HC Deb 09 February 1897 vol 46 cc4-5
MR. J. G. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate if he will state in how many instances during the year 1896 the Fishery Board for Scotland received complaints of trawlers working at night without lights, or on other occasions with their names and numbers concealed; and, if he can state in how many such cases prosecutions have been instituted, and in how many cases convictions have been obtained?


I am informed by the Fishery Board that the number of complaints received in 1896 of trawlers working at night without lights was 14, while six were complained of for concealment of letters and numbers. Eight prosecutions were instituted, and convictions were obtained in seven cases. Two of the latter were for concealing letters and numbers.


I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether, having regard to the fact that the Secretary for Scotland intimated on the 23rd November last that a policy was being arranged for the better policing of the seas on the coast of Scotland, he will state whether any difficulty has arisen with either the Admiralty or the Treasury in the negotiations, and how soon he expects to be in a position to announce the nature of the projected provision for the better protection of the interests of the line fishermen?


As the hon. Member is aware, I promised him last Thursday to announce the arrangements for sea policing at the earliest possible opportunity. I do not think that the lapse of five days warrants the apprehension of a difficulty which does not exist.