HC Deb 17 February 1891 vol 350 cc836-7
MR. WALTER JAMES (Gateshead)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to a Circular issued from Birmingham and published in Monday's Times, by a company entitled "The Naturalists' Publishing Company," and projecting "an oological expedition to the land of the Great Auk," meaning the district of the Shetland Isles, set forth in the Circular as one of the best collecting grounds for the marine birds of the United Kingdom; and whether he will introduce some amendment of the Wild Birds Protection Act to avert the destruction of the eggs of rare birds?


My attention has been called to the letters in the Times of Lord Lilford and my hon. Friend the Member for Hastings. I observe that a Bill to amend the Wild Birds Protection Act was read a first time last night on the Motion of the hon. Member for York; it has not yet been circulated, but it may afford an opportunity for extending to the eggs of wild birds the protection at present given to wild birds themselves. In the meantime, it is well that it should be known that, under the law as it stands, the Shetland Islands are not completely at the mercy of the Naturalists' Publishing Company of Birmingham, for oologists are not yet exempt from the general law of trespass; and the proprietors of the threatened islands will probably consider whether they should not apply for Interdict against acts of illegal trespass, the intention to commit which has been publicly announced.

COLONEL DAWNAY (York, N. R., Thirsk)

May I ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he will give facilities to the hon. Member for York to proceed with his Bill to amend the Act for the protection of wild birds?


The Government can hardly give facilities for such a measure, much as I desire that such a measure should pass. The general feeling of the House, however, will no doubt be in favour of passing such a Bill, and in that case the hon. Gentleman will not be under the necessity of asking for special facilities to push it forward.