HC Deb 06 April 1937 vol 322 cc7-8
11. Mr. Gallacher

asked the President of the Board of Trade why it was considered necessary to place additional burdens upon the owners of Scottish herring-drifters in the way of additional repairs to boats not directly related to their seaworthiness; and whether, in view of the depressed state of the fishing industry, the Board will consider taking responsibility for the cost of such repairs?

Mr. Runciman

The Board of Trade are not requiring any repairs to herring-drifters except those which are directly related to seaworthiness, and the second part of the question does not arise. I understand that the Herring Industry Board have recently published the terms upon which they are prepared to make loans for the reconditioning of a limited number of steam drifters.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Minister aware that complaints are being made that repairs are being forced upon these fishermen which have no relation to seaworthiness; and, if this is the case, will the Board of Trade exercise its responsibility and see that this sort of thing is altered?

Mr. Runciman

No, Sir, no repairs are required by us except those which are in connection with seaworthiness.

17. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps have been taken by the Herring Industry Board to further the interests of the industry by creating new and extending existing foreign markets for cured herrings?

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Wedderburn)

With the help of the Department of Overseas Trade the Herring Industry Board have, during the two years of their existence, examined the possibility of creating new and extending existing markets for cured herrings in a large number of countries, including the Dominions and India. Conferences have been held with exporters and personal visits have been made by representatives of the board to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and to Poland. In addition, the board were represented at the Levant Fair in Palestine. Further investigations are at present going on for the purpose of developing fresh markets, and the board are in constant touch with the Board of Trade, the Department of Overseas Trade and other Government Departments in regard to possible new openings for British herrings abroad and also to remove difficulties which may arise from the currency restrictions or import regulations of foreign countries.