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Royal Parks (Litter)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 30 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Works what is the estimated cost of picking up and removing the litter left by the public in the Royal Parks; and what is the estimated cost of obtaining the evidence for more prosecutions, which might end the nuisance.

The average weekly cost of collecting fitter in the Royal Parks amounts to £236. The obtaining of evidence for prosecutions depends to a large extent on the willingness of the public to co-operate and is not a matter of cost.

Would the Minister consider again whether a few prosecutions, with publicity for convictions, would not stop this litter habit, which in the Royal Parks is the worst possible advertisement for English manners and customs?

I am not against considering that but, quite definitely, I regard prosecutions as being the worst type of social education. I think much more is to be done by encouraging people to co-operate in this matter, rather than taking the opportunity of trying to inflict punishment.

Does not my right hon. Friend think that part of the difficulty is due to the fact that there seems to be an insufficient supply of litter baskets, and could he persuade the Metropolitan boroughs to increase the number in order to get people into the right habits?

I am not at all certain that I want to see a great number of litter baskets fixed on to trees in the Royal Parks.

Would my right hon. Friend consider placing in the parks more notices containing some explanatory statement rather than the present ones which are rather of a legal kind?