Tariff on Down Quilts. - Game Preservation Bill, 1929—Report.

Thursday, 14 November 1929

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 32 No. 9

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Minister for Justice (Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney): Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 1:—

[1376] In page 2, Section 1, after line 14, to add a new sub-section as follows:—

“(2) This Act shall come into operation on the 1st day of May, 1930.”

Deputies will recollect that this Bill was brought in last summer, and that there was some possibility then of it being passed into law before the summer recess. That, however, was found impossible and the Bill had to stand over till this session. The House will probably agree that it would not be a good thing to bring the Bill into force in the middle of the shooting season. If the Bill came into force in January, say, it would be rather awkward for shooting people to have this Bill suddenly come upon them in the middle of the season. May 1st is chosen because the shooting season will have ended and the Bill, I hope, will be in order for the next shooting season. It would be rather unfair to bring it into force in the middle of the season.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. E. Doyle: Information on Edward Doyle  Zoom on Edward Doyle  I move amendment 2:—

In page 2, line 17, to delete the word “plover” and substitute the word “lapwing”.

I have amended this considerably since the Committee Stage. On the last occasion the discussion centred around the lapwing. It is generally supposed that lapwing have been useful for the prevention of fluke. That is only a theory and has not been proved by anybody. In order to meet the Minister I am prepared to concede lapwing, provided he will delete the word “plover.” These birds are bred in other countries and are migratory. Not even ten per cent. of the lapwing are bred in Ireland. In Northern Ireland these birds are not classed as game. I am more than surprised that the Minister did not frame this Bill on the lines of the old British Acts, and [1377] leave out plover and other species of wild birds. For the last two days we have been discussing the question of unemployment on the Poor Relief (Dublin) Bill. Only last week we had a demonstration by the unemployed which only provided a bird's eye view of what the real problem is. By including plover in the definition of game birds, a couple of thousand people will be deprived of employment. They are people who do very little harm and who are trying to make a living in this way and rear their families. I contend that this will be a greater hardship on them. We have been very considerate in providing pensions or gratuities for people who lost their employment through Acts passed by this House, and if the Minister does not accede to this amendment, I hope he will consider the question of compensating the people who will lose their employment as a consequence of this Bill.

Mr. Carney: Information on Frank Carney  Zoom on Frank Carney  I should like to have a definition from somebody as to what is a lapwing and what is a plover, and to have it proved that lapwing or plover, or plover or lapwing, whichever the case may be, are migratory birds. I do not disagree with the mover of the amendment, but I want to have this matter explained to me. I have known lapwing and plover since I was the size of a plover, and I have yet to know the difference between them. I should like to have the difference explained to me, because where I come from the lapwing is called a plover and the plover is called a lapwing. I have never known them to be migratory birds, because, like the poor, they are always with us. If we are going to have any definition of this I should like somebody who knows more about natural history than I do to explain the difference between them, because I want to make up my mind on this matter.

There is another point in connection with this that may not have been considered. I have not gone in for very high living in my time, but I understand that in some of the high-class restaurants in London [1378] plovers' eggs are sold at 1/- each. If you are going to have any wholesale slaughter of plovers, you are going to deprive the people of a market for plovers' eggs. I do not know whether or not that has been taken into consideration. The netting of plover has never been carried on where I come from, but the sending of plovers' eggs to the London market has been carried on for a considerable time. I therefore disagree with what the Deputy who has spoken last said, inasmuch as he said that only ten per cent. of plover or lapwing breed in this country. I disagree with him, because from the earliest days that I have collected birds' eggs I have collected plovers' eggs, and plover do breed in this country in the North. Of course I do not know whether they breed in the South, but I expect that they would be more prolific in the South, as all things seem to be more prolific in the South than in the North.

Mr. Shaw: Information on Patrick Walter Shaw  Zoom on Patrick Walter Shaw  I have some knowledge upon this subject and I think if I said that ten per cent. of plover breed in this country and 90 per cent. come from other parts I would be right. That is green plover. The really valuable bird, the golden plover, comes here in large quantities in September and October and is entirely migratory. None of them stay here. I agree with Deputy Carney that plovers' eggs are a very valuable asset, and if people would endeavour to collect the eggs of the plover in the season and export them they would get a far higher price than they would by trying to destroy the birds by netting them.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  It is quite easy to distinguish the two species of birds. Personally I am not in agreement with Deputy Doyle, but so far as the distinguishing is concerned, it is very evident. Lapwing, of which there are always large quantities, is green plover in this country.

Mr. Carney: Information on Frank Carney  Zoom on Frank Carney  It is plover then?

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  Yes, call it anything you like, but it is green plover as [1379] distinct from grey and from golden plover. It is the only plover that breeds in this country, the others are migratory birds.

Mr. G. Wolfe: Information on George Wolfe  Zoom on George Wolfe  I hope the Minister will not accept this amendment. I do not think the netting of plover gives much employment in my district, for I do not see many of the birds now at all. I used to see them in great numbers, but I have not seen them for a long time. I do not think that netting lapwing is likely to give anyone a living at present, but if something is not done to preserve these birds no lapwing or golden plover will be left in the country. At least, for two years they seem to have disappeared entirely from my district. I agree with what Deputy Shaw has said and I hope that the Minister will not accept this amendment. I think plover are very valuable birds, and I hope that every effort will be made to preserve them for the good of the farmers' stock.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  We discussed this question in practically the same form very fully on a former stage of this Bill. On that occasion we took a free vote of the House, and as Deputies will recollect, those in favour of the netting of plover were in the minority. I think the Deputy is full of courage to ask the House to reverse now what it did on that occasion. As far as Deputy Carney's question goes as to what is the difference between lapwing and plover, I think it is very easy to answer it in a way. The answer is that all lapwing are plover but all plover are not lapwing.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  took the Chair.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  That is a complete answer to the Deputy's query. Originally the idea that was in Deputy Doyle's mind was that it should be lawful for people to net all plover.

[1380]Mr. Doyle:  Oh, no

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  That was the original amendment. I noticed that later on there is another amendment in the name of the Deputy which allows all game birds of all classes to be netted.

Mr. Doyle:  No, not at all.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg pardon; there is a later amendment. Now the main object of this Bill is to make Ireland a place in which there will be a great deal of valuable shooting and to develop a potential asset in this country. I grant that grey and golden plover are not what I might call the most valuable type of game birds, but at the same time they are birds that give a great deal of very interesting shooting indeed. Most Deputies in the Dáil have done a certain amount of shooting in their time, and I suppose most Deputies would agree with me that plover are a very interesting bird indeed.

The statement that there are a thousand persons in the country engaged in trapping them is, I think, a very great over-statement of the case. We had a free vote of the Dáil before on this question, and if the Deputy wishes to chance his luck again he can do so.

Mr. Doyle:  I should like to say that as a matter of fact people down the country believe that the Minister is in the hands of a number of people here in the city of Dublin concerning this particular bird. There was a big meeting in the Mansion House of the Game Preservation people, and a person asked me if they were all Germans or Jews because their names sounded so foreign. People had the right under an alien Government to net these birds. Why cannot this House give them the same right? The people who were at it now are old, and in a few years they will be finished with, and there is therefore no necessity for this. As regards lapwing of all sorts, Deputy Carney said he knew all about plover, but I found that he did not know what plover were at all.

[1381][1382] Question—“That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the section”—put.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Blythe, Ernest.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Brennan, Michael.
Brodrick, Seán.
Carey, Edmund.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Conlon, Martin.
Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Davis, Michael.
De Loughrey, Peter.
Doherty, Eugene.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Gorey, Denis J.
Haslett, Alexander.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hennessy, Thomas.
Hennigan, John.
Henry, Mark.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Holohan, Richard.
Jordan, Michael.
Kelly, Patrick Michael.
Keogh, Myles.
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Leonard, Patrick.
Lynch, Finian.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McDonogh, Martin.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Mullins, Thomas.
Murphy, James E.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Connell, Richard.
O'Connor, Bartholomew.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Hanlon, John F.
O'Higgins, Thomas.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Reynolds, Patrick.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
Tierney, Michael.
Vaughan, Daniel.
White, John.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, George.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Anthony, Richard.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Boland, Patrick.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Briscoe, Robert.
Buckley, Daniel.
Carney, Frank.
Carty, Frank.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Clancy, Patrick.
Colbert, James.
Colohan, Hugh.
Cooney, Eamon.
Corkery, Dan.
Corish, Richard.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Davin, William.
Derrig, Thomas.
De Valera, Eamon.
Doyle, Edward.
Everett, James.
Fahy, Frank.
Flinn, Hugo.
Fogarty, Andrew.
French, Seán.
Gorry, Patrick J..
Goulding, John.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Jordan, Stephen.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Maguire, Ben.
MacEntee, Seán.
Moore, Séamus.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Kelly, Seán T.
O'Leary, William.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
O'Reilly, Thomas.
Powell, Thomas P.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Sexton, Martin.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
Smith, Patrick.
Tubridy, John.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C.

Motion declared carried.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  I move amendment 3:—

In page 2, line 18, after the word “duck” to add the words “brent goose, barnacle goose and other species of wild goose.”

This amendment goes with amendment 6. The object of the amendment is to put the wild goose on the same level, as far as this Bill is concerned, as the wild duck. There is, however, a difference in view of the fact that only a very small portion of the wild geese which visit this country breed here. I have not put down an amendment to the Schedule to create a close season for wild geese. On the Committee Stage of the Bill Deputy Brennan, I think, introduced an amendment somewhat similar to amendment 6, with reference to the night shooting of wild geese. He withdrew the amendment on the matter being explained by the Minister that wild geese were not to be included in the Bill. I have, therefore, put in amendments 3 and 6 in order to cover both contingencies. I have only mentioned two species of wild geese in the amendment. As a matter of fact, there are other species of wild geese. Wild geese are very plentiful in Co. Wexford. The brent goose is to be found in Wexford Harbour. The ordinary type of goose to be found in the midlands of Ireland is known, I think, as the white brent goose. It is not found in tidal waters. There are various reasons why wild geese should be protected and recognised as game in this Bill. They are found in various parts of Ireland. Certain properties have been sold or leased because of the shooting of duck and geese to be had on them. If the wild goose is not included in this Bill, considerable damage will be caused to the owners of these shooting properties. I see no reason why the Minister should not accept these two amendments. If he accepts them, I do not see that it will cause any hardship on anybody. The wild goose is a very distinctive bird in this country. It has national associations, and apart from that, I venture to say that it has even a theological association. I understand that in the Kingdom of Kerry the barnacle goose is a bird which, according to ecclesiastical law, it is permitted to eat on Fridays in that diocese. I think that is the only case in the whole world where a bird is permitted to be eaten on Fridays according to the laws of the denomination to which the great majority of Irish people belong.

From an aeronautical point of view the wild goose, I understand, is a very interesting bird. It can fly at the rate of eighty miles an hour. I also think that it is the only bird in Ireland, though there may be others, which flies in formation. For various reasons it is very desirable that this bird should be included in the Bill. For instance, it has been suggested to me that possibly a new sport might be developed in this country, particularly in view of the very plentiful supply of wild geese that have been coming in in recent years, a sport which should appeal to many people not only in this but in other countries where there are light aeroplanes available, and that is the shooting of wild geese from the air. It is very difficult to get near these birds, which are very wary of human beings, particularly if they have been shot at on one or two occasions. It strikes me that in the future a very substantial income might be derived by the State from the development of an aerial wild goose chase. These birds fly faster than most birds. They fly, roughly, at the same cruising speed as a modern light aeroplane. I see no reason why the Minister should not accept the two amendments. There can be no objection to making a close season. With the exception of one small limited type of wild geese, the wild geese that come to this country do not breed here. I do not see what harm would be done by the [1385] Minister accepting the amendment, and I do not think any Deputy would have any grievous objection to doing so.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Whatever hope the Deputy had of getting his amendment accepted by the Minister was, I think, wiped out when he said that these birds fly in formation, as we know that the Minister has a holy horror of formations. I really do not know what is at the bottom of the amendments. The Deputy has kept his real reason for bringing them forward very dark. Wild geese are migratory birds, and as a general rule they do not breed in this country. The Deputy referred to the speed at which wild geese fly and compared it to the speed of an aeroplane. I do not know if the reason why he wants no shooting of these birds is because he is afraid that some pellets might strike the Moths when in flight. I do not see why the Deputy introduced this amendment except that he is afraid that some wild fowl will pot him when he is up aloft. I think he gave away the game when he told us about the resemblance between the flight of a goose and that of an aeroplane. That showed his real anxiety for the preservation of the bird.

Dr. Hennessy: Information on Dr. Thomas Hennessy  Zoom on Dr. Thomas Hennessy  I would urge the Minister to accept the amendment for the reasons stated by the Deputy, including the historic reasons and others which I will not detain the House by mentioning. The absence of a certain pestilence in this country is said to be attributed to the presence of wild geese. There are certain parasites, and the geese devour the hosts in which these parasites breed. For that reason I think that the Minister should give the matter very careful consideration, and, in my opinion, it would be well worth while to accept the amendment.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  I do not think that there is any reason why the amendment should be accepted. I think that Deputy Esmonde himself [1386] realises that. As a matter of fact, he expressed that opinion when he stated that they were birds which are very hard to get at. That is so. I often tried to get at them, but seldom succeeded. Neither Deputy Esmonde nor Deputy Dr. Hennessy has shown that there is any abuse in catching wild geese. The mortality of wild geese must be very small. They are migratory birds. They are very wary, very wild, and they are well able to protect themselves. I think that they can be exempt from the Bill. Except for the reasons which Deputy Esmonde put forward, namely, the nautical reasons, I do not see why they should not be left as they are.

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  What Deputy Brennan has stated in regard to the wild goose is equally true of any game bird outside the close season. There is not a game bird which frequents this country that is not quite as capable as the wild goose of looking after itself in the open season. The argument used by Deputy Brennan is an argument for the abolition of game laws and the attempts to preserve game. I would strongly urge the Minister to accept the amendment, which is put forward in all seriousness. I happen to know some parts of Ireland, notably in County Wexford, where wild geese started to come in the second year of the war. About fifty came first, and some hundreds the next year, while their numbers recently have reached thousands. While not exactly with the same rapidity as the geese increased, but in much the same proportion, the visitors to that part of the country have increased. I know little hotels where it was almost unknown for tourists or visitors to come, particularly in winter, but now accommodation has to be booked in advance in these places during the shooting season. If these birds are not to get the same protection as is extended to other classes of game I think it would be a hardship on people who live by visitors in these areas. From the sporting point of view, the wild goose provides somewhat better sport than most of the [1387] game to which we are accustomed in this country. If we are to develop the sporting instincts of the people and an interest in game and game rights, as we hope to do, we would be flying against the whole intentions of the Bill if we did not include the wild goose.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  I have been trying to understand the object of the amendment. I have been listening to Deputies and I find it difficult to know whether the object of the amendment is to save wild geese or to allow them to be shot. As far as I can read the amendment, it is: in page 3, to insert after the word “duck” and inside the bracket the words “brent goose, barnacic goose, and other species of wild geese.” If that is inserted, it seems to me that it gives permission to shoot these birds because the section says “It shall not be lawful for any person at any time of the year to kill or take any game (other than mallard, teal, widgeon and other species of wild duck) between the hours between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.” Therefore, it is lawful to take these mentioned in the brackets and you want to include geese amongst them.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I am afraid Deputies are discussing amendment No. 6 when amendment No. 3 is the amendment really under discussion. Amendment 6 is, of course, consequential.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  The object of the amendment is to place geese in the same position as duck, and duck are included in the Bill as game, but it is permissible, under Section 4, to shoot them at night or in the evening or morning. We wish to include geese in the same way as duck are included.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  I see. It is simply a definition.

Dr. Tubridy: Information on Dr. Seán Tubridy  Zoom on Dr. Seán Tubridy  My objection to this amendment is on entirely different grounds. In the district I represent, in Connemara, we were allowed to [1388] shoot when the shooting belonged to the people. Nowadays the shooting is handed over by the Land Commission to three or four Englishmen. That has occurred over a wide and extensive area in Connemara. For that reason, because the Land Commission have taken the shooting rights from the people and handed them over to three or four Englishmen at a very nominal rent per annum, I want to limit their rights and to hold the rights we have. I therefore object to making wild geese game.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I cannot see any real objection to the amendment. We know that a wild goose, of course, is a bird shot for sporting purposes and I agree with Deputy O'Higgins that people do come over to parts of the country where there are large slob-land areas for the purpose of shooting geese. Therefore, geese should receive the same protection as other wild birds receive under this Bill. It appears to me not an unreasonable thing to suggest. I think I can answer Deputy de Valera's point in this way that under this Bill——

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  I was looking at a different amendment. I made a mistake.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Of course I do foresee the possibility of something dreadful happening, if Deputy Esmonde, when he was a thousand feet up in the air, shot a goose and the dead goose fell on Deputy Corry's head. I wonder what Deputy Corry would say when Deputy Esmonde came to ground.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The only sorrow I have is that I see no hope that Deputy Esmonde would some time take the Minister for Justice up in an aeroplane and that we might mistake the two of them for geese.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  On the whole, I do not see any reason to oppose the amendment and as far as I am concerned I am willing to accept it.

Amendment put.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Blythe, Ernest.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Brady, Seán.
Brodrick, Seán.
Carey, Edmund.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Conlon, Martin.
Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Davis, Michael.
De Loughrey, Peter.
De Valera, Eamon.
Doherty, Eugene.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Gorey, Denis J.
Haslett, Alexander.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hennessy, Thomas.
Hennigan, John.
Henry, Mark.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Holohan, Richard.
Jordan, Michael.
Kelly, Patrick Michael.
Keogh, Myles.
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Leonard, Patrick.
Lynch, Finian.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McDonogh, Martin.
MacEntee, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James E.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Connell, Richard.
O'Connor, Bartholomew.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Hanlon, John F.
O'Higgins, Thomas.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, William Archer.
Reynolds, Patrick.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Ryan, James.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
Tierney, Michael.
Vaughan, Daniel.
White, John.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, George.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Anthony, Richard.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Patrick.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brennan, Michael.
Briscoe, Robert.
Buckley, Daniel.
Carney, Frank.
Carty, Frank.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Clancy, Patrick.
Colbert, James.
Colohan, Hugh.
Cooney, Eamon.
Corkery, Dan.
Corish, Richard.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Davin, William.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doyle, Edward.
Fahy, Frank.
Flinn, Hugo.
Fogarty, Andrew.
French, Seán.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Goulding, John.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Jordan, Stephen.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Maguire, Ben.
Moore, Séamus.
Mullins, Thomas.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Kelly, Seán T.
O'Leary, William.
O'Reilly, Thomas.
Powell, Thomas P.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Sexton, Martin.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
Smith, Patrick.
Tubridy, John.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C.

[1391]Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 4:—

In page 2, lines 34-35, Section 3 (2), to delete the words “period beginning on the 19th day and ending on the 31st day” and substitute the word “month.”

This is necessitated by an alteration in the close season for hares which was made on the last day. This section allowed hunting with harriers from the 19th March to 31st March, but that became an improper period, the close season being changed from 19th March to 1st March. This is a consequential amendment on the alteration in that period.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 5:—

In page 2 before Section 3 (3) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

“(3) The Minister may, on the application of a recognised coursing club, issue to such club a permit to hold coursing matches on the day or days specified in such permit between the 1st and the 18th day (both days inclusive) of the month of March in the year in which such permit is issued, and whenever any such permit is so issued the taking and killing of hares by coursing with not more than two dogs let loose from slips in pursuit of the hare at coursing matches held on a day specified in such permit by the recognised coursing club to whom such permit is issued shall not be a contravention of this section.”

This is a matter which I undertook at the suggestion of Deputies Gorey and Anthony to have introduced. While the close season for hares ends on the 1st March, this allows the holding of authorised coursing meetings up to the 18th March. We discussed it very fully on the Committee Stage and I do not propose to go into it any further now.

Amendment agreed to.

[1392]Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  I move amendment 6:—

“In page 3, line 3, to insert after the word `duck' and inside the bracket the word `brent goose, barnacle goose and other species of wild goose.' ”

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  This is consequential on amendment 3, which has been agreed to.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I do not think so.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I am prepared to hear the Deputy on it.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  I introduce this amendment to cover the points raised by Deputy Brennan. It is at this time that the various types of geese in parts of the country are to be seen —in the very early mornings or late at night. This amendment is putting the geese in the same position as duck. I must say that I do not think there is any controversial matter involved in the amendment. In view of the strictly non-party division on the previous amendment, I hope this will pass.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I would like Deputy Esmonde to say at what time one should shoot geese if not during the hour after sunset and the hour before sunrise. If this amendment is carried you cannot shoot geese in the hour before sunrise or the hour after sunset.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  If the Deputy would only read the section and the amendment, he would find that it is quite the other way.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 7:—

In page 3 before Section 5 to insert a new section as follows:—

“(1) It shall not be lawful for any person to buy or sell or offer, expose, or keep for sale any game during any part of the close season for such game except the first five days thereof.

(2) Every person who buys or who sells or offers, exposes, or keeps for sale any game in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section [1393] and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof where the offence consists only of buying game, to a fine not exceeding ten pounds and in any other case, for a first offence to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds and for a second or any subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

This is an amendment which was also discussed on the Committee Stage. It was accepted by the House. It really stands in my name, because it was a matter of getting the Parliamentary draftsman to redraft it. It was moved originally in another form by Deputy O'Mahony. It prevents the selling of game within a limited period after the close season.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 8:—

In page 3 before Section 5 (3) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

“(3) The Minister may at any time by order vary in any respect or revoke any game bird protection order or any continuation order made by him under this section.”

This again is an amendment which stands in my name, because it was accepted by the House in Committee and I had to have it re-drafted.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 9:—

In page 3, line 42, Section 5 (5), to delete the words “game bird protection order and every continuation.”

This is purely a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment 10 not moved.

Mr. E. Doyle: Information on Edward Doyle  Zoom on Edward Doyle  I move amendment 11:—

[1394] In page 4, line 44, to insert after the word “rabbits” the words “or plover.”

There cannot be much possibility of getting this amendment through after my first amendment. I think the insertion of the words “or plover” would give persons a right to catch these by net or by any other method. I would ask the Minister to accept my amendment.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  This is the very question on which we voted a few moments ago.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I take it the Deputy is not pressing the amendment.

Mr. Doyle:  Very well.

Amendment by leave withdrawn.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 12:

In page 5, line 3, Section 9 (2), to delete the words “use by such club in coursing matches” and substitute the words “the purposes of such club,” and in line 5, to delete the words “use by such club” and substitute the word “purposes.”

This is a matter purely of drafting.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 13:

In page 5 before Section 12 to insert a new section as follows:—

(1) Every package containing game of any kind in course of transit in Saorstát Eireann shall be marked conspicuously on the outside with the word “game” and shall also have marked thereon or on a label affixed thereto the name and address of the consignor thereof.

(2) Every person who shall send or consign for transit in Saorstát Eireann any package containing game of any kind which is not marked in the manner required by this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

[1395] (3) Every person who shall carry for reward by land in Saorstát Eireann or by sea from any port in Saorstát Eireann any package containing game of any kind which is not marked in the manner required by this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section unless he proves that he did not know and could not reasonably have known that such package contained game.

(4) Every person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction thereof, in the case of a first offence, to a fine not exceeding ten pounds and, in the case of a second or any subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(5) For the purpose of this section a package shall be deemed to be in course of transit in Saorstát Eireann when the same is being carried by any means whatsoever from any premises or place in Saorstát Eireann to any other premises or place within or outside Saorstát Eireann or is in any place, public or private, in the course of or for the purpose of such carriage.

This is an amendment which was moved, I think, by Deputy Boland on the Committee Stage. I accepted it, and it now stands in my name, because it was redrafted by the Parliamentary draftsman.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 14:—

In page 5 before Section 13 to insert a new section as follows:—

(1) The Minister may be order declare any society, association or [1396] club formed for the promotion of the preservation of game or for the promotion or improvement of the breeding or training of dogs used in the pursuit of game to be a recognised association for the purposes of this section, and may at any time at his absolute discretion revoke any such order previously made by him.

(2) Where any lands have with the consent of the occupier thereof, been reserved by a recognised association for the purpose of killing, taking, or preserving game thereon, and notice of such reservation has been published on two separate occasions in a newspaper circulating in the district in which such lands are situate, then and in every such case any prosecution in the District Court in respect of trespass on such lands for the purpose of, or in the course of the pursuit of game, may be instituted at the suit and in the name of the secretary of such recognised association, and it shall not be a defence to any such prosecution (whether instituted in the name of such secretary or in the name of some other person) or to any prosecution for an offence under this part of this Act in relation to the killing or taking of game on such lands for the defendant to prove that he was authorised by the occupier of such lands to kill or take game thereon.

(3) In the foregoing sub-section of this section the expression “recognised association” means a society, association, or club in respect of which an order under this section declaring it to be a recognised association for the purposes of this section is for the time being in force.

This is a matter which was discussed on the Committee Stage by Deputy Bennett, and the House agreed to the principle then. It was merely a matter of drafting, and that is why it is brought on now.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  While I do not want to oppose this amendment moved by the Minister, I want to say that it is [1397] at the same time a very poor tribute to a large number of clubs established for the preservation of game, clubs composed of people who have given very substantial evidence of their interest in that direction by what they have done in the re-stocking of lands with game birds. The Munster Clay Target and Game Protection Association consists of a very large number of sportsmen who have shown a very keen and practical interest in the preservation of game. The members have put their hands in their pockets and have subscribed handsomely to the funds for the stocking of game. I do not know of any dog club with the exception of greyhound clubs that has done anything to increase the amount of game in the country. This club has done an immense amount in that direction. Deputy Bennett has been able to secure the support of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party in getting this amendment accepted. The fact that it has been accepted by him is not due to any interest that the Minister has in these particular dog clubs. I do know and I can state with certainty that those game dog clubs have done nothing to increase the game in the country or to bring them into the country. There is only one set of sportsmen who have done anything about game and these are the gun clubs and the coursing clubs. It may be suggested that private persons in Limerick have done something in the way of preserving their lands, but I would want to see a more constructive effort than that. We in Cork have put a lot of game into the country including partridges, pheasants, and so on. This amendment is giving undue importance to the gun dog clubs, an importance which they do not deserve.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I do not think the Deputy quite understands the amendment. As the amendment was put forward first, an association in order to be recognised should be in affiliation with the Irish Kennel Clubs. I refused to accept that, but I accepted the amendment which allows a prosecution to be brought in the name of the secretary of the [1398] club. That is the only privilege and the only recognition that the association will get and that is a very trifling privilege.

The Deputy will see that the Cork Game Preservation Society and every other society of the same sort can, if they wish to do so, get registered. I cannot see that it is any slight on them; as a matter of fact it is rather in the hope that more associations like the Cork and other game preservation societies will be formed and registered. We are anxious that as many associations as possible will come in. Nobody is keener on the formation of game preservation associations than I am. I have stated here before that unless these associations are established and unless they work actively, this Bill will be of very little use.

Mr. Shaw: Information on Patrick Walter Shaw  Zoom on Patrick Walter Shaw  This is a most valuable amendment, and I am glad that the Minister has accepted it. By his acceptance of it, it will follow that clubs will be formed all over the country. Ministerial recognition such as we have had now will mean that this measure in operation will be useful. To adopt a game protection measure where there is very little game is of little use. When these clubs are formed all over the country their principal work will be to annihilate such vermin as scald crows, hawks and magpies, and this will prevent the robbing of game birds' nests and the killing of the young birds. These clubs, I am sure, will be prepared to give a reward for bringing in the heads of the vermin I have mentioned. By doing that they will gradually remove what are responsible for the practical extinction of game in this country. When I go home I intend to start a game preservation society in County Westmeath. I hope Deputies from other constituencies will do likewise.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg to move amendment 15:—

“In page 6, line 58, to delete the word `passing' and substitute the word `commencement.' ”

[1399] This is purely a verbal amendment. Originally the Bill was to come into force immediately on its passing. Now it is not intended that it will come into force until 1st May next. It is necessary to have the words “commencement of this Act” instead of the “passing of this Act.”

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg to move amendment 16:—

In page 7, line 4, to delete the word “passing” and substitute the word “commencement.”

This is also a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg to move amendment 17:—

In page 7, Section 17 (4), to delete all words from and including the word “lawfully,” lines 10 and 11, to and including the word “it” in line 12 and substitute the words “either lawfully killed by himself on his own land or land over which he had the right of shooting game or on any such land with his permission by another holder of a firearm certificate the excise duty on which is two pounds, nor shall this section”

This is a drafting amendment. It does not materially alter the section as it stands, but it makes the meaning clearer.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg to move amendments 18, 19, and 20:—

In page 9, line 30, to delete the word “passing” and substitute the word “commencement.”

In page 9, line 44, to delete the word “passing” and substitute the word “commencement.”

In page 10, lines 1 to 6 inclusive, to delete Section 24 (5).

The amendments are really in the nature of drafting amendments so that the Customs Consolidation Act will clearly be brought in and will clearly apply to game being exported [1400] from the country. We discussed the matter, the House will recollect, on the Committee Stage to some extent. I withdrew certain amendments that I had before the House and I have now brought forward these amendments in order to make it more clear that the Customs Consolidation Act will apply to game being wrongly exported and that the penalty imposed will be enforced.

Amendments agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg to move amendment 21:—

In page 10, line 12, Section 24 (6), to delete the word “regulations” and substitute the word “consolidation.”

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg to move amendment 22:—

In page 10, line 12, Section 24 (6), before the word “disposal” to insert the words “condemnation and”

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I beg to move amendment 23:—

In page 10, before Section 24 (7), to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

“(7) This section shall have effect as though it were included in the Customs Consolidation Act, 1876, and that Act and any Act amending or extending that Act shall apply accordingly, and if any articles the export of which is prohibited by this section are exported in contravention of this section or are brought to any quay or other place for the purpose of being so exported or are waterborne to be so exported, the exporter or his agent shall be liable to the same penalty as that to which a person is liable under Section 186 of that Act for illegally importing prohibited goods.”

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Shaw: Information on Patrick Walter Shaw  Zoom on Patrick Walter Shaw  I beg to move amendment 24:—

In page 12, First Schedule, first [1401] column, to delete the words “pheasant and” and to insert at [1402] the end of the Schedule in the appropriate columns the words:—

Pheasant From the 1st day of February to the 30th day of November, both days inclusive.

I put in this amendment because, having gone out to shoot pheasants on 1st October, I found several coveys running into the furze. They were unable to rise because they were purely immature chickens. In my opinion, there is not much of the element of sport in going out to shoot birds on that date. My amendment aims at extending the date to the 1st of November.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Your amendment specifies the 30th November.

Mr. Shaw: Information on Patrick Walter Shaw  Zoom on Patrick Walter Shaw  Perhaps I would be allowed further to amend it so as to make it 1st November.

Mr. Gorey: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  The experience of Deputy Shaw is pretty much the experience of all of us. We have all met with cases, especially in the last few years, of immature birds getting their wings coming up to 1st October. It is pure slaughter to allow the shooting of immature birds like that. Half of the pheasant stock in the country are immature at that time of the year.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I agree that immature birds should not be killed, but nevertheless I persist that the amendment should be left as it stands and the date should be 30th November. The only way in which we can preserve pheasants is by not shooting them at all. I put that to the Minister on the Committee Stage and I am sorry he did not agree with my view. As far as I can see, this Bill is framed merely to preserve the game in this country for the few. I, for one, will insist on the amendment as it stands. The shorter the period the better I like it.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  I do not agree with the reasons given by Deputy Shaw for his amendment. We have all had experience of meeting immature birds immediately before or on the date set down for the shooting of that class of birds. It is quite possible, even if the amendment is carried, that we may meet immature birds on 30th November.

Mr. Gorey: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I never saw one.

Mr. Shaw: Information on Patrick Walter Shaw  Zoom on Patrick Walter Shaw  It is hardly likely.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  Deputy Gorey says he never saw one. I have seen immature grouse and partridge for weeks after the dates set down for the shooting of either species.

Mr. Gorey: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I do not think they will change their habits.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  I do not think so either, and that is the reason I think there is no necessity for changing the date. The date of 1st October was arrived at after due consideration. I do not think that the seasons have changed or that the habits of the birds have changed very much. It is no sound reason to alter the date merely because one meets with an odd covey of immature birds. There is no need to shoot them and the Deputy, I am sure, would be the last man to do so. You would be able to find other birds of full maturity on the date that has been fixed and that has been in operation for so long. I would not be inclined to alter the date.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  I am in favour of the amendment and, like Deputy Corry, I would not mind going a little bit further. The fact of the matter is that pheasants are practically extinct. It is the one class of game that needs preservation most. We should do everything in our power to encourage pheasants and their preservation should be our chief aim. I do not think it will be any great hardship on any sportsman to limit the shooting of pheasants to a couple of months. A sportsman will find lots of opportunities for killing the few pheasants that remain in a very short space of time. Most of the big shoots organised by private people can easily be deferred until the month [1403] of December. I am in favour of the amendment.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  This is a very drastic and far-reaching amendment. It would alter the shooting season for a very important class of game, a class of bird that stands on a different footing from any other class of bird. You must recollect that the pheasant as a purely wild bird does not really exist in these countries at all. Wherever you have a pheasant shoot they are all hand-reared pheasants, and all hand-reared pheasants will be mature on the 1st of October. You will find wild pheasants that are not mature on that date, just as Deputy Redmond pointed out you will find grouse on the 12th of August which are not mature. Anybody who has shot grouse over dogs finds that a certain number of immature grouse get up and squeal as they go away, which properly feathered grouse do not do. Just as strong a case as can be put up against the shooting of pheasants on the 1st of October because they are immature can be made against grouse, in fact a stronger case, I think, and as I pointed out, the grouse is a wild bird while the pheasant is artificially reared. If a person rears a great number of pheasants, if they are ready for shooting at a particular date and that happens to be the time when he is at liberty to shoot, he might not be at liberty later on, and I think it would be a hardship on him if he were not allowed to shoot his hand-reared pheasants.

Deputy Corry's point is that pheasants ought to be altogether protected. Well, pheasants can be protected. If there is a case made out for a particular area that pheasants should be preserved, that no pheasants should be shot at all for a certain period, there is power in Section 5 to make such an order. That, of course, is temporary, until we get the required number of pheasants back into the country. But if you make the shooting of pheasants begin on the 1st of [1404] November, or on the 1st of December, remember that that will be a provision for all time, not a mere temporary provision. I think that that is too large and too drastic an alteration, and on the evidence on which the House is asked to act— that is to say, that a few small, immature birds have been seen—I do not think that that is sufficient ground to change what is a well-recognised date and one which I never heard attacked as being too early until this amendment was put forward.

Mr. Shaw: Information on Patrick Walter Shaw  Zoom on Patrick Walter Shaw  Pheasants that are reared are never shot on the 1st of October, nor on the 1st of November either. They are rarely shot until December and January, so that they are entirely different from the ordinary birds that we are able to shoot. I do not want to press the amendment, but my opinion is that the date is entirely too early. I am sorry that the Minister cannot accept the amendment.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Now we have the reason from Deputy Shaw for this amendment. It took a long time to get out the exact reason. The exact reason is that an odd bird manages to escape out of these preserves, and Deputy Shaw is afraid that even that odd bird will be picked up by the mere commoner who owns a gun and pays his £2 licence. I was very anxious to get out the reason why this amendment was put down and I think we have it now. That is the exact reason—that those few birds would escape from the English gentlemen, that the full number will not be there when they come—one bird less for every acre.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Major Myles: Information on Major James Sproule Myles  Zoom on Major James Sproule Myles  On behalf of Deputy Cole I move:—

In page 12 to insert the words “Snipe, woodcock and” before the word “Plover” in the first column of the First Schedule and to delete the words “Snipe and woodcock” in the first column at the end of the Schedule and also to delete the words “From the 1st day of March to the 30th day of [1405] September, both days inclusive” in the second column at the end of the Schedule.

This amendment is not as dangerous as it looks. The period for snipe and woodcock has already been changed, to my mind perhaps changed inadvertently, and as we have a number of amendments to remedy things that were allowed to slip in on the Committee Stage, I would ask the Minister to accept this amendment, which would really put the thing on a better footing. I do not think that there is a greater authority in the Dáil on game than the Minister; certainly none has stated the case better than he has on many things. I notice that on the Committee Stage he gave us the different classes of snipe. The home snipe is here in August, as he is reared in the country, and he goes to Egypt, presumably. The Scotch snipe comes here in September and goes off at the end of September, and the foreign snipe comes here in October. As the Bill stands we are not allowed to shoot anything but the foreign snipe. We are to rear the home snipe for other people to shoot elsewhere; we are to allow the Scotch snipe to pass through, and we are to get a crack only at the foreign snipe on 1st October. There is another point that occurs to me and it is this: the more uniform we keep these dates so that they do not clash with one another the better, because we will confuse the minds of everyone in the country by having different dates for different classes of birds. The normal date for most birds is the 12th August. Everyone associates that date with the beginning of the shooting season. By having all these others in a month, six weeks or two months, you will be bound to confuse the minds of everybody, and the first man who is brought to court for an offence will say: “It is impossible to remember all the different dates for the different birds.” Of course, pheasants are in a different category; no one would dream of shooting them on the 12th of August. Another reason that appeals to a great many of us who live in the northern part of the [1406] country is that on one side of the road we will be shooting snipe on the 13th of August, and on the other side we will have to wait until the 1st of October.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  That will not prevent you from crossing the Border.

Major Myles: Information on Major James Sproule Myles  Zoom on Major James Sproule Myles  I only mention that because there does not seem to be any reason why such a difference should exist in the same country. We will be protecting the homebred snipe for no earthly reason that I can see except to let them go out of the country. Practically no one goes to shoot snipe in the months of August or September, but towards the end of September, when people are coming home from other shootings, if a snipe gets up it is a great temptation to them to shoot it, and I think a man who is out shooting ought to be allowed to shoot it. If it is in season there is no use in protecting it at that time. It is either a Scotch snipe or a home snipe which goes out of the country, and we get no benefit. We will never get a shot at the very birds we are protecting. I would ask the Minister to accept the amendment.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  As this Bill was originally introduced the date was the 12th of August, and the 12th of August was changed by the Dáil to the 1st of October. Personally I think that the 1st of October is too late. The next amendment, in the name of Deputy Law, proposes the 1st of September, and I would suggest that, as a compromise between the 12th of August and the 1st of October views, the 1st of September view might be acceptable to the House. I think that the 1st of September is a useful date, for the reason that really the home snipe are hardly worth shooting on the earlier date, and it will be a question only of eighteen days between the 12th of August and the 1st of September. On the other hand, after the 1st of September you will get all the snipe that are worth shooting. If you put it back as far as the 1st of October I think that you would not get a great number of snipe that could be shot and that are really [1407] physically in season. I know that in my own native county, where I have done practically all my shooting for many years past, the date has been the 1st of October, but I have seen the foreign snipe arrive, and big wisps of snipe, a week or possibly even a fortnight before the 1st of October, so that I entirely agree that the 1st of October is too late. Also I believe that in the eastern counties the snipe arrive earlier than they do on the western seaboard. So that as far as my own view is concerned I would be perfectly satisfied with the 1st of September. I recognise that the Dáil has already altered the date from the 12th of August, and the Dáil might not wish to put it back, but I suggest the acceptance of Deputy Law's amendment as a compromise.

Mr. Law: Information on Hugh Alexander Law  Zoom on Hugh Alexander Law  My amendment was put down as a kind of second barrel. I think that there is a good deal of substance in what has been said by Deputy Myles, that it is desirable to have the same date, as far as it can reasonably be done, for the different kinds of birds, and for that reason I would prefer the date which originally appeared in the Bill. If the House were to think that, on the whole, it made a mistake in that connection on the Committee Stage, I do not see why it should not, with perfect propriety and without any shame, revert to the original date. I am glad that the Minister takes this view. It is quite certain that the date, as it now stands, is quite absurdly late. It would really mean that over considerable tracts of country there would be no shooting at all in September, or that if there was shooting, you would be protecting snipe, which did not very much need protection, which could look after themselves, really at the expense of the grouse, because by the time you have shot over 5,000, 10,000 or 15,000 acres, by the time you come to the early part of September, you have shot all the grouse that ought to be shot, and if you are a reasonable sportsman, you will put some No. 8 shot into your gun and [1408] go after snipe. If you are precluded entirely from shooting snipe during the latter part of August and September, I am afraid that the temptation to pick up all the grouse possible in order not to go home with an entirely empty bag, will be too much for a great many people. On the whole, I should prefer to leave the date as it originally stood in the Bill, but if the House thinks that it ought not to go back, if my amendment to make the date the 31st of August were accepted, I would be perfectly satisfied.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  So far the House seems to have said nothing on the matter except for what has been said by the Minister, the mover of the amendment, and the mover of the second amendment, who seems now rather to prefer the amendment moved by Deputy Myles. Personally I am strongly in favour of reverting to the original date, and I think it was, as Deputy Myles said, somewhat through inadvertence that the House altered the date. I do not know what Deputy moved the amendment —I think it was Deputy Boland—but at the time possibly he did not know as much as he does now in regard to the habits of snipe in this country. If it is a matter only of eighteen days, as the Minister has said, I do not see why the eighteen days should not be given instead of the other side of September. It would be better to have it on the August side and to have the original date. There is a great deal to be said for the point of view put forward by Deputy Myles with regard to the confusion over the different dates. Also, as the Minister himself has said, the foreign snipe come sooner into the eastern counties, and the home snipe go away earlier. There used to be an old phrase—“Spoiling the Egyptians”—but certainly as the clause now stands it would seem to be “Save the Egyptians,” or save the snipe for the Egyptians. If we are going to alter it, let us alter it back to the original date—the 12th of August. The Minister seems to be personally in favour of that; Deputy Myles certainly is, and now we [1409] have Deputy Law saying that he would prefer that to his own amendment. I would ask the House to consider whether it would not be advisable to revert to the original date.

Major Cooper: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  It was not through inadvertence, as Deputy Redmond suggests, that this amendment was carried in Committee; it was a result of experience. For years past, in half-a-dozen counties in the Saorstát, Sligo being one of them, the close season for snipe and woodcock has been up to the 1st of October, and we have experienced no very great inconvenience from it. There were occasional complaints. Deputy Law had it in his power to remove grievances, at any rate to try to remove grievances, for a period of something like twenty years, when he was in the House of Commons; Deputy Redmond had the same power for about twelve years, but I do not think they ever addressed themselves to the grievances of Sligo and other counties.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  No, because I was not a representative of Sligo. I represented another part of the country, where the date was the 12th of August, with which the people there were quite satisfied.

Major Cooper: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Deputy Redmond had not the largeness of heart to consider the case of other parts of the country and to extend to them the liberty which he had himself. Nor had Deputy Law any excuse, as he lived on the boundary.

Mr. Law: Information on Hugh Alexander Law  Zoom on Hugh Alexander Law  What excuse had Deputy Cooper for not trying to alter it?

Major Cooper: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Deputy Cooper was a member of the House of Commons for precisely eleven months, and during most of that time it was adjourned for the Constitutional Conference. I think I might have been given eleven months to find my feet. If I had been a member of it a little longer I might have done something. But, as a matter of fact, I do not think I would have, because there is really no grievance. Deputy Law's idea [1410] that we are going to kill an enormous number of grouse in September, because we will have nothing else to kill, is really not based on fact. I do not want to go back to the 1st of August. We in Sligo hold that the woodcock which are there in August go away on the 1st of September and come back about the 12th of December. I know, as the Minister says, that they do not do that in Mayo, but I cannot conceive that any intelligent woodcock—and woodcock are very intelligent birds—would wish to return to county Mayo if he once got out of it.

The amendment on the paper seems to me to be a fair compromise. There ought to be plenty of grouse to shoot, if this Bill protects them at all, in the month of August. I would not object to the 31st of August as the date, but I do not think it desirable to start the shooting, particularly of woodcock, and even of snipe, as early as the 1st of August. I am prepared to allow shooting in September to obviate the massacre of grouse that Deputy Law indicated. Anybody who tries to massacre grouse in September, when they are thoroughly wild, will have to walk very long and very far, and will have to be an extremely good shot at long range.

In order that Deputy Law's fears of finding a St. Bartholomew amongst the grouse may not be realised I should certainly say the 31st August.

Mr. Shaw: Information on Patrick Walter Shaw  Zoom on Patrick Walter Shaw  I think there is general agreement that the 1st October is too late and I think the suggestion made by Deputy Cooper of the 31st August is a reasonable compromise, and I certainly support that.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  It seems rather strange that three snipers, if I may use the term, seem to have come from the House of Commons.

Mr. Corish: Information on Richard Corish  Zoom on Richard Corish  Three snipers grousing.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I think the Minister put it in a nut-shell when he said [1411] that the snipe was a bird that would be able to take care of itself. As far as I am concerned I would be quite satisfied to see us going back to the original date—the 12th August. There is one thing and that is, the more we hit on a common date for the preservation of game the better. If you have a different date for every bird you will have a difficult position all round because when a man is out with a gun he is apt to forget the date.

Mr. P. Boland: Information on Patrick J. Boland  Zoom on Patrick J. Boland  I had an amendment down from the original date to the one down on the Paper. With regard to the amendments proposed by Deputy Law and Deputy Myles I am prepared to accept the compromise to Deputy Law's amendment which the Minister has suggested. [1412] I think that going back to the original date would be out of the question at the moment. I have no interest in snipe any more than in other game birds, but I realise that on the pretext of shooting snipe other birds have been shot. Therefore, the amendment is not only a protection for snipe but for other birds as well and is very useful in the Bill. When I put down the amendment I was satisfied that it was necessary, but other snipers are of opinion that we have gone back too far. I am prepared to accept the compromise amendment by Deputy Hugh Law.

Major Myles: Information on Major James Sproule Myles  Zoom on Major James Sproule Myles  I think I have made a good case for the 12th August and would like to test the House on it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  took the Chair.

Amendment 25 put.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Brennan, Michael.
Clancy, Patrick.
Corish, Richard.
Davin, William.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Gorey, Denis J.
Haslett, Alexander.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennigan, John.
Henry, Mark.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Moore, Séamus.
Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Hanlon, John F.
O'Higgins, Thomas.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, Thomas.
Redmond, William Archer.
Reynolds, Patrick.
Thrift, William Edward.
Tierney, Michael.
Tubridy, John.
White, John.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Blaney, Neal.
Blythe, Ernest.
Boland, Patrick.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Briscoe, Robert.
Brodrick, Seán.
Buckley, Daniel.
Byrne, John Joseph.
Carey, Edmund.
Carney, Frank.
Carty, Frank.
Colbert, James.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Conlon, Martin.
Cooney, Eamon.
Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
Corkery, Dan. [1413]Hennessy, Thomas.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Holohan, Richard.
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Michael.
Jordan, Stephen.
Kelly, Patrick Michael.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Keogh, Myles.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Leonard, Patrick.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, Finian.
Maguire, Ben.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McDonogh, Martin.
MacEntee, Seán.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Mullins, Thomas.
Murphy, James E.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Connell, Richard.
Corry, Martin John.
Cosgrave, William T.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Davis, Michael.
De Loughrey, Peter.
Derrig, Thomas.
De Valera, Eamon.
Doherty, Eugene.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Fahy, Frank.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Fogarty, Andrew.
French, Seán.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Goulding, John.
Hayes, Seán.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph. [1414]O'Connor, Bartholomew.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Kelly, Seán T.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Leary, William.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Powell, Thomas P.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Sexton, Martin.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
Smith, Patrick.
Vaughan, Daniel.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, George.

Mr. Law: Information on Hugh Alexander Law  Zoom on Hugh Alexander Law  I move amendment 26:—

In page 12 in the First Schedule, column 2, opposite the words “Snipe and woodcock” to delete the words “30th day of September” and substitute the words “31st day of August.”

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 27:—

In page 12 to insert at the end of the First Schedule, the words:—

Quail and Landrail From the 1st day of March to the 11th day of August, both days inclusive.

As the Bill stands there is no close season for quail and landrail. As we made quail and landrail game birds under the Bill it seems logical that there should be a close season for them. The season for them is the same as the close season for grouse. Landrail is, to some extent, in this country. I do not suppose that anybody ever bothered shooting landrail. To a large extent, quail is extinct, but possibly it may, under better conditions, return and re-inhabit the country. I believe there were quail here eighty or a hundred years ago.

Amendment agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That covers amendment 28:—

In page 12 to insert at the end of the First Schedule the words:—

Landrail From the 1st day of March to the 11th day of August, both days inclusive.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Amendment 28 is, to my mind, ridiculous.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That is not the point. Amendment 27 having been carried, amendment 28 does not arise.

Amendment not moved.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  There is no close season, I notice, to meet the amendment about geese.

[1415]Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The Deputy is quite right. There is no close season for geese. Deputy Esmonde drew attention to that himself. The reason, he stated, was that no wild geese bred in this country. I think wild geese do not breed in this country. There would be no harm in having a close season for wild geese. The obvious close season for them would be the same as for duck. I will see what I can do in the Seanad.

Question:—That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration—put and agreed to.

Fifth Stage ordered for Wednesday, November 27th.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I move the adjournment until next Wednesday week.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  Before the House adjourns, would the President tell us how long this session is likely to last?

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I should say possibly the first week in December, perhaps the second week, but not later than the second week.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I wish to call attention to the manner in which the proceedings of the Dáil have been conducted during the past three weeks. Deputies have been brought up from the country for two days in the week and their travelling expenses alone cost between £300 and £400 for those two days. If the President practised the economy which he talks so much about in this Dáil it would be better for everybody. If the Departments are not able to keep up to the business, or are unable to prepare the Bills fast enough, which seems to be the reason for these two days in the week sittings, why should we not sit four days in one week and not sit at all the next week, and save £300 or £400 in travelling expenses? When we appeal for money for any purpose, for instance, for the dependants of those killed during the Black-and-Tan period, we are told that there is no money available, and yet £300 or £400 is wasted by bringing Deputies [1416] here for one sitting. I think the President should look at it in that light. I for one have a great objection to these two-day-in-the-week sittings. I consider that they are a waste of public funds and it is time that the President and those associated with him should look into this waste of public funds.

Mr. Carey: Information on Edmond Carey  Zoom on Edmond Carey  You are a very conscientious man.


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