HC Deb 29 April 1952 vol 499 cc1211-4
26. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many, and in what districts, of Scotland during each of the last 10 years there were prosecutions for deer poaching; in how many

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Commander T. D. Galbraith)

As the reply consists of a table of figures, I propose, with permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the Minister give an estimate of total saving involved if the National Health Service Bill passes all its stages, and is he aware that very soon after the local elections all his Front Bench friends will need wigs?

Commander Galbraith

Perhaps the hon. Member will put down a question.

Mrs. Jean Mann

Can the Minister say how many wigs? I want to know how many have still been able to keep their hair on.

Commander Galbraith

The number of wigs supplied in the first six months of the Health Service was 19. It rose in the next year to 991 and in 1950 to 1,489; in 1951 it was 1,052, and for the first three months of this year, to 14th March, 198.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say if injured miners have obtained these abdominal belts and surgical boots, essential for their rehabilitation and return to the pits?

Commander Galbraith

I think that matter was fully dealt with in a recent debate.

Following is the table:

The numbers of abdominal belts, pairs of surgical boots or shoes, elastic stockings and wigs supplied in Scotland in each year since the inception of the National Health Service are as follows:

there were convictions; how many of the accused lived in the localities where the poaching occurred; and how many of the accused were gangs or groups of persons from other places.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

As the reply involves a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that the Government in their own Poaching of Deer Bill dealt with this very matter? Why this secrecy? Why have we to drag out the facts by Question and answer?

Year District Number prosecuted Number convicted Number Living in County
1942 Lewis 12 8 12
1943 Jura 1 1 1
1945 Mull 1 1 1
Lewis 2 2
1946 Lewis 7 7 7
Dufftown, Banffshire 1 1 1
Port Augustus 2 2 2
Aviemore 1 1 1
1947 Kirkhill, Inverness-shire 1 1
Elgin 2 2 2
Sutherland 5 3 5
1948 Lewis 4 4 3
Kilmorack, Inverness-shire 1 1 1
Lentran, Inverness-shire 2 2 2
1950 Glenmoriston, Inverness-shire 1 1 1
Lewis 11 7 2
1951 Lewis 4 4
Lochbroom, Wester Ross 2 2 2
Strachan, Kincardine 4 4 4
Glenshee, Perthshire 4 3 2
Ardgour, Argyllshire 1 1 1
Sutherland 3 3 3
Kilmallie, Inverness-shire 2 2 2
Knoydart, Inverness-shire 3 3 3
TOTAL 1942–51 78 63 61
1. All prosecutions carried out under Section 1 of the Game (Scotland) Act, 1832, for day poaching or under Section 4 of the Game Licences, Act 1860. Night poaching in itself is not an offence.
2. Exact information is not available as to the number of accused working in gangs or groups.
30. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland his estimate of the annual potentialities in numbers, in weight and value of the deer herds of Scotland for supplying venison as human food without unduly depleting those herds; and his estimate of the numbers at which these herds should be maintained for the purpose of human food.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. McNair Snadden)

I regret that I am unable to give the estimates requested in the first part of the Question. As to the second part the Scottish Committee of the Nature Conservancy have suggested that the optimum carry of deer in Scotland would be 60,000, exclusive of calves. They estimate that with efficient management this total would yield annually 800 tons of meat.

Why are the facts not published to justify the Bill, and how can he expect the House to consider the Bill unless the facts are fully reported?

Mr. Stewart

There is no secrecy at all. It is merely that the hon. and learned Member has not known where to look for the facts.

The following is the table:

Mr. Hughes

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it would be desirable in justifying the Bill to have all these facts available, so that the problems relating to deer can be put on a rational basis—instead of leaving the deer prey to the blood lust of so-called sportsmen?

Mr. Snadden

Of course, there is a great deal of difference of opinion on this matter, but I think that when we have the Bill from another place, we shall have ample opportunity to discuss the questions raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Would my hon. Friend give the hon. and learned Member the assurance that to run about the hillsides weighing deer is not really a practical proposition?