§ 37. Mr. R. T. EVANS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the reduction effected in recent years in the numbers of coracle fishermen on the Towy and other tidal rivers in West Wales and that these numbers are now threatened with further reduction; and what action he proposes to take to ensure that the rights of those whose livelihood depends on fishing are not made secondary to the interests of riparian owners?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
Yes, Sir. An Order was made by the Towy Fishery Board and confirmed by one of my predecessors in 1931, which provides for a gradual reduction of the number of licences for coracle nets in the River Towy. Orders of a similar general character are in force in respect of certain other rivers. In the case of the River Towy the period of gradual reduction extends to the year 1926. All such Orders, however, contain a provision to secure that no person mainly dependent upon fishing for a living shall be deprived of the opportunity of fishing. In actual fact this requirement has involved, in respect of the River Towy, the issue in each year since the Order came into force of more licences than the number prescribed by the Order. I am satisfied that the rights of such men are adequately safeguarded by the Order.