HC Deb 20 July 1925 vol 186 cc1818-9
42. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the persecutions to which British trawlers are subjected by the authorities in Icelandic waters; whether he is aware that the regulations are now so severe that it is becoming almost impossible to comply with them and that the Icelandic court inflicts fines and penalties for comparatively insignificant offences entirely out of proportion to their gravity; and whether he will consider approaching the Government of Iceland with a view to obtaining better terms for fishing in Icelandic waters outside the three-mile limit?


I am aware that the masters of British trawlers are frequently in difficulties with the Icelandic authorities owing to technical breaches of the regulations by the former. In regard to the second part of the question, all cases in which a fine is imposed upon the master of a British vessel are carefully investigated by His Majesty's Government, and where it appears that injustice has been done representations are made to the Danish Government. In regard to the last part of the question, the Icelandic authorities are not in a position to accord terms outside their jurisdiction of three miles, as fixed by the Anglo-Danish Convention of 1901.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Has the right hon. Gentleman made any representations during his term of office on the matter? There have been cases of very heavy fines on our men for purely technical offences.


I must have notice. I cannot pretend that I personally am able to follow all the cases, though a critical case would probably come before me.

43. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the case of Skipper Mason, of the Hull trawler "Lowther," who was injured while fishing off the coast of Iceland, his arm and thigh being broken; that, on the vessel proceeding with all speed to Dyrafjord for medical help, the skipper was fined £125 for not having his gear stowed below by the Icelandic authorities, and that this is only one of a number of severe sentences on British fishermen in Iceland; and whether he will make representations on the matter?


This case has already been brought to the notice of His Majesty's Government, who have sent telegraphic instructions to the British Consul at the place to furnish a full report. On receipt of this report the matter will receive the most careful consideration.

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