HC Deb 26 October 1916 vol 86 cc1326-7
121. Sir R. WINFREY

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether complaints have reached him from agriculturists in the Eastern counties of the labourers being induced to leave their employment to act as beaters to shooting parties; whether he is aware of the resolution on the subject passed by the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Agriculture; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent a continuance of such practices?


The Board have received a few isolated complaints of this kind, and they are aware of the resolution to which my hon. Friend refers. As I think he already knows, the Board make a practice of inquiring into the facts in all such cases, with a view to preventing a recurrence of the cause of complaint, and this they are doing in the present instance. Generally speaking, they are satisfied that game preserving has been diminished to a very large extent indeed, and that landowners and shooting tenants are in nearly all cases subordinating their own personal interests in this regard to those of the community. Where they are not, they are setting an extremely bad example, and I hope that the force of public opinion, which is the best remedy in these cases, will be brought to bear against them and be sufficient to prevent a recurrence.