HC Deb 28 February 1973 vol 851 cc1476-7
8. Mr. David James

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made over the proposal to introduce reindeer into the Falkland Islands from South Georgia.

The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Julian Amery)

The feasibility of this scheme is under investigation by the Falkland Islands Company.

Mr. James

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the handful of reindeer imported into South Georgia from Norway in the early 1900s are now several thousand strong and that they have adapted themselves to converting Tussock grass and therefore do not compete with sheep? Is my right hon. Friend further aware that there is no risk of their introducing disease and that they could be a most valuable export——

Mr. Speaker

Order. Is the hon. Member for Dorset, North (Mr. David James) asking for information?

Mr. Amery

My hon. Friend's philoprogenitive record entitles him to a special right to raise questions about the transport traditionally used by Father Christmas. However, he will appreciate that grazing land in the Falklands is limited, that we do not want too much competition for the sheep, and that the introduction of reindeer might upset the present balance of wild life. All these matters are being studied at the moment.

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