HC Deb 11 November 1954 vol 532 c1391
30. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking, on the application made under the Protection of Birds Act, for special powers to deal with an alleged excess of oyster catchers in Morecambe Bay.

Major Lloyd-George

I am considering this application in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, who has had an investigation made. When the results of this investigation are available I will consult the advisory committee to be established under the Act about the desirability of making an order authorising action against these birds in Morecambe Bay.

Sir I. Fraser

It grieves me very much to move against these beautiful creatures, but will my right hon. and gallant Friend nevertheless believe that there are half a million of them in Morecambe Bay, eating 10 cockles a day? [An HON. MEMBER: "Each?"] Yes, each. This is a grievous matter for the fishermen who catch cockles as well as for a great many people in Lancashire who eat them.

Major Lloyd-George

From examination of the investigation that has been made I am inclined to agree with my hon. Friend that extensive damage is done. As soon as the Act is in force on 1st December, I will consult the advisory committee.