19 JUNE 1953, Page 7

,Clear Profit Has anybody any idea how much money the

State makes out of shooting? How many millions of pounds do sporting (as distinct from fishing) rates bring in every year? Gun licences at 10s. each and game licences, which cost between (for fourteen days) and £3 (for the whole year) produce a few thousands which cost the police next to nothing to collect. The purchase tax on guns and cartridges has been reduced to twenty-five per cent.; but with cartridges at over £2 a hundred the Exchequer must do fairly well out of this. One would have thought that the State, which derives all these benefits by reason of the existence (or, in the case of some sporting rates, the reputed existence) of game in these islands would do something on behalf of the birds and animals concerned. As far as I can see, beyond administering a set of obsolete and in some respects contradictory game laws, it does nothing at all. To the best of my knowledge, the only field research into problems affecting game is carried out by I.C.I.; and, whereas the ordinary rate-payer may grumble about the inadequacy of the services he gets for his money, the man who pays sporting rates has—in one sense—nothing to grumble about at all.