HC Deb 07 April 1933 vol 276 cc2147-52

Order for Second Reading read.

3.47 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

I feel a deep sense of embarrassment at having to try to put into two minutes that to which I had hoped perhaps to give 20 minutes, but I feel, and some of my hon. Friends have advised me, that it is unnecessary to advocate this Measure, which has been advanced in this House on two or three occasions before, at any length. I think it has the general support of the House, and it certainly has general support outside. There have been many investigations to find out whether the Bill is a just and a proper Bill, and every investigation has proved our case. It will be remembered that in 1930 we were lucky enough to secure an unopposed Second Reading. The Bill was half-way through Committee when, unfortunately, the crisis arose which hurt us all and hurt the animals as well. Since that time public opinion has been growing and we have been more and more convinced that we are right in our attempt and that the people are behind us. I only ask that the House will take this opportunity, in the very short time that remains in which to take a decision, of removing a stigma from our name and of giving fair play and justice to our animals. There are 12,000,000 animals slaughtered every year, so that 30,000,000 animals have been slaughtered since 1931 in considerable pain and suffering. Had the Bill passed in 1931, these animals would have been spared that, and I ask the House to take a decision that no more animals will be so treated. If there is any trouble about any point in the Bill that hon. Members feel might be altered, I give them an honest undertaking that if they will give me a Second Reading every point will be sympathetically considered in Committee.


I beg to second the Motion.

3.51 p.m.


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 do not move this Amendment because those of us who oppose the Measure are less humane or less scientifically minded than the Mover of the Second Reading. If the word "mechanical" had been substituted for the word "humane," I am sure that a great deal of the sympathy which has been worked up on behalf of this Bill would not have occurred. "Mechanical" and "mechanically killed" animals does not necessarily imply that animals have been killed or slaughtered with less cruelty than if ordinary means which are now in use have been applied. The Bill has been spoken of as a scientific Measure, and the use of a mechanical instrument thereby brings it into a certain plane that might be described as the difference between using a modern weapon and using a bow and arrow. There is only one scientific way of slaughtering an animal, that is, by means of euthanasia, twilight sleep, and the lethal chamber, but as there is involved not only the slaughtering of animals but the slaughtering of animals in such a way that they are fit for food, it is necessary to examine very carefully whether this Bill, if it is proposed to use mechanically operated instruments, will produce that class of food which is of prime quality and which will enable us to regain, as we all hope to regain, a great share of the bacon market of the world.

I oppose the Bill because there is no proof that the present method of slaughtering animals is more cruel than mechanical methods; and because the Bill is too wide in its scope, for it includes the slaughtering of small animals such as pigs and sheep. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman had listened to those who could have helped him and had accepted our proposals to exclude the smaller animals, he would have had an agreed Measure. Unfortunately, he wanted the whole Bill and nothing but the Bill, and therefore we could do nothing else than oppose the Measure, simply because of the obtuseness—

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

Last year half a million sheep were slaughtered in Scotland by the humane killer and fetched the highest price in London for Scotch mutton.


I am speaking of the Bill which is now before the House. I oppose it because it will raise the price and decrease the quality of meat, and it compels local authorities to see that the provisions of the Bill are carried out, which will mean more duties for officials, more licences and more control. Lastly, I oppose this Measure because it is more cruel to the highest of all animals, the person who operates the instrument—it is dangerous to man. One of the undisputed facts about the killing of an animal for food is that it must have its throat cut. Unless and until a way is found of extracting the blood from the veins, this is the only method that can be applied. It has been in operation from the time of Moses and Mohamed. The question is, how can unconsciousness be secured before this operation is performed? The method of killing is not to be considered alone, it must be considered in relation to the production of first-class meat. The quality of first-class meat depends on the rapidity and the completeness with which the blood and the lymph are drained from the carcase. The corpuscles of the

blood become the foci of putrefaction, and putrefaction increases in direct proportion to the amount of moisture left in the body. The ideal way is for the animal to be killed in such a manner as to avoid unnecessary pain and have the carcase completely drained of blood.


On a point of Order. Of what corpuscles is the hon. and gallant Member speaking, the red or the white corpuscles?


I am surprised at such an irrelevant interruption. If that is the best argument—

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: Ayes, 133; Noes, 9.

Division No. 223.] AYES [7.07 p.m.
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Hornby, Frank Potter, John
Atkinson, Cyril Horobin, Ian M. Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Rankin, Robert
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Rathbone, Eleanor
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portim'th, C.) Hurd, Sir Percy Rea, Walter Russell
Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd) Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-
Bossom, A. C. James, Wing. -Com. A. W. H. Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. John, William Rosbotham, Sir Samuel
Bracken, Brendan Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Ross, Ronald D.
Brass, Captain Sir William Ker, J. Campbell Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Kimball, Lawrence Runge, Norah Cecil
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Butler, Richard Austen Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.) Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)
Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley) Leech, Dr. J. W. Scone, Lord
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Lindsay, Noel Ker Selley, Harry R.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Llewellin, Major John J. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Loder, Captain J. de Vera Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) McCorquodale, M. S. Somerville, Annesley A (Windsor)
Clayton, Dr. George C. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stewart, William J. (Belfast, S.)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. McEntee, Valentine L. Storey, Samuel
Cooper, A. Duff McKeag, William Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Copeland, Ida McKie, John Hamilton Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Courthope, Colonel Sir George L. McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Cove, William G. Magnay, Thomas Tinker, John Joseph
Cowan, D. M. Maitland, Adam Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Cranborne, Viscount Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Daggar, George Manningham-Buller, Lt. -Col. Sir M. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Ward, Lt. -Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Davison, Sir William Henry Marsden, Commander Arthur Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Dawson, Sir Philip Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.) Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Maxton, James Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Duggan, Hubert John Mayhew, Lieut. -Colonel John Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-
Edwards, Charles Milne, Charles White, Henry Graham
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Fox, Sir Gifford Moss, Captain H. J. Whyte, Jardine Bell
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Munro, Patrick Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.) Nicholson. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld) Windsor-Clive, Lieut. -Colonel George
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Nunn, William Wise, Alfred R.
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Palmer, Francis Noel Worthington, Dr. John V.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro; W.) Patrick, Colin M.
Harbord, Arthur Pearson, William G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hartington, Marquees of Penny, Sir George Lieut. -Colonel Moore and Sir
Heligers, Captain F. F. A. Percy, Lord Eustace Robert Gower.
Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford) Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada
Broadbent, Colonel John Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Thorp, Linton Theodora
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hepworth, Joseph
Eady, George H. Lymington, Viscount TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Groves, Thomas E. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Mr. Herbert Williams and Major Procter.

Bill read a Second time, and committed to a Standing Committee.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.

Adjourned at Seven Minutes 10th April after Four o'Clock until Monday next,