§ 35. Colonel Gomme-Duncan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action His Majesty's Government propose to take on the Report of the Committee on Poaching and Illegal Fishing of Salmon and Trout in Scotland.
§ 90. Mr. William Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether His Majesty's Government have completed their consideration of the Report of the Committee on Poaching and Illegal Fishing of Salmon and Trout in Scotland; and what action it is proposed to take.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
The Government have given careful consideration to the Committee's Report, and they propose to introduce legislation on the general lines suggested by the Committee.
§ Colonel Gomme-Duncan
May I ask the Joint Under-Secretary whether this legislation is likely to be introduced very soon? The Lord President of the Council did not seem very optimistic about it on Thursday.
§ Mr. Fraser
I should think that he is the member of His Majesty's Government who might be consulted about the matter.
§ Mr. James Stuart
Will the hon. Gentleman also take into account the fact that this is an admirable opportunity to deal with all sides of this question of the salmon fishing industry, and that he should not confine the Bill to the Report? Will he consider that point?
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
Is my hon. Friend aware of the strong opinion in Scotland that there should be nationalisation of the fishing rights, without any compensation to the landlords?
§ Lord Dunglass
In impressing upon his right hon. Friend that this is an urgent matter, will the hon. Gentleman also point out that in the next few months, when the rivers are at their lowest and the fish are congregating in the head waters of the 1055 rivers to spawn, they are really most vulnerable? This poaching with poisoning and explosives is a new thing. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that if the use of these methods is allowed to continue on this scale into the autumn, it will do great damage to stocks during the next few years?
§ Mr. Fraser
This is a very old form of private enterprise. I cannot give any undertaking that legislation will be passed to deal with it in the next few months.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
Would it not be more correct to call it "expropriation" than "nationalisation"?