HC Deb 21 June 1895 vol 34 cc1661-2

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he will ascertain whether the Inspectors of Fisheries, Messrs. Cecil Roche and Hornsby, stated at a public meeting lately on the Shannon that the use of lines for the capture of eels was illegal, although a question was then before the inspectors on which no legal decision by any competent tribunal has as yet been given and, whether, considering that the decision on such a point will involve the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen who follow this mode of fishing, which has always been recognised by the Fishery Commissioners and Inspectors as not contrary to any Act of Parliament, he will give directions that the Fishery Inspectors shall not make declarations as to the state of the law until they have legal decision thereon by competent tribunals?


The Inspectors of Fisheries inform me that, having been asked on the occasion referred to, to give an opinion on the legality of the use of long lines, they simply expressed their view of the law as interpreted by them in the matter. The Inspectors did not pronounce a decision on the point, and in announcing their view of the law they acted, so I am advised, within their right. It is still open to any aggrieved person (as it was before the inquiry in question) to test the validity of the Inspectors' acts, or their pronouncements when acted upon, before the regular tribunals.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland when will the Reports of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries for the year 1894 be presented to Parliament, having regard to the fact that the 112th Section, 5 and 6 Viet., c. 106, directs that this should be done before the end of January in each year?


The Annual Report of the Inspectors for 1894 will be presented to Parliament in the course of a few days. The work of the Department has so largely grown since the passing of the Act of 1842 that however possible it may then have been to prepare a Report within the period mentioned, it would not now be practicable to submit a Report within such a period that would be of any value.