Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Adamson, William Duffy, William J. Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)
Addison, Dr. Christopher Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)
Agnew, Sir George William Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)
Alden, Percy Elverston, Sir Harold Jowett, Frederick William
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire) Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) Joyce, Michael
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Kellaway, Frederick George
Armitage, Robert Essex, Sir Richard Walter Kelly, Edward
Arnold, Sydney Esslemont, George Birnie Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Baker, Harold T. (Accrington) Falconer, James Kenyon, Barnet
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Farrell, James Patrick Kilbride, Denis
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles King, Joseph
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Ffrench, Peter Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)
Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs) Field, William Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Fitzgibbon, John Levy, Sir Maurice
Beck, Arthur Cecil Flavin, Michael Joseph Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert
Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George) France, Gerald Ashburner Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Bentham, George Jackson Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson Lundon, Thomas
Black, Arthur W. Gelder, Sir W. A. Lyell, Charles Henry
Booth, Frederick Handel Gilhooly, James Lynch, Arthur Alfred
Bowerman, Charles W. Ginnell, Laurence Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North) Gladstone, W. G. C. Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Brady, Patrick Joseph Glanville, Harold James MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Bryce, J. Annan Goldstone, Frank M'Callum, Sir John M.
Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O. Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Greig, Colonel J. W. M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis Jones M'Micking, Major Gilbert
Eyles, Sir William Pollard Gulland, John William Manfield, Harry
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Marks, Sir George Croydon
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Hackett, John Marshall, Arthur Harold
Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood) Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton) Mason, David M. (Coventry)
Chancellor, Henry George Hancock, John George Meagher, Michael
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Meehan, Francis (Leitrim, N.)
Clancy, John Joseph Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)
Clough, William Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Middlebrook, William
Clynes, John R. Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Molloy, Michael
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Haslam, Lewis Molteno, Percy Alport
Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth) Hayden, John Patrick Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Healy, Maurice (Cork) Mooney, John J.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.) Morgan, George Hay
Cotton, William Francis Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morrell, Philip
Cowan, W. H. Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.) Morison, Hector
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Henry, Sir Charles Muldoon, John
Crean, Eugene Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert
Crumley, Patrick Higham, John Sharp Murphy, Martin J.
Cullinan, John Hinds, John Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.
Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy) Hodge, John Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Hogge, James Myles Nolan, Joseph
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Holmes, Daniel Turner Norman, Sir Henry
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Holt, Richard Durning Norton, Captain Cecil William
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Hope, John Deans (Haddington) Nuttall, Harry
Dawes, James Arthur Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Brien, William (Cork)
De Forest, Baron Hughes, Spencer Leigh O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Delany, William Illingworth, Percy H. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas John, Edward Thomas O'Doherty, Philip
Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H. Johnson, W. O'Donnell, Thomas
Dillon, John Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea) O'Dowd, John
Donelan, Captain A. Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Roberts, George H. (Norwich) Toulmin, Sir George
O'Malley, William Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Robertson, John M. (Tyneside) Verney, Sir Harry
O'Shee, James John Robinson, Sidney Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
O'Sullivan, Timothy Roche, Angustine (Louth) Walton, Sir Joseph
Outhwaite, R. L. Roe, Sir Thomas Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Palmer, Godfrey Mark Rowlands, James Waring, Walter
Parker, James (Halifax) Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W. Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Scanlan, Thomas Webb, H.
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Pirie, Duncan V. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Whitehouse, John Howard
Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Sheehy, David Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Pratt, J. W. Sherwell, Arthur James Wiles, Thomas
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook Wilkie, Alexander
Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)
Primrose, Hon. Neil James Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton) Williamson, Sir Archibald
Pringle, William M. R. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Radford, George Heynes Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Raffan, Peter Wilson Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Raphael, Sir Herbert H. Sutherland, John E. Wing, Thomas Edward
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields) Sutton, John E. Yeo, Alfred William
Reddy, Michael Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Young, William (Perthshire, East)
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Taylor, Thomas (Bolton) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Redmond, William (Clare, E.) Tennant. Rt. Hon. Harold John
Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Thorne, William (West Ham) Patrick O'Brien and Mr. Boland.