HC Deb 08 March 1889 vol 333 cc1332-4

I have to express my thanks to the hon. and learned Member opposite (Mr. Healy) for yielding me the opportunity of moving the Second Reading of this Bill. For three years it has been before the House unsuccessfully. I think I need only say that it is brought in at the wish of the fishermen themselves, and so far as has been possible the details have been arranged with them in various parts of Scotland, and as I believe there is no desire to debate the Bill now, I do not propose to make any observations on matters of detail that had better be left to the Committee stage. In relation to Clause 6, I may just mention that Section 2 gives power to the Fishery Board to make alterations that I think will carry out the wishes of hon. Members opposite. I now beg to move the Second Reading.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

MR. R. T. REID (Dumfries)

I have not the slightest intention of offering any opposition to the Bill at this stage, and when I hear that it is designed in accordance with the interests of the fishermen generally, it would be churlish in me to do so. All I say is, that the Bill comes forward at a very early period of the Session. I am aware that it has been introduced before, but there has not been opportunity to Members representing fishery constituencies to communicate with their constituents, and I desire to have that opportunity in reference to certain clauses before they are irrevocably diposed of. I am satisfied the hon. and gallant Member will recognize the reasonableness of this, and defer the next stage to a reasonable date for the purpose. With out in any way committing myself, I hope we may be given to understand that while the Government accept this Bill, they maintain an open mind in regard to its application to different parts of Scotland, and will be ready to consider representations made by different localities. I do not offer opposition now, feeling sure that our interests and convenience will be consulted as I indicate.


I am quite ready to assent to the Second Reading, and I agree with the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries, that it is necessary in regard to the Bill, which largely consists of detail, that the House should maintain an open mind as to the ultimate adjustment of the clauses. I apprehend my hon. and gallant Friend will not be indisposed to take the Second Reading on that footing. As the House is aware, the Bill emanates, to a large extent, from those who have and deserve the confidence of fishermen, and there is on the part of the Government, and, I think, of the various sections of the House, every disposition to give it the most favourable consideration. I congratulate my hon. and gallant Friend upon obtaining thus early the Second Reading of a measure with which he has so faithfully persevered, and with relation to which he enjoys so large an amount of sympathy.

Bill read a second time, and committed for April 5th.