HC Deb 27 June 1916 vol 83 c725
45. Sir R. WINFREY

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability of suspending the Game Laws until after the War, so as to release for national service, both military and civil, all those men who are still being employed as game-keepers, also to relieve the police who, in game-preserving districts, are still devoting time in putting the Game Laws into operation; and further to prevent the damage to growing crops, and consequent wastage of food?


I fear that the action which I understand my hon. Friend to suggest might be regarded as controversial in view of the fact that game preserving has been very largely decreased, if not wholly abandoned. I shall be glad to hear of any cases in which this may not be the case, so that action may be taken through the War Agricultural Committees, which would, I believe, be likely to be more practicable and effective than legislation. It should, I think, be remembered in this connection that no keepers of military age are in any way entitled to exemption from military service on account of their occupation, and that the older men who now alone remain are doing good work in helping to keep down rats and rabbits. They have also in many cases, which are worthy of general imitation, been lent for the purpose of helping farmers at the times of year when they most need help.