HC Deb 26 July 1944 vol 402 cc753-4
30. Major Neven-Spence

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport how much compensation for total loss has been paid and credited to the owners of the steam drifter "White Daisy"; and how much has been offered to the owners of the motor drifters "Honeydew" and "Winsome."

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Mr. Noel-Baker)

The compensation paid for the total loss of the steam drifter "White Daisy" was £1,968. In addition the sum of £492 was placed to the owners' credit in the Fishing Vessels (Deferred Payments) Account. The motor drifters "Honeydew" and "Winsome" are in a different category and are chartered on a different form of charter. No final settlement has yet been reached about the compensation to be paid. If there should be a recourse to litigation, the amount offered by the Crown would be material to the proceedings. It would, therefore, be wrong for me now to state the offers which have been made.

Major Neven-Spence

Is my hon. Friend aware that the owners of "Honeydew" and "Winsome" are completely dissatisfied with any offer made so far, on the ground that there is no justification at all for discriminating between motor drifters and steam drifters? Will he undertake to look into the whole question carefully again and, in view of the fact that mainly Scottish and Shetland fishermen are concerned, will he agree to consult with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland before coming to any final decision?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I will certainly review it again. I have looked at it very carefully but I will certainly consult my right hon. Friend. In this case, however, I think the decision will have to stand, and, as it may be a matter for litigation if the owners do not accept offers made to them, I think I had better say no more.