§ 15. Mr. ARNOTT
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has been able to secure any arrangement with the Russian Government whereby British fishermen will be able to fish nearer to the shores of the Russian coasts in the Arctic seas than the 12-mile limit sought to be imposed for some time past?
§ 18. Mr. MUFF
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is in a position to make a statement as to the results of the recent negotiations with the Russian Government concerning fishing off the northern coast of Russia and as to the effect that the agreement made will have upon British fishermen operating in those regions?
§ 21. Captain P. MACDONALD
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is proposed to give the House an opportunity of discussing the recent agreement with the Soviet Government respecting fishing rights?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
Yes, Sir. A temporary Fisheries Agreement with the Soviet Government, of which the full text will be found in Command Paper No. 3583, was signed on 22nd May. The main effect of this Agreement is that, 1749 while both Governments retain their view as to the limits of territorial waters, the Soviet Government agree that fishing boats of the United Kingdom may operate up to the three-mile limit in the waters covered by the Agreement. I have every reason to believe that the terms of the arrangement are regarded as thoroughly satisfactory by the British fishing industry. In these circumstances, I do not imagine that there will be any general desire for a discussion in this House.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
Will our fishery cruisers be allowed to operate up to the three-mile limit from the Russian shore?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is it not a much better agreement than any previously made by the last Government?
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the Moscow official newspaper "Isvestia," it is stated that it is an agreement with the British Government and that it embodies an agreement to recognise the 12-mile limit? The exact words are:The Soviet Government have graciously permitted the British fishing vessels to operate between the three and the twelve-mile limit. The British have recognised our right to the twelve-mile limit.Can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that he is not going to give way in this matter by admitting the 12-mile limit which is not recognised by any other nation in the world?
I think that there is no reason to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman. The modus vivendi speaks for itself, and any agreement entered into subsequent to the modus vivendi will take the same shape and form and operate the same principle as that contained in the modus vivendi.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
Am I to understand that the right hon. Gentleman will adhere to the three-mile limit?