HC Deb 30 April 1883 vol 278 cc1421-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade, What steps, if any, Her Majesty's Government propose taking towards redressing or inquiring into the damage inflicted on fishermen by the action of trawlers?


Sir, the noble Lord is, no doubt, aware that the complaints of the different classes of fishermen the one against the other are of very old date, and they have been inquired into, I think I may say exhaustively, on more than one occasion, and especially by the Royal Commission which sat in 1866, and upon which Professor Huxley, the present Chief Commissioner of Works (Mr. Shaw Lefevre), and others served. I should also say that, as regards wilful damage, or damage done by gross negligence, the present law already provides a sufficient remedy; but I judge from the complaints which have been addressed to me, that some of the fishermen wish to go further than this. What they want the Government to do is to prohibit the most effective machinery for fishing on behalf of the less effective and older methods. That is, of course, more than any Government can undertake to do.


Is it decided to refuse the inquiry asked for by the fishermen?


As at present advised, I do not see that any further inquiry is necessary, or would serve a useful purpose.