HC Deb 21 April 1887 vol 313 cc1401-2

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been drawn to a Memorial, dated June, 1883, presented by the fishery officers of Scotland to the Fishery Board of Scotland, and to the reply of the Fishery Board to this Memorial, declining to recommend any improvement in the condition of the fishery officers, and also declining to allow any application to be made to the Secretary for Scotland; whether additional duties have since been imposed upon the fishery officers—namely, monthly Returns of all fish caught on the sea-board of Scotland, duties under the Sea Fisheries (Scotland) Amendment Act, 14th August, 1885, s. 7, and the administration of £20,000 for the benefit of crofter fishermen, thrown upon the Fishery Board by the Crofters' Bill; and, whether, in consideration of the facts, that no alteration in the remuneration of the fishery officers has been made since 1861 (except some minor alterations affecting some seven stations only in 1877), that the duties of the fishery officers since 1861 have greatly increased, that the cost of living has also largely increased, and that the increased duties of the fishery officers places a considerable surplus at the disposal of the National Exchequer annually, he is prepared to recommend that the position of the fishery officers of Scotland be investigated, with a view to an adequate increase of salary and allowances?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

My attention has been called to the Memorial referred to, and to the answer given by the Fishery Board to it. I am not, however, aware that the Board declined to allow any application to be made to the Secretary for Scotland; I believe they only said that they did not see their way to make any recommendation to the Secretary for Scotland. With reference to the additional duties imposed by the Sea Fisheries and Crofters Acts, in the Estimates for 1887-8 there is an extra Vote, for travelling and incidental expenses, of £255. An inquiry having recently been made into this matter, the Secretary for Scotland is not prepared to recommend any further investigation in the meantime; but should it be found, after experience of the working of these two Acts, that the additional duties imposed on the fishery officers are very heavy, the Secretary for Scotland will then be prepared to consider whether the matter should not again be brought before the Treasury for their Lordships' consideration.