HC Deb 25 February 1936 vol 309 cc250-1

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has considered the copy sent to him of a resolution passed at a mass meeting of Buckie, fishermen on 18th February, and sent from the town clerk of Buckie, concerning the plight of the Scottish herring-fishing industry; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to rescue this industry from extinction?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The Act passed last year provides a large measure of financial assistance for the herring industry, and as my right hon. Friend stated in his replies on the 18th instant to the hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby) there was a considerable improvement in the results last year, and the Herring Industry Board are considering further measures under the Act.


Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that the financial assistance is by way of loan and not of grant, and that in their present plight the industry cannot possibly afford to borrow any money? In view of the serious condition of the industry, will the Department get into touch immediately with the Herring Board to devise some means of saving this industry from destruction?


Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman see that in any trade negotiations entered into with Russia the question of Scottish herring is prominently borne in mind?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

In reply to the first supplementary question, the Herring Board are already closely an touch with the Department in regard to the welfare of the herring industry and have already taken steps which have brought about a considerable improvement. As to the second supplementary question, that point will be borne in mind by the Department concerned.


Is it not the case that Russian purchases of herring from this neighbourhood have made a considerable difference to the conditions of the fishermen?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

Yes, Sir, the purchases have gone up considerably under the Agreement which was made by the Government.

Sir A. KN0X

Has not the export of herring to Italy been reduced owing to the policy of the Government?

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