HC Deb 27 April 1893 vol 11 cc1410-1

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked whether the Bill would prevent the shooting of rare specimens of wild birds as well as the destruction of their eggs?


said, he sympathised with the observations of the hon. Member; but the Bill was framed only for the purpose of preventing the destruction of eggs, and he could not advise the Committee to go into the larger question, whether the destruction of wild birds by shooting or otherwise should be prohibited.


said, the object he had in view was to protect larks. He thought a provision ought to be inserted in the Bill to prohibit the slaughter of larks for eating purposes, for he believed some people looked upon the birds as a luxury.


said, it was not admissible to kill larks in Great Britain under the Wild Birds Preservation Act of 1880.

*MR. SIDEBOTHAM (Cheshire, Hyde)

said, that under the Wild Birds Protection Act of 1880 certain wild birds were protected from the 1st March to the 1st August in each year. Power was also given to the Magistrates—a power which now vested in the County Councils —to apply to the Home Secretary to extend the time in favour of any bird. He proposed a new clause to the Bill, to leave out the limit of time in the Act of 1880, in order that the Home Secretary might have power to preserve wild birds during any month of the year. His object was to preserve the lark, one of the most harmless and the most charming of birds. If the destruction of the bird were continued on the present enormous scale the bird would soon be extinct.

New Clause proposed,

"The words 'during the breeding season' in line 2 of the Preamble of 'The Wild Birds Protection Act, 1880,' are hereby repealed."— (Mr. Sidebotham.)

hoped his hon. Friend would not persevere in moving his new clause. He sympathised with the object of the clause, but it would enlarge the scope of the Bill beyond the original intention, which was that it-should be an Egg Bill pure and simple.


said, that as the promoters of the Bill had no objection to the clause on its merits, he hoped the hon. Gentleman who moved it would persevere with it.


said, he would remind the Committee of the circumstances under which the Bill originated. About two years ago the Oological Society of Birmingham got up an expedition to visit the Hebrides for the purpose of making a collection of the eggs of rare birds. It was generally felt that the time had come to prevent such practices, and it was solely with that object the Bill had been framed.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

asked whether the Bill applied to plovers' eggs?


said, it would be within the power of County Councils to prohibit the taking of plovers' eggs.

Amendment negatived.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow, at Two of the clock.