§ MR. COX (Clare, E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether it has come to his knowledge that farmers are giving up the growing of corn, because of the very serious damage done to the crops by the great increase of grubs and insects, consequent on the rapid diminution of plovers, by the systematic robbery of their eggs; and whether he will bring in a Bill declaring a close time for plovers' eggs?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
Until the appearance of the hon. Member's question, I have never heard any suggestion made by agriculturists that corn growing has been discontinued owing to the scarcity of plovers. There are many districts to which I believe plovers never resort, where corn is grown extensively, and the corn crops in those districts do not appear to be more subject to the ravages of insects than the corn crops in other localities in which plovers are numerous. As to a close time for plovers' eggs, the only complaint which has ever reached me, and which I own rather commends itself to me, is that the season for plovers' eggs is too limited already, and it would be a hazardous experiment for any Minister, I think, to endeavour to further restrict it.