HC Deb 04 April 1940 vol 359 cc318-9
59. Sir P. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the serious losses in food production caused by wood-pigeons; and whether, in order to assist vegetable production in gardens and allotments, he will move parks and woods authorities, such as the Corporation of the City of London and the London County Council, to organise shoots and other means of lessening the menace?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I am fully aware of the damage done to crops by wood-pigeons and a countrywide campaign against this pest has been conducted this season with the co-operation of the National Farmers' Union, the Central Landowners' Association, the Forestry Commission and the British Field Sports Society. I understand that the London County Council have arranged for their park staffs to shoot wood-pigeons in the early morning in the parks and open spaces under their control, and I hope that the publicity which this Question and answer will receive will encourage local authorities generally to take action where necessary for the destruction of these birds.

Sir P. Hurd

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that in spite of any such action as he has described this pest still remains a very serious one for allotment holders and farmers?

Mr. Rathbone

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend issue simple instructions so that people can shoot these pests without interfering with the safe delivery of R.A.F. messages?

Mr. R. Gibson

Will crows be shot at the same time?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

That is a different matter.