HL Deb 17 March 1977 vol 381 cc147-8

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3ª.—(Lord Stanley of Alderley.)


My Lords, may I say a brief word on this Bill? I must apologise for not having raised this matter before. It is really a nonsense to proceed on this matter piecemeal and with great speed without full consultation with all the relevant bodies. The 1st November, which is one of the dates mentioned in the Bill, does not apply to any other species of deer and the date is different for roebuck in Scotland. Noble Lords may remember that during the Second Reading debate on the Deer Bill the noble Viscount, Lord Thurso, raised the question of having different seasons in Scotland and England. I hope that progress will be made with the Bill of the noble Lord, Lord Northfield, so that, after having had full consultations, the dates will be correct in his Bill.


My Lords, I too do not wish to detain the House. The noble Lord, Lord Stanley of Alderley, was kind enough to write to me asking me to support his representations to the Secretary of State for Scotland to make orders bringing some of these dates into line. On this Third Reading, would he care to say whether he would support a general move to get all the parties together in order to achieve common dates to the close seasons in the two countries, despite what may be in the Bill that we are now, I hope, about to pass?


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Northfield, for those remarks. After the Committee stage I wrote immediately to him and to the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, on this matter. I was strongly supported by the British Deer Society which agreed that the dates in my Bill, if I may so call it, were correct. Believe it or not, the dates for North of the Border were, for once, wrong. I can go no further than that. I still think that I am right. I am supported by the British Deer Society, which did not support me very warmly after the speech I made on the Bill of the noble Lord, Lord Northfield. I still think that this is correct. I understand that later the Secretary of State for Scotland can alter the dates in Council.

On Question, Bill read 3ª, and passed.