§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Brigadier-General COLVIN
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
This is really the outcome of the Report of the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the conditions and the exhibition of performing animals. It is strictly in accordance with that Report, with the one exception that instead of a Committee of Supervision being appointed there is an Advisory Committee and the powers of the Committee of Supervision are given to the Home Secretary, who will act on the advice of the Advisory Committee. The objection to the Committee of Supervision was that it would have entailed a considerable amount of expense. It would have to have a secretary and a staff and offices, and it would have run into thousands of pounds, whereas by the present scheme we have all the necessary machinery to hand and there will be practically no expense to the country. May I remind the House what were the recommendations of the Select Committee. The first was about the Advisory Committee. The other recommendations were that all persons who trained animals for public exhibition or performance, and the places where they trained, should be registered; that the representatives of the borough or county council, the officers of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the police should have access at all times, without previous notice given, to the places where animals are trained, and to any exhibition where performing animals are engaged; that the training and performances of all chimpanzees and anthropoid apes should be prohibited; that the training, exhibition and performances of all the larger Carnivora, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and hyenas, should have the special attention of the Committee of Supervision; that the use of mechanical and other appliances in the execution of conjuring tricks which involve cruelty should be prohibited, and that the penalties for cruelty to animals should be revised and increased. Those are the same principles which are embodied in this Bill.
When I commenced investigation into this subject I had quite an unprejudiced mind. If anything I was predisposed to 2962 non-interference. But after the evidence I had I was convinced that there was a necessity for intervention on behalf of the animals and that legislation was necessary. The Bill has no intention of prohibiting performances. It is merely drawn up with the object of preventing cruelty to animals. No doubt there is less cruelty now than there was perhaps 20 years ago, as the tendency of the age has become more humanitarian. We had evidence that there were in days gone by what were described in the sensational papers as skewered lions, bludgeoned bears and so forth, but I do not think we have any recent instances of such excessive cruelty, although we have many instances—I will not harrow the feelings of the House by quoting them now—of cruelty still existing. We were quite certain that the best trainers were most anxious to eliminate any form of cruelty from their performances, indeed, they promised to help legislation in that direction, but there are other trainers and exhibitors who have to be considered, and for them and for their control it is necessary that there should be further legislation. I believe it is contended by those who oppose the Bill that, if it be passed, many people will be thrown out of employment. I do not know how that opinion can be arrived at. If those people are thrown out of employment who are habitually cruel to animals, that is an argument in favour of the Bill. But I maintain that performances of this sort will really be more attractive to the public if the public feel assured that there is no cruelty involved. There is no doubt that in recent years exhibitions of performing animals have tended to become less attractive than they used to be. Theatrical managers have to eater for the public taste and it is only natural that these performances should go out of favour, just in the same way as acrobatic performances are not at all popular now, and consequently exhibitors, and theatrical managers have to look to some other sort of performance in order that they may attract public attention.
What the Committee found was that there was a great deal of difference between animals. Some animals are quite easy to train, some are full of tricks, and some are always attractive to the public, such as seals. The seal is a very playful creature; in fact, it enjoys doing its tricks, and there is no difficulty in 2963 training it. We had no evidence that there had ever been any cruelty in connection with the seals. Animals like the larger carnivora are difficult to train. When they are trained, their tricks are so unattractive or simple that I do not think it is worth while going to all the trouble. A certain amount of cruelty must be caused by it, because you can only intimidate the animals in order to get them to do what you want. It would be far better that the training of these animals should be abandoned altogether. With regard to anthropoid apes and chimpanzees, there was a mass of evidence which left me convinced that they were animals quite unsuitable for public exhibition and performance. They are of very uncertain temperament, they are hysterical by nature, and they easily lose their self-control. Therefore, they are quite unreliable. I am certain, upon the evidence we heard, that there have been several instances where these animals were thrashed most severely, both before and after their performances, in order to render them tractable.
There is the question of mechanical contrivances in connection with conjuring tricks. I will quote one particular instance which came before us, that of the disappearing canary in the cage. It was performed by Carl Hertz and, so far as we could see and judge, there was no cruelty connected with it. When I tell the House what the cage was like and what happens to it, I think hon. Members will rest assured that it is a performance that lends itself to cruelty very considerably. The performer holds in his hand a cage containing the bird. He just moves his hands, and the cage disappears. The fact is that the cage suddenly shuts up, slips up the man's sleeve, and goes behind his back. I put it to the House that a bird, confined in a very narrow space like that is not in an altogether comfortable position. Although Carl Hertz may be an adept at the performance of his tricks, if other would-be conjurors tried it there would be a great deal of cruelty and danger to the bird concerned. There is another quite simple instrument, that one could hardly call mechanical, which came before the notice of the Committee. That was a very small cylinder, which was also held by elastic bands, and was kept up the arm of the conjuror. He passed a 2964 bird rapidly into this cylinder, and it disappeared up his sleeve. I think that is a gross form of cruelty, when an unfortunate bird, which must be terrified at the performance, is jammed into a very small cylinder. I also suggest that as cinemas often reveal cruelty to animate, exhibitions of that sort should be brought to the notice and under the authority of the Home Secretary.
The keynote to the control and prevention of cruelty to these animals is, no doubt, closer supervision and inspection by authorised persons. No unauthorised person should enter on the premises without due cause and authority. In this Bill we propose that authorised persons shall have access at all times to exhibitions and displays, and also to places where training is taking place. In addition, certain approved officers of the Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals shall have access. I do not think the profession can complain of such interference. I do not anticipate that there will be unnecessary, and what I may call frivolous objections to performances. Any such tactics, on behalf of people who hold extreme opinions, would only recoil on their own heads, and would spoil what they hoped to effect.
§ Brigadier-General COLVIN
I am quite willing, in order to prevent any frivolous objections, to support an Amendment in Committee which will prevent undue interference with or interruption of performances. There is one other omission in this Bill. No definition of performing animal is given. Obviously, it was intended to deal with those animals which are exhibited on stages, at circuses, and so forth. There is no intention whatever that sheepdogs, military tournaments, jumping exhibitions, whippets, or anything like that should be interfered with in any way. When this Bill goes to a Committee "performing animals" can be closely defined or, if it be better, we can have a schedule of all those performances which should be exempted. I have very briefly endeavoured to put forward what are the objects of this Bill. I say again, there is no intention to prohibit entirely all animal performances. The sole aim of the Measure is to prevent that cruelty continuing which the Select Committee were satisfied was taking place.
§ Brigadier-General COLVIN
If we can carry the Bill through, I feel certain it will be taken up in other countries, where the conditions of animals are worse than they are here.
§ Colonel Sir CHARLES BURN
I beg to second the Motion.
I ask the House to give a Second Reading to this Measure because I feel certain that every Member really is humane, and the Committee which was appointed to inquire into the conditions under which these animals are trained and perform is satisfied that some legislation is necessary to ensure that the animals that perform get reasonable treatment and are not subjected to cruelty in the training or in the performance. It is an unfortunate thing that the R.S.P.C.A. is necessary in this country, and the record of this Society will show the public and hon. Members of this House how necessary it is that there should be an authority who looks after the interests of the animals and sees that they are not treated cruelly or in anyway in which they should not be treated. Public opinion on this question is very strong and very determined that something shall be done to protect these animals, and while there is no wish or desire to do away with legitimate performances or in any way to interfere with them anyone who has studied animals knows that it is almost impossible to train them to do certain tricks without subjecting them to cruelty in the training. We know that on many occasions it has been discovered that great cruelty has been practised on these animals when performing in circuses and other shows, and I feel that this country ought to lead the way in the world and to show by the legislation passed in this House that we intend to take up the cause of the animals and to see that they are treated properly and as they should be.
I am afraid, as I have said, that it is necessary there should be some supervision, and, after all, there is no desire by the promoters of this Bill to interfere with the performance of animals when we feel certain that cruelty is not being practised. On the other hand, we do wish to carry on the work of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and surely in the interests of the public of this country we want to make certain 2966 that animals are treated fairly and properly. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Epping (Brigadier-General Colvin) has put the proposition before the House, and I hope hon. Members will give a Second Reading to this Measure and any Amendments which are considered necessary will be taken into account in the Committee stage.
§ Captain O'GRADY
I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."
I regret that it is my duty again, as I conceived it to be last year, to move the rejection of this Bill, and I am rather astonished at the statements made by the hon. and gallant Gentlemen who moved and seconded the Measure, particularly those of the Seconder. I know his love of animals, and I think most Irishmen do love animals more than any other people. But when he talks about cruelty, after all the assumption is that the allegations are true. I would ask any Member of this House to go carefully through the evidence given before the Committee, of which I was a Member, and I will venture to say that in no single instance were the charges proved before that Committee. In these circumstances, it is rather astonishing to find that when the Committee were asked to sign the Report, as amended, the numbers were seven to five—seven in favour of the Report and five not in favour of the Report. Quite clearly on that Committee there were five Members of this House who agree with me that the charges have never been proved. I regret that I was not here to sign it. I happened to be in Russia, otherwise I should have made the sixth member to sign against the Report. In any case, you have the fact that a majority of one agreed with the evidence brought forward. I view the Bill in this way.
It is no use beating about the bush. It is a Bill to prohibit performing animal acts that are put upon the music-hall stage all circuses and travelling menageries because it simply gives the Home Secretary for the time being powers to exempt certain acts. I can quite imagine that the pressure which would be brought to bear on the Home Secretary would make his position very difficult if he felt inclined to exempt an act. There are three very powerful 2967 societies in this country who have undertaken to promote this Bill. My view is that they are very vindictive. Let me quote a case, apart from the witnesses before the Select Committee. There is a gentleman in this country who, rightly in the estimation of the people, is our foremost sportsman, whose love of animals is well-known, and who happens to be the patron and, I think, the President of certain societies which support this Bill. I refer to Lord Lonsdale. A friend of mine, Capt. Bertram Mills, who runs a circus at Olympia every Christmas, and who has a great love of animals, endeavoured to get Lord Lonsdale to preside at the opening lunch. Lord Lonsdale himself made inquiries into the matter. He visited the stables, saw the conditions under which the animals were living, saw the rehearsals of the performances, and came to the conclusion that there was no cruelty in that place. It involved elephants, horses, seals and so on. He presided at the lunch. Will the House believe me when I say—I am not stating an opinion—that the three societies solemnly met and decided not merely to relieve him of his official position in the societies but to exclude him as a member, because he took part in the opening ceremony of a circus? That is the attitude of mind that is behind this Bill. I regret to say that, but there are other facts that I hope to state to the House in proof. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved the Second Reading of this Bill surely has forgotten the article he wrote for the "Manchester Dispatch" on this matter on 15th March this year.
§ Brigadier-General COLVIN
I did not write that article. I think if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will look at it closely he will see it was an interview. The correspondent put down his views.
§ Captain O'GRADY
I will not press that, but if the hon. and gallant Gentleman likes I will read from the article. The title is,The Tricks of Animals' Trainers, by General R. B. Colvin, C.B., in an interview.I accept that. That interview says that the fair conclusion, apparently, of the Committee seems to be that the best results are obtained by kindness. He 2968 further said that in some cases the trainers are utterly cruel, and thatSome trainers, especially British ones, are patient, humane men, but there are others.I would ask the hon. and gallant Member, who are the others? For the information of the House, let me say that for the last 20 years there have been about 12 convictions, and I am giving the big figure. In the main, there has never been, with the exception of two cases, British trainers, or those who present stage performing animal acts convicted. There have been only 25 convictions during the last 25 years. As the years go on, so the performers and the trainers are becoming more humane. I agree that before the War there were those who used brutal methods. The facts produced before the Committee showed that, in the bulk, these men were Germans. Everyone knows of the firm of Hagenburg in Hamburg who develop these tricks. That feature has passed away. The proprietors of theatres and the managers of theatres would immediately take action if any case of brutality was shown on the stage. It is to their interest not merely to guard against cruelty, but, when the animals are resting between the acts, to see that the animals are made comfortable.
I represent on this occasion, as I did on the Committee, the Variety Artists' Federation, the men who earn their livelihood by carrying on this business of performing animal tricks. I occupy that position because I was one of the originators of the Variety Artists' Federation, and from that day to this they have accepted me as their spokesman. They have declared definitely and emphatically that, if any case is proved against their members of practising cruelty in regard to performing animal acts, they will be excluded from membership of the federation, which means that they lose their livelihood. Then there is the protection of the existing law. The hon. and gallant Member who moved the Second Reading of the Bill said that the laws are insufficient. I think they are sufficient. I do not think anyone could be prevented from entering the quarters of the people who train the animals. I do not know that any official of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would be prevented by any manager of a theatre or music hall from going behind 2969 the scenes and seeing what is going on there. If such an official complains to the manager as to how things might be modified when the act is going on, that has always been done. I want to refer again to the hon. and gallant Member's article. He says:The first purpose is to separate the sheep from the goats. In the past, the trainer convicted of cruelty has continued to appear, if not in his own name, then in another name. The Bill provides for registration, so that the cruel trainer who is refused admission to the register or expelled from it will find his livelihood gone as a trainer in this country.It is gone now. I have indicated that in such cases managers would refuse to book the acts. I have indicated what would happen in the case of the Variety Artists' Federation when one of their members is cruel in connection with performing animal acts, and I have indicated what power the societies have to protect the animals.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman states thatIn this country open cruelty on the stage or in the circus is rare.I want to know then why the hon. and gallant Member is promoting this Bill? Is this Imperial House of Commons to be asked to spend its time on a Bill of this character, when the promoter says that the cases are very rare? It is using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.
Further he states thatTales were told of elephants being induced to shoot the chute by the application of red hot irons.That story was told to us by a lady who had been employed, I think, by the manager of the Coliseum or of the Hippodrome. She pictured the scene to us—I saw it myself some years ago—of a circus being filled with water, a chute coming down, and the elephants being taken up into the flies and then coming down the chute. She averred that they were tortured with white hot irons to come down the chute. I asked the lady the diameter of the iron; I asked her whether it was an inch iron bar, because, obviously, you cannot obtain white heat for any length of time unless the bar was of that thickness. She said the bar was of the thickness of a stair rod. Anybody who knows anything about elephants will appreciate what effect a stair rod would have on an elephant's hide. I asked her where was the fire for 2970 heating the iron; whether it was in the flies. She said, "No, it was in the basement below the stage." I asked her to perform the experiment at home, of heating a stair rod at the kitchen fire and then taking the white hot stair rod to the top floor. By the time she would get to the top of the house the stair rod would not even burn a hair off my bald head. That is the kind of evidence we had.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman referred to the evidence in regard to Carl Hertz's vanishing bird. I know something about birds, and I know when a bird is healthy. When they are healthy, there is a big fluff of feathers protruding from under their wings. We examined the bird before it went into the trick-cage. We examined it very carefully. It was then put into the cage where the vanishing trick was performed. The bird disappeared. When it was produced again and put back into the big cage I could see that it was fairly well. The feathers under the wings were not ruffled at all. If the bird has been smashed, anybody who knows anything about birds would know that the feathers under the wings would be flat. The charge against this particular trick was brought forward by an amateur conjurer, who was about the most clumsiest amateur I had ever seen. He would make a metal cylinder containing a bird vanish up his sleeve. A man like Carl Hertz would never do a crude thing like that. He brought two birds along to show his expertness in this matter, they were parakeets. Very few performing tricks on the stage are done with parakeets. We usually find parakeets kept by some old Italian woman at a street corner.
To prove how learned he was in his profession of conjuring, he brought out one bird to show us how the bird could not fly away, and he said that the bird could not bite. He showed us another bird, but the conjurer had a piece taken out of his finger and he lost his bird. Cages were also produced which were said to be used by people who performed this trick of the vanishing bird. They were a brutal sort of cage, I said so to the Committee, quite emphatically. The man said that he had bought them in a shop in the Tottenham Court Road, and that they were being sold there without any prohibition. They were the most clumsy arrangement that ever I saw, and cer- 2971 tainly this vanishing trick could not be performed in a cage of that kind.
That is the kind of evidence which we had given. Mr. Hertz is the only man who does this trick upon the stage. He showed us the actual bird with which he performed; he had been performing with it for two years, and yet it was not dead or crushed. In other evidence we were shown a ferocious collar with spikes which was supposed to be put on the neck of a horse to make it rear on its hind legs. That may have been done many years ago, but I went down to the circus at Olympia to see what I could see there, and took my children with me. We went behind and saw the animals. There was a Dane there with about 20 splendid horses. I only wish that the other horses in this country, between the shafts of carts, had the life of a circus horse. Can anybody imagine an instrument of torture being used in the way described to get those 20 beautiful animals to cluster around this man and rear as they did in the ring? It is too absurd for words, yet the Committee were actually asked to believe things of this kind.
The people behind this Bill mean to abolish entirely these acts on the stage. Last year they brought forward a Bill. There was consultation with myself and a few of us who were interested in the matter. As a result the representatives of the Variety Artists' Federation and the managers agreed to licence all animal performances. To our astonishment when the Bill came down from Committee the promoters had actually moved an Amendment to exclude licences. The Amendment altered the whole complexion of the Bill and made it a prohibition Bill, and when this House insisted on licences the promoters withdrew the Bill. The law is sufficient to deal with all acts of cruelty if they exist. Some may exist; I am not emphatic in saying that they do not exist. All I say is that the bulk of the evidence which we had did not prove that there was this great degree of cruelty which is alleged in this matter. Now look at the interests which are involved. Take the financial aspect. My friend Mr. Sanger, whose name is so well known in connection with travelling menageries, had six elephants which were performing at Olympia. The value of those elephants 2972 was £10,000, and one of those elephants had been performing in this caravan for the last 48 years. The effect of this Bill would be that there would be a loss of perhaps 50 per cent. in the value of these elephants, because they would have to be taken abroad and sold for the best price that could be got. Then there are the horses. Anyone who saw them at Olympia would know that these horses are very valuable. It is really a great industry. Capitalised I think it would run into at least £1,500,000. That is all to be destroyed at the whim of the persons behind this Bill. I only wish they had as much anxiety for the children of our slums.
§ Captain O'GRADY
If they call a great public meeting to protest that this House is not doing its duty by the children of our slums, I would be with them, and all Members on these benches would be with them. But to endeavour to obliterate a great industry of this kind is an impossible proposition. Then it will involve throwing out of employment a large number of men and women. It may be that the number is infinitesimal compared with the number of unemployed at present, but remember that these men who own the animals and do the acts and the people engaged in training and looking after the animals are going to be wiped out of business, and that their livelihood will be gone for ever if this Bill is carried. I hope that this House will give much more serious consideration to the Bill than is possible on a Friday afternoon. I would wish before we had a Vote on this Bill that every Member would read the evidence. Remember, reading the evidence, that the people who own the animals and who put the acts upon the stage—I do not know why—were brought into Court, and witnesses were brought from all parts of the Kingdom by powerful rich societies, and those who were defending the situation had nothing of that character, and you will find that in the main the evidence is vindictive.
§ Sir JOHN BUTCHER
Is it not within the recollection of the hon. Member that there were a very large number of witnesses called on behalf of the exhibitors who put their case, quite fairly, I agree?
§ Captain O'GRADY
Yes, but they took managers from Blackpool, for instance, 2973 and elsewhere, who had to come here during the summer at great expense and trouble. Sometimes they were heard and sometimes they were not heard, and they had to come back a few days later on. What we say is that people with no financial interest at all were drawn from all parts of the country by three great powerful societies. They were supplied with précis. In the main the evidence was mere hearsay in a large majority of cases, and the other portion of it was simply imagination. When they found that certain members of the Committee did not agree with the action they were taking, because instead of prosecution it amounted to persecution, I had evidence to show that these societies sent people to certain halls, here in London in particular, who had never seen such tricks before, with definite instructions to shout at the performers. That is not British fair-play. Immediately after the vanishing bird trick was shown to us, people went to Woolwich where Mr. Carl Hertz was performing. We have evidence they were sent by certain societies to shout "shame" at the man. That is what I mean by persecution. This Bill is going further than more performing animals' acts on the stage or in the circus. The statement was made by the hon. and gallant Gentleman who is presenting this Bill that there was no Clause to define what were performing animals, but that this would be rectified later on. I describe that as a late conversion to a principle or policy. It is said because there is a large number of people who feel that, apart from performing animals, the Bill would involve something else. For instance, it would involve military tournaments.
§ Brigadier-General COLVIN
I said distinctly that military tournaments and such like were not included.
§ Captain O'GRADY
That gives the whole case for the Bill away. I say that the Bill may include them. We have to be very careful what we do include. What about horse-racing? There is a race taking place to-day. I have seen some of the pictures of the terrific jumps. Are you going to exempt them? Otherwise, where does the love of animals come in? Take the sheep-dog. Anyone who knows anything about them knows what their training means. Are we to exempt them? As a matter of fact, an Amendment was 2974 moved last year to exempt them. Then, what about coursing? No one says anything about the poor hare, which has no chance at all and has to face fairly certain death. I could go through a whole category of these things. I appeal to the House to consider the matter from that point of view, and to ask what is the value of this Bill? I regret to say that my experience on the Committee led me to the conclusion that this Bill is promoted by prejudice and that there is no attempt at reason in it. The evidence was vindictive. There followed persecution of people who earn their living just as honestly as you or I do. They appeared before the Committee and showed that they had just as keen a love of animals as has any Member of this House. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I move the Motion standing in my name.
§ Major PAGET
I feel great diffidence in opposing certain portions of this Bill. Nobody is more devoted to animals than I am, but, if a young Member may say so, this Bill has been most extraordinarily badly drawn, or I am even more stupid than I thought myself to be. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved the Second Reading of the Bill said nothing about show jumpers. The show jumper is a performing animal. I would say that there is far more, cruelty in the training of certain horses for shows than there is in the training of performing animals by the professional trainer, for the one man always understands his job and the other man often does not. It is no good blinking the fact that there is a good deal of cruelty in the training of these show jumpers. It is often done by men who are not experts. If the show jumper is included, as he undoubtedly would be, in this Bill, we can ask, "What about the other animals in an agricultural show?" Every man who has had anything to do with showing knows that you cannot hope to win a prize for hunter or hack or hackney unless the horse has been subjected to a very considerable process of training. Are those animals included or are they not? If the answer is that they are trained as performing animals what about the fat oxen walking round the ring led by a farmer? [HON. MEMBERS: "All wrong!"] It is no good hon. Members saying that I am all wrong. We have to carry out an Act of Parliament as we find it on the Statute 2975 Book. We do not want another exhibition, another Bill and long sittings of the Committee upstairs, in order to try to put right what Parliament intended and did not do, or what Parliament did and did not intend to do, and then have another of those decisions of the House of Lords of which hon. Members opposite are so fond.
There is another kind of performing animal which has not been brought in. What about gymkhanas and polo matches? They must all be included in this Bill. From the legal point of view I can see no difference between a polo match and four jolly bulldogs playing at football. The two things cannot be differentiated. Are they to be included or not? Inspection may be all right, but there is the difficulty of the licences. As far as I can discover from this Bill every man who keeps an animal of any description must have a licence and will be subject to inspection. I am afraid that I am an old-fashioned Tory, still clinging to one of the shibboleths of my great grandfather's youth, that is, that an Englishman's house is his castle. I certainly have a strong objection to interference or inspection by anyone, let alone—I do not say it offensively —some gentleman who would order all my horses out of the stable, then come into my house and ask, "Have you a performing spaniel?" and having made his inspection would say, "Good morning; I will not prosecute you this time, but be more careful next time." That is a type of inspector who exists. I object most strongly to any private society that is not under the control of the electors of this country being given powers that would enable its inspectors to do that sort of thing. The Bill would give an inspector power practically to enter every country house and every farmhouse in the land. That is a form of iniquitous tyranny against which I most strongly protest.
Let me give one small instance of what I have in mind. At a steeplechase at which I was a steward there came in a horse which was bleeding badly. I found an inspector using very abusive language to the rider. He said he had never seen a horse spurred in such a disgraceful way, and declared that the rider was a scoundrel and ought to be kicked out of the Army. I then called the inspector's attention to the rather important fact that the man who was sup- 2976 posed to have spurred the horse so brutally, happened to have no spurs on his heels at all, and the horse had been scratched at a fence. Are men of that kind to have the right of inspecting our farms and so forth? I put another question to the promoters of the Bill. Supposing I had a licence to train horses for show jumping. A nice civil man comes round to inspect my place and I invite him in to have some tea. He will there discover that my wife or my sons have a pet Pomeranian and are teaching him to catch sugar off the top of his nose. Am I, or is my wife, subject to prosecution in that case for training dogs to perform tricks when I have only a licence to train horses? Has that situation occurred to the promoters of the Bill? There is another provision in the Bill, however, which I certainly think should be included. There is only one punishment for a man who ill-treats an animal. If you are going to pass a Bill of this kind then any man who is convicted of gross cruelty to an animal should have his own cowardly skin subjected to the same ill-treatment. Corporal punishment should be the only punishment for men who ill-treat animals or children. I hope, if the Bill obtains a Second Reading, the promoters will include among the penalties imposed a provision that a man who ill-treats animals shall himself be ill-treated either with the birch or the "cat."
I think the hon. and gallant Member for South East Leeds (Captain O'Grady) rather overstated the case as to the loss which would be involved. I do not think it is quite fair to condemn a Bill simply because another Bill may be brought into do something else. I think if this Bill is passed it may drive a certain amount of training out of this country to other countries where there is a lower standard of humane treatment and it will, undoubtedly, involve a loss both to the revenue and to employment in this country. The hon. and gallant Member for South East Leeds, however, drew rather too black a picture when he suggested that the whole of this £1,500,000 of capital would be lost and thousands of employés thrown on the streets with nothing to do. There was one instance given by him to which I took exception and that was when he mentioned that the Irish were the most humane race. That is not my experience in regard to the horses which I get from Ireland, and it rather 2977 seems to me to be case that the Irish are a little too hasty-tempered in dealing with their horses. I am speaking as a lover of animals and I think it is only right that someone who has been concerned with animals all his life should point out these matters to the promoters of the Bill and suggest to them that as the Bill stands at present it includes every polo pony and every show jumper, and I am not sure that it does not include prize sheep into the bargain. My legal friends may disagree with me, but I cannot see the difference between a show jumper and a prancing horse. I would be quite ready to support the Second Reading of the Bill, but I hope that it will be put into some kind of form, that it will enable animals which are really ill-treated to be protected, and that it will also enable us to ill-treat the people who ill-treat the animals.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. James Hope)
Do I understand that the hon. and gallant. Member second the Amendment?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. and gallant Member has just stated that he supports the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
Does the hon. and gallant Member formally second the Amendment for the rejection of the Bill?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I only called on the hon. and gallant Member on the assumption that he was going to second the Amendment.
§ Major MOLLOY
In opposing the Second Reading of this Bill, I wish the House to understand clearly that I give place to nobody in my love for animals and in my desire to prevent cruelty to animals. I approach this Bill from the point of view of the general public. I am told by some of my legal friends that it is full of imperfections and that it is a thoroughly bad Bill, but I do not feel competent to deal with it from that point of view. The genesis of this Bill seems to me to be in a desire to exploit the sympathies of all right-minded people in 2978 the welfare of dumb animals, in order to gain a step towards the abolition of exhibitions of trained animals, and the utilising of animals for no purpose other than for draught or slaughter. That seems to be the real reason why this Hill has been introduced, and I think I can prove that by reading certain extracts from the reports of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. For instance, in the report for 1919, under the heading "The Jack London Club," it is stated:The formation of the Jack London Club, by which it is hoped the cruelty caused by the training of animals to perform in public will be entirely suppressed, is steadily growing in numbers and influence. … Altogether 1,494 members are now enrolled in the club's records.In the report of the annual meeting of the society held on 31st May, 1921, the speech of the president contains the following:Unfortunately the Bill referred to last year relating to the training and performance of animals in music balls and other places was not successful, but your Council was not satisfied to let the matter rest. The recommendations of the Committee, which will no doubt be embodied in a Bill subject to any amendment which may be desirable, we shall endeavour with all our might to translate into law. Two members of the advisory committee are to be nominated by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals so that your Society will have a voice in advising the Home Secretary as to the nature and extent of the prohibitions, restrictions, and regulations to be imposed. If not all that some of us would desire, this is a definite step in the right direction. I do not mean to say for one moment that the recommendations of this Committee give us half what I want or you want. We desire a great deal more, but we have now placed one foot on the ladder and we hope enlightened public opinion will some day enable us to put an entire stop to these degrading and unnatural exhibitions.That shows that the real object of this Bill is to put an end to the exhibition of trained animals. The method adopted by the promoters of this Bill—I do not refer to the hon. and gallant Member who introduced it—are not altogether desirable. This is an example of how the propaganda work is carried out. I have here a copy of a letter signed by Miss Jessy Wade, secretary of the Performing and Captive Animal Defence League, and it is addressed to a Miss Bradish, who had previously been secretary of the committee and was a member of the committee when written to:Dear Miss Bradish, I enclose receipt for the A.F. subscription which you gave 2979 to Mr. Bell last night—with best thanks. I am not sure whether I sent you a January number, but if so you can drop this one in passing for the benefit of some reader. I think Mrs. Massingham would be good on this committee. She is quite keen on the subject, and I am going to ask her. She is good at shouting, but the Finsbury Park Empire is very big and one person there shouting,' Shame ' is rather lost amongst the applause. Also I think, if several protesters go, they all ought to sit apart from each other and not together. Next week in London there will be; Camberwell Palace, ' Hiawatha '; Coliseum, ' Lockhart's Elephant's '; New Crown Empire, ' Ford and Truly.' I do wish Mr. Threadgold would get up a party to protest. You know Miss Werner, don't you? I was sitting in her flat last night. She lives in the same mansions, and she mentioned seeing you that day at the meeting.—Yours sincerely, Jessy Wade.I am sure hon. Members will agree with me that a cause that requires to be bolstered up by methods of that kind is not likely to receive any support from this House. If this Bill be passed into law, there is no doubt we shall increase unemployment. It will not necessarily cause the amount of loss of money suggested by the hon. Member opposite, but nobody can doubt that it will increase unemployment. It will also hamper and harass a highly respectable section of the working class of England. Some people have got their knife into music-hall artists and entertainment caterers, but they are quite as respectable in their methods of carrying on their business as any other class, except in the eyes of those prejudiced people who seem to be unable to look at anybody with whom they disagree except with hatred and rancour. Another objection to the effect of the Bill is that it will deprive the public of a form of entertainment which is much appreciated, and which would not be appreciated if it were cruel. In the constituency which I represent, namely, Blackpool, which is largely given up to the entertainment of the public, particularly that public which comes from the industrial districts of the North and the Midlands; one of the most popular places of amusement, which is also one of the very best conducted places of amusement in the country, is the Blackpool Tower. At the Blackpool Tower there is a circus, and at the circus there are performing animals, which afford amusement to 25,000 people per diem during the season. This form of amuse- 2980 ment is a very great draw, and gives great pleasure to the crowds of working people who go to Blackpool to enjoy themselves. If carried to its logical conclusion, as has been pointed out by other hon. Members, there is no doubt that it is within the scope of this Bill to include jumping competitions in horse shows, steeplechases, and military tournaments, which all employ performing animals. The most entertaining features at the Zoological Gardens, police dogs, sheep dogs, blind men's dogs, and the little dog of the Punch and Judy-show—all come under this Bill, and if the promoters of the Bill draft it so badly that it has to be torn to bits in Committee before it is fit to put before the public, I say that that is quite sufficient argument against passing the Second Reading. Such a Bill does not deserve a Second Reading.
Another effect of the passing of the Bill will be that it will put our film producers at a still further disadvantage as compared with those of the United States of America and other countries, and it will thus handicap an industry in which an enormous amount of money is involved and which employs a great number of people. Another effect of the Bill will be that by inspections and inspectors the backs of the public will be put up, and the sympathy with the spontaneous movement which has brought about the enormous change in the treatment of dumb animals in this country will be lessened. I would like now to read a few extracts from the OFFICIAL REPORT. On 21st February, 1921, I find the. following:LIEUT.-COMMANDER KENWORTHY asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the many proved cases of cruelty involved in the breaking and training of wild and domestic animals, other than horses, for performances on the stage and in travelling circuses, and that an increasing number of people object to these performances; and if he will consider introducing: legislation on this subject?THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir J. BAIRD): I have been asked by the Prime Minister to answer this question. I have no information to the effect suggested in the first two paragraphs. Cruelty to animals for the purpose of training them for performances is an offence and can be dealt with under Section I of the Protection of Animals Act, 1911; and on the information at present before me, I am not satisfied that it is necessary to extend these provisions."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st February, 1921; col. 545. Vol. 138.]2981 Here is another extract from the OFFICIAL REPORT:MR. MALONE asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Government intend to introduce legislation to carry out the recommendations of the Select Committee on Performing Animals?THE UNDER-SECRETARY or STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir J. BAIRD): The recommendations of the Select Committee are being carefully considered, but I am not in a position at present to make any statement as to the intentions of His Majesty's Government."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th June, 1922; col. 368, Vol. 155.]It is clear from these two extracts that at that time the Government did not consider any extension of the law necessary in order to deal with any possibility of cruelty entering into the training of animals for performance on the stage. Has anything happened since then to make a change in the law necessary? The Select Committee has been appealed to by the hon. and gallant Member who introduced the Bill, but I should like to read two extracts from the Report of that Committee which put rather a different complexion on the matter. The first is this:Your Committee are impressed with the honest and genuine desire of the profession to eliminate every possibility of cruelty and ill-treatment from their exhibitions of performing animals, and with their willingness to co-operate with the societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals in restricting performances to such as will meet with general approval.Another extract reads as follows:Your Committee … realise that the best results obtained in training are effected by kind and patient treatment. … Generally speaking, the evidence before the Committee tends to show that there has been a marked improvement in the care and treatment of animals during recent years, and that the humanitarian spirit so rapidly developed in this country is being extended to animals, and will in itself form a safeguard and a protection to those animals which perform in public.I do not think we need any further evidence than those two extracts from the Report of the Select Committee. I am going to vote against the Bill, for one reason, because I think it is a thoroughly bad Bill, and I have the support of my legal friends who characterise it as such. It is the attempt of a noisy, but socially influential, class to interfere with the legitimate amusements of the people. Attempts have been made to get at me, but I was not to be got at. I think they are not just, and they are faddists. 2982 Amusements are a necessary adjunct to modern life. I think the general public have arrived at the opinion that those people who think amusement is sinful are wrong. During the worst times of the War we owed a tremendous debt of gratitude to variety artists and the theatrical profession generally, for keeping people's hearts up, and in the strenuous life of to-day it is more necessary than ever that the mind should be entertained by such exhibitions as are given for the public benefit. This Bill will hamper and interfere with a large class of wage-earners, who, if the Bill passes, will be thrown out of employment Above all, it is unnecessary, because the present law is quite ample to deal with these matters. It has been proved up to the hilt that cruelty forms no part of the training of performing animals at the present day. I ask the House to look at this matter from the standpoint of common sense, and not be led away by the fulminations of a lot of hysterical men and women, or bow to the senile arguments of a lot of old women, of both sexes, but to refuse to allow the Bill to have a Second Reading.
§ 2.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Unlike the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken, I have not been got at by either one side or the other. I suppose my opinion and my vote were not so valuable as those of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. I intend to vote for the Second Reading of this Bill, but if I am in order in the Committee stage, I intend to move Amendments to broaden the scope of the Bill, and make it much more useful. I think the present Measure savours a good deal of humbug. If the promoters really had been sincere, they would have brought within the scope of this Measure steeple-chasing; the hunting of foxes, one of the most cruel sports that man could follow. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] My hon. Friend has indulged in the sport of hunting foxes. I have had the painful experience of watching gentlemen pursuing this so-called sport. It is a painful business, and is not a compliment either to the humanitarian sympathies or the sport of gentlemen in this country. There could be, and ought to be, brought within the scope of this Bill a large variety of amusements, or so-called amusements. There is, for instance, the performances, not of animals, but of human 2983 individuals. Can anything be more cruel on the stage than a well-built woman or a well-built man twisting herself or himself in the most abominable fashion? It always seems to me, when I watch acrobats on the stage, that there is nothing amusing, nothing edifying, and nothing but the most cruel performance one could desire to see. This Bill only deals with a very, very small portion of what ought to be a very big subject, and I could have wished that the promoters had taken courage and extended the scope of the Bill.
Let me deal with the hon. and gallant-Gentleman who has just sat down. It is not sufficient to oppose a good object by saying that certain people have money invested. If you are going to be judged on that, you are going to have no reform or social advancement in this country. Every Measure of social reform is always met by the same argument, namely, that capital is invested in it. But that is no reason why you should not seek to improve conditions. As for the argument that men or women engaged in the industry will lose employment, it is an important argument, but, after all, if the employment problem is to be solved only by this method, then it seems to speak volumes for the bankruptcy of statesmanship. We on these benches hope that unemployment is not dependent on maintaining performances that are not good for the animals or the public taste. There is a further point, regarding the cinema trade. Surely the cinema people of this country are not going to be dependent for the greatness of their industry upon cruelty to animals. I should think they could develop their industries in a hundred and one ways without necessarily inflicting any cruelty on animals.
I am going to vote for this Measure, further, because I think that it will give a better chance to the animals on the stage of being better treated, and under greater supervision than has formerly been the case. One who is working on the stage is inclined to think not of the ill-treatment or otherwise of the dog, but to think of making his peformance popular. With any man working in any profession the great thing that dominates him is to make his job so popular that he can demand from his employers the largest possible sum, and for that purpose he tries to enlist popular support. 2984 The whole tendency is for people who are on the stage, who deal with these animals, to try and get them to do things which under ordinary conditions the animal would not be capable or willing to perform. I think that this Bill, limited as it is, meagre as I think it is in its provisions, is capable of extension. One word to hon. Members. I am glad to see that their interests, even in performing animals, are humane. I would much rather, sitting on these Benches week in and week out, see that humanity extended to the children of the particular class to which I belong, to see that they are given reasonable facilities for being treated as humanely as I wish to sec, Dot only animals, but every form of human being treated in the future.
§ Sir WALTER de FRECE
Before stating my objection to the Bill, I should like to emphasise the remarks of the hon. Member for Blackpool (Major Molloy), who drew attention to the fact that this is a private Members Bill as a result of the investigation of a Select Committee. If the Government believe in the Report of that Select Committee, I cannot understand why they have not introduced this Bill themselves. If the report of the Select Committee is to be acted upon, it should surely be at the instance of the Government, and not be left to private sentimentalists. The Bill deals, as has rightly been said, with the training of "all" animals, from the dog in a Punch and Judy Show to presumably horses in the Grand National. The Grand National is being run to-day. Most hon. Members of this House I think know that. [AN HON. MEMBER: "And some hon. Members are there."] And some other hon. Members wish they were there! Hon. Members must know that to enable the horses in the Grand National to get round that most difficult course, they must be very thoroughly and severely trained. Therefore if this Bill is going to protect, as is suggested, trained horses, you must take in horse racing, military tournaments, point-to-point races, and everything else of the same nature. Hon. Members suggest that there may be exceptions. There are no exceptions in this Bill. I think the House will be wise not to leave this matter to the tender mercies of a Committee to deal later with this aspect of the case.
2985 It would be better to reject the Measure at once in its entirety. I go further, and say that this is a perfectly insincere Measure. If it reminds me of one thing more than another it is the way that the Puritans interfered with sport, not because of the harm it did to animals, but because of the pleasure it gave to the people. There are no cases of cruelty worth mentioning at the present day; the few cases brought to the notice of the Committee went back years, and were mostly connected with foreign training. Humanity and self-interest, if no other thing, affects this matter, and has swept them out of existence. Let me quote from the article which has been referred to by the promoters of this Bill. The hon. and gallant Member for Epping (Brigadier-General Colvin) admits that in this country open cruelty on the stage or in the circus is rare, and that there are now but few cases of cruelty. If the need does not exist, why legislate? The hon. Member apparently accepts the contention that all cruelty goes on secretly. Yet at the same time he asks in this Bill that agents may have the right at any time, and as often as they please, to visit all places of entertainment, and, if they choose, practically live behind the stage. The writer goes on to say:Animal film acting demands close supervision.Personally I know that film production in this country is difficult enough as it is. There are no regulations of this sort in America, where they trust, as we ought to do, to humanity and decent feeling. In short, the contention of the hon. Member is that although we have no real cruelty here, we should adopt this Bill, so that other countries where there is cruelty might follow our example. That is a novel point of view—that people who do not need legislation should adopt it for the benefit of other people who do.
Let me give one true instance of the sort of case brought up nowadays—I could give others, but one will suffice, as I do not wish unnecessarily to detain the House. At a recent theatrical show in the West of London, the arena was turned into a lake, and to add local colour ducks were placed upon the lake. A very excited old lady went to the manager's office, and said she was certain that the ducks were doped because they were not fluttering about in the water. The manager explained that the water was heated, as the 2986 artistes had subsequently to dive into it, and that, therefore, the ducks were somnolent, because they were getting a tepid bath at the expense of the management! That is the sort of complaint we get. Moreover, may I point out that, under this Bill, a bird is an animal, and apparently a snake is not. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Nobody seems to have much sympathy for snakes, although if we are going to have this Bill, we ought to be consistent and include snakes. They are constantly appearing in a trained form.
This Bill is opposed, as has been already stated, by the whole of the entertainment interest in this country. I speak for the Society of West End Managers, for the Theatrical Managers' Association, for the Variety Artists' Federation, for the whole of the circus interests, and, in fact, for everybody in the entertainment world. If this Bill be passed, as hon. Members have already said, it will throw thousand's of people out of work. Make no mistake about that! It will do so. They will be out, not because there is cruelty to animals, but because those who engage these performances or exhibit these animals will not do so in future. They will not trouble, and they will not submit to be harassed as this Bill would harass everybody. That is why the London theatres oppose the Bill. They will not have people going behind the scenes at all times of the day or night, as the case may be, and interfering with their business. There are at least a dozen London West End theatres where of recent times birds and other animals have been on the stage. Take, for instance, "Chu Chin Chow," "Cairo," "The Garden of Allah," "Decameron Nights," "The Broken Wing," down to the latest "Treasure Island," in which Long John Silver appears with a parrot on his shoulder.
This Bill applies to every theatre which introduces a dog, a horse, or a bird into the performance. The theatre managers have at present sufficient trouble without this further interference. I was a member of the Select Committee. I never objected to mere registration, but this Bill is regulation run mad. It in no way represents the views of the minority of the Select Committee. I must impress that upon the House. I am sorry to say that one or two members of that Committee 2987 have been deluded into thinking that it does. The Bill must affect every Zoo, every menagerie, and every circus. Do not let hon. Members be under any misapprehension of the use to which it will be put if passed. Probably hon. Members will have seen that the Variety Artists' Federation have issued a statement of their objections to the Bill. Let me summarise them and my own:
The Bill is not necessary. It is pure sentimentalism of the most dangerous character. It will cause wholesale unemployment. It will produce widespread inquisition into every domain of the entertainment world by people who have to make a case to keep their jobs, and who are not honest critics of what they see. The machinery is utterly unworkable. The Advisory Committee is stupid in its method of formation, as it will lead to the giving to the Home Secretary of autocratic powers to do what he likes, and he must be a genius to make a success of it. It will hamper trade in many ways. Animal films are among the most popular films shown in England to-day, and the great majority come from America, where there are no restrictions except those dictated by humanity. The Bill will kill the use of animals in film production in this country. It gives the Home Secretary power to prohibit the exhibition and training of animals which even the Select Committee did not consider necessary. I strongly object, on legitimate educational and amusement grounds, to the suggested restrictions on the use of animals mostly shown in menageries and Zoos. The Bill specifically refers toThe training, exhibition and performance of lions, tigers, leopards, and hyenas and other large carnivora.This cuts the menagerie clean out of existence, and it seems to me that it will also cut the Zoo out. It will be a very interesting spectacle to see the paid agents of the protection societies sitting outside the cages of the Zoo, watching to see if the animals are at all seriously inconvenienced, and then making a report to the Home Secretary, who, I suppose, will prevent their exhibition altogether. Those who have to do with the training of animals welcome honest investigation and inspection, and they have no objection to registration; but there is no reason why they should be interfered 2988 with by people who are paid to make their lives, and the lives of everybody else, a misery. They have to live on results, and they have to get those results somehow. Most hon. Members will agree with me that it is time that Parliament set a limit to this incessant interference with everybody and everything. It is difficult enough in these days for the entertainment industry to get along at all. I thought that, with the last Government, we had ceased this mania for State control. I therefore invite the House to have nothing to do with this Measure, which, as I said, is not necessary. Its effect will be disastrous. It will expose every entertainment interest in this country to the procedure of paid agents and the whole machinery of the Courts. Had the intention of those at the back of this Bill been honest, and not purely sentimental, they would have gone for an increase of penalties in cases of proved cruelty. The minority of the Select Committee endeavoured to recommend this, but without success. Yet a few private Members think that they should attempt what apparently the Government have not the courage to do. It will be best to reject the Measure in its entirety, and then see, if desired, and by the consideration of practical people, whether any steps in the direction of increased penalties be necessary. This is quite another matter from wholesale sentimental interference or wide-spread State control which the Bill proposes, and for which I ask the House to reject the Bill.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
The Report of the Select Committee was arrived at after most prolonged and careful investigation extending over two years. Witnesses representing everyone interested in this class of performance were called, including actor managers, directors of these great exhibitions at Blackpool and elsewhere, trainers and everyone connected with the industry for which my hon. Friend (Sir W. de Frece) has spoken. I think he will agree that those witnesses had the most ample opportunity of being heard. We had that class of witness representing those who exhibit performing animals, and experts of every sort and kind, including Dr. Chalmers Mitchell from the Zoological Gardens, who gave the most valuable and delightful evidence which I should like everyone to read. We had the most extensive 2989 evidence it was possible to get on one side or the other, and we arrived at our conclusions, I hope honestly, with every desire to find a solution of this matter. I agree we were not unanimous on some points, but we were on others. Hon. Members who oppose this Bill have taken what I venture to think was not quite a wise course. They have taken the course of representing the promoters as though they were a combination of fools and knaves. If hon. Members will look at the names at the back of the Bill and consider the names of those supporting the Bill here and in the country, I think they will agree that that is not an accurate description of them as a whole. The hon. and gallant Member for South East Leeds (Captain O'Grady) says that the Bill is the outcome of prejudice, persecution, and vindictiveness. I wonder he did not add all the other crimes and vices.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I suppose it is all summed up in Toryism, but even then my hon. and gallant Friend is wrong, because three of the strongest supporters of the Bill sit on the other side of the House. There is a Labour Member (Mr. F. Roberts) who was a most regular attendant on the Committee and for whom we had the greatest respect, and there is the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy). I am not quite sure to what party he belongs, but I do not think the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds would describe him as a Tory. What about the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson), whose name is also on the back of this Bill and who strongly supports it? Therefore, my hon. and gallant Friend will have to revise the category in which he places the promoters of this Bill—" prejudiced persons, persecutors and vindictive persons, all due to Toryism." I think we may wipe that out.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
Let me come to the next hon. Member. The hon. Member for Blackpool (Major Molloy) says that the Bill is the outcome of the views of hysterical men and women. When you have nothing else to say, it is a very good way to call your opponents 2990 hysterical, prejudiced, vicious, or anything else you like. But abuse of your opponents, as lawyers, and, indeed, laymen, have found out long since, is no use. It does not carry you any further. The question is whether, on the evidence as summed up in this Report, the House is justified in legislating in the way in which it is asked to legislate. Let me take my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Sir W. de Frece). He was not quite as uncomplimentary as his colleague, but he told us that this was an insincere Measure, promoted by private sentimentalists. I think he even said we were not honest, but I am sure that, if he did say that, he did not mean it; and, when he used the word "insincere," I think it was a slip of the tongue.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I beg my hon. friend's pardon. The Measure is not sincere, but we are. That is the conclusion at which he arrives. I think my hon. friend said also that we were capable, and he will hardly deny that we are sincere and capable, but yet we have produced a Measure which, according to him, is absolutely insincere. That is a paradox of psychology which really I am incapable of solving, and I leave it to hon. members who are more capable of judging of human nature than I am. My hon. friend says that this is mere private sentimentalism, but let me tell him that you do not get rid of the strong determination in this country to suppress every form of cruelty towards animals— a determination which exists both in this House and very largely throughout the country, and not least amongst the newly enfranchised voters, namely, the women— you do not get rid of that determination by calling it sentimentalism. If there is one thing that, to my mind, is more important than another in the change of public opinion as regards cruelty in general, it is the fact that in recent years in every quarter of the House—and I recall the splendid support that I received, when I pleaded for the pit ponies many years ago, not only from my own side of the House but also, from the Labour Benches and, I think I may say, from Liberals of all classes—if there is one thing more remarkable than another, it is the immense growth of that determination to suppress cruelty, whether it 2991 be cruelty to children or cruelty to animals. Cruelty in every form is becoming more and more repulsive to the people of this country, and I believe that the country is determined, and this House is determined, that, whenever cruelty is found to exist, it shall be suppressed. The very foundation of this Bill is the suppression of cruelty. If no cruelty had been proved in the case of these performing animals, there would have been no Report in favour of legislation. My hon. friend the member for South-East Leeds (Captain O'Grady) went so far as to tell us that no cruelty was proved before the Committee.
§ Captain O'GRADY
I do not want to be misunderstood. I did not say that there were no cases, but that the evidence brought forward did not prove that there was cruelty.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I am wondering what proof there could be except upon evidence. We were there, not to give our private opinions, but to decide upon evidence whether there was cruelty, and if my hon. Friend says that there was no evidence of cruelty, all I can say is that I entirely disagree with him, and the Committee disagreed with him.
§ Captain O'GRADY
I repeat that I must not be misunderstood. The hon. and learned Gentleman must appreciate the fact that I was not there when the final Report was made, and could not sign it. Had I been there, there would have been six members of that Committee who definitely came to the conclusion that the case was not proved.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
I am much obliged to my hon. Friend for that explanation. Let me read the facts. If hon. Members who have this Report in their hands will kindly turn to paragraph (8), on page 5, they will find this:Your Committee are convinced that there have been in the past, and certainly still, are many cases of ill-treatment and wanton cruelty in the training and performances of animals, but they also realise that in the large majority of cases the best results obtained in training are effected by kind and patient treatment. On the other hand, a callous trainer will endeavour to obtain his object by inspiring his pupil with fear of bodily suffering.The House will be interested to know that paragraph (8) was most carefully con- 2992 sidered by the Committee. The drafting was revised, and various Amendments were introduced into it, and when the paragraph as finally amended was put to the Committee, it was carried without a Division—it was carried unanimously. Therefore, that must be regarded as the absolutely unanimous view of the Committee on this point—that there have been in the past, and certainly still are, cases of ill-treatment and wanton cruelty. My hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Sir W. de Frece) seemed to throw some doubt upon the existence of cruelty, and, like the hon. Member for South-East Leeds, seemed to suggest that there was no great evidence of it. The House may be interested to know, however, that my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne was one of those who were present when paragraph 8, in the form in which I have read it, was carried without a Division.
§ Captain BOWYER
May I point out, in fairness to the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne, that there were many Divisions on paragraph (8).
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
Yes, that is quite true, but there was no Division on the paragraph in its final form, and that will be found stated in the Report. On the paragraph as amended there was no Division. It is quite true, as my hon. and gallant Friend reminds me, that there were many Divisions on the particular form which the paragraph should take, in which Divisions my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyme took part, but when it was finally put in this form it was carried unanimously. Having proved, as I hope I have, to the satisfaction of hon. Members, that the Committee were satisfied as to cruelty. and wanton cruelty, the question arises, what is to be done? It is quite clear that, under the existing law, the facilities for inspection, obtaining evidence, prosecution, and so on, were insufficient to stop this cruelty. It is quite true, and I wish to say so in the most public way that I cant that many—I would say probably all— of the best exhibitors are against cruelty. They desire to suppress cruelty, and I think most of them would welcome any Measure for suppressing it. [An HON. MEMBER: "Is there not in existence now a. law against cruelty? "] Yes, but it has proved insufficient. Cruelty has 2993 gone on in the past, and is going on still, and, finding the existing law to be insufficient, it was our duty to discover a mode of stopping it. Accordingly, we made recommendations, and those recommendations, in substance, have been embodied in this Bill. In some ways, perhaps, they are put in a. less stringent form. The powers which we propose should be given to the Committee of Supervision are given partly to the Home Secretary subject to the control of this House. The substance of the Report, however, is included in the Bill.
When once we were satisfied, as we were, that there is and has been for many years cruelty in regard to performing animals, we were bound to find some mode of suppressing it, and we recommend this as the best mode of dealing with it that we could discover. Training undoubtedly affords great facilities for cruelty. It is carried on in secret. The public do not know and no one knows, unless there are facilities given to the police or otherwise. There was evidence before us that 80 per cent. of the trainers were foreigners and there was further evidence that many were Germans and that the Germans were more cruel in their training than English people, that they did things which would not be tolerated in this country and that in consequence of that they produced what they called good results. It is absolutely essential that if you are to know and to see what is going on and desire to stop it, you must have inspection.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for South East Leeds and others say the Bill will stop many performances which it was never intended to touch. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bosworth (Major Paget) said it would interfere with the exhibition of fat oxen and prize sheep. I do not think it ever occurred to anyone that fat oxen were performing animals and still less prize sheep. It is not unnatural than to-day our thoughts should be directed towards Liverpool and that there should be references to the Grand National and it is suggested that if the Bill passed every horse trained for the Grand National would be a performing animal. We speak of a good hunter as being a good performer I agree. That is a question that will have to be gone into in Committee. I do not want a Grand 2994 National horse to be treated as a performing animal for the purpose of the Bill any more than a hunter. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why."] Because it belongs to a totally different category of things. I have trained horses and I have ridden in a good many point-to-point races. [An HON. MEMBER: "Did you wear spurs?"] I always wear blunt spurs. As a matter of fact, I have never trained a horse to jump by cruelty. Anyone who wants to ride in the Grand National will find that he will get on much better if he trains his horse without cruelty and trusts it and gets it to trust him. This, however, is rather beside the mark. On the one hand, we are told that the Grand National and point-to-point horse will come within the purview of the Bill, and, on the other hand, an hon. Member complains that snakes will not come under the Bill. When the Bill goes to Committee, we can talk about snakes or any other animals, including the fat oxen, if my hon. Friend thinks it worth while to do so. The thing we have to do to-day is to see that the Bill passes Second Reading. My hon. Friend makes a suggestion which would have considerable influence with me if it were true. He says the Bill, if passed, will stop all performing animals whatsoever. I do not believe a word of it. The evidence before us was that a large number of performances were carried on entirely without cruelty and that most exhibitors were desirous of stopping cruelty. This Bill is so framed that unless cruelty is proved the exhibitions will go on. To suggest that all performances are going to be stopped, is one of those bogies that are held up in every case. Whenever a Bill is brought in for anything, we are told some fearful disaster is going to occur, when there is not a ghost of a chance that it ever can occur. I put that suggestion aside as one more of a rhetorical than a serious character. There is no desire on the part of the promoters to stop any performance. We recognise in our Report that there are many performances which we desire to retain, but we have found upon evidence which was really overwhelming that there is now and has been for years past this cruelty, and the Bill will do two things. It will largely stop cruelty in those cases where it exists, and in the second place it is so framed that it will not interfere 2995 with any legitimate exhibitions where there is no cruelty. It will impose no undue restriction on those who are carrying out their business in an honourable way and it will not impose any undue interference in the carrying out of their business. It will leave all proper shows to continue and it will only have the effect of stopping those shows and exhibitions which I believe every man in the House and every man and woman throughout the country will desire to stop.
§ Mr. PATRICK COLLINS
I have been very interested to hear the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) telling us the story of this Bill, but I do not think he knows anything about it at all. I do not suppose he has ever been to see any show. It is only what he has read in evidence. The true test is to see the animals perform. I have had twenty or thirty lions—[Interruption.]—no, not wild lions. You have to train these animals when they are cubs. You can do nothing with them after 12 months old. It is done in the same way that you rear puppies. You tame them in that manner. I can tell the House, you can do nothing with these animals at all by brutality. It is a mistake to say that there is brutality in connection with performing animals, such as lions, tigers and elephants. [HON MEMBER: "Rhinoceroses!"] There is no more brutality in regard to these animals than there is in breaking in a horse. When you break in a horse, an iron bit is put into its mouth, and it is held by a rein to keep its head back. Then you get what is called "a mouth." No doubt many hon. Gentlemen know what that is. You go on, with the bit in the horse's mouth, and there is a certain amount of iron in his mouth. He has to chew that iron for at least seven days before he is properly what is called "mouthed." [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] That is exactly what is done to-day. Any hon. Gentleman can make inquiries from the horsebreakers as to how it is done. The hon. and learned Member for York never mentioned that. He spoke about riding, and said he had used spurs. There must be a certain amount of brutality in driving horses over fences.
§ Mr. COLLINS
It is the namby-pamby people who get up this legislation for this country. We have enough legislation now on the Statute Book to curtail any injury or brutality, if there be any. I cannot see why, in a Debate such as this, hon. Members should interfere with the rights of our people. Bostock's Menagerie has been for 120 years on the road, travelling from place to place. During that 120 years there has not been one case against them in regard either to horses or animals. I have had 30 or 40 horses, and there never has been a case brought to the notice of our people of any brutality or cruelty. This proposal is a mistake. It is all got up by certain people who would be doing much better if they would look round the slums and look after the children and attend to human beings. The real cruelty, to my mind, is to see the poor old British lion made to walk the tight rope of prejudice and jump through the hoops held out by misinformed and grievance-ridden prigs.
§ Mr. MARCH
I am rather diffident in saying very much in this Debate. As a man who has been amongst animals practically all his life, and who has had something to do with training and breaking horses, I want to say that if this Bill is going back to the training of horses for work, you will never find that any horse has been broken in without some cruelty.
§ Mr. MARCH
I want to see the prevention of cruelty to animals in all directions, and by every possible means. During my experience as a representative of men who get their living by driving horses, during many years I have always endeavoured to advise them to remember that the horse is the animal by which they get their living, and that, if they want their work done well, they must treat their animals kindly. The question of getting the work done reasonably after the horse is broken in and trained to that work, is quite a different one from that of the breaking in and training in the first instance. Does any right hon. 2997 or hon. Gentleman think that, after a colt or foal has been running round the grounds for six, nine, or 12 months, or sometimes longer, its breaking-in is going to be done without any cruelty?
§ Mr. MARCH
It will depend a great deal, of course, upon the individual who is breaking the colt whether there is any cruelty. The point of view of hon. Members would be quite different from the point of view of the animal. Again, the point of view of hon. Members with regard to training the horse would be quite different from that of the animal. It is all very well for hon. Gentlemen to say that they have ridden horses. They have ridden them after the work has been done, and after the horses have been got ready for them. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Hon. Members know as well as I do that there is scarcely a horse in the Army but has been ill-used to get it to do the work it now does.
§ Mr. MARCH
Why are you exempting these horses? Why are you exempting the dogs that are used in the Army? You claim that you can train them for a class of work you want them to do without any cruelty. It is nonsense. You can no more train either horses or dogs for the work you wish them to do in the Army than people can train their horses and dogs to perform on the stage or in the arena. The question whether there is any harm to the animals after they are trained is a different matter. To get them to perform requires a tremendous amount of skill, and a tremendous amount of human feeling for them. More good can be done with the animals by kindness than by cruelty after they are trained and broken in. It is when breaking them in and when training them that the cruelty occurs. If this Bill is going through, I want to see it go back to the breaking-in and training of animals to do their work. I also want to see that the people who are interested in the prevention of cruelty to animals extend their operations a little bit fur- 2998 ther. As I have endeavoured to advise them, on more than one occasion, they should start at the bottom. They should also start at home, and look to their own places, from whence they send their horses out with very heavy loads, and quite unfit for the work they are going to do. The horses are kept out many hours, and any hon. Members, going along our London roads, may at various times see them stopping. Then the person who has to get along with the load has to use some physical force. That means cruelty to the animals in addition to the heavy weight of the load they are drawing. When you start on that kind of business you will be doing some good to the animal, which cannot speak for itself. In connection with this Bill and the speeches of many hon. Members who have spoken there is a great deal of sentiment. Hon. Members should get away from that sentiment and ask themselves where we are going to extend the operations of the Bill. If anyone can prove to me that it is possible to hold a military tournament without any cruelty being exercised in getting the animals ready for their work, he is very clever indeed.
§ Mr. MARCH
You cannot see that there is any cruelty in what you are doing. You can see only the cruelty done by another individual. You cannot see your own cruelty when you are riding horses over hedges. How many times have you had to use the spurs, and use them very harshly, in order to get a horse to jump over hedges and ditches?
§ Major DESPENCER - ROBERTSON
Has the hon. Member ever seen a race meeting, where a horse has thrown its rider early, but has continued its course?
§ Mr. MARCH
Yes, and I am one of those who have been over their heads more than once. [HON. MEMBERS: "AS a jockey? "] I have never taken up the profession of a jockey, but I have had something to do with the breaking-in of horses, and I have been over their heads more than once, not to my liking, but because I could not help myself.
§ Mr. MARCH
No, it is because they are treated too kindly. I have been delighted and I have let them know it, just as hon. Members have done in similar circumstances. It is all very nice to talk about these things as hon. Members have done, but it will not wash. It is the point of view held by a few people who have nothing better to do than to find fault with someone else—people who belong to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and who, like the Mover of the Second Reading, come along and say that it is cruelty to have animals performing on the stage or in the circus. I know that there is cruelty in getting them ready for the performances, as there is cruelty in getting horses or other animals ready for any performance. Because I know that, I am not satisfied with this Bill. I believe that there are adequate protections in the 1911 Act, if that Act is carried out properly.
§ 3.0 P.M.
§ Captain BOWYER
As one who took a small part in the sittings of the Select Committee—in fact, I was there at nearly every meeting—during the months that the Committee sat, I want to bring forward one or two points upon this question of cruelty to animals. If the last speaker will forgive me for saying so, I have been asking myself whether he was for the Bill or against it. Even now I do not know.
§ Captain BOWYER
I think that that is rather a remarkable attitude, in as much as the hon. Member described himself as cruel whenever he fell from a horse. It is not that sort of cruelty to which the House is directing his attention. I want to make this point: Those of us who disagreed on the Select Committee disagreed about a main fundamental. There were those of us who thought that a certain amount of cruelty not necessarily must be involved but may be involved, from the mere fact that an animal has to do a certain trick at a certain time according to programme. When my hon. and learned Friend the Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) tried to differentiate hunters and steeplechase horses from performing animals, and even went so far as to say that he did not want them to come under the Bill, what was the retort of an hon. Member on the other side? The hon. Member said "hypocrisy." Believe me, there is no hypocrisy in it at all. I will give a simple illustration.
I had a dog, a poodle, and you could teach that dog to do almost any trick under the sun. The most extraordinary performance it ever did was in the ordinary game of hide and seek. You took the dog outside the room and you hid anything, so long as it was eatable, in any part of the room. When the dog was let in again he found that morsel. He would sit up and "die for his country," and would do every trick. But what happened? There were days when the dog was perfectly stupid and refused to do its trick. What happened to it then? None of us minded. We said, "Silly dog; it will do it better next time." But it is not so when the livelihood of a man depends upon the fact that the performance is gone through punctually. Although, for one, I do not go so far as to say that cruelty must necessarily be involved, yet I say that there is an enormous opening; for cruelty. Doctor Chalmers Mitchell, who was, I think, the most important witness we examined, replied as follows to questions which I put to him at the sitting of the Select Committee:Will you agree that there is an iron-hand method of teaching?—Yes.And a method of kindness?—Yes. It depends entirely on your object. I do not think that you can climinate it if you wish to have the animal so obedient that it will 3001 do the trick whenever it is called upon by you to do it.Those who oppose the Bill to-day and who opposed us in the Select Committee, although some of them went so far as to say that there were acts of cruelty, yet, whenever a witness came before the Committee and tried to prove that there had been an act of cruelty—those hon. Members; by cross-examination tried to show that in fact in such a case no cruelty had taken place The majority of us were convinced, in the words of Section 8 of the Report, that there had been for a long time past, and there is to-day, great cruelty. One point to which I wish to address myself is that I do not want to stop the livelihood of any man who is gaining that livelihood by perfectly fair and proper means. I do not want to go so far as to say that you cannot train animals to make them perform, without cruelty, but what I do say is that the present punishment for cruelty is utterly inadequate. I should like to quote a few examples from a document supplied by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a copy of which, no doubt, hon. Members have received:At Eastbourne, an organ grinder was prosecuted for cruelly jerking the chain of a monkey, and fined 2s. 6d. A bear owner was. prosecuted for cruelly treating and terrifying a bear; fined 2s. 6d. and 5s. 6d. costs. Another bear owner was prosecuted for cruelly treating and terrifying a bear, convicted and fined 2s. 6d. and 5s. 6d. costs.There are 30 or 40 examples in the paper. I do not think that this Bill deals adequately with the question of giving sufficient penalties for cruelty where cruelty is proved before the Court. It became quite apparent to those of us who listened to the evidence of witnesses before the Select Committee, that it is very difficult to bring cruelty home; but where it is brought home, I want to see the penalties made adequate. I would like to see in certain cases imprisonment given without the option of a fine. There may be some hon. Members who do not agree with the Bill, but I ask them to let it go to Committee and let us have a chance of taking out what we do not approve of and putting into it certain things that we want inserted. I ask them not to oppose the Bill on the ground that the promoters are filled with sentimentalism or hypocrisy, but to believe that 3002 the one thing we wish to do is to eliminate as far as possible cruelty in the training of performing animals.
§ Mr. TILLETT
I hope the House will reject this Bill. I can speak from experience, although it is a long period back, some 50 years, when I was a circus boy. Whatever cruelty existed up to a few years ago could have existed in my circus days. There were cases of cruelty then, and we should be as hypocritical in our view, as the other side would be in their view, in promoting this Measure, if we attempted to camouflage the issue. This is straining at a gnat on the one side and swallowing a camel on the other side. Why this sudden anxiety about performing animals, and coming from the source it does, when steeple-chasing, point-to-point racing, hunting, and the training of fox hounds is allowed, and particularly the race for the Grand National to-day, when, by now, some horses may be dead, some jockey may be dead, and Beecher's Brook may be a scene of derelict horses, as I have seen it myself. There is no attempt whatever, in all the excitement and enthusiasm for the protection of the performing animal, to speak of the short comings of this Measure, if the prevention of cruelty to animals be the object of the Bill. From my own practical experience of the circus, you cannot train a dog or a horse—even the hon. and learned Member for York recognises that—except with kindness. My own experience is that wherever cruelty has been shown to an animal in the circus there were always enough champions in that circus to take the law- into their own hands. I have been with a little Scotch terrier and a little Shetland pony, both of them performing animals. They were my companions, and the Shetland pony was so mild that it had to be trained to be a wild pony. I slept with that pony, many times, in the Hotel de Haystack, while the terrier kept the rats and mice away. In every large circus there is very keen supervision over the animals and the treatment of the animals, and no head man, looking after any department of a menagerie or a circus, would allow cruelty to take place, because immediately this cruelty occurred the animal becomes as stupid as the hon. Member's own particular dog. I do not know what had been done to make it stupid.
§ Mr. TILLETT
He may have been treated cruelly to be out or sorts, but any man known in the circus world to do anything to a performing animal or to subject to cruelty any animal of value— and unfortunately many animals are much more valuable than human beings—is not only at once discharged, but with a gypsy sort of telepathy it is made sure that that man will not get another job. I do not say that there is no cruelty. Some men cannot be anything else but cruel, but you must not blame the whole crowd of people who obtain a living by working in a circus for the acts of a few. This is the most arrant piece of class legislation which I have ever seen, because, as the hon. and learned Member for York knows, if there were to be no cruelty there would be no hunting and no steeple-chasing. One man is proud of being thrown off a horse, and if he has the impertinence to say that he was not cross with the horse then, God help the horse! Those who are behind this particular Measure, with tears in their eyes— hypocritical tears to my thinking—are the very people who, while they eulogise the animal—and after all that is the very best part of them—ought to carry their sympathy and their spiritual outlook to a wider horizon. They forget that there are a million families in this country living in housing conditions which no circus proprietor would tolerate in the case of his horses or his dog, and these same people if they would come forward honestly and say, "we shall have no cruelty," we have to abolish half the recreations of the well-to-do. I want to say that although I have not had such a close experience of the circuses, and I am very glad I have not, I do know that the same esprit de corps exists to-day as in the old days. I remember, and possibly the Member who is an owner of circuses will verify my statement, that after 10 or 12 shows in a day going from place to place so great is the chivalry that the performing horse or pony is held sacrosanct, and no man or woman would take advantage of the tired horse to ride. That sense of chivalry and that sporting instinct does exist to-day. There may be cases—I grant you there are cases, they are cited as evidence, but they are not merely evidence of these facts having happened. 3004 They are evidence of the law's expression where men have been punished for their cruelty to animals. There is not one of us who does not want that to cease. We endorse and confirm that desire, and there is not a circus proprietor who would not be the first man to say the same thing. There is not a man handling or operating performing animals who would not agree to the utmost recourse to the law being operative against those taking advantage of a poor dumb animal.
If there were an honest Measure brought forward dealing with actual cruelty to animals, performing or otherwise, the domestic cat and dog might have some safety, and I would gladly support it if it applied to all classes of animals and owners, and was not made entirely to deal with a class which you make Ishmaels. The wanderers on our roads have been made Ishmaels as long as I can remember. Do not take from them their right to live and their chances of living, or from the small villages and towns some sort of entertainment that will relieve the monotony of a dull village life. The children in agricultural areas are taught more respect to animals by their knowledge of the cleverness of animals. I conclude by saying that, whatever tuition I had in the handling of the beast I am concerned with and which I love and care for, came from a very gruff and rough man who could fight anything living, but who loved that horse, and whose first instruction to me was, '' Take care of that horse, be kind to that horse, and I will be kind to you." That was his sacred handing over of the obligation upon me, and I want to say, from my memory, that, taking circus people, owners, operators, performers, I call this an insult to them. I consider the average circus performer is more humane, more honest, more careful of animal life than the gentleman or lady who rides to hounds. Why should they back a Measure without taking the beam out of their own eye and finding it in others? If they come forward, if they put their cards on the table fair and square and in a sportsmanlike fashion, and let us have a debate on what is cruelty, then if there is cruelty in any case, let those suffer whether they have a country house party, whether they come from a palatial mansion, or whether they are in the Grand National—let them suffer as well 3005 as the man who is so poor that he must earn a living by being a performer with his animals.
§ Mr. GREAVES-LORD
I certainly had some doubts as to whether one should not vote very definitely against this Bill, but I am bound to say I have to thank the hon. Member for South Poplar (Mr. March) for convincing me that there would be a real danger in voting against the Bill. His speech convinced me that it is very difficult indeed to deal with animals in this way without in fact inflicting cruelty upon them, and inasmuch as I believe the present law is nothing like so stringent as it ought to be in the prevention of cruelty to animals, I do not think it would be right to carry one's objections to the Bill to the length of voting against it. I think, however, an extremely important objection to the Bill has been overlooked. I confess that when I read it I felt that one of my cherished idols had been suddenly shattered. I was brought up to regard this House as the guardian of the liberties of the British people, and from my political experience—or rather inexperience—I regarded the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher) as one of the sternest upholders of that great tradition of the preservation of English liberty. I felt that idol, at any rate, was completely shattered when I read Clause 3 of the Bill, which substitutes for the Legislature a totally indifferent body. By Clause 3, apparently it is to be open to a police constable or officer of a local authority, or officer of a society—and I am afraid those of us who have had to deal with evidence know what that means—to go before a court of summary jurisdiction, which may consist merely of two individuals like ourselves, no better able to deal with matters of this kind than any of their fellow men, and without any ground at all except that as witnesses they may appeal to a fixed idea in he minds of those particular magistrates, they may get from that court of summary jurisdiction an order that a performance is to be prohibited or restricted.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
May I point out to my hon. and learned Friend that he reads this Clause entirely incorrectly. Of course, evidence will have to be put before the magistrates, besides that of the constable or officer.
§ Mr. GREAVES-LORD
I was going to point out, and I think I have already said, that the magistrates would make the Order after hearing witnesses. I presume they would not do so without some evidence. But as to exactly what the nature of the objection to the performance is to be, exactly what are the grounds upon which it is to be prohibited or restricted, there is no indication in the Clause. Therefore the only test will be whether the particular objection which the police officer or officer of the society makes is one which appeals to the magistrates who happen to be sitting. It is all very well to say that the Clause provides for an appeal to quarter-sessions. One has to recognise the class of men with whom we are dealing. The man who may be brought before a Court of Summary Jurisdiction in these circumstances is probably a man who has trained one animal and by means of that animal and the effects of the training he has given it is able to earn a precarious living. What is the position of that man if an Order is made by a magistrate prohibiting or restricting his performance? It is idle to say that he may appeal to the quarter sessions because the Order may be made just after the quarter-sessions date. He has to wait three months before his appeal can be heard. In the meantime, he is prevented from exercising his profession and from earning his livelihood, under a penalty of £50, and £5 for every day that he continues to carry on the business which he has trained himself up to get his livelihood by.
But apart from that, why should you presuppose that he has the means to appeal to quarter-sessions? Before he can do that, there must be a deposit for the costs of the other side, and in most cases these costs run into £30 or £40, and, therefore, you may get a poor man, earning a very small living from week to week, absolutely deprived of his livelihood, and the only chance of getting it back depositing a sum of money which is larger than he, in his wildest dreams, has ever thought of possessing. I think this Clause is a substitution of two magistrates for the Legislature under circumstances which make it a very gross invasion of the liberties of the people of this country, and certainly it ought to be very closely watched and deleted from the Bill on the Committee stage.
§ Mr. GROVES
I am going to vote for this Bill, and I submit that the speeches which have been delivered, even from these benches, purporting to be against the Bill, have really effected its progress. After all, the promoters of this Bill in no way seek to punish proprietors who are not responsible for cruelty. There seems to be some difference of view in regard to what is commonly called cruelty. My own view of cruelty to animals is that it is cruelty when they are used to perform functions which are not naturally theirs. I have been, of course, to music halls and seen animal performances, and I have made up my own mind that in many instances these animals have been trained, and in their training cruelty has been inflicted. The other arguments used against the Measure have generally been that the Bill is an interference with British liberty. I was amused at the remarks of the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Greaves-Lord), because That phrase is so old. When the Death Duties were introduced in this country, the same argument was adduced, that it was in interference with British liberty. Everything connected with the social welfare of our country is really, in one way or another, an interference with individual acts of liberty. The whole society in which we live, the Government which controls our well-being, is an interference with our liberty. If you are going to argue that we have really an individual right and liberty to do just what we desire to do under certain circumstances, surely the whole fabric of government has gone.
I was very interested in the speech of the hon. Member for Walsall (Mr. P. Collins), who represents the show industry, if I may so call it, and who spoke so well about possessing 20 lions. When he spoke about the proof of the pudding being in the eating, meaning by that that, being a showman, his experience is such that he has seen next to no cruelty connected with the trade, I was reminded of the old saying, "Familiarity breeds contempt." I mean by that that the closer the contact we have with these animals and their performances, the less do we perceive the actual effect upon the animals of the circumstances of their occupation. The hon. and gallant Member who introduced the Bill gave detailed instances of positive cruelty that took place on the music-hall stage. I am not 3008 less a Labour man because I am speaking in favour of this Bill, and neither am I likely to join what are commonly referred to as the "Tory Die-Hards ' because of my attitude on this Bill, but I view with serious misgivings the various performances on our music-hall stages with regard to these small creatures.
The Mover cited the case of the canaries, and I hope I shall not be considered facetious—because there is a serious point involved—if I mention the case of performing fleas. Does the House know how those insects are trained? I will tell it. We are as much entitled to try to discuss and diagnose the effect of pain upon fleas as upon horses. Why are they not included? There are people earning their living in exhibiting to the public fleas which, presumably, have been trained. A glass cage is placed for the fleas, and the glass is warmed to a certain temperature until the fleas jump. These insects jump a sufficient number of times to be so injured that they fear the next jump. The point I desire to make is, that nearly every species of animal with which you are dealing on the stage has been trained by the actual fear of bodily injury. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"] I have read the report, and while I admit there was not an overwhelming majority in favour of a Bill similar to this, there certainly was a majority who considered that there was actual and wanton cruelty in some instances. I do suggest that it is a peculiar sort of civilised life, if we have got to defend the practice of our own fellow-beings, in whom we have trust, and of whom we are proud, if when we go into a place of entertainment, paying for admission, we see exhibitions by animals of which we ought not to be proud. I will not use the word "hypocrisy," because I never use these words, even to describe my opponents, but I say that it is a Very false argument to say that this interferes with liberty, and puts people out of employment. Why. even the policemen interferes with the probably lucrative occupation of the burglar. Then, what about your measures under the Home Office, where factory and workshops inspectors have been appointed owing to the agitation of the Labour movement? Is that interference with the liberty of the subject? It is. It is interference—shall I say?—with those people employing our class under conditions of which we do not approve. I do not approve of the 3009 conditions under which performing animals are used in the music-hall. I will be quite frank. It is absurd to argue that these restrictions are against the liberty of the circus proprietor. It reminds me of West Ham—a borough of which I am proud—where we introduced, with the assistance of our movement, further measures connected with the inspection of insanitary property, although the Government objected. Then we widened the powers under which maternity and child welfare help was carried on. This has very little to do with animals, but it has to do with the same liberty. We sent one of our lady inspectors round with the idea of trying to assist mothers—young mothers especially. One of our ladies attended one house where the gallant woman listened, of course, to the overtures of our nurse in regard to the assistance proposed to be given to the new born babe, and then she replied "Damned cheek; I have already buried ten." Hon. Members, see my point? Some of these people do not like interference with their liberty. I respectfully suggest that I am keenly interested in this Bill, and I think if we can do anything to impress upon the people connected with this industry actually to cease any practice that inflicts bodily pain upon animals then, in my opinion, we are performing a just and righteous act.
Finally, I think it is a very wrong thing that we should bring our children up to go and see these very indecent performances. [An HON. MEMBER: "Oh!"] I think I am right in my view. Something has been said about films. You can go to cinemas and see animals in which humane children have no possible interest. It is what the hon. Gentleman said in dealing with the sea lions. They appeared to be faithful creatures. But what is the use of appealing to him to vote against this Measure? I could go and see a circus where the lions and tigers are only curbed with the friendly help of a keeper armed with a red hot poker—
§ Mr. GROVES
Well, I would not like to think that I ever in my school was teaching the child that piece of deception. It is intimidation. You are trying to impress upon the animal that you have 3010 something that you wield in order to inflict physical pain. As a lover of animals I listened recently to the Debate upon the protection of dogs and anti-vivisection there, and I was proud of the House of Commons. I feel that this Bill is a step in the right direction. There will be the opportunity on the Committee stage for it to be tempered with common sense; that at least this House will be able to protect the interests of animals, if not those of children.
The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Bridge-man)
I shall begin with my usual Friday afternoon prologue by saying that the Government are not going to put their Whips on either for or against this Bill, and that they are prepared to adopt a neutral attitude. But, so far as the Home Office goes, I should like to say that we have no objection to this Measure, and that, in fact, we welcome it. It is an improvement upon the proposal of the Select Committee, because it does away with the permanent Committee of Supervision, which would, I think, have lead to a good deal of bureaucracy and expense, and perhaps an unnecessary amount of inspection. We welcome it for that reason, and we think, apart from certain Committee points, that it certainly can be worked with advantage. I came down here expecting to hear weighty arguments on the side of those who are opposing this Bill, and I am bound to say that I was very much disappointed with the case which they put forward. One hon. Gentleman, the Member for South Poplar (Mr. March) I think, said that he was going to oppose Second Reading of this Bill because it did not go far enough. That is not a very impressive argument. I could not quite make out whether he wanted it to go far enough to protect him from the cruelty of his horse, or to protect his horse, from his own cruelty. At any rate, his only argument was that the Bill did not go far enough. He ought to be satisfied with half a loaf if he cannot get more.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
It is not directed against one class at all. The stock argument of the opponents of the Bill was that it was promoted by people animated by 3011 hypocrisy and nothing else, and it was said, more than once, "Why do not the people who are so much interested in the prevention of cruelty to animals show the same interest in the prevention of cruelty to children? "I know both these societies, and I know that practically they are both supported by the same people. The same people advocate the prevention of cruelty both to children and animals. Lastly, the argument of the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Captain O'Grady), and others, was that this was going to be used to obliterate a great industry, but nobody made any attempt to show how it was going to do so, and I am convinced that it will have no effect of that sort at all. I believe this industry is as humane as any other great association engaged in this kind of exhibition.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
Why should they object to being registered? The reason I do not think that it will inflict great injury in the industry is because I believe the vast majority of those engaged in it are as kind to animals as anybody else in society, and I am rather surprised that they should raise that objection.
I do not want to argue further on the Bill, because probably other hon. Members may wish to speak, but I want to say, on behalf of the Home Office, that we think, after the Report of the Select Committee, and the evidence they collected, that it is desirable that a Measure founded on their Report should be discussed in this House, and we are also aware that there is a very strong feeling in the country at the present moment about cruelty to animals. I have had a great many letters and complaints lately on the subject, mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Captain Bowyer), of the small sentences that are passed in many cases of cruelty to animals, and I think there is a great deal of public feeling on the matter. Although in the Committee stage we may have different views on different points of the Bill, it would be an unfortunate thing for the House if we defeated the Bill on its Second Reading, because it would give the impression that we do not feel the same interest that our supporters 3012 outside feel on the question of cruelty to animals.
§ Mr. S. WALSH
I was a little uncertain, during the Debate, as to whether the facts of to-day agree with an answer given, I think by the Under-Secretary to the Home Office, in February, 1921, to a question submitted to him, I think by the hon. and learned Member for York (Sir J. Butcher), as to whether the existing law, based on the legislation of 1911, was sufficient, and as to whether certain alleged cases of cruelty came within it. No statement has since been made by any hon. Gentleman in this House that the cases of cruelty have increased since that time, nor, so far as I know, is it alleged that the legislation of 1911 is insufficient to punish the cases that do exist. I am not taking sides at all in this matter, but there is one point upon which the whole House is to be congratulated. I am sure it is not because hon. Members have been got at in this matter that there is such a large attendance here this afternoon. I believe that, as has been already said, a great desire exists in the mod of every Member of this House, and of the vast mass of the public outside, that unnecessary suffering shall be put down. I remember reading some time ago the reminiscences of a very well-known revolutionary, in which it was mentioned that, having been expelled for nearly 20 years, he was asked what was his first impression when he came back to Great Britain, and he said that the thing that surprised him most was to see cats basking in the sunshine in perfect contentment and peace. Everyone knows how wonderfully the humanity of the British people has improved during the last quarter of a century.
It is the commonest thing now to see myriads of people passing and re-passing, and these domestic animals in perfect contentment and security, not a single person, even the most hardened, having any idea of harming them in any way. I, myself, know that millions of people go to these places of entertainment, particularly in some of the seaport towns that have been mentioned, and in all my experience of these places of entertainment, and with a very close knowledge of Lancashire people, I never heard in all my life one single case of cruelty quoted. The Home Secretary has told us that the Home 3013 Office is taking up an attitude described by an hon. Friend of mine as an attitude of benevolent neutrality.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
What I said was that the Government, as such, would take up an attitude of neutrality, but that the Home Office, as a Department, was favourable to the Second Reading.
§ Mr. WALSH
I will not press the point as to why the Home Office did not introduce the Bill, but I take it that, if the Bill does pass the Second Reading, the Home Office will see that there is a responsible Minister to take charge of the Bill in Committee. There have been cases in which the Department has taken up an attitude of benevolent neutrality and then has refused to appoint a Minister to take charge of the proceedings. I would like to have an assurance on the point from the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The hon. Member has asked me why the Home Office apparently changed its mind between the 21st February, 1921, and. now. The answer is, that in the meantime, the Committee sat on that very question and made a Report.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I am afraid I have not got the figures. As regards putting a responsible Minister on the Bill in Committee, I am afraid I cannot go so far as to undertake that. It would be asking a good deal for a private Member's Bill in Committee that the services of a Minister should always be found to take charge of it.
§ Mr. GOULD
I am certain there is not a single Member who disagrees with the principle embodied in this Bill. I am a great lover of animals and I have a great many animals about me. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"] They are all trained animals. When the hon. Member for the Stratford division (Mr. Groves) 3014 told us this afternoon how fleas jumped in the glass case, how they jumped and jumped till they were tired, I had some sympathy with them; but when I remembered the occasions in my life when I have-jumped after the flea, I had very little sympathy for the fleas. My hon. Friend probably has no experience of them.
§ Mr. GOULD
Notwithstanding the protection of the law we have them.
The position I take up in regard to this Bill is that the law in regard to cruelty is perfectly clear to-day. The trouble with the law is its administration. If you want to extend further facilities to magistrates to deal with this matter, you should bring in a Measure increasing the penalties. I would give it support, and I believe the House would give it support. To cast an imputation upon the whole profession, such as will be cast by the introduction of this Bill, is absolutely unfair to that profession. It is placing a stigma upon a large number of people, who have never, by any manner of means, endeavoured, and who will never at any time endeavour, to exercise cruelty in the performance of animals. Notwithstanding the benevolent support of the Home Office —I know they have been badgered and bothered by all kinds of societies; we all have. I do not know how much stuff I have received from various societies in regard to this Bill—I do not know, when one reads the Report of the Committee upstairs, whether there is any real or solid ground for it. In practically every instance where alleged cruelty was brought forward, the evidence disproved the charge One must be fair. Not only in this Bill, but in many other Measures wild statements are made by those who have a bug in their bonnet, and who are fanatics on one particular point. These wild statements should be very carefully analysed, and we should not be rushed into legislation which is not at all necessary, but which can be made effective by bringing in an Amendment such as that which, I believe, will be introduced by an hon. Member opposite on Wednesday next, and which I shall have the greatest possible pleasure in supporting, to increase the penalties.
One reads, almost every week, of cases in the country where a man is fined a few shillings for some striking act of 3015 cruelty. We have 45,000,000 people to deal with in this country, but instances of deliberate cruelty are very few, compared with the total number of people. We have wasted three and a half hours— [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"]—in discussing the introduction of a Bill dealing with a question which would have been simplified at once by the introduction of an Amendment in the existing law to increase the penalties. I go to the theatre occasionally. I do not go behind the scenes to see the birds, but—
§ Colonel Sir C. BURN
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but Mr. Speaker withheld
§ his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Sir F. BANBURYrose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put accordingly, "That the word ' now ' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 169; Noes, 35.3017
|Division No. 60.]||AYES.||[4.3 p.m.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Gray, Frank (Oxford)||Nichol, Robert|
|Astor, J. J. (Kent, Dover)||Greaves-Lord, Walter||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Peto, Basil E.|
|Barnes, A.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Phillipps, Vivian|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Grigg, Sir Edward||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)||Groves, T.||Potts, John S.|
|Batey, Joseph||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Berry, Sir George||Halstead, Major D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harris, Percy A.||Ritson, J.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hawke, John Anthony||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Bonwick, A.||Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. Sir S. (Ecclesall)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Hayday, Arthur||Robertson, J. D. (Islington, W.)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hemmerde, E. G.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (N'castle, E.)||Saklatvala, S.|
|Broad, F, A.||Hewett, Sir J. P.||Salter, Dr. A.|
|Brotherton, J.||Hill, A.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Major D. C. (Hexham)||Hinds, John||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hood, Sir Joseph||Sandon, Lord|
|Burgess, S.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Burn, Colonel Sir Charles Rosdew||Hughes, Collingwood||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Butler, J. R. M. (Cambridge Univ.)||Hume, G. H.||Shipwright, Captain D.|
|Cadogan, Major Edward||Hurst, Lt.-Col. Gerald Berkeley||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Cape, Thomas||Irving, Dan||Singleton, J. E.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Jarrett, G. W. S.||Snell, Harry|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Jenkins, W. A. (Brecon and Radnor)||Snowden, Philip|
|Chapple, W. A.||Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)||Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Clarke, Sir E. C.||Joynson, Hicks, Sir William||Stewart, Gershom (Wirral)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Sugden, Sir Wilfred H.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Sullivan, J.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Kirkwood, D.||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Colfox, Major Win. Phillips||Lamb, J. Q.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Collison, Levi||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Trevelyan, C. P.|
|Cope, Major William||Lansbury, George||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawson, John James||Wallace, Captain E.|
|Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Leach, W.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Darblshire, C. W.||Lees-Smith, H. B. (Keighley)||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, J. C. (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Webb, Sidney|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Weir, L. M.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lynn, R. J.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Duncan, C.||M'Entee, V. L.||White, Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Dunnico, H.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Whiteley. W.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Leslie O. (P'tsm'th, S.)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Wise, Frederick|
|Evans, Capt. H. Arthur (Leicester, E.)||Middleton, G.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Falconer, J.||Millar, J. D.||Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Falie, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Morel, E. D.||Wright, W.|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Morrison-Bell, Major A.C. (Honlton)||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Mosley, Oswald||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Muir, John W.|
|Gosling, Harry||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter)||Brigadier-General Colvin and Sir J. Butcher.|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Perring, William George|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C H. (Devizes)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Furness, G. J.||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gates, Percy||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Burnie. Major J. (Bootle)||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Gould, James C.||Thornton, M.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Tillett, Benjamin|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Whitla, Sir William|
|Collins, Pat (Walsall)||Houlton, John Plowright||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||March, S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Fairbain, R. R.||Molloy, Major L. G. S.||Captain O'Grady and Major Paget.|
|Foreman, Sir Henry||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson|
Bill read a Second time.
§ Motion made, and Questions put, "That the Bill be committed to a Com-3018
§ mittee of the whole House."—[Captain O' Grady.]
§ The House divided: Ayes, 31; Noes, 159.3019
|Division No. 61.]||AYES.||[4.11 p.m.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com, Frederick W.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Perring, William George|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.||Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Furness, G. J.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Gould, James C.||Thornton, M.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Whitla, Sir William|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Collins, Pat (Walsall)||March, S.|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Molloy, Major L. G. S.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Fairbairn, R. R.||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson||Captain O'Grady and Mr. Tillett.|
|Foreman, Sir Henry|
|Alexander, Col. M. (Southwark)||Falconer, J.||Lynn, R. J.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||M'Entee, V. L.|
|Astor, J. J. (Kent, Dover)||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Margesson, H. D. R.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Gilbert, James Daniel||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Barnes, A.||Goff, Sir R. Park||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Gosling, Harry||Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)||Graham, D. M, (Lanark, Hamilton||Middleton, G.|
|Batey, Joseph||Gray, Frank (Oxford)||Millar, J. D.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Morel, E. D.|
|Berry, Sir George||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honlton)|
|Bonwick, A.||Grigg, Sir Edward||Mosley, Oswald|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Groves, T.||Muir, John W.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Broad, F. A.||Halstead, Major D.||Newton, sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Brotherton, J.||Harris, Percy A.||Nichol, Robert|
|Brown, Major D. C. (Hexham)||Hawke, John Anthony||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Buchanan, G.||Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)||Paget, T. G.|
|Burgess, S.||Hayday, Arthur||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Burn, Colonel Sir Charles Rosdew||Hemmerde, E. G.||Peto, Basil E,|
|Cadogan, Major Edward||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (N'castle, E.)||Phillipps, Vivian|
|Cape, Thomas||Hewett, Sir J. P.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hill, A.||Potts, John S.|
|Chapple, W. A.||Hinds, John||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Houfton, John Plowright||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Clarke, Sir E. C.||Hughes, Collingwood||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Hume, G. H.||Ritson, J.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hurst, Lt.-Col. Gerald Berkeley||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Cockerill, Brigadler-General G. K.||Irving, Dan||Roberts, Rt. Hon. Sir S. (Ecclesall)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Jarrett, G. W. S.||Robertson, J. D. (Islington, W.)|
|Cope, Major William||Jenkins, W. A. (Brecon and Radnor)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)||Saklatvala, S.|
|Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Joynson-Hicks, Sir William||Salter, Dr. A.|
|Darbishire, C. W.||Kenworthy, Lieut-Commander J. M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.|
|Davies, J. C. (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Kirkwood, D.||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lamb, J. Q.||Sandon, Lord|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Duncan, C.||Lansbury, George||Shipwright, Captain D.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lawson, John James||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Ede, James Chuter||Leach, W.||Snell, Harry|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Lees-Smith, H. B. (Kelghley)||Snowden, Philip|
|Evans, Capt. H. Arthur (Leicester, E.)||Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Stewart, Gershom (Wirral)|
|Sullivan, J.||Welsh, J. C.||Wright, W.|
|Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)||White. Col. G. D. (Southport)||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Whiteley, W.||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Trevelyan, C. P.||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Vaughan-Morgan, Cot. K. P.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Leslie O. (P'tsm'th,S.)|
|Wallace, Captain E.||Wintringham, Margaret||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.||Wise, Frederick||Brigadier-General Colvin and Sir J. Butcher.|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wood, Major M, M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Weir, L. M.||Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
Bill committed to a Standing Committee.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.3020
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.
§ Adjourned at Twenty Minutes after Four o'clock, till Monday next (26th March).