HC Deb 23 November 1953 vol 521 cc24-5
41. Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware of the discrepancies in the fines imposed for illegal fishing by the United Kingdom, Iceland and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and if he will take steps to invite an international conference so that uniformity may be reached in this.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I am well aware of the discrepancies referred to by the hon. Member and of the exceptionally high fines imposed by certain countries. I do not consider that an international conference would achieve useful results in a matter which is primarily one of domestic legislation and justice in the countries concerned. But Her Majesty's Government have taken, and will continue to take, diplomatic action wherever possible.

Miss Ward

As diplomatic action does not seem to have had any result, so far as I can see, would it perhaps not be a good idea if we pursued some other course? Would my hon. Friend kindly give consideration to what might be the outcome of a conference of this kind?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I think that diplomatic action has had certain results, and it is not possible to intervene in the rules of justice of another country.

Lieut. - Colonel Bromley - Davenport

May I congratulate my hon. Friend on the excellent and intelligible manner in which he has answered these first two questions? May I further assure him, on behalf of hon. Members on these back benches, that if he goes on in this excellent way he can look forward to the very earliest promotion?

Mr. Follick

On a point of order. Is it necessary to congratulate a Tory Minister when he makes a sensible reply?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a point of order. I think the proceedings were a little irregular.