HL Deb 16 July 1964 vol 260 cc394-6

5.53 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Viscount Massereene and Ferrard.)


My Lords, owing to other engagements I did not find it possible to be present when this measure was previously on the Order Paper. But, I suspect like a great number of your Lordships who have been connected with this matter, I am grateful that it has been brought in. Like so many other Members of this House I have been associated with horses all my life, both in a civilian and a military way, and it has been a matter of great pleasure to see the extent to which riding, particularly by children, has been developed in the country in recent years, largely as a result of the aid of riding establishments which, as was brought out in the course of the discussions, have increased in number so very greatly over recent years. While undoubtedly humane and compassionate behaviour has been the usual rule towards the inmates of these establishments, it is well known to all of us that there have been a great number of cases which might be said to be abuses, and which without doubt have caused great pain to the inmates, when commercial considerations exceeded considerations of compassion and mercy.

I have read very carefully through the whole of the proceedings in the Bill's passage here, and as one who has always in the past admired Lord Silkin's handling of matters on which he intervenes, both those in which he is interested and those on which he is the formal spokesman, I appreciate the line he took. I must admit that I have never regarded him as a dedicated horseman, in spite of his many other talents; but the way he pressed for qualifications appealed to all those who have an interest in this Bill. I think it was the noble Lord, Lord Ferrier, who regretted with a certain nostalgic feeling that we no longer have the Yeomanry Regiments, with the effect they had in producing possible masters of riding, and the fact that they are no longer a source from which riders can be drawn. Just as there is on the traffic in horses, there is a very widespread feeling, actuated by mercy and compassion, over the matters covered by the Bill; but there is confidence that many abuses will now be corrected. I wanted to take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to the noble Viscount, Lord Massereene and Ferrard, for bringing in the Bill, and of congratulating him upon the skilful way, which I am sure we all admire, in which he dealt with the many Amendments introduced. I therefore seize this opportunity to support the Third Reading of this measure.


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord who has just sat down for his extremely kind remarks, though they are quite undeserved. The people who ought to be thanked in this matter are all the various organisations which have, of course, done all the groundwork for this Bill: I have been only the spokesman. I will not detain your Lordships any longer.

On Question, Bill read 3a, with the Amendments, and passed, and returned to the Commons.