HC Deb 02 November 1916 vol 86 cc1855-6W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the essential distinction between long-distance carrier pigeons and the class known as short-distance flyers, which latter class have a radius of not more than two miles; and whether he can see his way to remove the restriction which the National Union of Short-distance Flyers so strongly object to, having regard to the fact that their birds, with their short range, are entirely outside the possibility of espionage?


The question of the liberation of pigeons generally was very carefully gone into at a conference attended by representatives of the Admiralty, War Office, Home Office, and Home Forces before the present regulations were issued. The birds known as "short- distance flyers." are capable of fairly long flight, certainly up to fifty miles, and are, therefore, not outside the possibility of being used for espionage. In addition, there is no distinction in appearance between the long and short-distance birds. There would, therefore, be considerable-danger in removing the restrictions which are now objected to by the National Union of Short-distance Flyers.