HC Deb 19 April 1917 vol 92 cc1811-2

asked if Irish fishermen will be exempted, like the Scotch, from the Order securing the prepayment of carriage on goods sent by passenger trains?

96. Mr. O'LEARY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the hardship and inconvenience inflicted on fishermen and fish-buyers in Baltimore and other fishing centres in West Cork by requiring them to pay carriage to the railway companies when booking fish for conveyance to market; whether this requirement applies to Scottish fishermen; and whether, seeing the handicap that such a requirement necessarily means to the fishing industry and consequently the provision of cheap food for the English people, he will see that the old arrangement, by which carriage on fish was paid when the consignee took delivery thereof is again restored?


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the new arrangement requiring fish booked from Ireland to England to be paid for at the time of booking has caused inconvenience to Irish fishermen, and that these men, many of them poor, often land their supplies at ports where they are unknown and find it in many cases impossible to find the money necessary to pay the carriage; and, seeing that these regulations do not apply to Scotland, will he, under the circumstances, take steps to have these regulations withdrawn in Ireland?


The recent requirement as to the prepayment of passenger train traffic has not been applied to fish landed in Scotland, as it appeared that its application might have involved special difficulties at certain Scottish ports. No representations as to similar difficulties in Ireland have hitherto been received by the Board of Trade, but inquiries will be made, and I will communicate the result to the hon. Gentlemen.


Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the same treatment will be given in Ireland as in Scotland?


I shall be glad to receive any representations on the subject.

95. Mr. O'LEARY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that railway companies refuse to accept empty fish boxes for conveyance to fish buyers in Baltimore and other fishing centres in West Cork; and whether, having regard to the scarcity and cost of timber and the difficulty of providing an adequate supply of boxes for the conveyance of fish to the markets, he will see that the railway companies make provision for the conveyance of those empty boxes, to fish buyers without unnecessary delay in transit?


I am afraid that in present circumstances difficulties in connection with the rail and sea transit of empty boxes cannot altogether be avoided, but I will make inquiry in the matter.