HC Deb 20 September 1909 vol 11 cc201-2W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he will state whether the Inland Revenue prosecute in all cases for breaches of the game-licensing laws in England, Wales, and Scotland; and, if so, will he state the annual number and result of these prosecutions for the last five years?


asked whether the Department of Inland Revenue prosecutes in all cases for breaches of the game-licensing laws in Ireland; and what, if any, is the difference in the administration of the game laws in Ireland and in Great Britain?


I will, with the permission of the hon. Member, answer these two questions together. Up to 1st January last the administration of the Game Licensing Laws and the responsibility for prosecutions thereunder was for the whole of the United Kingdom vested in the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. In England and Wales the police had also the power of prosecuting for hawking game without licence and for other game licence offences falling within the provisions of 1 and 2 William IV., cap. 32. As regards England and Wales, the administration was, under the Finance Act, 1908, transferred as from 1st January, 1909, from the Board of Inland Revenue to county councils, the police retaining the power mentioned above. So far as Scotland and Ireland are concerned, it has not yet been found possible to arrange for a similar transfer of the duties of administration, and those duties are consequently still discharged by the Board of Customs and Excise, who have succeeded the Board of Inland Revenue as the authority responsible for Excise administration under the Finance Act, 1908, as from 1st April last. The figures as to prosecutions are as follows:—

Country. Year. Killing Game. Dealing in Game.
Convictions. Dismissed by Magistrates. Convictions. Dismissed by Magistrates.
England and Wales 1904 109 13 2
England and Wales 1905 130 20 1
England and Wales 1906 99 9 4
England and Wales 1907 66 9 1
England and Wales 1908 50 11 2 1
Scotland 1904 4 1
Scotland 1905 6 2 1
Scotland 1906 1
Scotland 1907 2 1
Scotland 1908 2