HC Deb 24 July 1912 vol 41 cc1311-8

I beg to move, "That this House is of opinion that the Order made the 27th day of June, 1912, by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, being an Order for dissolving the Glamorgan and Milford Haven Sea Fisheries District and creating a South Wales Sea Fisheries District, and presented to the House on the 27th day of June, 1912, pursuant to Section 1 of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act, 1888, should not have any force unless the borough of Cardiff and the county of Glamorgan be excluded from the operation thereof."

I would like to point out that within the boundaries of this transferred fisheries board district are included five places, all of which, according to the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act, 1888, are required to put down objections to such an Order. Of these three—Carmarthen, Swansea, and Pembroke—have agreed to be bound by the Order, but the county of Glamorganshire and the county of Cardiff have both objected to the Order coming into force. I cannot see any reason why the town of Swansea should have agreed to this Order, because it was never included in the old Fishery Board Order, as the limit to that Order was as far west as Nash Point. The town of Swansea had no interest in the old Order, and it certainly can have none in the new, because the fisheries emanating from that port are of such small extent that they are not worth the amount of money which the town of Swansea will have to pay in rates towards the up-keep of the whole of this great district. I agree that Carmarthenshire and Pembroke would benefit, certainly so far as they benefited under the old Order which is at present in force, but I cannot see why a new Order should come into force which embraces the whole of the southern estuary, and which includes a part of the coast in which sea fishery is practically non-existent. Glamorganshire and Cardiff cannot possibly benefit under the new Order, unless it is a benefit to pay a rate. When you pay a rate for no benefit received, that is a matter to which they have a perfect right to object. Swansea is in a most extraordinary position in coming into this Order. It is against its own natural friend, situated as it is in the county of Glamorgan, with the same class of trade as the city of Cardiff. The only reason that I can see why Swansea should have agreed to this Order is that the hon. Member who represents it in this House wishes to be a supporter of the Order in the same way as he is the backer of the Government on the religious question in Wales. Glamorganshire and the city of Cardiff have been mainly, if not entirely, brought into this Order for the simple reason that they are compelled to pay the rate which will go to the upkeep of fisheries which exist so far from them that they can give them no benefit whatsoever.

The rough assessment value of Glamorganshire and Cardiff together is £6,500,000, while that of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen and Swansea town is only £1,500,000, which shows that practically Glamorgan and Cardiff will be expected to pay nearly five times the amount of the whole of the expenditure which comes under this new Order. That ought to be a sufficient reason in itself for the objection of these two places to be well founded and for my Motion to be adopted by the House. There is another reason: the question of the representation on the Sea Fisheries Committee. After the objections had been heard of Glamorganshire and Cardiff, and they had been carefully gone into by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, the-contributions of the whole of the persons to be assessed under the Order were made more or less proportional to representation. That was not got until after a severe struggle. But even now the representation is wholly out of proportion to the value and importance of the various local authorities concerned, and that is shown directly by bringing into the Order Glamorganshire and Cardiff and by this enormous and increased rate of a matter of which they get absolutely no benefit. To give one illustration of the way in which Glamorganshire and Cardiff have fought this Order, as far as they possibly could, the Glamorganshire County Council have passed a resolution refusing to pay more under the new Order than they did under the old. I do not say they are necessarily right in law, but it shows that they have-gone as far as they could under Section 6, Sub-section (1) of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act, 1888, to get out of this Order. I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will withdraw the Order and pursue his inquiries further and, if necessary, bring another Order forward. Co-operation is absolutely necessary in the whole of South Wales in order that it may work properly. My final argument is contained in the Report of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries:— Very great weight attaches to the views of these two important bodies. Glamorganshire and Cardiff, for the reasonable way in which their objections were laid before me inclines me to the belief that the modification which I am about to propose will reconcile them to the Order and the recognition which it accords to their importance. The proposed Order has not done away with the objections of these two ports of South Wales which he himself says ought to have been given the greatest consideration. The Order would not be resisted if it were not that we who come from that part of the country realise the immense importance to Glamorganshire and Cardiff of the Order and far more, the burden they "will have to bear if it is carried out in its entirety. But it is also because the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries through its own inspector recognise the weight and the authority of these two places, and says he hopes he has been able to bring forward a Report on the Order which will reconcile them to the powers that be. I can say that he has not succeeded in doing so. If the right hon. Gentleman, in pursuance of that courtesy which he has certainly shown to me since I approached him on this subject a few days ago, would continue to show that courtesy to the city of Cardiff and the county of Glamorgan by withdrawing the Order and having a new inquiry, I am sure he would not only benefit the whole of South Wales, but he would be happier in his own mind in having been able to please both places.


I beg to second the Motion. It is sufficient for me to say that in seconding the Motion I am carrying out the desires of the County Council of Glamorgan who feel that they have been badly treated in being asked to become responsible for a very large proportion of the money necessary to carry out the work under this Order without giving new representation. That is not, in their judgment, carrying out the best principles of British legislation. The county of Glamorgan has very little fishery to preserve. The noble Lord has stated categorically the reasons why we ask that the Order should be cancelled. If the President of the Board of Agriculture cannot see his way clear to cancel the -Order, I would ask whether he could not see his way to exclude Cardiff and Glamorganshire from its operation. I dissociate myself from the noble Lord's remarks in regard to my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea (Sir A. Mond) while associating myself with the appeal he made.

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Runciman)

I regret that the Mover and Seconder of the Motion should have thought it necessary to object to the passing of this Order, because it is the result of several continuous years' negotiation. The proposal made by the noble Lord and my hon. Friend is to cut out Glamorganshire and Cardiff altogether from the operation of the Order. I would point out that the first result of that would be to make the fishery members of the new body a majority on that body, and therefore to take the control of finance out of the hands of the representatives of the county councils and put it into the hands of those who would be fishery representatives. That would in itself be a retrograde step. There is no other effect the Motion would have on the Order itself. What are the grounds on which it is sought to exclude Glamorganshire and Cardiff. I understand my hon. Friend wishes to exclude Glamorganshire on account of the expense to be thrown on the county. I would point out that the maximum that can be thrown on the county of Glamorgan works out at one-hundredth of a penny in the £. Then Glamorganshire claims that they lack representation on the new Fishery Board, but I would point out that Glamorgan is to have the largest body of representatives. The complaint made with regard to Cardiff is that her interests are not fishery interests. In the first place Cardiff is a port where a large and increasing number of trawlers is registered, and where there is a fishing population, and the interest of Cardiff is much more direct in the fisheries of the Bristol Channel than are the interests of inland towns in Lancashire in the fisheries of the Lancashire and western district.


The fishermen of Cardiff trawl off the west coast of Ireland.


Yes, but the trawlers of Cardiff also operate in the Bristol Channel. I am informed on the authority of some of the best fishery experts that the best breeding grounds are to be found all the way up the coast of South Wales oven further than Cardiff itself, well into the estuary. Surely the protection of fry is a matter of increasing importance to the fishermen in the Bristol Channel and even to Cardiff itself. Cardiff is much more interested in this matter, even though its trawlers may go a long way afield, than the towns of Bolton or Blackburn are in the case of the Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries Committee, and yet both of these towns are glad to join in helping to secure for themselves the benefits of that committee. The real reason for making this Order has been that it has been impossible for these districts with small committees to work patrol vessels. You must have one committee to do this great work. The whole tendency along the coast has been to amalgamate the small committees into one large committee. The Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries Committee looks after the coast all the way from the Solway down to Cardiganshire. It does excellent work, and not only those who are directly interested in the fisheries, but those who have to live so far as food is concerned partly on the products of those fisheries are only too glad to see the work done. The cost of this work cannot add in Cardiff more the 1/22nd of a penny in the £ to the local burden, which is a very small contribution towards this public service. I hope that the city of Cardiff will not object any further to the passing of this Order, which has been the subject of such long negotiation, but will allow it to go through.


I would not detain the House even for a few minutes were it not that the Noble Lord had thought fit to go out of his way to attack the corporation of Swansea and myself for the action which has been taken in this

matter. The Noble Lord attributes to me Machiavellian designs of which I am perfectly innocent, and as if this were another case of King Charles' head some hon. Members take the opportunity of dragging my unfortunate name in in connection with every public event of which they do not approve. So far as I am concerned, I am entirely innocent as regards the action of the corporation of Swansea, but I was asked some days ago to support this Order on the ground chat it would be a very great advantage to the fishermen of South Wales. If the Noble Lord had taken the trouble to read the very excellent Report that is appended to the Order he could have ascertained that the corporation of Swansea applied as long ago as 1888, after the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act of that time, for an Order. So it is not a new thing that I have engineered but a very old story which began long before I had anything to do with the borough. The corporation and people of Swansea do not agree with the Noble Lord at all; they have more public spirit than their neighbours at Cardiff, and they are ready to make sacrifices to come into what they consider a very advantageous scheme for the fishery of Swansea. The Noble Lord has not taken the House altogether into his confidence, otherwise he might have explained why Cardiff was so anxious to welcome the Board to which so much objection is now taken in that town. They are now hostile and resolute opponents of the scheme; but it is very curious that they at first wished to welcome the Board, and when their invitation was not accepted they said that they would not have it at all. I hope the Noble Lord will withdraw his Motion.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 62; Noes, 183.

Division No. 160.] AYES. [11.40 p.m.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)
Archer-Shee, Major M. Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K. Mackinder, Haiford J.
Ashley, W. W. Goldman, C. S. Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Baird, J. L. Goldsmith, Frank Newton, Harry Kottingham
Balcarres, Lord Gretton, John Pole-Carew, Sir R.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.) Pollock, Ernest Murray
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds) Pryce Jones, Col. E.
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon) Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)
Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich) Hewins, William Albert Samuel Sanders, Robert Arthur
Boyton, James Hickman, Colonel Thomas E. Sanderson, Lancelot
Burn, Colonel G. R. Hill, Sir clement L. Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Butcher, John George Hills, John Waller Spear, Sir John Ward
Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Hope, Harry (Bute) Stanier, Beville
Chaloner, Col R. G. W. Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Stewart, Gershom
Dalrymple, Viscount Jackson, Sir John Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott- Kinloch-Cnoki, Sir Clement Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)
Eyrcs-Monsell, Bolton M. Larmor, Sir J. Talbot, Lord E.
Falle, B. G. Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Terrell, George (Wilts., N. W.)
Touche, George Alexander Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord
Valentia, Viscount Wolmer, Viscount Ninian Crichton-Stuart and Mr.
Wheler, Granville C. H. Wood, John (Stalybridge) Brace.
White, Major G. D, (Lanes., Southport) Yate, Colonel C. E.
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Hall, Frederick (Normanton) O'Doherty, Philip
Adamson, William Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) O'Grady, James
Agnew, Sir George William Harvey, G. C. (Rochdale) O'Keliy, James (Roscommon, N.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) O'Malley, William
Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire) Havelock-Allen, Sir Henry O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)
Armitage, R. Hayden, John Patrick O'Sullivan, Timothy
Balfour, sir Robert (Lanark) Hayward, Evan Parker, James (Halifax)
Barnes, George N. Harleton, Richard Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Barton, William Helme, Sir Norval Watson Pointer, Joseph
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Hemmerde, Edward George Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Henry, Sir Charles Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradlord)
Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo) Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Pringle, William M. R.
Bentham, George Jackson Higham, John Sharp Radford, G. H.
Boland, John Plus Hinds, John Raffan, Peter Wilson
Booth, Frederick Handel Hodge, John Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)
Bowerman, C. W. Holmes Daniel Turner Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Brady, P. J. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Reddy, M.
Brocklehurst, William B. Hughes, Spencer Leigh Rendall, Athelstan
Brunner, J. F. L. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rulus Richards, Thomas
Bryce, J. Annan Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Burke, E. Haviland- Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Cawley, H. T. (Heywood) Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Chancellor, H. G. Jowett, Frederick William Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Clancy. John Joseph Joyce, Michael Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Clough, William Keating, Matthew Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Kelly, Edward Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Roe, Sir Thomas
Condon, Thomas Joseph Kilbride, Denis Rose, Sir Charles Day
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. King, J. Rowlands, James
Crooks. William Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Crumley, Patrick Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Scanlan, Thomas
Cullinan, John Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West) Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas. Bridgeton)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Levy, Sir Maurice Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.
Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth) Lewis, John Herbert Sheehy, David
Dawes, J. A. Lundon, T. Smith, Albert (Lanes. Clitheroe)
Delany, William Lynch, A. A. Smyth, Thomas F. (LeitrimJ
Denman, Hon. R. U. MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)! Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Duffy, William Macpherson, James Ian Summers, James Woolley
Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) McGhee, Richard Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of M'Laren, Hon.F.W.S. (Lincs,Spalding) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Elverston, Sir Harold M'Micking, Major Gilbert Toulmin, Sir George
Esmonde, Dr. John (Tlpperary, N.) Manfield, Harry Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wextord, N.) Marshall, Arthur Harold Wadsworth, J.
Falconer, James Martin, J. Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)
Farrell, James Patrick Mason, David M. (Coventry) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Warner, Sir Thomas courtenay
French, Peter Molloy, Michael Webb, H.
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz Wedgwood. Josiah C.
Flavin, Michael Joseph Money, L. G. Chiozza White, J. Dundas (Glas. Trades ton)
Furness, Stephen Morgan, George Hay White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Gladstone, W. G. C. Morrell, Philip Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Glanville, H. J. Muldoon, John Wilkie, Alexander
Goldstone, Frank Murro, R. Williams, Llewellyn (Carmarthen)
Creenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C. Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Greig, Colonel J. W. Nannettl, Joseph P. Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Griffith. Ellis Jones Needham, Christopher Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Guest, Hon. Major. C. H. C. (Pembroke) Nolan, Joseph Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Nutiall, Harry
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Wackett, J. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.

And it being after Half-past Eleven of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the

House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned at a Quarter before Twelve o'clock.