HC Deb 26 March 1908 vol 186 cc1579-80
MR. MORTON (Sutherland)

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that, in a case of illegal trawling tried at Campbeltown, Argyllshire, on the 4th of September, 1907, the sheriff said that, from a tolerable experience of convictions of those who have been guilty of transgressing the law as to otter trawling, he thought that until Parliament saw fit to permit the imposition of some much more drastic punishment than the limit which at present the Courts have power to inflict, and the provision of more adequate means for the detection and capture of offenders, such as more and faster cruisers, little can be done effectively to prevent illegal trawling and the ultimate ruin of the entire fishing industry, that the punishment which at present it is in the power of the Courts to inflict was wholly inadequate to prevent the infraction of the law, and that the number and the speed of the protective vessels at present at the disposal of the Fishery Board was wholly incommensurate with the necessities of the case; and whether, under those circumstances, he will take steps to vindicate the law and to compel these illegal trawlers to obey the law.


Regarding the earlier part of this Question I can only refer my hon. friend to the reply given him on the 24th instant. The protective vessels are rendering efficient service in the vindication of the law, and it is owing to financial considerations that the number has not been further increased.