§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK (Whitehaven)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Her Majesty's Government will grant pecuniary aid to the British fishermen in order to enable them to prosecute their claims for damages in the Belgian Courts of Law; and, whether effectual measures will be taken for the protection in future of British fishermen belonging to the East and South Coasts?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
Her Majesty's Consuls will give every aid in their power to help those who have grounds of complaint to obtain redress. I do not think that anything has been omitted that is possible for the due protection of British fishermen on the East and South Coasts. As I have informed the House, the Belgian Government have shown their readiness to control their fishermen. We heard a few days ago that they had resolved to adopt a system of licenses revocable for cause shown, which was recommended by the Board of Trade Committee. The Belgian Authorities have, within the last few days, protected the British fishermen attacked at Ostend, the Gendarmerie and Civic Guard firing on the rioters, with loss of life; and the facilities afforded by Belgian Law Courts are such as to give every ground for hoping that no case of injury will remain without redress.