§ SIR H. E. MAXWELL (Wigton)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether he proposes to take any precautions for the protection of salmon during the annual close time in the estuary of the Tweed; and whether preparation will be made to prevent the recurrence of the lawlessness which has prevailed there during the Autumn months of the last five years?
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Sir G. O. TREVELYAN,) Glasgow, Bridgeton
The question of law and order in the estuary of the Tweed is not exclusively or mainly in the province of the Secretary for Scotland, Berwick-on-Tweed itself and Tweedmouth not being Scottish communities. But the departments of the Government which are concerned in the Tweed throughout its course have been considering the means of removing the discontent which prevails, and a statement will soon be made.
§ SIR H. E. MAXWELL
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he can state what progress has been made by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests in letting salmon net fishings to local fishermen in the Crown waters on the coast of Berwickshire and else 1476 where; what is the payment demanded on each licence; and what means have been provided for regulating the fishings and preventing the use of nets exceeding the prescribed length?
§ *THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir J. T. HIBBERT,) Oldham
The Commissioner of Woods informs me that, in June 1894, he visited that portion of the coast of Scotland where there are Crown salmon fishings, the leases of which were about to expire; he selected several stretches of the coast in the following counties: Berwick, Haddington, Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Fife, Kincardine, Aberdeen, Banff, Ross, Caithness, Argyll, Ayr, Wigton, Kirkcudbright; and made known by extensively circulated notices his readiness to grant licences at fees varying from five shillings to ten guineas each, according to the relative value of the fishings, and the number of licences in each place. He has now dealt with the applications received by granting or agreeing to grant 73 licences. All the applications made, with one or two exceptions, have been satisfied. The licences contain very strict regulations forbidding the use of nets exceeding the prescribed length. Any proved breach in these regulations would involve the immediate forfeiture of the licence.
§ SIR H. E. MAXWELL
said, the right hon. Gentleman had hardly answered his question. What he was anxious to know was, what means were there to enforce the law?
§ SIR J. T. HIBBERT
said that at present the law had not been broken. When the law was broken it would be considered what steps were to be taken.