§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE AMD FISHERIES (Earl CARRINGTON)
My Lords, the small Bill which I have the honour to ask your Lordships to read a second time to-day is brought forward in consequence of a promise which I gave to Lord Kenyon as far back as 1906, that I would take action to remedy a grievance which is felt principally on the commons of Wales. It is two years ago that my noble friend introduced a most influential deputation of gentlemen interested in the breeding of Welsh ponies, and they called my attention to the evil caused by immature or blemished stallions being allowed to run free on the hills and common lands of Wales. That grievance was also brought to our notice when the noble Lord and I served on the Welsh Land Commission some years ago, and it was then requested that something might be done. The object of the Bill is to give to persons entitled to turn out animals on commons power to make regulations determining the time at and conditions under which entire animals may be turned out. I do not think there is anything in the Bill that requires further explanation, except perhaps that I might mention that in the Bill the expression "animals" means horses, asses, cattle, sheep and swine. The Bill is entirely permissive. It has been well threshed out and talked over by noble Lords and others interested in the subject. I believe there is no objection to the Bill either from landowners, commoners, or farmers, and I therefore with confidence ask your Lordships to give it a Second Reading.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2o"—(Earl Carrington.)929
My Lords, I should like to express gratitude to the noble Earl for having answered the appeal which the deputation made to him some two years ago. He has rather apologised for the length of time it has taken to frame this measure, but I am sure if he answers every deputation which I may have the honour to introduce to him with a Bill in two years I shall be very satisfied. I think there is great necessity for this Bill as the breed of ponies is rapidly deteriorating in North Wales and other parts which will be principally affected. A short while ago a certain society required a pony stallion and they searched nearly the whole of Wales without being able to obtain one. Within the last few months I have seen the procedure embodied in this Bill put in practice on a large common with very good effect.
§ VISCOUNT ST. ALDWYN
There is one point to which I should like to call attention. The Bill empowers certain persons to make regulations for determining the times at which and conditions under which entire animals should be turned out on a common. There may be a common—I know of one myself—upon which it would not be at all desirable that any entire animals should be turned out. Would the regulations as proposed in the Bill enable the turning out of entire animals to be forbidden in such a case as that, if the persons locally concerned wished it?
§ EARL CARRINGTON
I do not think there is any doubt on that subject whatever. I believe the Bill as it stands would be quite safe on that point, but I will look into it.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.