§ MR. FFRENCH
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the following steam trawlers were discovered fishing in Wexford Bay inside prohibited limits, the "Pembroke Castle," "Acknora" of Milford, "Bournemouth" of Bristol, and the "Hydranca"; whether those names have been forwarded to the Inspectors of Fisheries; and, if so, why has there been no prosecution; and whether the Government will send a small gunboat to protect Irish fisheries.
§ THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT FOR IRELAND (Mr. PLUNKETT,) Dublin Co, S.
Perhaps I may be permitted to reply to this question. The cases referred to in the first paragraph were reported to the Inspectors of Fisheries and by them to the Irish Government, who were advised, after very careful inquiry, that there was not sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution. The question in the last paragraph should be addressed to the Admiralty, but I may say that the new Department of Agriculture will consider the desirability of having a special vessel to facilitate the protection of Irish Fisheries from the depredations of these trawlers inside the prescribed limits.
§ MR. FFRENCH
May I ask if it was impossible to find the owners of the trawlers discovered fishing in prohibited waters?
§ MR. ATKINSON
Perhaps I may answer this, as it is a legal question. Although the trawlers were found in prohibited limits, it is absolutely necessary before any prosecution can be undertaken to ascertain the names of the men on board in charge of the operations. It has been found impossible to obtain them.
MR. T. M. HEALY
Has not the same answer been given by successive Attorneys General for years? Have not the Admiralty always refused to give Irish fisheries any protection?
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Will the First Lord of the Admiralty take steps to send a gunboat to protect Wexford Bay from the encroachment of these foreign steam trawlers?