Clause 2. — (Saving for horses and military tournaments.)

Orders of the Day — Performing Animals (Prohibition) Bill. – in the House of Commons at on 3 June 1921.

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This Act shall not apply to the case of an animal or bird of a domestic nature which has not been previously trained for the purpose of such entertainment, nor to the case of horses which have been so trained, nor to the case of animals ordinarily used in military tournaments or exhibited by any person licensed to train and exhibit animals by any justice of the peace in such form as may be prescribed by a Secretary of State.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

I beg to move to leave out the words "which have been so trained."

I move this at the request of the Home Office, who pointed out the legal difficulty of deciding whether a horse was trained or not, and this meets the objection of certain people.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

What is the effect of this Amendment? As I read it, the effect is to take horses out of the Bill altogether, and I am not at all sure that that is the proper course to follow. I have seen horses brought on a stage, put on a revolving turntable, which revolves very fast, and made to gallop as hard as they can, at the risk, if they cease to move, of being hurled off the turntable and seriously damaged. The performance I have seen is not an edifying one, and I cannot think it is worthy of us to allow horses to be used for such performances as that. I have seen this sort of case—some entertainment which professes to put the Derby race on the stage, and in order to produce a realistic effect it is not sufficient, in the view of these entertainers, for the horse to gallop across the stage. They want something more realistic and what, I think, is exceedingly objectionable, and therefore they have this revolving platform, put the horses on to it, and by what methods they train them to keep on it I cannot conceive, but I can well believe they are not methods of kindness. What could be more repulsive to horses, for whom we all in this country profess and have the greatest admiration—horses which are the source of one of our greatest national sports, which are invaluable to us for breeding purposes for war and other purposes, and which are really dear to the British mind as representing a great national sport and a great national asset? Are we to allow horses to be, as I think, misused and abused, and turned to these extravagant performances at the risk of their lives, under conditions which nature never intended, in order to afford some momentary spasm of pleasure to the public, who, I am sure, could do very well without such performances? I do ask my hon. and gallant Friend to consider whether he will withdraw this Amendment, and put in some form of protection to prevent horses being subjected to such humiliating performances.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

I entirely agree with what my hon. and learned Friend has just said in his eulogy of horses. I have not seen the performance to which he has referred, but either that performance is cruel or it is not. I do not know. If it is cruel, it can be dealt with under the ordinary law, and I cannot myself see any reason whatever for attempting to deal with that particular cruelty under a Bill of this sort. I think my hon. and learned Friend would be very much better employed if he would call the attention of the society which seeks to prevent cruelty to animals to the performance to which he has referred, and if he can convince them that it involves cruelty, I have not the slightest doubt a stop will be put to it.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman assure the House that the humane societies have any power of visiting these people when they are training the horses in private?

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

This Amendment was put in to meet what I think was a legitimate objection. I would like to see horses right out of it, but we must have a certain amount of give-and-take, and I think ordinary circus performances are not objectionable. In view of the difficulty pointed out by the officials in differentiating, I hope the hon. and learned Member will allow this Amendment to go through.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

I beg to move to leave out the words or exhibited by any person licensed to train and exhibit animals by any justice of the peace in such form as may be prescribed by a Secretary of State. This takes out of the Bill the licensing provision, which I put in in Committee at the request of an hon. Friend. In Committee it was rather sprung on us. The Amendment was put down only a day or two before. I have not had time really to consult those best qualified to speak of the effect of licences and Home Office Regulations in cases of this sort, and I gave way, making clear, of course, that I would consult the Home Office on this and on other matters. The Home Office are against the licensing system. They point out that it is very wide, that it would be possible to go to a magistrate in some remote part of the country and get a licence from him which would hold good all over the kingdoms, and the Home Office would have difficulty in framing Regulations. In brief, they are against it. Of course, there is another objection, and that is that in similar cases, I think, licensing has been proved to be a failure. I have only to quote the case of the traffic in worn-out horses. Another case was that of the child acrobat, which is very analogous to what we have in view in this Bill. They tried a licensing system there, and it was found to be so easily evaded that eventually they had to bring the child acrobat under the Children Act. I have a letter here from a Mr. Wilson, who was for twenty years an inspector of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was very highly thought of, and, I believe, a very reliable man in every way. For twenty years he was engaged to check cruelty by inspection. His statement has been sent to every hon. Member. He speaks very strongly of the great difficulty of getting admission to see the training. The inspector gets known very quickly, and the moment he appears scouts herald his approach. [An HON. MEMBER: "Rubbish!"] I have only this gentleman's evidence. He says: The longer my experience, the more I became convinced that no amount of so-called inspection would stop any cruelty that existed in the course of the training. He goes on to quote the case of a certain training quarters which, by arrangement, put a board outside their premises stating: These training quarters are let on the distinct understanding that they shall be open to inspection by officers of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This is what actually happened. He says: I paid a number of visits weekly to those quarters, but never succeeded in reaching any of the rooms upstairs before my presence had been known to the trainers.… My experience of all other places was precisely the same, and for this reason my humble opinion is that no system of licensing could possibly afford the animals the protection desired or expected from any such scheme. There is a good deal more very precise statement from his experience. I consulted with my friends who are supporting this Bill both inside the House and the many self-sacrificing, earnest people outside, and rather than admit a system of licensing and inspection, which we feel would only stereotype the evils we are trying to do away with, we would withdraw the whole Bill, and I beg the support of hon. Members for this Amendment.

Photo of Mr James Wignall Mr James Wignall , Forest of Dean

I beg to second the Amendment. I was on the Committee, and heard all the discussion that took place, and I know the reason why the alteration in the Bill was made. On later reflection and consideration, I feel that if the thing is wrong, it is entirely wrong, and ought to be stopped. No form of licensing could prevent the cruelty, if cruelty exists, and to attempt licensing would require an enormous amount of inspection to see that the training was conducted in such a way that no cruelty existed. I quite agree that a system of licensing to prevent cruelty, which we conscientiously believe does exist, would be a mere farce, and lead to more complications than anything else.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James , Bromley

I am of opinion that the Bill defeats its own ends. The promoters of this Amendment desire to remove performing animals from the stage, whether it be a circus or other place of entertainment. They might succeed. I submit, however, were they to do so they would not remove the cruelty which they and all of us wish to see removed. What would be the result? These animals would be trained, as they have been hitherto trained, in quarters in London and elsewhere, and exported to the Continent, where, I submit, the conditions obtaining are not so sympathetic as they are in this country. Anybody with any experience of Continental races—no, I will not say that, but the Latin races— Knows perfectly well that they do not as a general rule view cruelty to animals in the same light as we ourselves do. I speak with some knowledge of the subject, as I have been secretary of an important branch abroad of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and I trust in my small way I have been able to prevent cruelty taking place.

There is one great test as to whether or not cruelty does take place. That test is the acid test of public opinion—that alone! If public opinion in this country, whether it be behind the footlights, or infront of them, realises that cruelty takes place, I am convinced as an Englishman that my brother Englishmen and Englishwomen will come together to defeat it. They have done so in the past and they will do so in the future. In the next place every Member of the House has been circularised with ex-parte statements made in this paper I hold in my hand. I do not—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

Those observations, I think, will be more appropriate to the Third Reading of the Bill. The present Amendment is solely on the question of licensing.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James , Bromley

I will turn, Mr. Speaker, to the Amendment relating to licensing. In respect to that, I do not think that withdrawing the system of licences, and reverting to the Bill as it originally stood, would do any good, because licences afford some safeguards, and without licences there are none. By the Bill it is proposed to inflict great and grievous hardship on an extremely deserving class. Further, the proposed Amendment casts ridicule on the Bill. Most of us when small derived the greatest possible entertainment from watching a Punch and Judy show. Dog Toby was an integral incident in the performance. As I read the Bill, if he bites the nose of Punch, or sits up and begs, he is a performing animal under the terms of this Bill. Could anything be more ridiculous? If on the stage a dog, say, walks across the footlights or possibly licks the hand of his supposed owner, he is not contravening the law, but suppose he shakes a paw or performs the smallest trick, he comes into the terms of the Act and becomes a performing animal. For these various reasons I abject to the proposal of the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite.

Lieut-Colonel GUINNESS:

I have been rather puzzled by the speech to which we have just listened. The hon. and gallant Member says that he wants licences because he does not think it is desirable that there should be no provision for the training and exhibition of animals—

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS:

Well, so I understood the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert James , Bromley

I want licensing rather than no licensing at all.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS:

Therefore the hon. and gallant Gentleman wants the Bill in its original form, with licences. He admits that malpractices may take place under present conditions and that something ought to be done; therefore he admits the case of the promoters of the Bill. On the other hand he takes up an entirely inconsistent attitude. My impression of his speech is that he thinks without this licensing system you might just as well have no Bill at all. But a person, if necessary, can go to a magistrate, who may be an animal trainer himself, and he can frank performances throughout the whole of the country. That makes the position so much worse than now, because it will allay public anxiety on the matter and will probably lead to a great deal more cruelty. The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Lieut.-Colonel James) says that if you do away with these performances in England, the result will be you will have more cruelty, for the people will train the animals in England so as to exhibit them abroad, and abroad they have a far lower standard in this matter than public opinion insists upon in this country.

What reason, however, is there for thinking that an animal-trainer, if not allowed to exhibit his animals in this country, is going to take the trouble to come over here from the Continent and train them? We know that under the present law these training establishments nominally are open to inspection. We know also that that inspection is an absolute farce. Anyhow, it is childish to suggest that the cruel foreign trainer is going to be tempted to come from the country where there is no inspection, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman suggests, and train the animals here. Greater cruelty, it is said, may be inflicted because there is not that feeling on the Continent that there is here. There is nothing in that argument, because if a man is callous he will naturally go on training animals under those conditions where there is no inspection. Therefore I think the whole of that argument falls to the ground. I feel it is most necessary that if you have a Bill at all you should do away with this provision about licensing. But that really is a Second Reading point. I shall most certainly vote in favour of the Amendment, because I want the Bill to be effective.

Photo of Mr James O'Grady Mr James O'Grady , Leeds South East

The way this Amendment has been put forward, and the terms in which it has been moved and supported suggest that the supporters of the Bill desire to abolish these entertainments. The Bill was before Committee upstairs and analysed there. Yet those supporting it now come along and seek to amend their own Bill. Quite clearly in the Committee itself they were satisfied with the Bill as it is. What has happened since then? A great number of well-meaning people outside, quite conscientiously perhaps, but quite illogically, have been administering the stick to the hon. and gallant Gentleman behind me, and that is the reason why now he has moved this Amendment. At least there is somebody outside who apparently knows something about the training of wild animals. If the suggestion is carried it really will absolutely abolish the work of the large body of people who, I protest, are not cruel in the sense in which this circular that has been put out suggests.

We have had the evidence of an inspector for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals put forward on this point. Those of us who represent in some sense the persons engaged in the music hall profession could have got similar inspectors who would have said quite the contrary. My position is that here is a Bill levelling gross and infamous charges against a body of men whose livelihood is at stake, and who love animals just as much as we do. The Amendment must be taken in conjunction with Clause 1. By this Amendment you obliterate the whole business entirely, and I hope the House will seriously consider this point. I never knew a case in this House where, after a Bill coming from the Committee upstairs, we found hon. Members coming here and proposing vital Amendments on the Report stage. I think that is treating the House with contempt. The Bill came here as an agreed Bill, and Members of the Committee now seek to vitally amend their own Bill. If this Amendment is carried, it will be a totally different Bill. That is unfair, and I hope the House will reject the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

The hon. And gallant Member (Lieut.-Colonel Walter Guinness) spoke of something as a Second Reading point. May I point out that we never had an opportunity of discussing this Bill on the Second Reading, because it was smuggled through after 11 o'clock, when hon. Members who usually object to private Bills were not present? Not having been on the Committee which considered this measure, I came here knowing nothing of the Bill, and I wanted to hear the arguments in order to convince me as to its merits. All I have got from the hon. and gallant Member (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) is that he has wobbled very considerably on his own Bill, and I have had no guidance from the Home Office in regard to this Bill or from any other authority. The attitude of hon. Members supporting this Bill seems to me to be the old and vicious attitude of the late Lord Coleridge, who said that if the use of a thing cannot be separated from its abuse, then the use must be prevented. Under that doctrine you could get rid of religion, patriotism—which has been defined as the last resort of the scoundrel—and you could get rid of almost everything. Because you may have cruelty you must not trust public opinion apparently or the magistrates of the country to issue licences, in fact you can trust no one, and you must get rid of the whole of these performances. I distrust that argument altogether. We have been told by the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy), who on this occasion claims to put forward the views of the Home Office which up to now has offered us no guidance, that this Department does not want licences. Why? On a similar subject the Board of Agriculture tells us that the system of appointing inspectors is very effective, and I cannot understand why the Home Office should adopt a different attitude in regard to these matters.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

The Board of Agriculture does not do any licensing. They have inspectors, which is quite a different thing altogether.

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

I know that the Home Office have inspectors, but the hon. and gallant Member says he does not trust the inspectors of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because they cannot get there. If that is so then they are not very clever men. I shall wait for the Third Reading speeches in order to hear more about this matter. I think the Bill will be better if it permits licences, and I shall support this system of magistrates granting licences, reserving my right to vote for or against the Bill on the Third Reading.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

I hope the House will agree to leave out these words. If they stand, the Bill becomes absolutely futile and useless, and you might just as well save us the trouble of going on any further, and all our labours will have been utterly fruitless in regard to this Bill. It is perfectly true that if the words stand part of the Bill unlimited licences will be granted subject to no conditions, and all existing objections to these performances which are strongly felt in every part of the House will cease to be met in any way whatever. Let us see what these words mean? First of all, the licence has to be granted by any Justice of the Peace. Far be it from me to say that the body of Justices of the Peace, of whom I form one, are not a most admirable and excellent body for dispensing justice upon subjects with which they are accustomed to deal, but speaking for myself and other hon. Members who are justices of the peace, I should be very sorry to say that we ought to grant such licences without expert advice and without hearing the pros and cons of each particular case. I suggest that under this Bill any Justice of the Peace sitting in his private room can have an application from a manager saying: "Grant me a licence for exhibiting cats or dogs," and he can grant it according to the form in which these words stand.

There is something more than that. There are some Justices of the Peace who differ from hon. Members, and who have extremely strong views about the licensing of performances of this sort, and there is no reason under the Bill why every man who wants to exhibit animals should not go to one or two of those justices and simply say, "Grant me a licence," and he would get it. The Bill would become a perfect absurdity and a farce. That is not all. As this Clause is drafted it tells the Justice of the Peace that he may grant the licence in such form as may be prescribed by the Home Secretary. The Secretary of State has no right to lay down the conditions under which the licence is to be granted. He has no right to lay down any provision for an investigation, which, I think, is extremely important. So that you have it broadly, upon an application made without evidence or investigation, that any Justice of the Peace may grant a licence. The thing is quite unthinkable. If we are to have a licence, might I suggest that those hon. Members who favour a licensing system should agree that it should be granted by a competent body in an effective form. I should suggest the Quarter Sessions, where you have a bench of magistrates with a trained chairman, who would not be likely to grant a licence without careful consideration. Furthermore, if we had such a licensing body it would be exceedingly important that the Home Secretary should be able to prescribe the conditions under which they should be granted, and that he should be able to prescribe that they should not grant them except after due investigation. With safeguards of that sort, I think a licence may be possible, but in its present form it is quite futile and renders the Bill absurd.

Photo of Mr Ernest Pretyman Mr Ernest Pretyman , Chelmsford

A very important principle is raised regarding the procedure of this House in the way that this Amendment is presented. There has been a Committee upstairs. The whole proceedings in this House now depend upon the Standing Committees, and it is necessary that we should very carefully guard our procedure. In the Committee upstairs every Member has the whole of the evidence on the case before him.

Photo of Mr Ernest Pretyman Mr Ernest Pretyman , Chelmsford

I mean that every Member has the opportunity of hearing such evidence as the promoters of the Bill can give in Committee. They hear the whole case stated, pro and con.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

It is only in Select Committees that you can take evidence. There is no evidence given before the Standing Committees.

Photo of Mr Ernest Pretyman Mr Ernest Pretyman , Chelmsford

I do not think that touches my point. It is the custom of the House to place upon a Standing Com- mittee both those who support and those who are known to oppose the Bill. Both the promoters and the opposers of the Bill have an opportunity of making their case, and every Member of the Committee hears the case, pro and con. Therefore, the decision of the Committee is given by Members who know the case. The decision given here, on Report, is one given by a House which cannot possibly know the case. Therefore, the Standing Committee is a most important stage. It is a most serious matter in regard to the procedure of this House that the promoters of a Bill should, upstairs in Committee, come to an agreement and thereby succeed in getting their Bill through Committee and then come down here and ask the House, of whom a very small minority can be conversant with the pros and cons, to reverse that decision. I was not on the Committee, and, on principle, I am not prepared, for one, without having the means of thoroughly understanding the Measure, to reverse an agreement come to in Committee.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

My right hon. Friend is a little mistaken in his statement as to what takes place in Committee. He commenced by saying that the Committee consisted of Members who were in favour and Members who were against, the Bill. That is incorrect. The Standing Committees are appointed at the comencement of the Session, and they consist of 50 or 60 Members. They are appointed before any Bill is sent to them. When a particular Bill is sent to a Standing Committee, 15 Members are added. Usually, something between 20 and 25 Members attend, and the idea that this House is to be guided by what has taken place in Standing Committee is subversive of the whole idea of representative, government.

Photo of Mr George Spencer Mr George Spencer , Broxtowe

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) seems to be labouring under a misapprehension that somehow or other an agreement was arrived at in Committee with respect to this Clause. That is not quite correct, because the opponents put their case as strongly as they possibly could in favour of the rejection of the Bill, and, if my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) did: accept this Amendment, he did so labouring under a misapprehension as to the effect and consequence of these particular words. Since he has had time to reflect upon the Amendment, he realises the nature and gravity of it. The training of animals may go on in some foreign country over which we have no jurisdiction and no right of inspection, and there may be the maximum amount of cruelty. Then, the trainer may come to this country to exhibit those animals. There is abundant evidence that in the training of animals of all kinds there is a form of cruelty which is most revolting. The same is true with regard to their exhibition. I will only give one illustration which came under my own observation many years ago. It was one of the most revolting things that I have known in my life. There were some performing lions, and in the centre of the show was a great fire in which iron bars were being heated for use when the trainer entered the lions' cage. I now realise in my mature years that the lions had been tormented to look as ferocious as possible in order to attract the public. The trainer, to give spectacular effect to the whole show, called for the iron bars to frighten the lions. Is that an exhibition that any honest English gentleman wants to see given in this country? Personally, I do not desire to subject any animal to treatment of that character.

Photo of Dr Bouverie McDonald Dr Bouverie McDonald , Wallasey

Did you see any marks on the animals?

Photo of Mr George Spencer Mr George Spencer , Broxtowe

I was comparatively young at the time, and I cannot say. It must be 20 or 25 years ago, and I confess that at the time I thought it was a marvellous scene. When I come to reflect upon it in my later years, I think it was a most revolting scene. A public taste that is gratified by exhibitions of this kind is revolting, and the sooner it is eradicated the better. I shall support the deletion of these words.

Photo of Mr Charles Stanton Mr Charles Stanton , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

I do not know how many hon. Members sat on the Committee upstairs, but I have heard the evidence of people who are engaged in this particular work and from what they have said and from their appearance, it has never struck me that they are persons of brutal instincts. It is not desirable, therefore, that Members of this House, however good their intentions, should listen to fairy stories with regard to this matter. Everyone has been told, of course, that people who train ferocious beasts of the forest find it necessary to use hot irons in the course of the training, but I think it is very probable that a more intimate acquaintance with what goes on behind the scenes would show the trainer pushing the lion aside with a broom as his only weapon when it is desired to clean out the cage. It is suggested that it would be dangerous to allow anybody seeking a license to get it from the nearest and most convenient Justice of the Peace. Surely hon. Members have a mighty idea of their own countrymen's honour if they imagine that there are any magistrates who would lend themselves to this sort of thing. The idea that the application should be made to any local Justice of the Peace passes my comprehension. I think the Home Secretary alone should be empowered to grant the licence, after being made acquainted with all the facts and with the sort of animal to be trained, as well as with the safeguards in respect of inquiry and inspection. No hon. Member would care to look at any show where there was reason to believe cruelty had been used towards the animals. I went into one only the other evening. I do not want to advertise the place, but it was a show where seals were performing in a tank. They were diving into it and two young ladies also dived into it with them. It was really a clean, excellent show, and I subsequently inspected the receptacles in which these seals are conveyed about the country and found them all that could be desired. I understand that these animals have three months in the sea at Blackpool, or some similar place, and, altogether, I do not think I should mind being a seal myself.

1.0 P.M.

It is not fair for the Committee, with all the good intentions in the world, to run the risk of doing an injustice to thousands of decent-minded people whose livelihood depends, not upon their cruelty in training the creatures under their control, but on their exercising sound judgment and a kindly nature. There is an old saying that where fear is, love is never seen. I do not think that fear is so often an adjunct to the training of these animals as some people imagine. There has been talk of elephants being controlled by the application of red-hot pokers. I have always thought that an elephant was an animal with a very reten- tive memory, and I for one would not care to be the man who had used the red-hot poker, lest on some future occasion I should meet that animal. I do not think the Committee have given due consideration to this Bill. They have not heard evidence which could have been forthcoming from people who are concerned in this matter. Hon. Members should not be so ready to lend an ear to the hysterical screechings of people, many of whom show far more sympathy for animals than for human beings who risk their lives in Ireland and elsewhere. I want to see a little more consistency displayed. I would be as ready as anyone to stop a show which is cruel, or which is calculated to brutalise the minds of the people, but I am not going to listen to the sentiments and fads of all sorts of Tom Noddies, and I do suggest that the men and women who train these animals are entitled to generous treatment at the hands of hon. Members of this House, and to a fair consideration of their rights as citizens until something is proved against them. May I suggest that the Bill should not be further proceeded with now, but that the Committee should sit again and take evidence on both sides? I am willing to put an end to brutalising shows wherever they may be found, but I am confident that many of these performing animals have been trained with both affection and patience, and, therefore, I appeal to hon. Members not to be stampeded on this matter, but to agree to refer the whole question back to the Committee, so that any reform which may be brought about shall be just and fair, and not a result of stupid, pannicky legislation which can only reflect discredit on anyone engaged in it.

Lieut.-Colonel WILLOUGHBY:

I think we have heard some very good sound common sense from the hon. Member who last addressed the House. I am not ready to oppose this Bill. The promoters of it have agreed that licences should be issued with the idea of preventing the exercise of cruelty in the training of animals and therefore I should prefer that the Bill, as now presented to us, should be accepted and that the Amendment should be rejected. A good many speakers have addressed themselves to the subject in a way that suggests that the adoption of a licensing system would not prevent cruelty. I have no doubt the House has sufficient evidence before it to decide on that question, but I personally shall vote in favour of having licences because I hope that their issue may prevent the possibility of cruelty. Everyone of us, I would imagine, would desire that. It is going a great deal too far to say that no animal is to be trained. It is perfectly wonderful what can be done by training. I do not believe that trainers are universally cruel. Men do take an interest in the animals they train, and a system of licensing would enable them to train animals in a kind and proper manner, and thus earn their livelihood. I shall therefore vote in favour of licensing remaining in the Bill. I am sorry no form of licence has been introduced into the measure, as it might have been possible to make some valuable suggestions in that regard, but I think it would be very ill-advised to make it possible for any animal to be trained anywhere.

Photo of Lieutenant Alfred Raper Lieutenant Alfred Raper , Islington East

I propose to support the Amendment for several reasons. One of my principal reasons has not been referred to by any hon. Member who has spoken, but I hope it will be considered. So far as I can see, unless this Amendment is carried, there is nothing in the Bill which will prevent an exhibitor from importing animals which have been cruelly trained abroad; and it was admitted by one hon. Member opposite who opposed the Amendment that they were cruelly trained abroad. The hon. and gallant Member for Bromley (Lieut.-Colonel James) said that these questions are sooner or later decided by public opinion. I do not know whether his experience has been the same as mine, but I know that a good many hon. Members have had the same experience. I have received hundreds of letters, not only from my own constituents, but from people in other parts of the country, asking me to support the Bill as now amended, and I have not received a single letter of protest except from people who have a commercial interest in the matter.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams , Middlesbrough East

I rise to support the Amendment. I think it will be admitted in all quarters of the House that if this Amendment is not carried and a licensing system is adopted it will destroy the whole effect that we hope to obtain by this Bill. It is clear that, if a magistrate is entitled to grant a licence to a trainer, he is bound to grant a licence if it is applied for unless he has some reason to believe that the applicant is not a proper person to have the licence. Therefore, these licences will be issued automatically. If a magistrate takes the attitude that he will not issue a licence, the applicant will be entitled to go to the superior Court and compel him to issue the licence unless he can show cause why it should not be issued.

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

He can go to another magistrate.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams , Middlesbrough East

Yes. Moreover, these licences would not be subject to review. When once issued a licence would hold good for any length of time, and would not come under the review of any responsible body, so that you would set up a state of affairs more dangerous than that which exists now. A man would be able to exhibit a notice that he was licensed by a justice of the peace to train animals, and therefore could not possibly be accused of any cruelty. Those hon. Members who are opposed to the Bill should vote against the Bill as a whole on Third Reading, and should not vote for this destructive provision, which, if retained in the Bill, will destroy its whole effect.

Colonel BURN:

I shall certainly support this Amendment, because I think that the Bill would be more or less nugatory if the Amendment were not carried. I have the greatest respect for the justices of the peace of this country. They are honourable men, do their work admirably, and are very carefully selected. But I do say that the large number of justices of the peace in this country must include a certain percentage who are in favour of these performances in which animals are exhibited, and people interested in these performances would naturally go to those justices who were favourable to their shows, and would get a licence to train their animals. No one is more whole-heartedly in favour than I am of doing away with all possible cruelty in the training of animals, and I feel that it is necessary not to allow any animals to perform under the conditions which would obtain were this Amendment not carried. I think it is the only way of strengthening the Bill.

Photo of Mr Henry Cautley Mr Henry Cautley , East Grinstead

If this had been a sensible Bill I should have voted for the Amendment. I agree with the hon. And gallant Member opposite (Colonel P. Williams) that licensing is to be deprecated, but as I read the Bill it would have the effect of prohibiting the Waterloo Cup—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]—of prohibiting all coursing, and of prohibiting what is a very favourite sport in the North of England, namely, dog racing, against which there is not a word to be said. I have taken part in it myself, and have seen it constantly, and I say without hesitation that the Northerner loves his dog, and especially a racing dog. All this is going to be stopped by this Bill. If the Bill does go through, as I sincerely hope it will not, there will be just a loop- hole to keep going these great sports which I have mentioned. I believe it to be doubtful whether you could have a sheep dog trial, which is also a big sporting event and a very useful event in the North—

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

May I point out to the hon. and learned Gentleman that domestic animals are not included in the Bill?

Photo of Mr Henry Cautley Mr Henry Cautley , East Grinstead

I do not agree. As I read the Bill, domestic animals, unless they have been previously trained, are excluded. These animals have been previously trained.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

By the previous Amendment those words have been left out.

Photo of Mr Henry Cautley Mr Henry Cautley , East Grinstead

As I understand it, all these animals are included because they have been previously trained. I conclude, therefore, that the Bill is not a sensible Bill, but I shall vote against the Amendment in case other people do not agree with me, because in that case there is just a loophole to keep these great sports going.

Photo of Mr George Bowyer Mr George Bowyer , Buckingham

May I just in a sentence speak on behalf of the Amendment, for a reason which is perhaps rather different from any that has yet been given? To my mind animals are given to us for companionship or for shooting purposes or for purposes such as those for which the sheep dog is used. If you are going to have them taught and exhibited, you are bound to have cruelty in one or two ways sooner or later—either in the exhibition or in the training. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] I say sooner or later. Does any hon. Member deny that there is cruelty in the exhibition? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I can remember one case which would have convinced any hon. Member in any part of the House if he had been present, as I was, at Olympia within the last 18 months, and had seen little dogs, terrified, jumping from the top of that great building on to a trapeze 30, 40, or 50 feet below, and had seen their palpitating fear as, first of all, they were taken up to that dizzy eminence, and then as they were awaiting the word of command at which they were to jump. Some were blindfolded and wrapped up in sacks. Anyone who saw that performance would have no doubt that sooner or later these performances either lead to cruelty in the training or in the exhibition. Animals, after all, exhibit the great qualities of courage, loyalty, faithfulness and trust, and they are not given to us to make our bread and butter out of for business reasons in showing them in performances. I shall back up this Bill as heartily as I can.

Photo of Mr James Seddon Mr James Seddon , Stoke-on-Trent Hanley

But for the last speaker I should not have intervened. He made a general charge based upon a personal experience at Olympia. I can never remember being without an animal of some sort. I have had dogs ever since I can remember, and I have had dogs who on their own initiative have learned

tricks which would have made them very popular with no cruelty on the part of myself or any of my family. The hon. and gallant Gentleman makes a general charge against all performing animals.

Photo of Mr George Bowyer Mr George Bowyer , Buckingham

What I said was that, sooner or later, if you have the right to exhibit and to train performing animals, here or there you will get cases of cruelty, and I will do anything to stop it.

Photo of Mr James Seddon Mr James Seddon , Stoke-on-Trent Hanley

I question that, because I am sure a stranger would not get the dog to do the same thing that I got him to do. You can train both dogs and horses by kindness to do certain things which are a joy to those who witness them, and even the animals themselves take a pride in them. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman had been at Liverpool last Saturday when there was a great horse parade, he would have seen that the animals themselves seemed to have some intuition and some pride in doing what the drivers wanted them to do. I protest, simply because horses and dogs have been taught to do tricks which are pleasurable to those who behold them without being illtreated, against making a general charge that sooner or later cruelty will be imposed upon them.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 69; Noes, 60.

Division No. 147.]AYES.[1.20 p.m.
Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William JamesGibbs, Colonel George AbrahamMorrison, Hugh
Atkey, A. R.Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnMorrison-Bell, Major A. C.
Barrie, Charles Coupar (Banff)Glyn, Major RalphMurchison, C. K.
Bell, Lieut.-Col W. C. H. (Devizes)Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)Murray, John (Leeds, West)
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.Greig, Colonel James WilliamNicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)
Betterton, Henry B.Hacking, Captain Douglas H.Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Brassey, H. L. C.Hamilton, Major C. G. C.Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.
Breese, Major Charles E.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Briggs, HaroldHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardRichardson, Alexander (Gravesend)
Bruton, Sir JamesHopkins, John W. W.Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Cautley, Henry StrotherIrving, DanSamuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Cheyne, Sir William WatsonJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertSmithers, Sir Alfred W.
Cobb, Sir CyrilJesson, C.Stanton, Charles Butt
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.Jodrell, Neville PaulTerrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)
Cope, Major WilliamJohn, William (Rhondda, West)Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Edgar, Clifford B.Kenyon, BarnetTownley, Maximilian G.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)King, Captain Henry DouglasWilliams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)Lane-Fox, G. R.Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayM'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Fell, Sir ArthurMacdonald, Rt. Hon. John MurrayWise, Frederick
Forestier-Walker, L.McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)
Frece, Sir Walter deMitchell, William LaneTELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Gardiner, JamesMolson, Major John ElsdaleCaptain O'Grady and Mr. Seddon.
NOES.
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteBarrand, A. R.Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Bennett, Sir Thomas JewellButcher, Sir John George
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Bird, Sir William B. M. (Chichester)Campbell, J. D. G.
Colvin, Brig.-General Richard BealeKennedy, ThomasRose, Frank H.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.Royce, William Stapleton
Dawes, James ArthurLarmor, Sir JosephSassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Entwistle, Major C. F.Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Gee, Captain RobertLawson, John JamesSpencer, George A.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)Spoor, B. G.
Grayson, Lieut.-Colonel Sir HenryLloyd-Greame, Sir P.Swan, J. E.
Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)Townshend, Sir Charles V. F.
Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Lyle-Samuel, AlexanderWallace, J.
Hartshorn, VernonMcMicking, Major GilbertWarner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)Mills, John EdmundWedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.
Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)Mosley, OswaldWilliams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Holmes, J. StanleyMurray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Hurd, Percy A.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)
Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.Perkins, Walter FrankWood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Inskip, Thomas Walker H.Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles
Joynson-Hicks, Sir WilliamRaper, A. BaldwinTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)Robertson, JohnColonel Burn and Mr. Wignall.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS:

I beg to move, at the end of the Clause, to add the words, "nor to the use of animals for the purposes of sport."

The object of inserting this Amendment is to make sure that there shall be no interference with sheep dog trials or the Waterloo Cup, or any of those forms of sport which depend upon the training of animals in their natural faculty. Unless we have such an Amendment it may be found necessary for the owner of sheep dogs to get a licence from a magistrate before he would be entitled to show them. This would not in any way legalise cruel sports, such as cock fighting, which are prevented under the law as it now stands, but it would prevent this Bill being quoted to interfere with any sports which are now law.

Photo of Mr Ernest Pretyman Mr Ernest Pretyman , Chelmsford

Does the hon. and gallant Member consider that sheep dog trials would be included in sports? I do not think so.

Photo of Mr Thomas Inskip Mr Thomas Inskip , Bristol Central

I beg to second the Amendment. This Bill is not to be a code for the prevention of cruelty to animals, but is intended only, and will be effective, to prevent the use of animals for what we may call non-natural purposes. The use of dogs for sheep trials, or any other similar purpose, might possibly be endangered in some way by this Bill, unless it is made plain in the words of the Amendment.

Photo of Mr James O'Grady Mr James O'Grady , Leeds South East

This Amendment shows the inconsistency and absurdity of the whole thing. The whole Bill teems with inconsistencies, and I suggest that the promoters might withdraw it, and let us get a proper consideration of the question and a Bill which would be acceptable to the ordinary common sense of the public outside.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

I am much obliged to the hon. and gallant Member and the hon. and learned Member who have moved and seconded the Amendment, which I welcome, as it tends to make the Bill clear. In view of the last Division, however, I wish to withdraw the Bill, if my hon. and learned Friend will agree with me on the matter.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

I do not know after the announcement made by the hon. and gallant Member whether there is any object in proceeding with further discussion; but I should like to say with regard to the Amendment now before the House that I thoroughly agree with what has been said by my hon. Friend opposite (Captain O'Grady). The Amendment shows the straits to which the promoters of the Bill are put. I object to this Amendment extremely. It would be resented by all sportsmen, because it casts a slur on the whole of the performing animal trade and performing animal entertainments. It makes out, on such evidence as satisfies the promoters, that the whole of that great industry of recreation for the public is tainted by cruelty, and now the promoters by an Amendment propose to say: "It is quite true that cruelty goes on, but we will excuse it if it is in the interests of sport." That is the logical inference to be drawn from this proposal. That should be resented in the interests of sport. If there is real cruelty involved in training retrievers and in exhibiting their powers for money, as is often done, or if there is cruelty in the whippet races, and it is cruelty with which this House should interfere, why should that be exempted while perfectly innocent entertainments at the circus are to be stopped by legislation? It shows the whole absurdity to which the promoters of the Bill are reduced. I welcome very much the announcement made by, I suppose, the chief promoter of the Bill, and as in that case we probably shall not have any opportunity of making any statement upon the Third Reading, which, I suppose, will not be proposed, I should like to say, not having been here at the Second Reading, that I rejoice at the withdrawal of the Bill, because I think it is the most imbecile proposal that has ever been put before the House.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Shall we have any opportunity, Mr. Speaker, of saying anything when the proposal is made for the withdrawal of the Bill, because some of us think that if the Bill is to be withdrawn it would be very desirable to get a promise from the Home Secretary to set up a Committee to examine the whole question? I believe we all desire that, but I do not know whether we shall have any opportunity of urging the Home Secretary to do that.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

If the present Amendment is withdrawn, and the promoters of the Bill move, "That the further consideration of the Bill be adjourned," it would be in order to do what the hon. and learned Member suggests.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS:

I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

I beg to move, "That the further consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."

I hope that the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member (Sir J. Butcher) will be accepted by the Home Secretary. The opponents of the Bill have wrecked it, as they intended to do, but they would welcome an inquiry being set up. I congratulate them upon their triumph. I have done my best to get the Bill through, and they have done their best to wreck it, and they have succeeded. I bear no grudge against them; they have fought quite fairly, but I do wish to make one point clear, because the accusation is made by an hon. and gallant Member below the Gangway that we acted unfairly in accepting an Amendment in Committee and then moving to delete it afterwards. In Committee it was rather sprung upon us by being put down late. I make no complaint.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

That is so, but we made it clear at the time that we should have to consult the Home Office on this and other points, and this was one of the points that the Home Office advisers pointed out would be impossible in operation if the Bill was to be of any use. I do not propose to bring forward now the voluminous evidence pointing to the great cruelties especially in the training of animals. I do not want to detain the House further on this matter, but there is no doubt about it the evidence which has been laid before a Committee of Inquiry is important evidence and weighty evidence, and I really think that opinion outside this House is sufficiently strong to demand such an inquiry, and I think the Government would be wise to accede to that demand. The promoters of the Bill them selves welcome it. As just one example of why we should have an inquiry, one of the witnesses put forward by the opponents, Mr. Bostock, a wellknown and, I believe, much respected animal trainer, who I am sure would not inflict cruelty on any animal—

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

On a point of Order. Is it open to the hon. Member to make general remarks on the Bill? I understood he moved to postpone further consideration of the Bill, and he is now making a speech on the general principle.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

It is not in order on the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate to make a speech appropriate to the Third Reading, but it is quite legitimate to ask for the attitude of the Government and whether they will accept an inquiry.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

I have not seen this procedure adopted hitherto, and since the Division I have not had time to consult those better acquainted with the Rules.

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

I would just like in a few words to point out what is the position of the Home Office. I am sure my hon. and gallant Friend (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) did not wish to misrepresent the position. He has had no consultation with the Home Office. He did have consultation with my secretary, who did what he could to help him in drafting troubles. The Home Office does not support the Bill. The position of the Home Office is that we have not got the information. We also knew perfectly well, as I should have had to point out if there were a Third Reading, that the Bill as it stands is perfectly hopeless. You could not carry out any one of the single things required. I was asked by my hon. and learned Friend (Sir J. Butcher) to set up a Departmental Committee.

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

A Select Committee is for the House to set up, not the Home Office. If the House set up a Select Committee, the Home Office would do what it could to help it.

Photo of Mr Ronald McNeill Mr Ronald McNeill , Canterbury

I think my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds (Captain O'Grady) who, I think, is the chief opponent of this Bill, should very carefully consider whether it would be wise to sanction the proposal that further consideration be adjourned. I am myself assured, after what has fallen from the Home Secretary, it would make a laughing stock of this House to pass legislation of this sort, and therefore, while I will not take any action, of course, myself, I think my hon. Friend opposite should insist on the Motion for the Third Reading being made.

Photo of Mr James O'Grady Mr James O'Grady , Leeds South East

I do not know this form of procedure, and it lands me in some difficulty. The Motion is that the Bill be postponed for further consideration. The Home Secretary frankly says the Bill is hopeless as it stands. There is some suggestion of a Select Committee. I was never against a committee of inquiry. In fact, I offered it on behalf of the people opposed to this Bill, and I never had any communication yea or nay. I do not want the danger to be constantly existing of this Bill coming up repeatedly, and I think the Bill ought to be withdrawn.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

If I may alter my Motion, I beg leave to withdraw the Bill.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

It is a mere matter of procedure one way or the other. To adjourn the further consideration is a more general way of doing the same thing. If the hon. and gallant Member now withdraws his Motion that further consideration be adjourned, I should put the question on the Third Reading.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Might I ask the Home Secretary just to make the position clear? I understand he is willing to grant a Select Committee if the House agree. A private Member could not propose to set up a Select Committee. That rests with the Government. Might I ask the Home Secretary if he will give us a promise that he will propose a Select Committee for the consideration of this matter?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

We had better take that on the Third Reading.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

Photo of Mr Thomas Warner Mr Thomas Warner , Lichfield

I would like to ask if it will be competent to move an Amendment to the effect that the Bill should not be read the Third time until the Select Committee has reported thereon?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That would be the same thing as the House declining to read the Bill the Third time. It would be simpler to negative the Third Reading.

Photo of Sir John Butcher Sir John Butcher , City of York

Might I ask the Home Secretary to give an answer to the question I put, whether he will propose to set up a Select Committee, and leave it to the House to say whether a Select Committee should be appointed or not?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

I cannot possibly give any pledge of that kind. I have said the Home Office will do all it can to help, but I cannot pledge myself definitely to anything now. If the hon. Members who are really concerned in this matter will consult together, and if, as the result of their consultation, they think a Select Committee should be appointed, then, of course, it will be set up. On the other hand, if they think some other form of inquiry be better, the Home Office will do its best to assist.

Photo of Mr George Spencer Mr George Spencer , Broxtowe

None of us on this side of the House or the other wish to proceed on false testimony. If we can have some Committee set up whereby we can get the definite evidence which can be relied upon by both sides, then if the evidence will support our side so much the better, and if it did not, we shall have to let the whole thing drop.

Photo of Mr James O'Grady Mr James O'Grady , Leeds South East

I would like to say, before the Question is put, that I did an injustice to an hon. Member of this House. I wish to withdraw it, and to say the hon. Member for Islington (Mr. Raper) did reply to me by letter.

Photo of Mr Thomas Inskip Mr Thomas Inskip , Bristol Central

May I say I also replied to the hon. Member.

Question, "That the Bill be now read the Third time," put, and negatived.