§ *THE SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF TRADE (MR. T. BURT, Morpeth), moved the Second Reading of this Bill. He said, the Bill was based on the recommendations of the Select Committee and had the approval of the Sea Fisheries Committees throughout the country, who were very anxious to have it passed.
§ MR. J. GRANT LAWSON (Thirsk)
asked for information as to the Bill. He noticed that there were Amendments on the Paper.
§ MR. E. HENEAGE (Grimsby)
hoped that the Bill would be allowed to go through, as it was based on the recommendations of a Committee that had sat to consider the subject. Unless some such measure were passed soon, the fisheries of this country, especially in 475 the North Sea, would soon be done away with.
DR. D. MACGREGOR moved as an Amendment:—
That no Bill to amend the Fisheries Act will be satisfactory which does not exempt from penalty any fisherman or fishermen who, in the pursuit of his or their culling at sea, may take salmon at the distance of a mile or more from the nearest shore at high-water mark.
He hoped that the Government would accept the Amendment, and thus do away with a great injustice to the Scotch salmon fishers.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. J. BKYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
said, that the question which was raised by his hon. Friend was, no doubt, an interesting and an important one, but it was wholly foreign to the Bill before the House, which was brought forward in order to carry out the recommendations of a Committee which sat in 1893. So far as the Bill dealt with salmon fishing, it referred only to England. The Amendment would only introduce controversial matters into a Bill which was now a purely non-controversial measure
§ *SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
cordially supported the remarks of the President of the Board of Trade and the passing of the Bill. The Committee which sat took a large amount of evidence, and it was proved before the Committee that, owing to the systematic catching of undersized fish unfit for market, or even useful for fertilization purposes, a great depletion of the seas was taking place, and an important source of food for the people was being diminished. He trusted that the House would realise the importance of the remedies now proposed, and would allow the Bill to pass.
§ MR. J. G. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
supported the Amendment. It was a very serious matter for the salmon fishers of Scotland to be liable to fine or imprisonment at the hands of the water bailiff's, as they were at present. It was quite time that some alteration in the law should be made. He had himself brought the matter under the notice of the Secretary for Scotland time after time. It was all very well for the President of the Board of Trade to ask now that this Bill should be rushed through.
§ Debate adjourned.