§ 6.52 p.m.
§ Dr. BURGIN
I beg to move:That the Sea-Fishing Industry (Regulation of Landing) Order, 1933, dated the fifteenth day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty—three, made by the Board of Trade under the Sea-Fishing Industry Act, 1933, a copy of which was presented to this House on the seventh day of November, nineteen hundred and thirty—three, be approved.This Order consists of a Preamble and eight operative paragraphs, with a detailed Schedule in two parts. Paragraph 1 deals with prohibition, paragraph 2 applies the Customs Consolidation Act, 1876, paragraph 3 shows that the licences are revocable and subject to conditions, paragraph 4 deals with permission, paragraph 5 with the powers of authorised persons, paragraph 6 with definitions, paragraphs 7 and 8 with further definitions and the Title, and the Schedule contains the allocations of quantity as between foreign countries for the remainder of the current year and for the year 1934. The House will understand that the Schedule is in two parts because of the desire to work the scheme from the calendar year, and so quantities have been agreed and adjusted to 31st December next in Part I of the Schedule, and quantities for the whole year in Part II. In the Bacon Order, with which the House has just dealt, no specific quantities were allocated among the different countries, but in the case of fish it has been possible to arrange with the different countries the actual permitted maximum quantities.
The House will recollect that the object of the Sea-Fishing Industry Act, 1933, 1000 was to save from collapse an industry so seriously depressed that a large proportion of that industry had for some time been working at a loss. Wholesale prices of fish had been so low as to be unremunerative to producers; the supplies of fish were greater than the markets could absorb. The Act aimed at improving prices at the ports by restricting supplies, and it was an essential part of the scheme to impose a restriction on imports, so that there should be no risk that the efforts of the home industry would be nullified by increased importations from Continental countries. In dealing with the home supplies an effort was made to improve the type of fish coming on to the home market by excluding those classes of fish which were the least desirable. Very small fish which were immature, and fish from Northern waters, which arrive in poor condition and depress the general level of prices, were to be excluded.
The Sea-Fishing Industry Act was a Measure which had, to a very large extent, been worked out with the general agreement of those concerned. Those in the home industry were quite prepared to accept restrictions on operations in return for receiving some security against the risk of increased importation from abroad, and, broadly speaking, foreign countries, with whom the friendliest relations were preserved, accepted the import restrictions in view of benefits conferred by other restrictive measures.
The intention of the Government was to restrict foreign landings to 90 per cent, of the average amount imported over three years. The three years' average, applied, as hon. Members know, to other matters, was adopted for regulating importations of foreign fish. Accordingly, the Board of Trade, under the Act, were given power by Section 1 to make an Order regulating the landing of sea-fish other than from boats registered in the United Kingdom and landed for the first time at ports of the United Kingdom; but no Order was to be made unless Orders had first been made under Sec- 1001 tions 2, 3 and 4 of the Act. Those Orders, dealing with immature sea-fish, with restrictions on fishing in Northern waters and with the size of nets, have already been made, and copies can, of course, be obtained. Those Orders were made on 29th July, 1933, and became operative on 1st August. It is not necessary to describe those Orders in detail, but I am telling the House that those Orders have been made because they were a condition precedent to the Order which I am now asking the House to approve.
The intention of the Order is quite clear. It is to carry out Section 1 of the Sea-Fishing Industry Act. I do not think it is necessary to go through the articles of the Order in any greater detail, unless questions are raised in Debate, but the operation and the effect of the Order must, of course, be a subject of interest. The Order has, so far, worked extremely smoothly, and it is the Government's hope and expectation that it will continue to do so. The Order has been in force for a little under three months, and it is, therefore, too early to judge of the effects on the industry and the trade generally. A much longer experience would be required before any general review would be permissible. But the object was to bring about such an increase in the wholesale price of fish at the ports as would enable a reasonable profit to be made by owners of British fishing-boats. A comparatively small increase, of the order of 1/2d.per lb., is all that was desired, and it is believed that this increase can be brought about without any appreciable rise in retail prices. The cost of packing, transport and 'marketing of a perishable commodity like fish is very high, and the prime cost of the fish constitutes only a very small fraction of the price charged to the consumer.
It is not yet possible to see whether the expectations as to the effects of the Order will be realised. Supplies and prices of fish are subject to great fluctuations. We have had a very hot summer, with increased supplies and a decrease in demand, followed by a very stormy October with decreased supplies and an increased demand, but the position to-day gives no ground for any disappointment or misgiving. The average price of white fish in England and Wales in July, be- 1002 fore the Measure came into force, was 15s. 11d. per cwt.—the lowest figure in July for many years. In August, the average price was 19s. 7d.; in September, 19s. 6d.; and in October, 25s. 5d. The figures for 1932 and 1933, month by month, form a very interesting comparison.
§ Dr. BURGIN
These are for England and Wales; I will find the Scottish figures for the hon. Gentleman in a moment. While these figures indicate a better position from the point of view of the fishing industry, retail prices have remained about normal. In July last, the retail price of fish was about 93 per cent, above the 1914 figure. In October that figure had reached 96 per cent., but the index figure for all articles of food showed an increase between July and October, so that that upward movement of prices cannot be regarded as attributable to the effect of the Order. There is no support given by the figures to the gloomy forecasts of the opponents of the Bill who resisted the proposals on the ground that the price of fish to the consumer would be increased.
I have a statement of amounts licensed from each of the countries principally concerned up to 4th November, and the balances available for import during the remainder of the present year. The balances are available for import during a period of eight weeks. Sweden has entirely exhausted her quota; Norway and Denmark have drawn heavily on theirs. This relates to white fish only, and not to herring. On the other hand, several other countries have only sent in light supplies; these are principally countries on the Gold Standard affected by the unfavourable exchanges. The total quantity licensed was about 250,000 cwt. for the first 11 weeks, and that leaves over 500,000 cwt. for the remaining eight weeks of the year. It seems likely, therefore, that the whole of the quotas allotted to foreign countries will not be filled. The restrictions imposed under the Act primarily affect the trawling industry— and, of course, I need not in the House of Commons draw the distinction between demersal and pelagic fish. Supplies in September were higher than last year; those for October were substantially 1003 lower, but weather conditions are usually responsible for these fluctuations in the early autumn. I have these tables for importations of fish for periods of time, but I do not think for the moment that I need trouble the House with those details.
There has been very little criticism of the Order. Very few difficulties have been met with. The countries who export fish to this country are themselves putting in hand control of their own exports, and it is anticipated that as these arrangements become operative a more even spread of supplies over the quota periods will be secured. No shortage is likely; any deficiency in total supplies can be made good by increased supplies from other sources. It was thought that these import restrictions might, perhaps, he ineffective, but that has not been shown to be the case. We had to work in agreement with other countries, and it is very satisfactory to be able to report that that agreement was easily and promptly secured. Our markets are becoming more attractive; there is definitely an improvement in the prices at the ports; heart has been put into the industry, and the fact that this industry —a very natural and necessary one for the country—had reached so low a level, and has now been taken in hand and reorganised, has resulted in orders being placed for the building of new trawlers and men being taken on in the trade instead of being discharged, and the whole position is considerably better than it was before this Act was introduced. 1 ask the House to approve the Order.
§ 7.5 p.m.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
If ever a speech was made in the House that would satisfy the House that there was no need for the Order at all, it was the speech of the hon. Gentleman. He tells us, first of all, that the Order has not been in existence for three months. He proceeds to tell us that the quotas allowed to every country have not been filled; that there were heavy supplies during the summer and short prices, short catches in the autumn with high prices and a heavy demand, and that things have worked out so marvellously—but not because of the Order; that there was really no need for the Order at all. When the hon. Gentleman proceeds to tell us that orders 1004 have been put in hand for new fishing trawlers, that there is more heart in the industry, that prices have not moved and all things are as they were, and that all these marvellous things have happened as a result of nothing happening, it is really very mysterious, and only one so capable as the hon. Gentleman could get away with a speech of that description. The hon. Member talks about the gloomy prophets upon this side of the House when the Bill was going through. None of our prophecies have been fulfilled. Then he proceeds to tell us why our prophecies have not been fulfilled. Things have not been at all normal from the commencement. He tells us, for instance, that the trawler owners only require a halfpenny a pound increase to make their industry a paying proposition, and he proceeds to tell us that the retail prices have scarcely moved, and yet there is this wonderful, this alarming prosperity—all due to the hon. Gentleman and to this Order, which has had no effect at all.
The hon. Member must know that the opposition which came from these benches in the early stages of the Bill was not because we were not anxious to see the fishing industry made to pay. What I and my colleagues said at that time I repeat to-day: that there is a very definite relationship between the fisherman and the mine worker as far as the danger of their industries is concerned. If any particular workman is entitled to a decent remuneration, surely it is the man who works on the high seas or the man who works in the bowels of the earth. I wish, therefore, to see that they derive a decent remuneration from their work. That, however, was the direct object of our opposition. When we invited the Government to embody as part of the Bill some definite guarantee that the share fishermen should enjoy part of any benefits that accrued as a result of the passing of the Measure, we were denied. When we suggested to the Government that certain conditions of labour on the ships ought to be imposed—not because we, claiming to be experts, said so, but because commissions had previously declared that these changes were necessary—nothing was done.
Then, again, we say with regard to fish—and we say it with regard to bacon or, indeed, any other single commodity —that it is a false policy to start solving a problem by the simple process of organ- 1005 ising scarcity. That, we suggest, is not the means of restoring prosperity to the fishing industry, to the agricultural industry or, in fact, to any other industry. What we said at that time we repeat at this moment. If the sales of fish from the port to the retailer and the dealer had been organised, I am pretty certain that I can speak for my party when I say that we should have given the Government any support in any steps they cared to take to organise efficiently and effectively the sales of fish from the trawler to the retail salesman. That is really the basis of all our opposition during the passing of the Measure. The hon. Gentleman tells us that imports have decreased slightly and that certain other things have happened, all of which tend to give heart to the trawler fishermen. All that is true, and I hope that the Sea Fishing Committee, once they get to work, will be so effective in their persuasion of the trawler owners that these will see to it that not only do the share fishermen receive any benefits which accrue from this policy when applied, but that the safety of their lives and their limbs are cared for by improving the conditions of the ships, be they old or new.
I asked a question of the President of the Board of Trade on Monday relating to wholesale and retail prices of fish for two periods, 31st July and 31st October. He told us that the average wholesale prices of haddock at the end of July were 3s. l0d. a stone and at the end of October 5s. 5d.—a 40 per cent, increase. Cod, of which the hon. Gentleman knows something, at the end of July was 3s. 11d. a stone and at the end of October 5s. 2d. a stone, an increase of approximately 33½ per cent. Plaice cost 7s. 6d. at the end of July and 11s. 4d. at the end of October, an increase of approximately 50 per cent. It may very well be that the difference in the season is to some extent responsible for the change in those prices. Therefore, merely to make a comparison between a midsummer and an autumn price will not be strictly fair, either to one section of the community or to the other, but I am informed that the price of cod has increased within recent weeks —that on a comparison between the figures this year and those for last year at the same date it has increased from 8d. to 1s. 2d. a lb.; hake, from Is. 2d, to la. 6d.; skate, from 10d. to 1s. 2d. Those 1006 are retail prices. Halibut has increased from Is. per lb. to 2s. 6d. per lb. That is the figure I have here, taken from a Sunday newspaper of last Sunday. It was not the "Daily Herald." In any case, the prices are there, and what I want to know, if the hon. Gentleman can tell us, is to what extent if any the Sea Fishing Committee, examining the variation in price paid to the trawler at the port, the price charged at Billingsgate and the price charged by retailers, found any real margin between them that ought to be reduced, and whether the Committee can bring about that reduction. We shall not reduce consumption, which, again, would create a position in which the second state would be worse than the first. We should be very happy to see what the result of the Committee's inquiry is.
I should also like the Committee to explain why a herring, for instance, costs 6d. to a customer in the House of Commons Dining-room or in the London restaurants while the herring fishing fishing industry is almost compelled to close down altogether. At the same time as the House of Commons charges 6d. for a herring and many restaurants charge a similar figure, whole fleets of herring boats are laid up and the herring industry is almost closed down. There is a duty for the Sea Fishing Committee, and it is because the Sea Fishing Committee was not set to work to reorganise sales completely before the Government started to organise scarcity that we opposed the Fishing Bill. For the same reason we should be justified in opposing the Order to-day, unless and until the Government can satisfy the Opposition that they are more interested in real reorganisation of the sale of fish than they are in organising scarcity. Tens of thousands of people get fish only from the fish-and-chips shop, and that luxury only once a night or once a week. I am as anxious as any Member of the Government to see the fishing industry prosperous, but this Order is directed towards the organisation of scarcity instead of organising in order to make use of the products of the fishing industry.
§ 7.17 p.m.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I approach this question from the same standpoint as the hon. Member has just described—that of 1007 the real interest of the fishing industry, which cannot possibly hope to return to any measure of prosperity, if prices are artificially forced up far above their natural level, and above the capacity of consumers to pay. But that was never the principal criticism which I made upon the Bill, and I was not one of the critics, to whom the Minister referred in introducing this Order this afternoon, who rested their case on the probability of a sharp rise in retail prices. I was surprised to hear him refer to the prices paid for fish at the ports as a matter of very little consequence in the retail prices of fish. He referred to the profits of the retailer, the port salesman and the inland salesman, and described the prices of the fish at the port as a very small part of the total retail price of fish. That is contrary to the findings of the Food Council, who pointed out that the profits of the retailer, the port salesman and the inland salesman taken together, amount to only one halfpenny in the pound. On page 25 of their report they point out the importance, in comparing retail prices with prices at the ports, of a number of factors which enter into price-structure at the port. There is, for example, the great and inevitable waste in handling the fish. They mention the evidence given by a body, the authority of which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade would be the first to recognise, the Luton Co-operative Society, who pointed out that of a consignment of 60 lb. of fish costing 5s. 6d. per stone, or about 4¾d. per lb., cleaning and gutting resulted in only 39 lb. of fish suitable for retail sale at a retail price of 7¼d. a pound instead of the 4¾d., an increase of more than 50 per cent.
The price of fish at the port, far from being a factor which is usually stressed too much, is one, the importance of which is not fully realised by people who do not searchingly analyse the price-structure of fish. I never said that it was going to cause a rise in the retail price of fish. On the contrary my criticism of the Bill on the Third Reading was that if the limits suggested by the Minister in his speech were observed, it would be nugatory in its effects. That was what I said, and I gave reasons. I pointed out that the Minister told us that the restriction was to be one of 10 per cent. on the average 1008 of imports for the last three years. This was not an industry which was being swamped under by foreign imports. Foreign imports have for several years been declining, and if they were going to be equal in the forthcoming year to the average of the past three years, we should import a larger quantity of fish in the forthcoming year than we did last year. In fact, as the hon. Member who has just spoken has pointed out, what we anticipated has happened. The effect of this Act, and of the Order which we are now discussing and which is made under the Clause 1 of the Act, has been nugatory.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade compared in his speech the prices in August and September with the prices in July, and when the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) went further, and showed how very substantial the rise in retail prices was of particular fish, comparing July with August and September, and adding that it was perhaps unfair to compare a summer month with an autumn month, the Parliamentary Secretary, who had himself instituted the comparison in his speech, cheered with relief. If that had been a true comparison it would have shown a startling rise in the retail price of fish, but, of course, it is not a true comparison. The true comparison is between September of this year and September of last year. The Act was introduced by the Minister of Agriculture on the grounds that it was intended to raise prices, and that was the only defence and the only case which he put forward for it. He put it forward in the very strongest terms. He showed that the price of fish at the Port of London had fallen below the remunerative level and even below the replacement level. He said:We have to deal with facts as they are. With the danger of widespread unemployment, with the danger that an industry vital, if any industry is vital, to the life of the country may founder while we are talking about it, we must be ready to take immediate steps."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th June, 1933; col. 1345, Vol. 279.]The steps which the Government took were the Order which we are discussing to-day. Only a few weeks ago at Grimsby, the Minister of Agriculture had to admit that, in spite of all this trumpeting about the Act, those who said that it would be nugatory were right and that the price of fish in Sep- 1009 tember was down as compared with September of last year. [Interruption.] I have the speech here. The Minister admitted it, and hon. Members can look at the speech if they like and at the reports of the speech. It was printed in the newspaper. The price of fish was lower in September of this year than it was in September of last year.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
I suggest that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman might extend his inquiry to October and August.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I will very willingly pursue it now, and I will ask the hon. Member if he will give us the figures for October. They have not yet been published. I am only referring to a speech which was made by the Minister of Agriculture in Grimsby. The hon. Member may be able to show that in October prices were up as compared with October last year, but in September they were down. In August they may also have been down. It only shows that the fortunes of this industry are fluctuating, as they always are, from month to month with the seasons, the weather and the markets. We all know that October was a month of great storms and, of course, the supply of fish was short, and the price was bound to go up. We do not really need to ask for the figures for October. In a normal month like September it is clear, from the statement of the Minister of Agriculture, that the prices of fish in this September were lower than they were in September of last year.
I certainly warned the House on the Third Reading of the Act that if prices were forced up at the port, I feared that the effect on the retail price, and especially the retail price of fish in fried-fish shops, where 50 per cent, of the fish is sold, would be immediate. That has not yet been proved, because wholesale prices at the ports have not been raised by this Order. Another reason why we, on these benches, strongly objected to the Act and object equally to the Order made under it, is that there is no reform of the marketing system, and especially of that abuse from which the inshore fisherman —whose plight is now far worse than that of the trawler fisherman, on whose behalf the Act was mainly designed— 1010 suffers so badly. The abuse from which the inshore fisherman suffers is that salesmen act as merchants on their own behalf, and also as commission salesmen on behalf of port wholesale merchants. That is an abuse which was pointed out by the Addison Committee, and it is urgent that it should be dealt with.
We object strongly to the power, which this Order gives to the Ministers concerned, of totally or partially prohibiting the import of an important article of food for the people and a raw material to important export industries, particularly the dried fish industry of Aberdeen. We think that such powers ought not to be entrusted to any Government Department. We object to it also because we believe that it is inconsistent with the main theme of economic policy which the Prime Minister has declared. I know that there have been other declarations of policy inconsistent with that, by other Members of the Cabinet, but the main theme of economic policy, as declared by the Prime Minister, was that of clearing the channels of trade and lowering the barriers to our international trade. I am far from saying that this act was the rock upon which the World Economic and Monetary Conference split and foundered, but it was one of the acts committed by the Government during the months immediately preceding the Conference which made it impossible for our Government to give that strong lead which was necessary if the Conference were to be a success.
There is another matter to which I wish to refer if the House will bear with me for a very few minutes. It arises under this Order. We found to our astonishment that the port of Wick was closed to the importation of foreign fish. It was not in the Act of Parliament. I took some part in the discussions upon that Act, and I could remember nothing about the port of Wick and so I felt rather remiss. Then I found that it comes under one of those useful Clauses, in the Acts of Parliament which we are now passing under this new Tory Socialist regime, which says that a Government Department is empowered to do anything which is necessary in order to make a scheme work. Among the things which are considered necessary in order to make this scheme work is the closing of Wick as a port at which foreign fish could be landed. The Secretary of State 1011 for Scotland has written me a very sympathetic letter, in which, however, he says that the figures of importation there were small. He quotes the figures for the calendar years, but, as a matter of fact, the figures which are of real importance are not the figures for the last two calendar years, but those for the last two fishing seasons.
If you take the figures for the fishing season of 1931–32, that is to say, from October, 1931, to June, 1932, and compare them with the figures for 1932–33, you will find that the imports of this foreign fish have been doubled in quantity and in value. And the important thing is that this trade is a growing trade. I have the figures here, and, if the House will allow me, I will quote them. The quantity imported from October to May, 1931–32, was 400 cwt., valued at £1,200, while during the same period in 1932–33 it was 1,000 cwt., valued at £2,400; and the landings from the local boats were growing at the same time. These foreign imports were necessary in order to create the market. [An HON. MEMBER: "Oh!"] This is an economic argument with a wider application. The hon. Member who was just going to interrupt me may perhaps remember the case of the piano makers, who pleaded for the admission of foreign pianos because they said that the buying of numbers of foreign pianos by the public increased the piano habit, and led to more people buying the pianos which they sold. That is quite true; it is a very famous proposition which was presented by the President of the Board of Trade himself.
It is very important to build up the white fish market. We have been doing it in recent years with the help of landings by local boats and landings from these Swedish and Danish boats. It represents a gallant effort by the people of Wick to regain what they have lost on the herring fishing industry. If the House approves of this measure of closing the port of Wick, it is not only condemning the fishermen and tradespeople of Wick to a very hard time, but is imperrilling the investment of public money —scores of thousands of pounds—invested in Wick Harbour with the sanction of this House. That harbour, owing to the failure of the herring fishing industry, is 1012 now beginning to fail to pay its way, and the only way in which it can be enabled to maintain the service of its loans of public money is by not preventing it from making the most of the facilities which the harbour gives for the expansion of the trade of the port. The town has no other resources. The earnings of the herring fishermen in the last summer season, for three months'' work, were less on the average than £l a week, and some of them got nothing, and an Order of this kind, closing the port of Wick, will make it imposible for the people of Wick to find a way out of their increasing difficulties.
This Order, indeed, can do nothing to help the great herring fishing community, and the herring fishing industry is the most distressed part of the whole fishing industry, and the worst hit. I make that statement on the impartial authority of the Addison Committee. Orders which restrict the international trade in fish are bound to hinder the herring fishing industry, which depends on the export trade almost entirely. In Wick unemployment is increasing alarmingly, the resources of the town are depleted, its revenues are dwindling, while the rates are mounting under the impetus of the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, who rightly urges us, under his whip and spur, to build more houses and carry out all sorts of other improvements of that kind. If we are to be deprived of the opportunity of making the most of our harbour, we simply cannot meet our commitments; our only hope is the development of this white fishing industry.
The Secretary of State has offered to consider favourably any request which the Swedish Government may make next year to be allowed to land fish here. We seem to have gone a long way with this system of Tory Socialism when an honest Swedish fisherman cannot sail his smack into a natural harbour like that of Wick, in Caithness, without portentous diplomatic negotiations punctiliously conducted between the Swedish Government and His Majesty's Government in this country; but the Secretary of State has assured us that, if the Swedish Government does make an advance to us, he will favourably consider their request. I would ask the Under-Secretary if he will give me one further assurance, and that is that the Government will take the 1013 initiative and let the Swedish Government and the Danish Government know that their boats may land white fish in Wick. The Secretary of State, and also the Under-Secretary, have shown a keen personal interest in the fishing industry and in the welfare of the fishermen. The Secretary of State spent a large part of the Recess travelling round and meeting representatives of the industry. Here is a practical way of helping a community which is among the hardest hit in Scotland at the present time, and I hope he will see his way to remove this restriction upon the natural development of the port of Wick. In doing so he will not only be helping that community, but doing something to safeguard the investment of public money which has been made there under the authority of the Government.
§ 7.38 p.m.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair) has put in a very powerful plea for his own constituency. I found it difficult to follow his speech in its entirety, but I look forward to reading it in the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow. I understood that one of his arguments was that he wishes to be able to encourage, by arrangement with the Swedish and other foreign Governments, the building up of the white fish market. That, I understand, implies building up the white fish market for foreign fish, and not for British fish. The whole object of this Order is to try to raise the price received by the fishermen, in order that they may obtain for their fish at any rate a living wage, or, in the case of share fishermen, a reasonable profit, sufficient to enable them to live. The fishing ports of the Kingdom have had an extremely bad time, as we all know, for several years. The right hon. Gentleman gave figures to show how the imports had gone up in the last two years, but I understood that in the earlier part of his speech he was trying to prove another case. He claimed there that the imports had gone down, and that, therefore, there was no possible reason for doing anything in the matter at all. He also put in a plea for the inshore fishermen, about whom I hope to say a few words on another point in a moment or two.
One hint which he threw out—he did not elaborate it very much—was to my mind rather instructive. He said that all these schemes were Tory Socialism, 1014 but almost at the same time he claimed that the one thing which the Government had not done was to reorganise the industry from top to bottom. I think that that probably implies interference by the Government, by Act of Parliament, from before the landings right up to the time when the right hon. Gentleman actually puts the fish into his mouth when he goes, as no doubt he often does, to fish-and-chip shops. If that is not an implication of Socialism, I do not know what is. Of course, the right hon. Gentleman did not elaborate it very clearly, and I think that perhaps, in the circumstances, he was wise to leave it alone.
He said that prices had not gone up since September of last year, quoting the speech made by the Minister of Agriculture at Grimsby, and he said that a fair comparison was between September of this year and September of last year. In normal times that would be a fair comparison, but in the interim quite a lot has happened. The price of fish went down and down until the summer of this year, when the Government, by the Sea-fishing Act, took measures to help the industry. The retail price of fish did not go up as a result. It may have been fright as to how far the Government's measures would be effective that caused fish buyers to buy more, or it may have been the direct result of the Government's measures, but the fact remains that, practically from the time when the Sea-fishing Act was passed, the rise in wholesale prices has been considerable, as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade pointed out just now, while retail prices have risen scarcely at all. The right hon. Gentleman also said that, if prices went up still more, more would be imported from abroad. But it is one of the objects of this Order to restrict importation, so that, if the price should go up considerably, we may not be swamped in this country by heavy importations from abroad. Another thing that the right hon. Gentleman said was that you cannot introduce prosperity into the fishing industry by forcing up prices beyond their natural level. There is one thing that is absolutely certain, and that is that prices had dropped to something infinitely below a profitable level. I do not know whether that is what he called the natural level, but undoubtedly prices dropped away to such an extent that the fishing industry 1015 was losing money, and people all over the country, in big and small ports alike, were having a very hard time.
The chief complaint of the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) was that what we were trying to do was to organise scarcity. That is a very specious phrase, and it sounds incredibly sinister. What the Government are really trying to do is to see to it that the supplies at any moment are not greater than the demand, and I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Caithness, and to the hon. Member for Don Valley, that in the fishing industry a very small percentage one way or the other makes all the difference in the price. I was talking to a very prominent member of the fishing industry some little time ago. I think he was exaggerating a little, but he said that at certain times of the year 1 or 2 per cent, too much was enough to bring down the price to a surprising extent. That is to a certain extent true, although it was somewhat exaggerated. It is very difficult to assess the exact amount which the country can absorb, but it is only by this form of regulation that it is possible to do so.
The hon. Member for Don Valley also said there was apparently no need for the Bill, because prices had gone up anyhow. I think prices have gone up simply because the Orders were put into force. He also made one small mistake to the effect that the quotas had not been filled. The quota from Sweden has already been filled and those from Norway and Denmark are very nearly exhausted too, so perhaps that may also help to raise wholesale prices, which is what we want to do without raising retail prices. I can only point to what has already happened, that the retail prices have risen a very small amount, comparable with the general rise of prices owing to better trade which the Government have laid the ground for, whereas wholesale prices have risen by something like 30 or 40 per cent, in the last two or three months. A remark made by an hon. Member in talking about bacon was rather a rash one. He referred to us as "Levellers," because we wanted to level up prices. Unless my historical memory is wrong, the opponents of the "Levellers" were called "Malignants," who did not wish to do anything, who were accused of 1016 being reactionary and unprogressive and standing for Divine right and all that sort of thing. I ask hon. Members opposite, particularly those who apparently wish to do nothing at all to make industry prosper again, to beware least they be called modern Malignants.
I congratulate the Government on bringing in this Order. This and the other two Orders will help a great deal to restore some measure of prosperity to the fishing industry. But there are two points about which I am rather doubtful. I see from paragraph 6 that the Order does not apply to lobsters, crabs, prawns, oysters, mussels, and cockles. A great many of the inshore fishing ports live to a considerable extent on those forms of shell-fish, and, although they have in a certain degree a local market, they also send their lobsters and crabs up to the London market. I believe there is a certain foreign import of those particular forms of fish, and I am rather surprised that the Order has not been extended to them because if it did, imports would be less and prices would improve, and as I said before the fishermen have had a very bad time recently.
I should also like to ask why the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has been included in the Schedule both for this year and for next year. I am not speaking in any anti-Russian sense, because I look upon trade with Russia as entirely a business question, but we know from the Russian papers that they are extraordinarily short of food, and I can see no reason, as we have not a trade agreement with them any longer, why we have to admit fish from Russia in the quantities named in the Schedule. I remember, when my hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley) and I arrived at Gothenburg not long ago on a visit to Sweden and were going up in the train almost the first thing that we noticed was an extremely well written article on fish in one of the Swedish newspapers. I do not know if my hon. Friend intends to take part in the Debate, but, as he is an expert on this question, I hope he has not taken a Trappist vow of silence. The article, which was many columns long, was really a plea to the Swedish Government to do something like we have been doing, because prices were very low. The Swedes are an intel- 1017 ligent people, and they see which way the wind is blowing. I thought that article was very significant. I am very glad that we have taken measures similar to those that were recommended there. I sincerely hope that the effect of this Order will be very beneficial to the fishing trade.
§ 7.52 p.m.
§ Sir M. WOOD
The hon. Member has said that we who oppose the Bill desire to do nothing to help the fishermen. That seems to me a very strange statement for any Member of the House to make with regard to any of his colleagues. I think it would be well if we started on the assumption that we are all here to do our best for the people at large and particularly for our own constituents. Those of us who have been associated with the opposition to the Bill have had more fishermen constituents than most Members. We have a special duty to look after them, and, whether we are right or wrong, our action is dictated by a desire to help them, and by nothing else. At the same time, of course, in helping them, we are helping the nation at large. We are bound to traverse many of the points raised on Second Beading and in Committee on the Bill. I should like, first of all, to touch upon a constitutional point which seems to me to be raised by this Order. We have heard a great deal in recent years about what the Lord Chief Justice calls the new despotism, the habit of handing over to Departments the power to make Orders which the House of Commons has no adequate power to review. Here we are asked to approve four Orders at one fell swoop. It is the first opportunity we have had of dealing with these other Orders which were referred to in Clauses 2, 3 and 4 of the Bill.
§ Mr. SKELTON indicated dissent.
§ Sir M. WOOD
I may be mistaken, but I think from the wording of the Order that I am not. I think that in approving the Order we are approving, by implication, of the other three Orders. We have no opportunity of amending them. We have either to take them or to leave them. The House ought to watch these things and see that we are not allowing matters of real legislation to slip through our hands and get into 1018 the power of the Departments. The first objection that I have to the Bill is that it is, in my opinion, a trawl-owners' Bill. It was dictated to the Government by the trawl-owners. It may give them certain advantages—I am not prepared to say it does not—but I am certain that it is at the expense of other members of the fishing community. You are not serving a national purpose if you pass an Act which will do good admittedly to a certain section, if, in doing so, you do harm to another. The trawling industry, though it may not have been doing as well as it might have done in the last year or two, has been the most successful part of the fishing industry since the War. I drew attention on a previous occasion, and I draw attention again, to the Schedule that was put as an appendix to the Addison Report, showing the earnings made by trawl-fishermen, skippers and others in the different ports of the United Kingdom. If the herring fishermen had had any results like that in any one year since the War, they would have been in a much better position that they are at present.
The hon. Gentleman, in introducing the Order, also said that it was based on a Bill that was introduced by general agreement. I deny that that is so. I denied it before, and he has not given us any evidence to show that he is justified in making the claim that the Bill is put forward by general agreement. The Trawl-Owners' Federation and, no doubt, the majority of trawl-owners were satisfied with the Bill and probably thought it was going to do them good, but can he give us any evidence that the herring fishermen were ever consulted about the terms of the Bill? Has he any evidence to show that the inshore fishermen, either of Scotland or England, were consulted before the Bill was introduced, and can he give us any information as to the effect upon these different sections since the Orders were put into execution? It is all very well to say that the average price of fish has moved in a certain direction since these Orders were made and to attribute that movement of prices to the Orders which have been made, but, if that movement is all in one or two ports like Grimsby and Hull—and as a matter of fact the inshore fishermen, who are not so highly organised to protect themselves as the trawl-owners, are worse than 1019 they were before—you have not served any great national purpose by making this Order.
It is the inshore fishermen particularly who are in need of help. They are unorganised. On the whole, they are small men and have no effective method of selling their fish. My right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair) has pointed out the one great drawback under which they labour at the present time. The Addison Committee drew attention to it, and to the fact that the same difficulty had existed in Paris and that the law was changed there so as to enable people who sent their produce to Paris to know that the men who dealt with it were not buying and selling at the same time. No Member in this House would agree that you could get a fair deal from a man to whom you might send fish or anything else to be sold if he was buying and selling at the same time. The whole organisation of these markets is wrong and requires looking into. The Government set up a committee and had received recommendations with regard to it. Here was a magnificent opportunity of doing something to help these men. When an Amendment was put down which might have given them an opportunity of helping the inshore fishermen the Government did not adopt it. I have a shrewd suspicion that the reason was that the trawl-owners did not want it. The trawl-owners are members of big organisations. They are not only trawl-owners but fish salesmen, ships chandlers, coal merchants and all sorts of tradesmen, and they did not want these things to be inquired into. One answer given was that the Government were going to set up another commission, as if we had not had sufficient commissions, to inquire into this matter. It was to be a sea-fishing commission. They have taken three months and a commission has not been set up yet, and it does not seem as if they are in a very great hurry to help these fishermen.
We are told that this Order has already had a marked or certain effect upon prices. It is not enough to take the prices for the whole of the country, 'although they may be very illuminating. In Scotland, where there is a larger percentage of inshore fishermen than there 1020 is in England, you will find, taking the prices during the last few months, that in July last, when there was no Order, the prices weres down somewhat as compared with those of last year. In August the prices were up, and in September, the first full month during which the Order was in operation, prices were down. I have just been given the prices for October, and I see that they are up. You have them up and down, whether the Order was in operation or not. There is not very much as yet to be drawn from a curve which zig-zags like that, and, whatever may be the result of this Order in future, I am sure that there is nothing in its favour to be inferred from the prices before us so far.
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present;
§ House counted, and 40 Members being present—
§ Sir M. WOOD
One of the Orders which had to be made before this wider Order was one with the object of closing a certain area in the northern latitude. I should have liked my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to have given us some information as to the effect of that particular Order. It was an Order closing an area in the North which was supposed to be too fertile. We were getting too much fish from it. Some time ago it was necessary to look for new fishing grounds. They looked for them and discovered what they thought would be a very good fishing ground at Bear Island and some other places in the North. But according to the new view of things we are suffering from an over-supply of fish and have to deny ourselves the benefit of this new fertile fishing ground. I should like to know what has been the effect of preventing our ships from landing fish from that area, and also whether the fact that we have prevented our trawlers from going to that area, and that we have advertised the fact to the world, has meant that the foreigners have taken the opportunity to go to this fishing ground where they know there will be no British ships to compete with them. That Order comes up to-day and we ought to have some information as to its general effects.
Naturally, representing such a constituency as mine I approach the whole question very much from the point of view of the herring fishermen, and every- 1021 one agrees that the herring fishermen are by far and away the worst off in the fishing industry at the present time. They have had a succession of bad years. Indeed, they have only had one good year since the War. You cannot segregate a particular section of the fishing industry and think that you can protect it from the effects of what is going on in, the other. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Pernyn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick) spoke about the general level of prices going up or down, but he did not include herrings. If you are to speak of general methods you must include all fish and not merely white fish.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
Surely, it is impossible for the general level of any particular commodity such as fish, even if it embraces a large number of different sorts of fish, to rise and one particular class of fish to lag hopelessly behind.
§ Sir M. WOOD
I do not see why it is impossible to do that. I am inclined to think that that is exactly what it does. At any rate, the earnings from the herring fishing have gone down very much in recent years, and this year has been the worst year the herring fishing industry has experienced for many years. My point is—and this is where it becomes relevant to the discussion of this Order— that it is partly as a result of the reaction of what has been done to try to help the white fishing. There are two big sections of the fishing industry—white fishing and herring fishing. The home consumption of white fish is about 80 per cent, of the catch, but with regard to herrings the position is the reverse. We export almost the same percentage of the herrings that we catch, and if you adopt means to keep foreign white fish from being landed in this country the natural effect will be to lead foreign countries to say, "We must take steps to prevent your herrings from coming into our country." As a matter of fact, that is exactly what has happened.
§ Sir M. WOOD
The hon. Gentleman is trying to take the small part of the policy of the Government involved in this Act and to consider it apart from the larger policy. It is only part of a larger policy, and the larger policy which the Govern- 1022 ment have been adopting has undoubtedly had the effect of producing direct retaliation against us in Germany, for instance. I do not know the general position with regard to Sweden, but I know that last year, right on top of our declaring what was to be our fiscal policy, the German Government announced that they were to take steps to promote a herring fishing industry at home. They have put a large amount of money into a fleet of new boats, and have also assisted the curing of herrings at home and are meeting with considerable success. It is a very poor look-out for the herring fishing industry at this juncture in their fortunes to know that in Germany, one of their largest markets, a competing industry is being set up with State assistance, and that on top of it they have trebled the duty on cured herrings entering Germany. Naturally, the imports into Germany have gone down, and it is reacting with disastrous results upon the whole industry. It may be that this Order and the Act as a; whole will help Grimsby and Hull.
§ Sir M. WOOD
I do not know, although I doubt it very much. I think that the interests of Dundee in this matter do not matter very much. They have only 10 boats.
§ Miss HORSBRUGH
May I point out to my hon. Friend that, thanks to nothing having been done in the past, the fleet was reduced to ten, but thanks to what, is now being done there has been an increase in the fleet.
§ Sir M. WOOD
I was speaking about the result of the attempts to help Grimsby and Hull and the effect upon my constituents. There are something like 700 drifters probably starting on their homeward journey from Yarmouth 1023 and Lowestoft just now. I was informed by a deputation which went there a few days ago that two-thirds of them have not earned enough to make their expenses. Practically half of that fleet, which represents two-thirds of the drifters at Lowestoft and Yarmouth, come from my constituency. Their plight at the present time is due, to a very considerable extent, to the fact that the Government have gone out of their way to try and protect a particular part of the industry. That is the prime reason that I have for giving this Order my strenuous opposition. I do not believe in the whole policy of trying to restrict supplies in a matter of this kind. The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries has said that there is an over supply of fish. I should like to know what the housewives in the East End of London and of any of the large cities of England think about the statement that there is an over supply of fish. It would be great news to them. This policy which the Government are pursuing with regard to fish has been put into force with regard to other matters. It is an ill-judged policy. It is attacking the wrong end of the question. What we ought to do is to stimulate consumption. If they would attend to the marketing of fish and other things relating to the industry they would be able to make fish cheaper, give a larger return to the fishermen and increase consumption. In that way and that way only will they bring back success to the fishing industry.
§ 8.17 p.m.
§ Mr. HENDERSON STEWART
It would be unfortunate if the impression were given to this House or to the country that the views expressed by my hon. Friends on the Liberal Benches represent the general views of fishermen in Scotland. That is not so. I have the honour to represent a constituency from which several hundred men have gone to Yarmouth——
§ Mr. STEWART
I can give the hon. and gallant Member figures. Those men are returning now suffering from precisely the trouble that my hon. and gallant Friend has described. With his plea for a more optimistic and more strenuous development of the herring industry I 1024 am in entire accord. There is no one who has done more for the herring industry in Scotland than my hon. and gallant Friend and there is no one who understands it better than he, and I hope the Government, while it must disagree with many of his views, will listen with respect to his plea, which is also my plea, for a real drive to improve the position of the herring industry. But with my hon. and gallant Friend's criticism of this particular Order I do not find myself in agreement, and I feel sure that his views are not the views, generally speaking, of the Scottish fishing industry. He tried to relate herrings with white fish and trawling. I would relate them, too, but as the fishermen in my district see it, the relationship is of an entirely different character. As we see it there—and we have trawling, inshore and herring fishing—the difficulty caused through the steady contractions of the herring export market made it the more necessary to increase the white fish trade in this country.
This Order, following upon the Act, is, as we see it, designed to give more work in the increasing periods of unemployment between the herring seasons, and because of that we support the Order. I hope that the indications given by the Minister—they are mere indications and cannot be results—may be continued and that this Order and the Act may prove of value to the White Fish trade. I will say no more at this stage except to urge the House to give the Order a chance. It is too early to say how well or how badly it has done. We must give it reasonable time to prove itself, and because I would like to give a chance I support the Order.
§ 8.20 p.m.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Before taking any part in the discussion proper, I should like a little information from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. In the Statutory Rules and Orders that we are discussing it is stated that certain Orders which must be made under Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Act must be enforced before the House can approve of this particular Order. I should like to know when Statutory Rules and Orders 769, 770 and 771 were laid before this House.
§ Dr. BURGIN
The Statutory Orders to which the hon. Member refers do not require an affirmative Resolution and accordingly do not require to come before this House. They were made on the 29th July and became operative on the 1st August.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I thank the hon. Member for that answer, and I would draw attention to the Sea-Fishing Industry Act, Section 8 (4) which says:An Order of the Board of Trade under this Act shall cease to have effect from the expiration of a period of twenty-eight days from the date on which it is made, unless, at some time before the expiration of that period—that is, the 28 days period—it has been approved by a resolution passed by each House of Parliament, but without prejudice to anything previously done under the Order or to the making of a new Order.The three Orders to which I have drawn attention are dated 29th July. The House adjourned on the 28th July. Accordingly, these Orders must be approved by the House.
§ Mr. SKELTON indicated dissent.
§ Dr. BURGIN
These are not Orders made by the Board of Trade. The Section to which the hon. Member has called attention is not relevant in the least degree to these Orders. These are Orders made under other powers, and not by the Board of Trade.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Then will the hon. Member explain this point? The Order which we are asked to approve now states:Whereas by Section 1 of the Sea Fishing Industry Act, 1933 (hereinafter called 'the Act'), it is provided that the Board of Trade, after consultation with the appropriate Ministers, may by Order regulate the landing in the United Kingdom of sea fish which have not been both (a) taken by British fishing boats registered in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands; and (b) brought to land in the United Kingdom without having been previously landed outside the United Kingdom, and that any such Order may contain such provisions as appear to the Board of Trade, after consultation with the appropriate Ministers, to be necessary for securing the due operation and enforcement of the scheme of regulation contained in the Order, but that no such Order shall be made unless Orders made under Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Act are in force.1026 These are Orders 2, 3 and 4. I again ask: Where do the Government get sanction to proceed as they have done without coming for Parliamentary sanction? Where do they get their powers?
§ Dr. BURGIN
The House is entitled to have this matter cleared up. Section 1 of the Sea Fishing Industry Act provides for the Board of Trade making an Order which imposes restrictions on foreign landings. Section 8 provides that an Order made under Section 1 is to be laid before this House and there is to be an affirmative Resolution. There is no such Section in the Sea Fishing Act dealing with Orders made by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries under other parts of the Act, under Sections 2, 3 and 4, and the only Order before the House to-night is the Order which I have moved, made by the Board of Trade under Section 1. The other Orders are Orders already made by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and came into force on the dates named. They do not require to come before this House under Section 8.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
These Orders were made on the 28th of July, and I am asking whether power is given under the Sea-Fishing Industries Act to make Statutory Rules and Orders and to put them into force without the sanction of this House. That is the claim now being made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade.
§ Dr. BURGIN
Not at all. The Sea-Fishing Industry Act of 1933 is an Act to which this House gave its assent, and it gives express power to Ministers to make Orders under Sections 2, 3 and 4. The actual words in the Act are "the appropriate Ministers," and there is nothing in the Act which requires Orders made under Sections 2, 3 and 4 to follow the procedure to which Section 8 applies. Section 8 deals with the matter in a different form. It says expressly that the Orders shall be laid before the House in Subsection (2); and in Sub-section (4) of Section 8 it is expressly provided, for the protection of the consumer and for the protection of the rights of the public, that an Order made by the Board of Trade to restrict landings from abroad shall cease to have effect unless this House expressly authorises the Order by 1027 an affirmative Resolution within the period of time set out in the section. I am afraid that the hon. Member is seeking to read into the Act something which is not there. The real point is this. The Board of Trade has very little association with the sea-fishing industry at all. For the purposes of this Act it has merely to make an Order restricting imports from abroad, just as under the Agricultural Marketing Act it has a similar power. The difference between the 1931 Act and the 1933 Act is that there is power to limit imports. The Board of Trade has that limited function; and the reason why I have troubled the House to-night is because it is the Board of Trade which makes that Order, but the whole rest of the administration is, of course, a matter for the Ministry of Agriculture. It is only Section 1 which deals with an Order to restrict; and only Section 8 which requires that Order to be affirmed. Section 2 does not.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
The Parliamentary Secretary is omitting to consider Subsection (2) of Section 8 which says:Every Order made under this Act, not being an Order in Council, shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before both Houses of Parliament.That follows Sub-section (1) which says:Where any of the provisions of this Act confers a power to make an OrderThat means that any Orders made by any Minister named in the Act must be laid before Parliament. I want to know when this Order was laid before Parliament?
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I contend that there has not been sufficient time for these Orders to be laid before this House and that the whole of this discussion is entirely out of order. I contend that the particular Order we are now discussing is subject to previous Orders having been put into operation. If, therefore, no date can be shown when these Orders were laid before Parliament, as required by Sub-section (2) of Section 8, this discussion is entirely out of order.
§ Dr. BURGIN
These Orders were made by the appropriate Ministers on the 29th of July and became operative on the 1st of August; and they have been laid.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I must object to that, and in order to get tins matter properly cleared up I should like to move that we report Progress and ask leave to sit again.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Sir Dennis Herbert)
The hon. Member cannot move that Motion. He might move that the Debate be adjourned. He has put a point of Order and I quite agree he has a right to put it. As I understand— I am subject to correction and if I am wrong the hon. Member or hon. Members on the Government Bench will probably assist me—the Order now before the House is one which under the terms of the Act cannot be made unless certain other Orders under Sections 2, 3 and 4 are in operation. The point of the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean appears to be that he wants to be satisfied that the Orders made under Sections 2, 3 and 4 have complied with Section 8, Sub-section (2), which says:Every Order made under this Act, not being an Order in Council, shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before both Houses of Parliament.He invites the Parliamentary Secretary to tell him the dates on which they were laid. The point of Order depends on whether these documents have been laid. That is a matter, of course, which hon. Members can find out from the records, and the Minister no doubt will be able to tell us the dates on which they were laid.
§ Dr. BURGIN
I am much obliged to you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, for the clear explanation of the position. The Orders, as I have stated, were made by the appropriate Ministers on the 29th of July and became operative on the 1st August. It was hoped that the Order regulating foreign landings under Section 1 would come into effect immediately after the other Orders, but that could not be made until the 15th of August, and the Order which I am now asking the House to approve came into operation on the 21st of August. Parliament was not in Session on the 29th of July and so the earliest date on which these Orders could be laid was the date of resumption; and 1029 these Orders were laid on the 7th November, 1933; Sea-Fishing Industries Act—
Copy presented of Orders, dated 29th July, 1933, entitled—
by Act to lie upon the Table.
- (1) The Sea-Fishing Industry (Immature Sea-Fish) Order, 1933;
- (2) The Sea-Fishing Industry (Restriction of Fishing in Northern Waters) Order, 1933;
- (3) The Sea-Fishing Industry (Fishing Nets) Order, 1933;
§ Dr. BURGIN
By the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and they bear the signatures of officials.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
Then I think that the point of the hon. Member for Govan has been met. These particular Orders, not being Orders made by the Board of Trade, do not require confirmation under Section 8, Sub-section (4), in order to make them effective, but they do require to be laid before Parliament as soon as possible, and that apparently is the case as they were duly laid before both Houses of Parliament on the 7th of November.
§ Sir M. WOOD
I quite understand that it is necessary to lay these Orders, but may I ask whether it is necessary for these Orders to have been laid before Parliament before the subsequent Order made by the Board of Trade was made? You will notice that under the terms of this Act it is impossible to make the fourth Order, the Order by the Board of Trade, unless the other three Orders have been duly made. My point is: How is it possible to make an Order which requires three Orders to have been made and enforced before then if they cannot be en forced through not having been laid before Parliament?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Gentleman has no doubt fortified himself by referring to the other Section of the Act, which I have not yet had time to do. Perhaps he can tell me whether there is 1030 anything in Sections 2, 3 and 4 which prevents an Order becoming effective even before it is laid, if Parliament is not sitting.
§ Sir M. WOOD
Section 2 states "The appropriate Ministers may, by Order, prohibit for such period," and so on. It does not say anything at all, as far as I can see, about the Order coming into operation before it has been confirmed.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
But there is nothing to prevent its becoming effective before it is laid. The only provision with regard to its being laid is that every Order under the Act, as soon as may be after it is made, shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament. It does not say that it shall not be effective till that has been done.
§ Mr. T. SMITH
As there is some doubt on the point may we not ask that the Law Officers of the Crown be present to assist Ministers? I remember that in the last Parliament hon. Members now opposite lost no opportunity of pressing that the Law Officers be present whenever there appeared to be a slightest doubt with regard to the procedure of the House, and I submit that if the Law Officers are not present on a matter of this kind that is an additional reason why the House should adjourn.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member can raise the point in debate as to the necessity or otherwise of the Law Officers being present at any time he chooses. So far as I am concerned, in regard to what is referred to me as a point of Order on this occasion, with the greatest possible respect to the Law Officers I think I should not require their assistance in deciding the point.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I thought I had caught the Minister out and it has taken quite a time to prove that they are in order. Still, like a Scotsman, I have my doubts. Statements have been made that this Order is to assist the sea-fishing industry. I agree with what has been said in criticism of the Order, that it takes no cognisance whatever of a section of 1031 the fishing industry which since the War has been the hardest hit of all. One has only to cast one's mind back a few days to the newspaper articles with sensational headlines regarding the collapse of the herring fishing season in Britain, telling us how the fishermen were faced with ruin, and how they had sent a deputation to the Prime Minister to find out what assistance could be given to them. This Act makes no provision whatever for rescuing those people from the abnormal condition in which they find themselves. I know that there is to be set up, or has been set up, a committee specified in the Act to consider certain marketing schemes. The Act was passed in July. Four months have almost gone, and during that time no committee has gone into the question, and consequently there is nothing which is likely in any way to help the fishermen who are engaged in herring fishing.
We have heard stories of the closing of Wick Harbour. There are various harbours throughout Scotland that are in such a condition, almost of ruin, that fishing boats cannot go in or out. The whole situation in Scotland is very serious. The Scottish fishermen come down south to take part in the English fishing season, just as the English fishing vessels go north for the Scottish season, and go to Ireland for the Irish season. The Scottish fishermen have come south probably expecting that the Act which was supposed to protect the industry would give it some degree of prosperity, but they have found that the Act and the three Orders that are being issued by the Minister of Agriculture afford them neither salvation nor hope. The Ministry concerned and the Board of Trade have simply been playing with many thousands of hard-working men and women, toying with them, mocking them. The Minister of Agriculture in his usual flamboyant way brought in his Fishing Industries Bill and told us quite frankly that it was a Bill for the British Trawlers' Federation. I see that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade nods his head in approval.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
All Ministers on the Front Bench hang together for fear that 1032 they may hang separately some day. The Minister said that the Measure had received the approval of the British Trawlers Federation. The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland looks rather guilty——
§ Mr. MACLEAN
It is only necessary to turn to the OFFICIAL REPORT in order to find the statement of the Minister to the effect that he had received the approval of the British Trawlers Federation for his Measure, and apparently that was sufficient for him. No other interests were inquired into; no one made any inquiries from those engaged in the fishing industry in Scotland. The British Trawlers Federation at Grimsby apparently was the only thing that concerned the Minister. I know that Scotland has trawlers as well, but there is no Scottish Trawlers Federation, and those trawlers in Scotland who are affiliated with the British Federation get all their information through the headquarters of that Federation. But no inquiries were made from the fisher folk of Scotland as to whether they were willing to accept the conditions submitted to them in the terms of the Act. I suggest to the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland that he and his colleagues might have made some effort to protect one of the outstanding industries in Scotland. Evidently, as has happened before now to Secretaries and Under-Secretaries of State for Scotland, they have been overborne. They cannot have been overborne by any greater logical ability on the part of other Ministers. That quality cannot be attributed to people who are not Scotsmen, but at any rate they have been overborne in some manner, and they have not put up the fight in this matter which we on the other side of the Border would expect them to make.
If we are to have Orders of this kind, we ought to be told whether the benefits which the Act was supposed to contain and which were outlined to this House are going to apply to all members of the industry. It is suggested, with regard to organisation, that the Order is going to have wonderful effects when it is put into operation. But in the first place the Government ought to have 1033 made inquiries from the consuming section of the community. They were entitled to do that. The Act itself and statements made in the House when it was passing, led people to believe that this was to be considered, not merely as a matter affecting those who fish the seas, not as affecting only the salesmen and distributors of fish but that it was also to be considered from the consumers' point of view. We were led to believe that the consumers' interests were also to be looked after, and that consumers were not going to be fined unduly, by having an excessive price placed upon the restricted article.
The whole policy of the Government has been one of restriction. I suggest that in pursuing such a policy they are trying to turn back the hands of the clock. If that is to be the policy of the Government, they will soon have to deal not only with the people who are dependent upon the presence of shoals of fish in certain parts of the sea but also with manufacturers who have installed new machinery and who find that the new machinery is producing greater quantities of goods than the market can consume. Those manufacturers will come to the Government—some have already done so—asking the Government to restrict the market in this country for them. If the House is only to concern itself with manufacturers and producers and owners of products, and is not to regard the consumers' side of the question at all, then it is high time for the consumers of the country to rebel against that attitude. When they do rise in rebellion against it they will make a clean sweep of the benches opposite—though it would not take much to make a clean sweep of them at this moment.
I ask the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland to give to those Members who come from fishing towns in the Northern part of Scotland some hope to carry back to the people there. I wish we could take the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade round some of these places and let him see the people there who have no hope in what is being done by the Government either by the Act which they have passed or by the Orders which they have laid upon the Table. We want to give these people some encouragement. I know that much cannot be done before the beginning of next year and that during December 1034 practically all the boats in the North of Scotland are laid up. At all events we might have some definite statement from the Government giving these people the hope that with the New Year they are going to have those brighter prospects which every one likes to have at the beginning of a year. When the New Year dawns, give them hopes which will not be falsified, but will be realised in practical and lucrative results.
§ 8.52 p.m.
§ Mr. SKELTON
A number of topics have been touched upon in this Debate, but next to the subject dealt with by the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean), namely the position of the herring industry—which is of doubtful relevance to the Order—the most important suggestion made is that there is in the Order something inimical to the interests of inshore fishermen. That suggestion has been made by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Banffshire (Sir M. McKenzie Wood) and repeated by my hon. Friend opposite. I do not understand on what argument such a suggestion can be made. On the assumption, which is not unsound, that this Order, following on the Act, will raise the price of white fish I cannot understand how that result can be other than good for the inshore white fisherman. I do not understand how an attempt could successfully be made to distinguish in this matter between the interest of the trawler owner and the interest of the inshore fisherman.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I agree that the interest of the inshore white fisherman is a question of great importance to Scotland. The Government as a whole feel that one of the features of the Act and the Order is that if, as we hope, they continue to raise and maintain wholesale prices of white fish caught by British fishermen, they may offer new opportunities for the white inshore fishermen of Scotland far in excess of any they have had in the past. I do not think hon. Members who try to distinguish between the interest of the trawlers and the interest of the white fishermen and who try to make out that the interests of the white inshore fishermen are not connected with a rise in the price of fish, are doing a very good work. I think it is of the greatest im- 1035 portance to encourage inshore fishermen in every possible way. I cannot see that it can do other than depress them when Members of the Liberal party or the party opposite make suggestions, I am sure unwittingly, which would tend to make the inshore fishermen of Scotland think that such an Order as we are moving to-night is of no avail. Those who are at present responsible for the Government of Scotland are very fully alive to the needs of the inshore fishermen. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] That is a perfectly unexceptionable phrase, which I propose to use whenever it is necessary or relevant. I would very much rather see all who are interested in fishing, all who have inshore fishermen as their constituents, helping us to encourage and forward their interests than, for reasons which I confess I cannot understand, making criticisms of the Order for which I think there is absolutely no foundation at all.
The other main criticism has been on the question of price. I do not propose to go further into that than to say that, taken as a whole, there have been signs of a rise in price since the Order was put into operation, but, as my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade said, I think with great fairness, some 2½ months or thereby is too short a period in which finally to come to a judgment on that subject. There would seem to be little doubt that to restrict foreign imports even to a figure not greatly less than the preceding figure is one which will tend to raise prices, because as the operation of the regulation with regard to the size of mesh and size of fish begins to affect the price, the restrictions upon foreign fishermen will prevent an influx, which might easily have followed. That is important, and I do not think the criticism of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair), based on the fact that the Order does not restrict the importation greatly below the figure at which it previously stood, reaches the root of the matter. Still less do I agree with my right hon. and gallant Friend's observation that in some obscure way the fate of the Economic Conference was bound up with the introduction of this Bill. I could not follow that, and I am bound to 1036 say that I think even the humblest haddock would feel a thrill of pride if it thought it had brought to nought the consultations of every leading statesman in the world.
I listened with great sympathy, and something approaching remorse, to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's passionate figures and facts on the situation at Wick. I felt that the picture painted by him of Wick produced a situation very much like the mother of Hamlet produced in the minds of her family on the famous occasion when she said:Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.That was my condition by the time the right hon. and gallant Gentleman had got to his last statement about the condition of Wick Harbour. But let his heart he at peace. We are going to let in fish. The very fleetest methods of modern communication are going to be brought into operation in order to let Denmark know that she may reintroduce into Wick any of the fish that she is allowed to import. I hope that as my right hon. and gallant Friend painted a most dreadful picture of the economic depression which the absence of these fish had caused at Wick, the reverse will be true and that there will be abounding prosperity in that northern harbour which is so well represented by him. There is only one other matter to which I would allude, and that is to the statement made by my hon. Friend the Member for Banff (Sir M. Wood) that the export of herrings was being interfered with and checked by foreign nations as a result of the Sea-Fishing Industry Act and the Orders following thereon.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am glad there has been that correction. I was rather afraid when he said that, because there seemed to be no foundation for it, and when he refers to Germany and her efforts to improve her own manufacture of cured herrings, I would remind him that the new German policy of increased duties and curing efforts at home was introduced in 1932, and that, so far as it had any relation to the Sea-Fishing Industry Act or to this Order, it was an extreme case of second sight.
§ Mr. SKELTON
In that case it was merely the effect coming before the cause, a very unusual event, and I will leave it there. Far be it from me to suggest that it is not the right and the duty of every Member of Parliament to level any criticism at any proposal of whatever Government may be in power at the moment, but I suggest that this Order does put into operation a policy which this House and Parliament have approved, that it gives a chance— nay, more than a chance—for an increase in the wholesale price of white fish, and that if that turns out to be permanently the result of this Order, it will benefit not only the trawlers but the inshore fishermen. For my part, as a Scotsman and a Scottish Member of Parliament, trying to assess the value of the various industries which Scotland now possesses, one cannot fail to realise the special importance of the inshore fisheries of Scotland, and it would be a matter of the highest advantage to that country if any act of ours should operate to improve their position.
With regard to the herring fishery, 1 entirely agree with what has been said as to its serious plight. We have so far sought to improve the condition of the herring industry by the trading agreements which we have made with certain countries. We trust that that policy is not yet complete or exhausted, and when you are dealing with an industry such as that of curing herrings, which depends on the export trade, it is obvious that its existence must depend upon what you can do by trade agreements and so forth. We have not neglected the herring industry, and we shall do everything that can be done to increase the scope and range of the agreement and to secure an increase of the export of cured herrings. The Order before us, however, deals with white fish, and I think I have said all that I need on that topic.
§ 9.4 p.m.
§ Mr. RICHARD LAW
There is one point raised by the hon. Member for Banff (Sir M. Wood) upon which I would like to say a word or two. He said that this Order was conceived entirely in the selfish interests of the trawlers. On the face of it, that must be absurd, because obviously if the purely individual in- 1038 terests of the trawling industry had been considered, the Schedules to the Order would have been something very different from what they are. In fact, as the right hon. and gallant Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair) pointed out, the actual restriction of foreign-caught fish by this Order was very small indeed. If the trawler-owners had had what they would have liked the restriction would have been very much greater than it was.
My hon. Friend the Member for Banff seemed to imagine that there is a complete contra-distinction and opposition between the interests of the catching section of the trade on the one side and of the distributing section on the other, and he seems to assume that just as the-catching section would like to see a restriction on foreign-caught fish, so the distributing section would like to see coming in all the foreign-caught fish that could be absorbed on the market. I believe that to be a complete misconception, and that the distributing side of the trade does not want to see the markets of this country open to the entirely free entry of foreign-caught fish, because such free entry is 'a very disturbing influence in all the markets of this country; and it is extraordinarily difficult for the fish merchants to carry on their trade unless they have some element of stability such as is given by this Order.
There is one suggestion that I should like to make to the Government. I believe that it would be of the greatest assistance to the distributing section of the trade and to the catching section alike if it were possible, after consideration, to vary the Schedule so that the quota was allocated on some monthly or other temporary basis instead of being for a year. I believe that that would be of the greatest assistance to every side of the trade. As has been pointed out in the course of this discussion, this Order is contingent upon the operation of those other Orders under Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Act. I realise that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is not responsible for the other Orders, but I would ask him to suggest to the Government that when the time comes, as it will, for the Order under Section 2 to be renewed next year, the-Government should go very carefully into the effect which it has had this year. I 1039 believe from my observations and in spite of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Caithness, that the effect of the restriction imposed under Section 2 of the Act has been on the whole good for the trade. But it is obvious that we cannot impose a very drastic restriction of that kind without causing a certain amount of dislocation.
I would ask the Government to look into the matter carefully and to see that any dislocation that has been or will be caused in future is only as much dislocation as is absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of the Act in order that it may achieve the object which it sets before it. 1 would ask the Government that when they impose the Order
§ next year under Section 2 of the Act they should consider very carefully whether it might not be varied, not in principle but in detail, whether, for instance, certain parts of the prohibited grounds should not be open for a certain part of the restricted period, and whether there should not be some detailed reconsideration in that respect. I would ask the Secretary of State to draw the attention of the proper Ministry to that aspect of the Fisheries Act. It is of the utmost importance that any dislocation that does come about as the result of the Act should not be unnecessary and superfluous to the attainment of the objects of the Act.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 177; Noes, 47.1041
|Division No. 308.]||AYES||[9.10 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Gauit, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Milne, Charles|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Coin. P. G.||Giuckstein, Louis Halle||Mitcheson, G. G.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nhd.)||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Gower, Sir Robert||Morrison, William Shephard|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Most, Captain H. J.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Graves, Marjorie||Munro, Patrick|
|Atholl, Ducthess of||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Grimston, R. V.||Palmer, Francis Noel|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Peake, Captain Osbert|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Pearson, William G.|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Peat, Charles D.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H||Petherick, M.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Hanbury, Cecil||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Blindell, James||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Potter, John|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hartland, George A.||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Braithwaite, Mal. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Pybus, Percy John|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Raikes, Henry V, A. M.|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Hornby, Frank||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R||Horsbrugh, Florence||Reed, Arthur C (Exeter)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Howard, Tom Forrest||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N.)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Richards, George William|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Robinson, John Roland|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Jamieson Douglas||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh. S.)||Jennings, Roland||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Salt, Edward W.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Copeland, Ida||Ker, J. Campbell||Scone, Lord|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Selley, Harry R.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Leckle, J. A.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Lees-Jones. John||Shaw, Captain William T. (Fortar)|
|Davies, Mal. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yesvil)||Leighton, Major B. E. p.||Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Unv., Belfast)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Denville, Alfred||Levy, Thomas||Slater, John|
|Dickie, John P.||Llewellin, Major John J.||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kine'dine,C.)|
|Doran, Edward||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C)||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Mabane, William||Soper, Richard|
|Dunglass, Lord||MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Mac Andrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Spens, William Patrick|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Elmley, Viscount||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)|
|Emrys-Evans. P V.||McKie, John Hamilton||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Stones, James|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C C. (Blk'pool)||Magnay, Thomas||Storey, Samuel|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Strickland, Captain W. F.||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)||Williams. Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Summereby, Charles H.||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)||Windior-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George|
|Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)||Wise, Alfred H.|
|Thorp, Linton Theodore||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Titchfield, Major the Marquess||of Weymouth, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Whyte, Jardine Bell||Mr. Womersley and Commander|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Groves, Thomas E.||Maxton, James|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Banfield, John William||Hamilton, Sir R.W.(Orkney & Z'tl'nd)||Salter, Or. Alfred|
|Batey, Joseph||Harris, Sir Percy||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hicks, Ernest George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Holdsworth, Herbert||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jenkins, Sir William||White, Henry Graham|
|Daggar, George||John, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Dobbie, William||Lawson, John James||Wilmot, John Charles|
|Edwards, Charles||Leonard, William||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Logan, David Gilbert||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Lunn, William|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Gavan)||Mr. G. Macdonald had Mr. D.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Graham.|
That the Sea-Fishing Industry (Regulation of Landing) Order, 1933, dated the fifteenth day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty—three, made by the Board of Trade under the Sea-Fishing Industry Act, 1933, a copy of which was presented to this House on the seventh day of November, nineteen hundred and thirty—three, be approved.