§ Mr. J. MURRAY MACDONALD (on behalf of Mr. Ponsonby)
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware of the negotiations which have taken place between the Woods and Forests Department, Lord Wemyss, and the Peebles Town Council respecting Crown salmon fishing on the Tweed in the vicinity of Peebles; and, if so, whether, pending the introduction of legislation in the near future, the Government in the meantime will only lease this water to pubic bodies and not to private individuals?
The HON. MEMBER (Mr. Macdonald)
had the following question on the Paper in his own name: To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will say what steps the Commissioners of Woods and Forests propose to take to provide that, in the event of the Town Council of Peebles accepting their offer to lease to it the Crown salmon fishings in the vicinity of Peebles, reasonable access will be secured for the public to the river banks?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. C. Hobhouse)
I may perhaps be allowed to answer this question and that of the hon. Member for Falkirk Burghs together. Negotiations have been proceeding for some time between the Commissioners of Woods, the Peebles Town Council, and Lord Wemyss. It is intended, if possible, to arrange for a lease of the salmon fishing to the town council subject to reservations in respect to that portion of the river which passes the private grounds or policies of Barnes House and Hay Lodge. I am advised that the right of access to the banks conferred by such a lease would be legally exercisable only by such persons as have the necessary permits from the lessees and for the purpose of fishing for salmon. It is usual for lessees to take all necessary proceedings to assert their rights in connection with property held under a Crown lease, but, if at any time a case involving a test question were to arise, the question of assisting the lessees would be considered.