HC Deb 06 April 1948 vol 449 cc28-30
58. Mr. Douglas Marshall

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will arrange for a fishery protection vessel adequately to patrol the fishing grounds of the South Cornish coast.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. John Dugdale)

I presume the hon. Member is suggesting a permanent patrol of the fishing grounds of the South Cornish Coast. This could be provided only at the expense of other areas. I would, however, like to make it quite clear that the Royal Navy will continue to give every possible protection to British fishing fleets.

Mr. Marshall

Is the Minister aware that the Looe fishing fleet and the hon. Member for Bodmin would like to thank the Admiralty, the commander-in-chief at Mount Wise, and the officers and men of the Fishery Protection Fleet for their readiness to help, which they were willing to give the moment this incident was reported to them?

Mr. Charles Williams

Will the Minister extend the patrol mentioned in the first part of his answer to the South coast of Devon as well?

Mr. Dugdale

There is no question of the South coast of Devon not getting adequate protection. The fisheries protection patrol goes to every part of our coast from time to time to see that all are adequately protected.

Commander Noble

How many ships are employed on that service now?

Mr. Dugdale

Quite a number of ships. Altogether there are five.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Would the Parliamentary Secretary consult with the Secretary of State for Air with a view to using flying boats, which could probably do the job better and cheaper?

59. Mr. D. Marshall

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that foreign trawlers have damaged the gear and interfered with the catch of the Looe fishing fleet; and will he make representations upon this matter to the countries concerned and press for compensation.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. George Brown)

Yes, Sir. The matter is being investigated. Such action as may be necessary will be taken to obtain compensation.

Mr. Marshall

May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary what steps he proposes to take?

Mr. Brown

Clearly, the first step is to identify the offender. When that is done, a claim will be referred by the Foreign Office to the Government concerned. If necessary, on further inquiry, we shall probably have to lodge a claim in the courts of the country concerned.

Mr. Marshall

Will the Minister assure the House that there is no doubt that the Government will press for compensation?

Mr. Brown

I have already already said that we are investigating the matter, and that we shall press a claim against the country concerned.