§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into a Committee read.
§ EARL DE LA WARR
said, that before going into Committee on the Bill, in deference to what he conceived to be the wish of their Lordships, and at the request of some noble Lords who were much interested in this subject, he proposed to ask permission to postpone the further progress of the Bill for the present. Although the difficulty suggested by a noble Earl opposite (Earl Morley) about plovers' eggs would have been easily met, there were other questions connected especially with the Schedule of birds which required more consideration than could now be given it in their Lordships' House; and, as under the last Act protection was afforded to a considerable number of wild birds, he did not think there would be much objection to the postponement of the Bill for the present. But he could not pass unnoticed a remark of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack upon the second reading of the Bill. He understood the noble and learned Lord to say that juvenile offenders ought not to be charged with legal crimes which it would be impossible to punish as moral offences—referring, he concluded, to boys taking birds' eggs. He thought the noble and learned Lord had used somewhat strong expressions. One would hardly say it was a legal crime or a moral offence for a boy to take a bird's egg, and, if he might venture to say so, it would more correctly be described, if the Bill had passed, in legal language as a misdemeanour. The argument of the noble and learned Lord went further than he intended. It would make it wrong to protect the eggs of game. A pheasant or a partridge was a wild bird, and if the argument of the noble 505 and learned Lord were pursued, the Game Laws should really be repealed to prevent people committing the crime of poaching. Many of their Lordships could doubtless speak from experience that if a sparrow's egg and a partridge's egg were found not far apart, there was not always at hand the legal acumen of the noble and learned Lord to discriminate between the moral offence of taking the one and not the other. When the Schedule of the Bill were revised and some other alterations made he felt confident that the Bill would meet with their Lordships' approval.
§ VISCOUNT PORTMAN
said, he should move that the House should resolve itself into a Committee on this Bill that day three months. He could not understand why the noble Earl attempted to proceed with such a Bill in such a Session.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that as there was no Motion before the House, there could be no discussion.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Order discharged; and Bill (by the leave of the House) withdrawn.