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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

The Importation of Plumage Prohibition Bill

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The Importation of Plumage Prohibition Bill is a petition by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Spectator No. 4470 on 28 february 1914.


The Importation of Plumage Prohibition Bill

The Spectator No. 4470 (p. 347)

[To The Editor of the "Spectator."]

Sir, — We, the undersigned, have considered the Importation of Plumage Prohibition Bill. We are most heartily in accord with this measure, as we believe that it is the duty of this country to put an end to the traffic in the skins and plumes of wild birds. The evidence is abundantly clear that many rare and beautiful species now being ruthlessly exterminated, and that the trade creates a demand for the plumes of certain birds which these birds only acquire in the breeding season, thus encouraging the horrible and cruel practice of killing parent birds when the young are in the nest. The argument that the trade in prohibited feathers will not be diminished, but simply diverted to the Continent, is, in our opinion, absolutely a false one; on the contrary, we believe that the passage of this Bill will greatly strengthen the bands of the various societies and individuals who are endeavouring to promote prohibition upon the Continent. The Conference which the British Foreign Office are calling in London to consider the question of international action and prohibition has been accepted by nearly all the countries invited to attend, and though the list is not, we understand, complete, the immense majority of all countries, European and American, appears to be in accord with the proposals of the Plumage Bill. In particular, we do not believe that the passage of the Bill will bring about any shortage of work among those employed in the trade. A great part of the work done in connexion with this fancy plumage is performed on the Continent, and the bulk of feather-workers employed in England work, not upon wild bird plumage, but upon ostrich feathers, whose entry will be permitted, and even stimulated, by the provisions of this Bill. Also, in the natural course of things, substitutes and imitations will be found, which will divert to British labour much work that is now done in Paris and Vienna. — We are, Sir, &c.,

  • Rutland
  • Leicester
  • Galway
  • Lilford
  • E. Lyttelton
  • J. E. C. Welldon
  • Herbert Maxwell
  • Godfrey Baring
  • H. H. Johnston
  • E. H. Shackleton
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Owen Seaman
  • W. R. Ogilvie-Grant
  • J. St. Loe Strachet
  • E. B. Waggett
  • H. Hesketh-Prichard




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