HC Deb 16 June 1953 vol 516 cc710-1
15. Mr. Stokes

asked the Minister of Works what steps he is taking to diminish the amount of litter left in the parks and discourage the offenders.

Sir D. Eccles

Many extra litter containers were put in the central parks. These have been used, but more than 300 tons of litter have been left lying about since 1st June. For the work of clearing up I have called in men from the outer parks, the Festival Gardens and contractors. The amount of litter left every night is a public disgrace. When an offence is so general the remedy lies in stirring the conscience of the public, which is better done by parents and school teachers than by the police.

Mr. Stokes

I am sure I am right in suggesting to the Minister that everybody in the House will support him in any measure which he takes to stop the litter, but is it not possible for him to introduce some ad hoc fine to deter people? It is something I tried to do but was prevented from doing at the time.

Sir D. Eccles

I think that the anti-litter campaign has had great success in the countryside, where beauty spots are not in such a state as they used to be. My own view is that we must have the same sort of campaign in London. I really do not think that picking one person out of a thousand and fining him will do much good.

Mr. Vane

Will my right hon. Friend not agree that however disgraceful it is that this amount of litter is left about in London streets every night, it is a little hard for us to reproach people until we practise what we preach and do not throw so much paper on the Floor here?

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the Minister aware that his reply that teachers and parents can best cure this problem is rather misleading, because it is the parents who leave the litter much more than the children?

Sir D. Eccles

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland (Mr. Vane). If Members had seen the state of the Abbey at 5 o'clock on 2nd June they would understand what my hon. Friend meant. I think we have got to educate the next generation; I do not think there is a quick solution to what is obviously a dirty habit widely practised.

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