HC Deb 09 February 1954 vol 523 c975
2. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications for grants under the White Fish and Herring Industries Act, 1953, have been refused by him on the ground that the applicants were unable to comply with paragraphs 5, 6 and 7, respectively, of the schemes made by him under that Act last July in so far as they relate to Scotland.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

The granting or refusal of applications rests with the Herring Industry Board and White Fish Authority and not with my right hon. Friend. I am informed that the Board have rejected applications from Scottish fishermen for four boats and one engine on the grounds referred to by the hon. and learned Member. The Authority have rejected one application for an engine on these grounds.

Mr. Hughes

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that these paragraphs press hardly on poor applicants? Will he consider amending the regulations in order to give poor applicants a better show?

Mr. Stewart

It would be very difficult quickly to amend the regulations. I assure the hon. and learned Member that the greatest sympathy is shown to these people, but the authorities must be sure that the man to whom they lend money is (a) a good fisherman and (b) able financially to carry the burden.