asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the share fishermen out of the port of Lowestoft do not receive from the owners a written or printed statement of accounts, and thus have no opportunity of verifying the correctness of the amount of money paid to them at the end of each voyage; and whether he will take steps to secure that such statements shall be supplied?
I have not received any complaint from fishermen at Lowestoft on the matter to which my hon. Friend refers. Under Section 388 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, every fisherman paid by share is entitled to demand a copy of the settling account which is required to show in detail the amounts for which the catch has been sold and the amount of deductions; and he is also entitled, in the event of a dispute arising, to inspect the owners' books and accounts. The Board of Trade have approved and issued a form of settling account, but it is for the fishermen themselves to assert their legal rights in this matter.