HC Deb 28 March 1938 vol 333 cc1630-1
57. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any statement to make regarding the present position of the lobster fishing industry in Western Scotland, especially in the hot summer and autumn months; whether he has considered proposals to extend and develop that industry; and whether he has any statement to make?

Mr. Wedderburn

In regard to the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply given to the question which he addressed to the President of the Board of Trade on 8th March. I would add that the Fishery Board for Scotland are prepared to investigate any special difficulties to which their attention is called. In reply to the second part, the possibility of developing lobster fishing on the West Coast is one of the matters receiving the attention of the Highlands and Islands Sub-committee of the Scottish Development Council, and any recommendations which that committee may make on the subject will receive full consideration.

58. Mr. Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the landings of coal fish in the United Kingdom and at the ports on the West Coast of Scot- land, respectively, for the years 1907, 1927, and 1937, respectively; and why there is a dearth of coal fish on the West Coast and Western Islands of Scotland?

Mr. Wedderburn

The quantities of coal fish landed in Great Britain in the years 1907, 1927 and 1937, were in round numbers 338,000 cwts., 427,000 cwts. and 664,000 cwts. The corresponding figures for the West Coast of Scotland were 31,000 cwts., 8,000 cwts. and 7,000 cwts. According to my information the smallness of the landings in the West of Scotland is due not to a scarcity of this kind of fish, but to the poor price which it realises in the markets.

Mr. Gibson

Is not the Minister aware that on the West Coast of Scotland, coal fish, which are used as bait in lobster pots, are so scarce that lobster fishers have to buy herring for that purpose?

Mr. Logan

Can the Minister tell us what are coal fish?

Mr. Wedderburn

I think they are saithe.