HL Deb 26 July 1911 vol 9 cc688-9

Order of the Day for the Third Reading, read.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(The Earl of Shaftesbury.)


On the Motion for the Third Reading I should like to ask why this Bill, which is a very important one as it affects the inspection of meat for human consumption, is made optional and not compulsory. It is left entirely to the urban district councils in each district in Ireland to decide for themselves whether or not they will make these by-laws. I have some suspicion that this Bill would not have been introduced unless there had been considerable lathes on the part of these authorities in making provision for general slaughterhouses. Therefore I do not think the matter should be left optional. In England in similar cases we are under the most stringent regulations. For instance, in my own neighbourhood there have been two outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, and the consequence is that not a single animal can be moved from any of our farms without the permission of the President of the Board of Agriculture. That is putting the thing as it appears to me on a proper compulsory footing, and I cannot see what confidence the noble Earl can have that under this optional Bill urban district councils in Ireland will exert themselves to make these by-laws and carry them out.


I am afraid we always do things differently in Ireland. I understand that this matter was thoroughly thrashed out in the other House, and it was agreed that for the present at any rate the matter should be optional upon these urban district councils. I imagine that if the Bill is found not to operate in a satisfactory manner a further Bill will be introduced to make it compulsory.


As I had the honour of moving the Second Reading of this Bill in the absence of the noble Earl, Lord Shaftesbury, perhaps I may say one or two words. With regard to the case of foot-and-mouth disease to which the noble Lord opposite referred, I am certain that if there was foot-and-mouth disease in Ireland our Board of Agriculture would act in exactly the same drastic manner. As to making the Bill compulsory, the noble Earl has pointed out that we do things rather differently in Ireland. Had this Bill been made compulsory there might have been some difficulty in getting it through the House of Commons. We trust that the urban district councils will carry out the Bill, and I have every confidence that they will because in Ireland we are fighting tuberculosis very zealously and there is a strong public opinion on the matter which, I think, will assist in this Bill being efficiently carried out.

On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.