HC Deb 29 July 1958 vol 592 cc1250-1

Lords Amendment: In page 13, line 43, at end insert: or (e) the confinement of such animals as aforesaid while awaiting slaughter at other premises, in a case where the place of confinement is available in connection with those other premises, is not maintained primarily for agricultural purposes within the meaning of the Agriculture Act, 1947, or, as the case may be, the Agriculture (Scotland) Act, 1948, and does not form part of premises used for the holding of a market in respect of such animals.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. John Hare)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment makes it clear that the Factory Acts of 1937 and 1948 will apply to lairages other than those on agricultural or market premises. It corrects a drafting weakness to which the right hon. Member for Blyth (Mr. Robens) drew attention on the Report stage, and the matter was also raised in another place by the noble Lord, Lord Farrington.

My hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary at the time of the Report stage said that he would consider the matter and he gave an assurance that if there was any element of doubt in the existing wording we would clear it up. There may be some doubt. I personally think that my hon. Friend was right in saying that lairages were included. As there is some doubt, we have suggested that this Amendment would clear away any possible vestige of uncertainty which there may be in the matter, and we have given the right hon. Member for Blyth the benefit of the doubt.

Mr. Willey

We are much obliged to the Government. Although there is no issue of principle in this, slaughterhouses are not defined in the Factory Acts and we were anxious, and I think that the Government shared our anxiety, that all the processes of slaughtering should be covered. We were satisfied with regard to subjecting the meat to processing, but we were not altogether satisfied on lairages. The Government have met us now, and I am very glad that they have removed any doubts which there may have been.

Question put and agreed to.—[Special Entry.]