§ 52. Mr. Loftus
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will consult the Herring Industry Board with a view to giving priority in the allocation of drifters built or chartered by the board to skipper-owners, or part owners, whose drifters were lost by enemy action while in service under the Admiralty and who cannot afford to replace these by new vessels at current prices as the compensation paid was based on 1939 values.
My right hon. Friend has consulted the Herring Industry Board, who consider that the limited number of vessels which may be available for charter should be reserved for young men, particularly ex-Servicemen, with limited resources, who desire to try out their abilities in the herring fishing industry. I would, however, remind my hon. Friend 1774 that the facilities for loans, and for grants in cases of need, to assist fishermen to obtain boats and gear which they cannot afford out of their own resources, will be available to the owners or part-owners referred to in the Question.
§ Mr. Loftus
Is my hon. Friend aware that almost all the skipper-owners have been on active service throughout the war—mine-sweeping—and is he aware of the fact that the compensation for their boats destroyed by enemy action is not a quarter of the cost of a new boat? Will the Minister therefore reconsider the whole question?
I will most certainly bring those points to the notice of my right hon. Friend. The reply I have given, of course, covers ex-Servicemen.