§ MR. FLAVIN
On behalf of the hon. Member for West Waterford, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether, in connection with the salmon fisheries of Ireland, the Inspectors of Fisheries have held frequent local inquiries as to the extent to which poaching is carried on by licensed net fishermen and others during the weekly and annual close times; (2) whether such inquiries have shown that poaching by such fishermen is very generally engaged in, and that the fisheries have, in consequence, suffered considerably; and (3) whether, seeing that the licensed net fishermen practically control the election of all the elective members of the present Boards of Conservators, the Government will consider the advisability of transferring to the county councils it is proposed to establish the powers of the present boards of conservators in relation to the inland and sea fisheries of Ireland?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
Inquiries have frequently been held by the Inspectors of Fisheries into the state of the fisheries, and at these inquiries evidence has sometimes been given as to the existence of poaching. But the Inspectors have no reason whatever to think that poaching is carried on by licensed fishermen, or that the fisheries have suffered considerably from the acts of licensed fishermen. On the contrary, the Inspectors believe that the illegal acts complained of have been practised by persons who have not taken out licences. As regards the third paragraph, it is not the intention of the Government to transfer to the county councils proposed to be created by the Local Government Bill the powers at present possessed by Boards of Conservators in relation to the sea and inland fisheries of Ireland.