HL Deb 31 July 1899 vol 75 cc827-9

Order of the day for the House to be put into Committee read.


My Lords, I have to ask your Lordships' permission to move that the Order be discharged. I must explain to your Lordships why this is necessitated. Your Lordships referred this Bill to a Select Committee, and in the course of that inquiry their Lordships came to the conclusion that for the authority which had been placed originally in the Bill—namely, the, councils of counties and boroughs should be substituted the local district fisheries committees. The intention of the Local Government Board, in introducing the Bill, was to protect, as far as possible, the public health from attack from diseased oysters, and the Board, therefore, selected as the local authorities by which the Bill was to be put into operation the councils of counties and boroughs, which are concerned to some extent with the sanitary matters of their districts. But the Select Committee, to whom the Bill was referred after the Second Reading, came, after a division, to the conclusion that sufficient attention had not been given to the bivalve itself, and decided that this was a matter which concerned primarily the health of the oyster rather than the health of the human being, and on a Division they substituted the Local District Fisheries Committees, which look after the well-being of fish, for the councils of counties, which are concerned with the public health, as the authority in the Bill. The Bill, as amended, went back to the Department concerned for consideration, and, as in duty bound, the Local Government Board consulted the Board of Trade, which is concerned with fisheries, and the Board of Trade advised the Local Government Board, as has also the Irish Office, that the change rendered the Bill impracticable. The main reason: which the Board of Trade gave for this view was that in many cases these local district fisheries committees have no jurisdiction in the estuaries where the oyster beds are situated, and that if their authority was extended to those estuaries it would conflict with other authorities who have jurisdiction there. My instructions originally were to give notice of Amendments to reinsert the original words which would have restored the authority to the councils of counties and boroughs, but I have since received instructions from the Local Government Board that, having regard to the lateness of the session, the President does not intend to proceed further with the measure. I therefore have to ask your Lordships to allow the Order to be discharged.

Moved— That the Order to go into Committee be discharged."—(Lord Harris.)

On question, agreed to.