HC Deb 25 March 1952 vol 498 cc184-5
18. Captain J. A. L. Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the Norwegian and Icelandic restrictions in fishing, he will now take similar action in respect of British waters to protect stocks and spawning-grounds off the coasts of Scotland.

33. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has considered a resolution from the Town Council, Lossiemouth, backed by the Inverness County Council, requesting that steps be taken to exclude foreign trawlers entirely from Moray Firth; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

I regret that I am unable to add at present to the answer given to the hon. Members for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir D. Robertson) and Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) on 29th January.

Captain Duncan

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that this is a very urgent matter, particularly in the Moray Firth, and will he take steps with other Departments of the Government to see that something is done, particularly in view of the fact that both Iceland and Norway have restricted British fishing in their waters?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, Sir?

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Will my hon. Friend use every influence with his right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary in order to call together the foreign convention to discuss with the interested countries this very important subject, so that we may right the position, which affects the lives of a great many people living in the north of Scotland?

Mr. Stewart

We are in close and constant touch with the Foreign Office in this matter, and we do understand the urgency of it.

Mr. Grimond

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether, in fact, there has been any approach to any other Government to settle this matter on international lines?

Mr. Stewart

I think the hon. Member will realise that I would rather not get involved in this matter at this time, because many matters and many Departments are concerned, and there is an international complexion about it with which I would not be competent to deal.