22. Lieut.-Colonel CHARLES KERR
asked the Secretary of State-for Scotland whether he will consider the reconstruction of the Scottish Fishery Board to enable the line and seine-net fisherman to be represented thereon?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Major Sir Archibald Sinclair)
The hon. Member's suggestion will be kept in view, but under the statutory provisions the Board cannot be reconstructed until the expiry, four years hence, of the term of office of the present members.
23. Lieut.-Colonel KERR
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will suspend the regulation of the Scottish Fishery Board restricting the length of the line and seine-net fishing boats to 40 feet in St. Andrew's Bay, and 1097 institute an inquiry into the regulation, in order to avoid further hardship on the fishermen whose boats are over 40 feet in length?
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I regret that I cannot see my way to accede to my hon. Friend's request. The subject has recently received exhaustive consideration in connection with a petition by the fishermen concerned, and I am quite satisfied that the existing restrictions are necessary for the conservation of the stocks, and are therefore, in the long run, in the interests of the fishermen themselves.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is suffering on the part of the fishermen owing to their having to cut down their boats, which are over 40 feet, and that this has no effect on the fishing capacity of the vessels; and will he reconsider this matter, as it is a real grievance on the part of the fishermen?
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
The right method of conserving the stocks of fish is a highly technical matter and has received the closest investigation of the Fishery Board, which has come to the conclusion that this regulation is in the best interests of the fishermen as a whole.