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Royal Parks (Litter)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Works whether he has seen the litter of paper and food fragments in the Royal Parks on a fine summer day, which diminishes public enjoyment; how many prosecutions there have been on this account; and whether he will consider increasing the number of prosecutions in order to abate this nuisance.

I am only too well aware of the amount of litter desposited in the Royal Parks, which is a matter of great concern and expense to my Department. Only one successful prosecution has taken place during the past 12 months, when the offender was fined £2. I will not hesitate to prosecute in all cases where the necessary evidence is available.

The labour that is available can be turned to far more profitable uses than that suggested by the hon. Member of snooping upon individuals. I am hoping by other means to give some sort of education to the public in preserving the amenities of the Royal Parks.

How does it come about that food fragments are littered in our public parks when we are supposed to be starving?

Is the Minister in touch with the Minister of Education in order to educate school children to avoid these practices? Is not the right way of dealing with these matters not that of prosecution, but the training of the habits of the public?

I agree entirely with the hon. Member, that this is a matter of public education but, as an ex-schoolmaster, I am not at all convinced that the offenders are the children of our schools.