§ MOTION FOR AN ADDRESS.
§ MR. MUNDELLA
moved an Address for a Return of Licences granted under the Act to amend the Law relating to Cruelty to Animals, commonly known as the Vivisection Act.
Motion made, and Question proposed,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that She will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be 634 laid before this House, a Return of Licences granted under the Act (39 and 40 Vic. c. 77) to 'amend the Law relating to Cruelty to Animals,' specifying,—
- "1. The persons to whom such Licences have been granted since the Act came in force;
- "2. The Licences in which the (optional) provision (Clause 7), requiring that the place wherein the experiment is performed shall be registered, has been inserted;
- "3. The Certificates which have been received under Clause 3, permitting experiments as illustrations of lectures to students;
- "4. The Certificates which have been received under Clause 5, permitting experiments on cats, dogs, horses, mules, or asses;
- "5. The Certificates (special) which have been received for performing experiments without anæsthetics, and the number of such experiments in which curare has been employed;
- "6. The scientific authorities who have in each case granted such Certificates."—(Mr. Mundella.)
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
said, he had no objection to any Return that might be asked for to call into account the action of the Secretary of State in the administration either of this or of any other Act; but this was a matter of some delicacy that concerned not only the Secretary of State, but some of the highest scientific men in the country. He hoped therefore that his hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) would see that in the first instance, at all events, it would be sufficient if he received the Return in a somewhat altered form. If, when he got the Return so altered, his hon. Friend should still be of opinion that there was anything wrong that required further explanation, he should then move for a further Return. In the first instance, he (Mr. Cross) proposed that there should be an alteration in Number I of the Return, so that it should give the number of the persons and not the names of the persons themselves to whom the licences had been granted, and the names of all the places which had been registered under the Act. The same alteration would apply to Numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5, and with regard to the 6th, which he would not however insist upon, he thought it might be dispensed with altogether. He could assure the hon. Member that no licence had been given to any person, except upon the highest guarantee as to the nature of the experiments. When the hon. Member got the Return, he would see that this Act had been fairly and he, (Mr. Cross) hoped, 635 wisely administered. As the question had now come before the House and the country, there might be some anxiety to know how far the Act was carried out. He was bound to say that the medical and scientific gentlemen concerned in the question had acted throughout with the greatest candour and fairness as far as the Secretary of State was concerned. They had met the Secretary of State in every possible way, and he was able to say at the present moment that with regard to the question referred to in Number 5 of the Return—namely, the instances in which experiments had been performed without anæsthetics, the number which had been certified amounted to 1. He believed he might say, so far as the Act was concerned, that since its passing no act calculated wantonly to cause pain had been inflicted. He hoped that when that fact became known, two facts would be seen—first, that the working of the Act had been carefully attended to; and, secondly, that the medical and scientific world were willing to join with the Parliament and with the Secretary of State, and, indeed, with the opinion of the country as far as was possible, in preventing the unnecessary infliction of pain upon dumb animals. This was a fact of the highest importance, which it was desirable that the House and the country should fully acknowledge. He might further remark that in the course they had taken the scientific and medical gentlemen of this country had set an example to all foreign countries. He hoped the hon. Member for Sheffield and the House would assent to the alteration in the form of the Motion which he had suggested.
§ MR. MUNDELLA
said, he should be very happy, under the circumstances, to accept the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman, although ho should prefer to have had the Return in the form of which he load given Notice. He hoped the hon. Member who had given Notice of his intention to oppose the Motion (Dr. Ward) would now withdraw his opposition.
§ DR. WARD
said, he was quite satisfied with a Return modified as the Home Secretary had proposed. It would be unobjectionable in that shape; but had it been granted in the form proposed by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) it would have been most inquisitorial and invidious, and by the 636 disclosure of names would have subjected many persons to persecution at the hands of the anti-vivisectionists.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn:—Then
Return of Licences granted under the Act (39 and 40 Vic. c. 77) to 'amend the Law relating to Cruelty to Animals,' specifying,—
§ TURNPIKE ACTS CONTINUANCE.
§ Select Committee appointed, "to inquire into the Sixth Schedule of The Annual Turnpike Acts Continuance Act, 1376: '"—Lord GEORGE CAVENDISH, Lord HENRY THYNNE, Mr. BEACH, Mr. WENTWORTH BEAUMONT, Sir ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, Mr. WILBRAHAM EGERTON, Sir HARCOURT JOHNSTONE, Mr. CLARE READ, Mr. SPENCER STANHOPE, Mr. GEORGE CLIVE, and Mr. SALT, with power to send for persons, papers, and records; Three to be the quorum.
§ Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the Committee, that they have power to inquire and report to the House under what conditions, with reference to the rate of interest, expenses of management, maintenance of road, payment of debt, and term of years, or other special arrangements, the Acts of the Trusts mentioned should be continued.
§ Ordered, That all Petitions referring to the Continuance or Discontinuance of Turnpike Trusts be referred to the Committee.
§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Resolved, That the Chairman be directed to move the House, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to declare and amend the Law with reference to Dock Warrants.
§ Resolution reported:— Bill ordered to be brought in by Sir Joie LUBBOCK, Sir JAMES HOGG, Sir CHARLES MILLS, and Mr. WATKIN WILLIAMS.
§ Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 94.]637
§ On Motion of Sir COLMAN O'LOGHLEN, Bill to regulate and amend the constitution and practice of Courts Martial in the Army, ordered to be brought in by Sir COLMAN O'LOGHLEN and Mr. STACPOOLE.
§ Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 93.]