HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 cc21-2
35. Mr. Godman Irvine

asked the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food whether he will now increase the maximum rebate under the Cartridge Rebate Scheme from 24s. per 100 in view of the fact that the cheapest cartridge now costs £2 15s. 9d. per 100.

Mr. Godber

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend would not feel justified in increasing this rebate.

Mr. Irvine

Is my hon. Friend aware that on the form on which application is made for rebate it is stated that the payment is made as to 50 per cent. subject to a maximum of 24s.? In these circumstances, and in view of the Answer which my hon. Friend has just given, would he not consider amending the form?

Mr. Godber

I shall be happy to look into that. I agree with my hon. Friend that it might be illogical to say that there is a rebate of 50 per cent. when, in fact, we are giving not quite 50 per cent.; but I do not think it would be right to increase the rebate.

Mr. H. Hynd

Will not the hon. Gentleman consider withdrawing this concession altogether? Why should the taxpayer pay for people's sport?

Mr. Godber

I could not agree with the latter part of the hon. Member's supplementary question. In the main, this scheme serves a very useful purpose. Wood pigeons are a very great menace and many people who shoot these birds would not do so if they did not have the advantage of the rebate.