HC Deb 26 November 1953 vol 521 c509
24. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many starlings have been caught in and around Trafalgar Square since the initiation of the campaign; what methods have been tried; what is the total cost; and what action is now contemplated.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

The attempts made last winter to catch starlings in cages at their roosting places were unsuccessful. The cost was about £200. No further action in this matter is contemplated.

Mr. Dodds

Is this not a humiliating confession of failure in the battle of Trafalgar Square? In view of the expenditure of public money, will the Minister say whether any useful lessons have been learned about birds, and explain how it is that a party which believes in setting the people free should be so ruthless in dealing with these cheerful chattering birds that give so much pleasure to visitors to Trafalgar Square?