HC Deb 06 May 1931 vol 252 cc392-3

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has considered the representations sent to him from public bodies in Shetland regarding the hardship that will be caused to the local fishing industry if the resolution recently passed by the British Herring Trade Association boycotting herrings cured before 16th June, the date fixed for the opening of the East Coast fishing, is enforced, although it is known that herrings on the west side of Shetland mature a fortnight sooner, and local fishermen and curers will consequently be debarred from securing the advantage of this early fishing; and, seeing that a member of the Fishery Board for Scotland was in the chair when the above resolution was passed, whether it has the approval of the board?


As regards the first part of the question, my right hon. Friend has asked the Fishery Board for Scotland to make inquiries as to the situation in the light of the representations which he has received. The hon. Member will no doubt appreciate that while the Fishery Board for Scotland will be glad to receive and consider all relevant information and representations, the measures which the curing or other sections of the industry may take for dealing with what is recognised to be a difficult situation are not subject to the approval or control of the Fishery Board. As regards the second part of the question, the member of the Fishery Board who was in the chair at the meeting referred to was acting not as a member of the board, but in his private capacity as vice-chairman of the British Herring Trade Association.


Will the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to use his influence with the British Herring Trade Association to secure a modification of the threatened boycott, which may seriously damage the interests of the fishermen and the curers of Shetland; and will he also assure me that there is no illegality in this proposed boycott?


I will convey the request of the hon. Gentleman to my right hon. Friend.