HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 cc193-4
25. Mr. Callaghan

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken by the Northern Rhodesia Government to spread knowledge among Africans and others of the need for conservation of wild life in the territory; and what financial support is given to the organisations working for this purpose.

Mr. H. Fraser

The Northern Rhodesia Government spread this knowledge through lectures, broadcasts and films. Although no direct financial support is given to game preservation organisations, they are assisted by the provision of access roads, sites and other services in the Kafue National Park.

Mr. Callaghan

Is the Under-Secretary of State aware that the present policy is quite unsatisfactory? Will he review it, in the light of the recent report of Dr. Fraser Darling, in view of the fact that the proper conservation of wild life would yield a very substantial meat diet to the Africans, whereas the indiscriminate slaughter which is going on at the present time is likely to lead to hunger in a very short time, apart from the destruction of wild life?

Mr. Fraser

In the last ten years we have made considerable progress and incurred a great deal of expenditure. What is more, this autumn we will be in touch with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and also the Commission for Technical Co-operation South of the Sahara. In September a conference will be called at Arusha to discuss these matters on an international basis. I agree that further steps should be taken, and the Northern Rhodesia Government propose to do so.

Sir G. Nicholson

Will my hon. Friend read Dr. Fraser Darling's book and his report? If he does he will not be so happy about the position. Is he aware that the complete extinction of native African fauna is passing from a possibility to a probability? Is he further aware that, largely through poaching, the utmost cruelty ensues, and that game has been extinguished to the detriment not only of the diet of the Africans but largely to the future of the tourist trade?

Mr. Fraser

Yes, Sir. We are aware of those facts. It is because of the poaching that goes on that the matter should be handled at an international level. That is precisely why we are calling the conference at Arusha in the autumn.

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