HC Deb 01 May 1913 vol 52 cc1373-4
81 and 82. Major ANSTRUTHER-GRAY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty (1) whether he will lay upon the Table the correspondence between the hon. Member for West Fife and the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty in relation to alleged damage to the fishing industry by big-gun practice in the Firth of Forth, as well as a copy of the instructions therein referred to which have been issued to His Majesty's vessels using the Firth of Forth for gunnery practice; and (2) whether, in issuing instructions that gunnery practice of His Majesty's vessels to the southward and eastward of the Isle of May, due regard has been given to the interests of fishermen using the more eastward ports of St. Monan's, Pittenweem, Anstruther, Cellardyke, Crail, and St. Andrew's, as well as the fishing harbours on the southeast shore of the Forth?


My hon. Friend the Member for West Fife would doubtless let the hon. and gallant Gentleman see the correspondence referred to. I do not think it is of sufficient general interest to be laid on the Table. It would not be in accordance with practice to publish an Order intended for the Fleet only, but it refers to complaints received and calls the attention of ships using the Firth of Forth for their gunnery practice to the desirability of keeping clear of fishing grounds as far as possible. It also directs that heavy gun practice should usually be carried out to the southward or eastward of May Island. The hon. and gallant Member may rest assured that there is no intention of discriminating in favour of the West Fife fishermen, and that the effect of the Order is to enjoin consideration for the interests of all fishermen in the Firth.