HC Deb 21 April 1939 vol 346 cc693-4

12.17 p.m.

Major Mills

I beg to move, in page 3, line 22, after the second "duck," to insert, "ferruginous duck, gadwall, garganey, golden eye."

I am well aware I shall be told that the reason why the birds are set out in paragraph (b) of this Clause is that these are the species of duck which are found in the Schedule to the Act of 1880, the Wild Birds Protection Act. As long ago as 1881 that Act was found to be a difficult one to understand, and in 1881 an Act was passed "to explain the Wild Birds Protection Act of 1880."I have mentioned in my Amendment the names of various ducks, not from any desire to show that I know the names but because they are species most commonly found in the Avon Valley and in Hampshire, and I wish to make sure that they are covered and are not left to the changes and chances covered by the words of the Bill. It is true that I have known only one specimen of "ferruginous duck" and that was as long ago as 1874, but it might come back again. It would be well to have these species inserted in the Schedule so that there can be no mistake of any sort whatsoever.

Lieut.-Colonel H. Guest

I beg to second the Amendment.

12.19 p.m.

Sir T. Moore

It is with the greatest regret that I must ask the House to reject this Amendment, and consequential Amendments on the Paper. They are quite unnecessary and are rather dangerous because they are limiting in effect. If my hon. and gallant Friend will again look at the Bill, he will see that reference is made to "wild duck of any other species whatsoever." That is far more generous in its application and far less restricting than the proposals in my hon. and gallant Friend's Amendments. Indeed, on a point of law it might be argued that "wild duck" means wild duck other than the species separately mentioned; and therefore in our opinion and that of the Parliamentary draftsman it is essential that we retain the words of the Bill, which cover all types of wild duck and do not by implication limit the scope of the Bill to the birds mentioned in the Amendment.

12.20 p.m.

Sir S. Hoare

I think I can reassure my hon. and gallant Friend if I tell him that I agree with him that the whole Statute about wild birds protection needs reviewing. In many ways it is in a state of confusion. I am very anxious to push along the review and I have now asked the Advisory Committee which advises me on these ornithological matters to see whether we could not get a new Wild Birds Protection Act. Then the kind of difficulty that my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind in moving the Amendment would be removed— the fact that some ducks are mentioned and some are not. In the meantime I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) that it would be a mistake to insert an Amendment of this kind, which would only make confusion worse confounded.

Major Mills

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.