HL Deb 03 May 1934 vol 91 cc1087-90

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, the object of this Bill is to prevent the recurrence of events such as took place in the so-called rodeo at Wembley in 1924. On that occasion very great cruelty to the animals was involved in the show and what happened, I think it is now agreed, could not possibly be dignified by the name of sport. The proceedings were indeed repugnant to public opinion, and it would have been quite unnecessary to ask your Lordships

cumstances, and in view of Parliamentary time, which is not always an easy matter to adjust, I sincerely hope the noble Lord will not pursue the Motion.


I am sorry to assume a hardness of heart which I am afraid I do not feel, but I do not think your Lordships are so overworked that time could not be found for the rest of the Committee stage. I am afraid that I feel obliged to insist on my Motion.

On Question, Whether the House shall be resumed?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 8; Not-Contents, 29.

Dudley, E. [Teller.] Bertie of Thame, V. Carrington, L.
Midleton, E. FitzAlan of Derwent, V. Fairfax of Cameron, L.
O'Hagan, L.
Rankeillour, L. [Teller.]
Sankey, V. (L. Chancellor.) Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.) Gage, L. (V. Gage.) [Teller.]
Gainford, L.
Aberdeen and Temair, M. Bridgeman, V. Lamington, L.
Dufferin and Ava, M. Hailsham, V. Luke, L.
Remnant, L.
Ancaster, E. Aberdare, L. Rennell, L.
Feversham, E. Balfour of Burleigh, L. Rochester, L.
Iddesleigh, E. Bayford, L. Somerleyton, L.
Lucian, E. [Teller.] Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.) Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Munster, E.
Onslow, E. Danesfort, L. Templemore, L.
Plymouth, E. Elton, L.

Resolved in the negative, and Motion disagreed to accordingly.

to consider this Bill were it not for the fact that we are threatened with a repetition of the same thing. It has not been found possible to introduce a Bill to prevent the holding of a rodeo because that is a term which is not capable of exact definition in the sense in which it is desired to prevent it. There are three main points against which the Bill is directed. They are the lassoing, the wrestling and the riding of animals which are exhibited as untrained animals. In point of fact, these cattle which were supposed to be untrained and unmanageable were nothing out of the ordinary, as is proved by the fact that 149 of them which were sold after the rodeo ten years ago were found in Kent by the people who handled them to be as tractable as or more tractable than the ordinary cattle with which they had to deal. At this late hour I do not propose to weary your Lordships with evidence in support of the statements which I have just made.

I have here material which I could lay before your Lordships, but I have this excellent reason for not supporting what I have said in detail, that only three weeks ago or less this matter was raised in your Lordships' House by my noble friend Lord O'Hagan, and was explained in detail by him. My noble friend moved a Motion on the subject which had a very sympathetic reception from the noble Earl who replied for the Government. The noble Earl drew attention to the fact that a Private Member's Bill was about to be introduced in another place. That in fact took place, and the Bill passed through all its stages in another place without a voice being raised against it at any of its stages. I should think it is almost unprecedented for a Private Member's Bill to get so easily and so speedily through another place. In those circumstances I think I can confine myself to the statements which I have made, adding merely that certain objections have been raised by the Hunters' Improvement Society and some other bodies to certain aspects of the Bill which, while they are entirely in sympathy with the objects of the Bill, they think go a little too far in certain respects. Those objections have been met, and suitable Amendments, which will be of quite a minor character, will be moved at the Committee stage. I beg to move that the Bill be read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)


My Lords, I should like to say one or two words in support of this Bill. Speaking not only for myself but for many others who hold the same views as I do, we welcome this Bill and trust that your Lordships will give it a unanimous Second Reading. I think it will be agreed that it is a remarkable thing, as my noble friend has said, that this Private Member's Bill in another place received unanimous support from all sides of the House. I should like to say also how gratifying it is to those who take the view that we have taken in this matter, that His Majesty's Government have been so sympathetic and helpful in another place. I am sure, after what the noble Earl said the other day in reply to my Motion, that we shall receive as sympathetic support to-day. I can only hope that as a result of the passage of this Bill, small as it may be, a step forward may be taken in the interests of humanity and proper consideration for animals, and also to raise the standard of feeling on this matter in the country as a whole.


My Lords, in view of the fact that in the debate on the Motion of the noble Lord, Lord O'Hagan, on April 11, I explained the existing law governing performances of this character, it is unnecessary for me to detain your Lordships further in consideration of this subject. This Bill passed through all stages very rapidly in another place without any opposition to the principle underlying it. His Majesty's Government have no criticism to offer, and I hope that the Bill will receive the approval of your Lordships' House generally.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.