HL Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 c1170

Order of the Day for the Second Reading road.


in moving that the Bill be now road a second time, said, that its object was merely to remove doubts which had arisen in the Courts of Law as to the exact interpretation to be placed on the wording of the Freshwater Fisheries Bill. It had been held in the Courts of Law that this Bill included eels, though it was not the intention of the framers of that Act that they should be included. The provisions of that Act were inapplicable to this fish. It was a matter largely affecting the question of food supply, not only in London, but in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Liverpool, where largo quantities of eels were consumed. At present there was a very large importation of eels from Ireland, Scotland, and other places where the Act of 1878 was not intended to apply. Beyond that, difficulties had also arisen in other parts of England in ascertaining where the eels sent for sale had actually been caught, and these difficulties had been made the subject of legal proceedings. He was informed that in London alone there were hundreds of shops in the East End where a very large trade was done in this class of fish, and the livelihood of these persons would be jeopardized if the Act of 1878 remained in the uncertain state in which it at present stood.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a"—(The Lord Thurlow.)

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.