HC Deb 22 February 1838 vol 41 cc12-5
Colonel Conolly

rose to move for leave to bring in a Bill for the protection of the Salmon Fisheries in Ireland: it had been adopted by the unanimous advice and suggestion of the farmers and proprietors of the fisheries, who had met in Dublin on the subject, and who deplored the insufficient protection furnished by the present system. This insufficiency arose from the 17th clause of the Act 4 George 4th, which prohibited the interference of the police in all matters relating to the fisheries. The object of his Bill was to enable the police to take into custody all the persons who were fined for offences against the fisheries, and to detain them in custody till the fines were paid. He believed he did not mistake the law when he said, that in England and in Scotland no man was released from custody till his fine was paid. The object of the second clause was to prevent the destruction of the mouths of the rivers before they came within the boundaries of the several properties enjoying the right of fishing by charter or otherwise. The benefit which would result from this change was manifest, for it was well known that many depredations were committed on the north and west coasts of Ireland, and that various injuries had been inflicted on the property there. Individually, as he was, largely concerned in fisheries which had been injured to a great extent, he was much interested in the fate of the Bill, of which he trusted that he had sufficiently established the necessity to obtain the leave of the House for its introduction.

Viscount Morpeth

would not offer any opposition to the motion. Some legislation was required for the Scotch fisheries, and it was but reasonable that the Irish salmon fisheries should receive equal consideration. He was glad to perceive, that the hon. Member did not propose to repeal the provision which prevented the police from acting as gamekeepers or fishkeepers, or servants to the proprietors, and that it only provided, that offenders should be kept in custody after conviction. The whole question of maritime aggression was a subject of considerable difficulty: he would not then pronounce an opinion upon it, but the question might be brought under the consideration of the House when the Bill was in Committee, and he should be happy to hear what was the opinion of the House and of the country upon it.

Mr. W. Roche

thought, that this was a most important measure for Ireland, and he was glad that it had been brought forward by the hon. Member.

Mr. O'Connell

had been instructed by his constituents to watch only one part of the measure, that part which affected the manufacturing interests of Dublin, connected especially with the banks of the Liffey. With this exception he supported the Bill.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

would throw no difficulty in the way of the hon. Member, and he was exceedingly glad to find the subject brought forward. Not only was it necessary to remedy some of the evils at the upper part of the rivers, but also the destruction at their mouths. Like the hon. Member he was personally interested in the question, and as valuable evidence on the subject had been collected by the Committee which had sat upon the subject, he would suggest the propriety of referring that Bill to a private Committee. The question for the House was, how they could ensure for the public the largest supply of fish.

Leave given.