§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Sir ROBERT GOWER
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
I am sure that I shall be expressing the feeling of the House when I say that it is a matter to be regretted that this Bill comes up for Second Reading at so late an hour. I realise and I appreciate that, owing to such lateness, it is impossible for me to obtain the Second Reading of this Bill this afternoon. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I will take the advice of my hon. Friends and endeavour to do so, and for this reason. I have received communications from almost every constituency in the British Isles to the effect that the hon. Members of those constituencies have assured their correspondents that they will vote for the Second Reading of this Bill. It will be in the recollection of the House that I stated the arguments in its favour when I moved the Second Reading of a similar Bill a year ago. I submit that it is one which should receive the consideration of a Committee upstairs, and, therefore, I hope that the House will give it a Second Reading.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I beg, to second the Motion.
This Bill has for many years been before Parliament. Lord Banbury was in charge 599 of it, and, perhaps, because he was so adroit at blocking other people's Bills, hon. Members who are prepared to support this Bill used to prevent him from getting a Second Reading, or, if he did so, used to prevent its further progress. That is one reason why I think the Bill should be passed now. There is no doubt about it that all over the country there are two classes of people who are in favour of this Bill. There are, first of all, those who are dog lovers, and there are those who on grounds of humanity and decency of feeling object to the dog being used as a subject for vivisection and for experiments. There are other animals that can be used. [HON. AIEMBURS: "No!"] I make no secret of the fact that I have been the introducer of Bills in this House to prevent all living creatures from being made use of for the purposes of vivisection, but as the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Derby (Mr. Allen) said in regard to the last Bill—and I know he is a supporter of our Bill—half a loaf is better than no bread. I think we should protect that faithful friend of mankind, the first domestic animal, which many learned theologians, including, I believe, the Home Secretary, believe has a soul. I do not suggest that the Home Secretary has not a soul. I suggest that the Home Secretary is one of those who are doubtful, at any rate, and not in a position to say that the dog has not a soul, but who believe 600 he has lived so long with men that he possesses something like a soul. At any rate, the dog possesses more fidelity than many men, and therefore I ask the House to give a Second Reading to this Bill. I suggest that any necessary safeguards the more reasonable members of the medical profession desire can be put in the Bill in Committee upstairs.
I wish to bring forward very special reasons why the dog should not be exempted from these experiments. The dog is absolutely necessary for this type of work, because it is most like the human being in regard to its organs and many other parts of its body. [An HON. MEMBER "What about the pig?"] The pig is not so much like the human being as is the dog.
§ It being Four of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed upon Monday next.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.
§ Adjourned at One minute after Four o'Clock until Monday next, 23rd April.