§ Mr. P. HARRIS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the increasing injury which is being caused to bird and fish life by waste oil on the coasts, especially in the neighbourhood of Dungeness, where numerous dead birds have recently 52W been seen; and whether more effective steps can be taken to see that the Act forbidding the throwing of oil on the water within the three-mile limit is observed?
§ Mr. BUXTON
I have no particular information about the state of affairs off Dungeness, but I am aware that considerable injury to birds has occurred from time to time from this cause at different parts of the coast. I am advised that there is little evidence of injury to fish. I have no evidence that oil pollution is on the increase; on the contrary, I am informed that conditions have materially improved since the Oil in Navigable Waters Act came into operation. The penalties laid down by the Oil in Navigable Waters Act for the deposit of oil anywhere within the three-mile limit are sufficiently stringent, but the hon. Member will realise that it is extremely difficult to detect and prove offences on the open sea in remote parts of the coast.