HC Deb 13 February 1911 vol 21 cc674-5

asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether, in stating the attitude of His Majesty's Government towards the action recently taken by the Russian Government as to the White Sea fisheries, he had considered the effect on the fisheries around the coasts of these islands of any binding declaration perpetuating an extreme limit of three miles within which trawling could be regulated; whether he had received any communications on the subject from representatives of line fishermen; whether he was aware that recent writers on international law argue in favour of a more extensive jurisdiction over destructive methods of fishing; and whether there was any likelihood of the question of territorial waters being reopened to international discussion?


My attention has been called to the position of line fishermen in this country, and to arguments in favour of control of methods of fishing beyond the three-mile limit; but in dealing with this question it is necessary for His Majesty's Government to take into consideration at the same time the numerous other interests which are affected. Until the full result of the international investigations, which are now proceeding, and the nature of the measures which may be recommended, are known, it would be premature to express any opinion on the question of concluding an international agreement for the control of methods o ffishing beyond the three-mile limit.