HC Deb 13 March 1899 vol 68 cc517-8
MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to a public statement made by Mr. A. Jamieson, a member of the Fishery Board for Scotland, on the 21st ultimo, which was reported as follows— It was the Moray Firth line fishermen themselves who had been the means of getting the Firth closed, and whenever they got the Moray Firth fishermen to go in for trawlers and trawling then they would get the Firth opened. The Fishery Board was looking after the interests of the fishing trade, and they knew better almost than any other what the fish trade of Scotland needed"; whether such a statement is authoritative; and whether, in view of the fact of Aberdeen being the largest centre of the fishing industry in Scotland, and that neither its interests as regards line or trawl fishing are represented by any member of the Hoard, the Government proposes taking any steps to more fully carry out the intentions of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act of 1895, which provides that the Fishery Board shall be representative of the various sea fishing interests of Scotland, by appointing one Member of the Board to directly represent Aberdeen fishing interests, and so rectify the present one-sided representation?


I am informed by the Fishery Board that the remarks referred to were made by Mr. Jamieson at the annual meeting of the Edinburgh and Leith Fish Trade Association, of which body he is honorary secretary, but that he did not claim to speak for anybody but himself. As to the statement in the Question that Aberdeen is the largest centre of the fishing industry in Scotland it may be stated that the quantity of fish landed at Fraserburgh in 1898 was greater than that landed at Aberdeen. The Aberdeen line and trawl fishing interests do not differ from those of other parts of Scotland, and are fully represented on the Fishery Board. It is not thought desirable that any one having a direct interest in either of the conflicting methods of fishing should have control of an industry which must be carried on in the interests of the public good as a whole.


May I ask if the Secretary of State approves of a member of the Fishery Board making such a statement as that?


It is not for him to consider whether he approves or not what a member says in his private capacity.


Is it possible to assume that Mr. Jamieson was on this occasion acting in his private capacity?


Order, order!