HC Deb 05 February 1952 vol 495 c785
23. Mr. M. MacMillan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to assist Scottish fishermen by reducing the cost of fishing nets and other gear; and how far this will take the form of subsidies from his Departmental funds.

Mr. Snadden

Grants and loans are available for the purchase of nets and gear by herring and inshore white fish catchers. White fish catchers in inshore and near and middle waters also receive a subsidy, the future of which will be reviewed before the end of March. Herring fishermen are assisted directly through the Herring Oil and Meal Scheme and indirectly through grants to the Herring Industry Board for other purposes.

Mr. MacMillan

Is it not the case that the other Under-Secretary and the two political parties to which he belongs during the whole lifetime of the last Parliament gave the impression that they had many ready-made schemes to reduce the cost of nets and gear? Will they now not come forward as eagerly as they did then and present their schemes to the House and enable the Government to control private enterprise profiteering at the expense of the fishermen? May I have an answer?

Mr. Snadden

I will only say that we shall do our best.

Mr. Boothby

Can my hon. Friend give an undertaking that the decision of the Secretary of State with regard to the grants and loans scheme will be announced to this House before the end of March?

Mr. Snadden

A decision will have to be announced soon. I cannot commit myself to a precise date.