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a very serious matter. He had in his pocket , valuable and exhaustive Report of the a letter from a gentleman living near Edge Royal Commission ; and if the Govern. worth, who informed him that in the high ment had been really sincere in the comroad near his residence there were heaps mendation bestowed on the Royal Commisof manure which had been taken from sion, Parliament would have been prepared sheds in a town in which over 100 cattle to receive a Bill based on the recommendahad died of the plague. He need scarcely tion of that Commission, and so have paid say that no course could possibly be taken it the attention it deserved. There is, better adapted to spread the disease than then, no justification for the statement of this. The matter was one that deserved, Government, that the Parliament would and he trusted would obtain, the prompt not have been prepared to deal with the attention of the Government. Officials measure in an early Session. I ask the should be appointed, whose duty it should Committee to look at the provisions conbe to watch over the conveyance of manure, tained and to be contained in the Bill about and see that every precaution was taken to be submitted.
hon. Member against unnecessary risk of infection. It who heard the clear statement of the right would be most improvident and unwise to hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the endeavour to throw the whole burden of Home Department believe that a Bill deal. the loss upon our posterity instead of meet- ing with so vast a complication of objects, ing it ourselves; and, therefore, Government with omissions here and exceptions there, should be prepared to deal with the finan- and embracing a whole course of sanitary cial part of the question by means of a rate, regulations, can be passed within a period and thus avoid the objectionable plans pro- when it could be effectual in stamping out posed out of doors founded upon a system the disease? The right hon. Gentleman of rent-charges. He thought a poll tax of himself has given us a pretty broad hint 58.
per head would effectually meet the re- that Government will be obliged to divide quirements of the case.
the Bill into two or three separate measures, LORD JOHN MANNERS: The right merely proceeding with those measures hon. Gentleman loudly cheered the pro- which it is essential should be speedily position contained in the speech of the hon. pasged. The more I reflect on the measure Member for Northamptonshire that it would sketched forth, and on the speeches which be necessary to have an open time after have been delivered, the less becomes the Lady Day next, when transfers of stock prospect of a satisfactory measure at the might be effected in cases where there was hands of the Government. The Governa change of tenancy. The conclusion I ment have been threatened, and no wonder, draw from this admission is that Her Ma- with a rival Bill from my hon. Friend the jesty's Government acted wrongly in not Member for Northamptonshire. How is calling Parliament together at an earlier that rival Bill to be considered? The Godate, as it is obvious that in so short a vernment is going to allow its introduction; period as must elapse before the restriction but the second reading of the Government is removed much good cannot be effected. Bill is fixed for Ash Wednesday, and the We are told that the reason why Parlia- House does not meet until two o'clock. Is ment has not been called together earlier is my hon. Friend's Bill to be taken on Ash that at the end of last year public opinion Wednesday after the Government Bill has was so immature upon the subject that had been discussed ? This kind of legislation, I we been assembled the action of Her Ma- fear, on so critical a subject, is likely to run jesty's Government would have been found the risk of complete failure. far in advance of the proceedings Par- deeply on this subject, that at the risk of liament would have been inclined to the charge of making yet another suggessanction, That is begging the entire tion to the Government, I should propose question. I am prepared, on behalf of my- that as the Government cannot carry this self and of every Member present, to re- great and complicated measure within a pudiate the charge that our ideas were reasonable period of time, they should behind those of the Government. Why, in proceed by way of Resolution in both what frame of mind, and with what know- Houses of Parliament, which will test ledge, should we have come to the considera- the opinion of the Legislature on many tion of any measure which the Government important points. Orders in Council might might have proposed at the end of October be issued immediately founded on those and the beginning of November? We should Resolutions. If that were done the House have had in our lands the whole of that could then proceed to the consideration
I feel so
of the great and complicated proposals up the report would find, not a decrease, of the Government, and to permanent but an increase in the fresh cases occurring legislation on the subject. But I must say, in that part of the country. What reason, after the speech of the right hon. Gentle in fact, have we to hope that this plan re. man, that if we are going to legislate commended by the Home Secretary, and on the principle that the first thing to be now carried on and failing in Yorkshire, will considered is how the temporary wants of | meet with any success at all? The right the great towns of this country are to be hon. Gentleman says that great difficulty supplied, and the next how the extinction would be felt in slaughtering cattle if all of the cattle plague is to be accomplished, removals were positively prohibited, and legislation will inevitably fail to produce the in providing proper slaughtering places, latter object. But if, on the other hand, and afterwards transmitting the meat we legislate on the principle that the cattle to the large centres of consumption. Diffiplague is first to be extinguished, whatever culty there may be, but can anyone suptemporary inconvenience might be felt by pose that so great an evil can be got rid the manufacturing towns, success may, of without some trouble and annoyance. and probably will, with the blessing of On the part of the agricultural community, Providence, crown efforts. That I ask are they not subjecting themprinciple lies at the root of the mat. selves willingly and with alacrity to every ter, and I regret that the Home Se- amount of inconvenience and pecuniary cretary should have said that, from in- loss at the present moment ? And are formation derived from deputations and they to be the only classes to be called on Mr. Thompson, he was disposed to give a by legislators to bear inconvenience and temporary convenience to the manufac- pecuniary loss for the sake of a great public turing towns of the West Riding prece advantage ? Does anybody mean to say dence over measures for the extinction of that in localities adjoining these manuthe cattle plague itself. I should like to facturing towns means for slaughtering know whether during the month which has animals could not be devised at a small elapsed since Mr. Thompson's letter was cost? and I appeal to any chairman of written the terrible strides made by the railway companies in the House, to the plague are not calculated to alter the hon. Member for South Lincolnshire, the opinions of men even more influential than Chairman of the Great Northern RailMr. Thompson ? I am convinced that if way, whether there would be any practical Mr. Thompson had consulted the great difficulty in conveying dead meat by rail. body of the people, they would not have way to the north? Means and appli. hesitated a moment in recommending not ances in this direction would not be found the palliation merely, but the extinction, wanting. From any measure the northif possible, of this terrible visitation. western portions of Scotland ought to be With respect to the manufacturing towns exempted, as by their geographical poin the West Riding, the right hon. Gentle- sition they enjoy a complete immunity, man says the Bill will be based on the and stand on precisely the same footing practice which now prevails in the West as Ireland. There is a clear geographical Riding, the practice in the North Riding boundary in those districts beyond which being different. But is the practice of nobody has hitherto succeeded in passing the West Riding so successful ? Have any cattle. With these exceptions at the results in the West Riding been so this late period of the calamity the successful that the House will be justi- only sound principle is the total and entire fied in giving that practice the effect of prohibition of the removal of all cattle law? I find it stated in the last Report throughout the country for a limited of the Veterinary Department of the period. As to other principles of the Privy Council, that in the week ending the Bill relating to compensation and the pro 3rd February sixty-two fresh centres of hibition of all imported cattle inland, I infection of the plague had broken out in have not a single observation to offer. the West Riding. I find that 470 ani. With respect to the latter, I think the mals have been attacked in the last week principle sound; but I think that the in the West Riding. But it is confessed whole machinery of the measure is 50 that that return is incomplete, for in a note complicated that it cannot become law it is added that “especially from York. in a reasonable time. The only sound shire" the returns are not complete, and principle to adopt under the circumit is likely that the gentleman who drew stances is that the House of Commons
Lord John Manners
should declare that, for a limited period, cattle slaughtered by order of the Govern. there should be a total prohibition. My ment inspectors, and not compensating own belief is that the whole of these com- those owners whose cattle were, if he plicated, costly, vexatious, inconvenient, might use the term, allowed to die by and interfering provisions of the Bill pro- order of the inspectors. Any retrospecposed by the right bon. Gentleman will tive measure, he thought, ought not fail in the one result we have in view to recognize any such distinction. Не namely, in the extinction of this fright. protested against their taxing those who ful cattle plague within the period con- had already lost stock for those who had templated by the Government. I make as yet not suffered any loss. Such counthese observations with great reluctance, ties as Aberdeenshire who by their energy as I had been in hopes, from many parts had stamped out the plague-who had of the speech of the right hon. Gentle- paid money out of their pockets for effectman, that the Bill might have received ing that object-should be repaid that ex. the hearty concurrence of the House. pense, and thereby be placed in the same But after the debate which has occurred, position as other counties were to be under and after the full explanation given by the proposed arrangement. The gentlethe right hon. Gentleman, I feel convinced men of Aberdeenshire ought not to be that such concurrence will not be had, losers by the benefit they had conferred on and that the measure, based on the prin- the country. ciple announced, will not succeed in the LORD ROBERT MONTAGU said, he object which I feel sure every Gentleman wished to offer two suggestions, by the in this Committee has at heart.
adoption of which the Government might, MR. CARNEGIE said, it was not his he considered, improve their measure. intention to go into the merits of the Bill The right hon. Baronet (Sir George Grey) of the Government further than to remark proposed that all diseased animals should, that it appeared to him that by the princi- of necessity, be killed; but that as to those ple of compensation proposed those counties animals which had come into contact with which had suffered most from the cattle disease animals, and had thereby become plague would suffer most by the assess- infected, it should be left to the local ment. The benefit to be derived would authorities to decide whether they should be in exact inverse ratio to the assess- be slaughtered or not. This, he thought, ment. Therefore in some counties, as was radically wrong. If they desired to in the one he himself represented (Forfar: stamp out the plague they must do as other sbire), where nearly all the cattle had countries had done, and slaughter not only been swept away, the people would be the diseased but also the infected animale. called on to pay very large rates for stamp- The example of Aberdeenshire had been ing out the plague; whereas those coun- adduced as perfect ; but what had they ties where the disease did not exist would done there? They were not content with have to pay absolutely nothing. Now that destroying merely such animals as had the was manifestly unfair and unjust. The disease, but they bought up the whole rate should be a general one extending herd and killed it. He now came to his over the whole country. This was not only second suggestion. He agreed with the a stockowners', but a consumers' question, noble Lord the Member for North Leicesand therefore extending over the whole tershire (Lord John Manners), that they country. The consumers were at this mo- must entirely stop all movement of cattle. ment paying for the effects of the cattle The right hon. Baronet had warned them plague—it was answered—in the increased that if they did that they must resort price of meat. To a certain extent they to a dead-meat market ; but he did were ; but if the cattle plague were not not show that any evil would result from stamped out they would have to pay twice adopting that alternative. Many advanas much. To a certain extent the bur- tages would, in his (Lord Robert Monden ought to fall on them, but that that tagu's) opinion, attend the establishing of burden should fall on those localities least a dead-meat market. At present, animals able to pay was manifestly unjust, and he often suffered a great deal in travelling to should oppose any such proposal to the market ; and, moreover, the bones, hides, utmost of his power. He could not see hoofs, and offal of cattle, to the extent of the justice of the distinction sought to many thousands of tons, were now brought be drawn by the right hon. Gentleman long distances into large towns, where they between compensating the owners of were utterly useless, and therefore they had
to be sent away again to some place where compensation for the loss which he susthey were wanted for manufacturing or tained. It must not be forgotten, also, that manuring purposes-thus entailing much every restriction placed upon a particular needless trouble and expense. All that industry spoilt the sale of the article would be obviated by the establishment of which that industry supplied, and that dead-meat markets. Besides, by establish- thus the value of cattle would be diminished ing dead-meat markets a further advant- under the operation of the stringent rules age would be gained. A beast purchased about to be laid down. This large interfrom the farmer or grazier in the London ferences with private property, as well as market for £28 was retailed by the the extensive slaughter of cattle, butcher for £40; consequently, the in- to be carried out for the good of the habitants of towns were paying more for public. The farmer, under those circumtheir meat than they would have to do by stances, had & right, he contended, to the establishment of dead-meat markets. demand full compensation. The question But it was said, “Oh, but meat was a was one in which, not only he, but the perishable commodity ; if it came up to large towns--in short, the whole country town one day and was not then bought, — were interested; but what did the it must be sold next day so much cheap- Home Secretary propose ? He proposed er.” But what was the Home Secretary to relieve the farmer by laying on his going to do? He said they might send shoulders one-third of the two-thirds which their fat cattle to market, but they he intended to give him in the shape must not take them back again. But of compensation. Now, for his own part, when the butchers knew that the cattle he could not see, as everybody in the councould not be taken away again, would they try was interested in stamping out the not be sure to hang back in buying them plague, that there would be anything unfair until the seller consented to yield them in making good out of the Consolidated up for far less than their value ? The Fund the loss of capital which the farmer consequence of that regulation would be must sustain. to deprive the farmer of the full price MR. MARSH said, he quite concurred of his cattle, while the result of a dead with the noble Lord as to the expediency meat market would be to enable the public of killing all cattle which had come into to get their meat at a cheaper rate. The contact with those which happened to have Home Secretary, he might add, had made been diseased. A committee of the Legisno provision for the movement of cattle lative Council of New South Wales, of from Ireland, from which, as hon. Gentle which he was a member, had succeeded in men were well aware, the cattle fattened completely stamping out disease in that way. in England to a considerable extent came. He did not know how it was with cattle; By that means an injury would be done, but from his experience in the managenot only to the English grazier, but to the ment of sheep, he was able to state that Irish farmer also, who found in this coun- the disorder by which they were attacked try the best market for his stock. Now, sometimes remained latent for five or six too, that no cattle were being bred in months before breaking out. England, we must in the spring resort to MR. GATHORNE HARDY: I wish, Ireland for a supply; and, therefore, it Sir, to call attention to one part of the was, he thought, desirable that the cattle right hon. Baronet's statement, which I from Ireland, being free from infection, confess does not appear to me altogether should be allowed to be landed at our quays, clear. I cannot but think that if Her and taken straight to the grazing ground. Majesty's Government consider that the Next came the question of compensation. plague requires a short and sharp remedy The right hon. Gentleman proposed to give they must feel that the delay which has a compensation amounting to two-thirds of already taken place is very much to be the value of every diseased animal killed, and deplored. We are legislating when nearly three-quarters of the value of those animals arriving at a period when the movement which might be slaughtered without showing of cattle is an absolute necessity. Thereany symptoms of the plague. It was, how- fore we are legislating under difficulties, ever, in his (Lord Robert Montagu's) opi- and so far as I can understand from nion, a most arbitrary proceeding to say to the right hon. Baronet's speech, very the farmer, “ You must have your cattle much in the same way as we have been killed in the interest of the country,” and going on under the Orders in Council which not to acknowledge his right to ask for full have preceded it. A great deal is to be
Lord Robert Montagu
thrown on the local authorities; but I am interests antagonistic to each other-it is at a loss to understand what those local a consumers' case as well as a producers' authorities are to be. Petty sessional divi- case, and it is difficult to reconcile both. sions under the Orders in Council have not The question requires to be promptly dealt given the slightest security for carrying with ; and I hope the House of Commons out the rules and regulations ordered, be will not hesitate to decide peremptorily cause we have seen the same Orders carried and absolutely what shall be done during out with vigilance and care in one division, the five or six weeks which remain before whilst through negligence they bave been a removal of cattle will be necessarily ineffectual in another. Power was then called for, and not leave the matter in transferred from the petty sessions to the the hands of local authorities, fluctuating quarter sessions.
But who are they, as they may be, overruling the decisions å body composed of persons having each a one of the other, and thus throwing things separate knowledge of the different locali- into a state of confusion. ties, which differ with regard to agricul- SIR CHARLES RUSSELL said, that turo, stock, &c., as much as one county in the county he had the honour to reprediffer from another. Nor is there any sent (Berkshire), so soon as the Orders in possibility of such a large body as that Council permitted, the magistrates put into acting together for purposes such as would effect the most stringent regulations, so as be required in this case. What local not even to allow the moving of cattle authority was to be called on to say across a road. At that time the disease what cattle were diseased and what cattle prevailed in five different portions of the were infected the right hon. Baronet had county, and in the eastern part of the not explained. How was it possible that county not less than 3,000 cattle had died a changing body of from forty to fifty, of the disease. From the moment, howor 100 persons, meeting in the county ever, the stringent orders of the magis. town, could come to any decision with trates were carried into operation the direspect to the putting to death suspected sease began to die out, and it had now comcatile in remote parts of the county ? pletely and entirely died out, except in the I wish to have it explained whether the borough of Windsor, over which the orders quarter sessions are to lay down rules for of the county justices had no control. Unthe whole county; that whenever cattle fortunately, a diseased animal had been come into contact with diseased stock, both brought by railway from the Metropolitan shall be killed, or whether they are to Market to Windsor, and the disease still examine special cases that may happen on continued to prevail there. He should not any particular farm ? If the latter, it have ventured to offer any suggestions to must be done by some authority indepen- the Committee if he had not had reason dent of the quarter sessions ; but if the to think that the difficulty of a dead-meat former, then there is no reason why the market was not so serious as it appeared. House should not legislate in the first in- In his parish, where the orders against stance, because we are quite as competent removal were so stringent that the cattle to do it as the quarter sessions are to decide could not be moved across the road, the it generally for the counties. Power is farmers sent for the butcher and had their also to be given to quarter sessions to ap- beasts slaughtered on the spot. One farpoint committees, who are to adjourn frommer who had twelve fat beasts sent for a time to time, in the same mode as the ses butcher from Reading, who slaughtered sions. In that case they will be a per- them. He said, " I was not able to dress fectly useless body, because who will then them quite up to the town pattern. He give the orders to kill the cattle as each (Sir Charles Russell) asked the butcher case arises? Is a committee to be ap- whether, as matter of food and good pointed in each petty sessional division, meat, the flesh was inferior to that dressed sitting with the power of quarter sessions under the most careful process.
The or one committee for the whole of the butcher said it was not; and added, that county, adjourning from time to time as the it would be as saleable as the town pattern sessions? If so all the labour expended if they had the advantage of dressing it on this proceeding, so far as the interference in the same way. He had been that day of the local authorities is concerned, will in communication with the Chairman and be completely thrown away. I admit it is Deputy Chairman of the Great Western a difficult question to deal with, because Railway Company on this very subject of whicherer way we turn we are met by the dead-mcat supply, and had been told VOL. CLXXXI. (THIRD SERIES. ]