§ MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, considering the number of steam trawlers that fish along the Irish coasts since they were prohibited from fishing within three miles of the Scotch coast, and the great damage they have done and are doing on the Irish coasts, the Government will consider the advisability of reverting to their former policy of prohibiting steam trawling within three miles of the Irish coast; is the Government aware that the steam trawlers ignore the bye-laws made by the inspectors of Irish Fisheries prohibiting steam trawling in certain waters; what steps have the Government taken to en- 320 force these bye-laws; and, pending legislation, what steps does the Government propose to take to protect Irish fishermen from loss, and to enforce the observance of the bye-laws the inspectors deem necessary.
§ MR. G. W. BALFOUR
I am not aware how this matter stands in Scotland, hut there never has been a general law or policy of prohibiting trawling within the three-mile limit of the Irish coast. Prohibitory bye-laws have been made to suit the circumstances of particular localities. I am informed that the area around Ireland which is closed to trawling was never so extensive as at present. With regard to the last three paragraphs, I have nothing to add to the reply previously given by me on the 5th May to the question of the hon. Member for Dublin County, North, on the same subject.
§ MR. POWER
In view of the damage that these steam trawlers are doing to Irish fisheries, and bearing in mind the promise given by the First Lord when steam trawling was prohibited off Scotland, will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to provide a gunboat to prevent the steam trawling now going on around the Irish coasts?
§ MR. G. W. BALFOUR
I hope that that may be done under the provisions of the Agricultural Industries Bill.
§ CAPTAIN DONELAN (Cork, E.)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the steam trawling goes on on Sundays as well as week days?
§ (No answer was given.)