HC Deb 23 November 1920 vol 135 cc217-8
43. Dr. MURRAY

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether the Rural Transport (Scotland) Committee appointed by him in February, 1918, reported that increased steamer accommodation was required on the route between Stornoway and the mainland, and that, in addition to the daily services instituted 40 years ago, an additional steamer was required for coastal services in Lewis; whether, instead of increasing the steamer services as recommended by the Committee, the Government have reduced the existing services by one half; and whether he can state when the Committee's recommendation is to be carried into effect?


The Committee recommended that the services mentioned in the first part of the question should be instituted in place of the services existing when they reported. The latter were below the pre-War level, and, after consideration of the recommendations, some improvement has been effected by restoring the six-day service by the mail steamer during the summer months. The reduction of the pre-War services, there-for, only applies to the winter months. For the reasons stated in the answers given to my hon. Friend on the 26th of October and on Thursday last, I regret that the restoration of the six-day service during the winter months cannot be contemplated at present. It is not possible for me in present circumstances to give any undertaking with regard to the suggested coasting steamer.


Is it not the fact that the Committee advised this addition in addition to the previous daily services, and not in addition to war services?


The Report of the Committee speaks for itself.


I shall call attention to this matter on the Adjournment to-morrow night.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

Did not the Committee make other recommendations which have not been carried out?


It is impossible to carry out all the recommendations in two months.

61. Dr. MURRAY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that from December to the middle of March Stornoway is the centre of an extensive herring fishing in which hundreds of boats from various ports in England and Scotland are engaged; whether he is aware that when the daily mail service between Stornoway and the mainland was instituted this great winter fishing was non-existent; and whether, in view of the greatly increased business of the port due to the winter fishing, he will take steps to have the daily service restored immediately in order to avoid great inconvenience to the community?


I have been asked to answer this question. I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to a similar question asked by him on the 26th October.


I beg to give notice that I shall call attention to this subject on the Adjournment to-morrow night.