said, that a deputation had lately waited upon the Privy Council to make certain representations on the subject of compensation for cattle which had been slaughtered in consequence of the plague. The noble Duke the President of the Council was absent, but the Vice President and the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade were present on the occasion. The case of Cheshire was represented to his right hon. Friends, and they were informed that owing to peculiar circumstances very few cattle were slaughtered in that county by order of the Inspector, though the county had suffered enormously from the plague, and the consequence was that the sufferers received scarcely any compensation, which was certainly a great hardship in their case. His right hon. Friend promised that he would communicate with his Colleagues on the subject, and he wished to ask now, Whether the right hon. Gentleman had done so; and, if so, what was their answer?
SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
, in reply, said, the question as to whether compensation should be given for animals slaughtered at different periods in consequence of he cattle plague had several times been under the consideration of the Government; and he was aware, in a general way, of the arrangements which had been come to some months ago upon this matter. As it was one, however, which had not been particularly under the notice of his Department, he was not exactly aware of the position in which the question stood when he received a request yesterday to come into the Privy Council Office to meet a deputation to the Lord President which, owing to illness, the Lord President was not able to receive. He there found his hon. Friend (Mr. Tollemache), several other Members of that House, and many gentlemen of high standing from Cheshire. They stated in full the claims of Cheshire for compensation in respect of carcases which had been buried under Orders of Council, to the loss of any possible profit which might have been made from them between the Order of the 23rd of November and the passing of the Act of last Session. The case was stated extremely well, and it was shown that the inhabitants of Cheshire had suffered a very severe calamity which had fallen upon them particularly during this period. Under these circumstances, they not unnaturally came to the Government to know whether anything could be done to compensate them for that loss. He gave the only answer which he could at the time—that he would state the case to his Colleagues and lose no time in doing so. On coming to this House, accordingly, he communicated with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Members of the Cabinet, and he found that the mind of the Government had not been altered since the matter was discussed before. It appeared impossible, therefore, to give the compensation for which the deputation applied. He had no doubt the Lord President of the Council would send an answer to the memorial which had been addressed to him.