59. Mr. E. P. Smith
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that there has been infiltration of migrant rooks from the Continent to Kent; and whether, in order to combat this menace to our food supplies, he will endeavour to make arrangements for some portion of the Purchase Tax to be removed from shot-gun cartridges and for a more plentiful supply of.22 ammunition.
§ Mr. T. Williams
I am aware that large numbers of migrant rooks from the Continent temporarily invaded Kent and other coastal areas in recent months. In reply to the second part of the Question, I would draw the hon. Member's attention to the reduction made in the Budget on all sports requisites. In addition special arrangements have been made to provide 12-bore cartridges at half the retail price for those taking part in rook shoots organised and supervised by county agricultural executive committees, in areas where there are unduly large concentrations of these birds. Arrangements for the distribution of the cartridges will be made by the committees. I understand from my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply that there has been some reduction in supplies of.22 ammunition from unavoidable causes. It is hoped that it will be possible to make further supplies available during the next two or three weeks.