HC Deb 26 April 1956 vol 551 cc1945-6
4. Mr. J. T. Price

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware of the concern felt by many people interested in the preservation of our native song birds at the effect of the Protection of Birds Act, 1954, which does not safeguard the nests of robins, skylarks and song thrushes against spoliation; and if he will take action to remedy this situation.

Major Lloyd-George

Under the Protection of Birds Act, 1954, it is an offence to destroy or damage the nests of robins, skylarks and song thrushes.

Mr. Price

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman now give further consideration to the undertaking that he gave me some months ago that if it were found that the Act of 1954 was not working satisfactorily he would consider bringing forward Amendments? In view of the growing volume of opinion that many of our native birds are being exposed to spoliation of their nests in the springtime, will he give further consideration to this aspect of the matter?

Major Lloyd-George

I will certainly consider any evidence that may be brought forward, but I think that the hon. Gentleman is mixing up two things: destruction of the nests and the taking of birds' eggs. When passing the Act referred to, Parliament quite clearly decided—and we should realise our responsibility—not to make criminals of small boys who take birds' eggs in the ordinary way. That was the wish to Parliament, and I am only carrying it out.

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