§ Mr. Leach
asked the right hon. and gallant Member for Rye, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, why the Commissioners refused to accede to a petition recently presented to them with 40,000 signatures, requesting them to withhold the issue of licences to the New Forest Buckhounds, disbanded at the outbreak of the war, to resume hunting the fallow deer for sport, in view of the fact that the Crown keepers already deal effectively with the deer population; and if he will reconsider his decision and prohibit a wasteful sport involving great cruelty.
§ Sir G. Courthope
National policy as regards hunting is not a matter for the Forestry Commissioners to decide. The New Forest Buckhounds are an old established institution and the Commissioners have renewed their permission to hunt in the Forest. This decision was again recently reviewed and further reconsideration is not contemplated.