HC Deb 28 July 1927 vol 209 cc1451-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade under what Statute he proposes to act in suspending a master's Board of Trade certificate for breaches of the fishery Regulations of Scotland?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister)

Under Sections 414 and 469 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, the Board of Trade may suspend or cancel the certificate of a skipper if it is shown that he has been convicted of an offence. In two cases where there were repeated convictions for breaches of the fishery Regulations, showing a persistent disregard of the law, the certificates of skippers have been cancelled.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in many of these cases the Regulations have been broken because the man wanted to satisfy the owners by getting good fishing, and would it not be much better to lay up the boat for six or 12 months, so as to bring the matter home to both owners and captains?


I was not the Judge who was responsible for these convictions. It was the Courts of my hon. and learned Friend's country that convicted.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Were not these Regulations originally drafted in order to provide for the suspension of masters' certificates in cases of professional misconduct, bad seamanship, and so on, and not for this alleged infringement of territorial waters?


No, Sir, I do not accept that at all. I think that, if a skipper is guilty of persistent and flagrant breaches of the law, which has been passed by Parliament in the interests of fishing generally, there is a case for the suspension of the certificate.


Do not the facts brought out by the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) show how capitalism drives men to crime?