HC Deb 05 May 1949 vol 464 cc1216-7
64. Dr. Broughton

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the total number of convictions in England and Wales in January, February, March and April, 1949, for keeping a dog without licence; if he will give an estimate of the number of cases in which this was the result of dog owners not realising that a licence taken out in any month becomes due for renewal on 1st January; and if he will consider allowing dog licences to remain valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

In reply to the first part of the Question, the figures for 1949 are not available, but the number of convictions for the first four months of 1948 was 5,409. In reply to the second part, it is not possible to make an esti- mate. The answer to the last part is "No": the proposal would require legislation, which I am not prepared to recommend.

Dr. Broughton

While thanking my right hon. Friend for the information he has given, might I ask whether he will be prepared to reconsider his decision if I send him particulars of recent cases in Batley which suggest confusion in the minds of some dog owners, expense and embarrassment for some of them, and unnecessary waste of time of the police?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I am always willing to examine any cases which my hon. Friend cares to send me.

Mr. D. Marshall

In giving his answer the right hon. Gentleman must have given consideration to the cost involved in the last part of the Question. What would the cost, or an estimate of it, be?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I have answered that. I said that it is impossible to make an estimate.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

Will the right hon. Gentleman say why he is unable to recommend the proposal in the last part of the Question, as it would be administratively convenient, in accordance with modern practice, and for the benefit and comfort of the community at large?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

We have had no complaints, and so far as we know the law as it stands is well understood.