§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 11.12 p.m.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
Very few words are needed on this Bill, which is to ratify an international convention for the preservation of whales in the high seas, and preventing the indiscriminate slaughter now going on. As it deals with the high seas, protection can only be secured by each nation which has gone into the convention taking precautions in regard to its own nationals. Therefore, we are making the necessary proposals in regard to our 665 whales and taking steps to impose the necessary penalties on those who break them. Opportunity is also taken to deal with the smaller matter of the protection of whalers inside our own coastal waters. In future the taking of whales will be permitted only under licence, and the convention lays down what are the conditions under which licences can be obtained. Provision is made not only for the number of whales taken and the method of capture but for the full and efficient utilisation of the products of the whale. These provisions are desired not only to protect the whales by reducing the numbers of those captured but to make more useful those that are captured.
§ 11.15 p.m.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
Though this Bill deals with mammals, it is a little bit fishy to bring it on at a quarter-past Eleven o'Clock. Still, as it refers to an international convention to which, obviously, the country has agreed, we shall take no objection to the Second Reading being considered now.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Monday next.—[Captain Margesson.]