§ MR. WORSLEY-TAYLOR (Lancashire, Blackpool)
To ask the Lord Advocate, as representing the Secretary for Scotland, whether he is aware that under the Herring Fishery (Scotland) Act, 1899. British trawlers are excluded from a fishing ground of about 600 square miles in the estuary of the Clyde, and from other grounds on the coast of 767 Scotland; that these grounds are open to, and fished by, foreign trawlers, who sell their catch in English ports; and that, in order to escape from the provisions of this Act, British trawlers have been transferred to foreign flags, and now fish the said grounds under those flags; and whether he will consider the desirability of taking steps to place British trawlers on the same footing as foreign trawlers.
(Answered by Mr. Graham Murray.)The Secretary for Scotland is aware of the provisions of the Act referred to, and of the difficulty occasioned by the exclusion of British vessels from areas open to foreign trawlers; he is also aware of the allegation that British trawlers have been transferred to foreign flags in order to escape from the provisions of the Act, but he is not aware that this applies to the area in the Clyde specially referred to in the Question. Any action in the matter is subject to international considerations; but the position of the Clyde area will be steadily kept in view as well as that of the other protected waters.