HC Deb 25 January 1955 vol 536 cc19-20
31. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in the interest of the State as well as the owners of the Wick fishing boat "Resonance," purchased under grant and loan, his Department will pay for or supply a Gardener engine which will enable the skipper and crew to earn a living and pay off their indebtedness to the State.

Mr. J. Stuart

This case has been carefully reviewed on several occasions. I have no power to provide a new engine or to make a grant for the purchase of one; and I regret that I do not think a further loan would be justified.

Sir D. Robertson

Is it not a fact that the skipper of this craft, who fought in two world wars and was decorated, had to take what he could get at the end of the war and was unfortunate in getting a boat with a defective engine? He has put up a gallant struggle trying to make ends meet; the State has £10,000 invested in this boat, and surely there is some Minister who is capable of looking after the State's investments?

Mr. Stuart

The owners received a considerable grant and loan and, on the expert advice tendered to me, I do not think I should be justified in increasing them.

Mr. Grimond

Is it not a fact that there have been other boats in which engines of certain makes have proved unsatisfactory? Would the right hon. Gentleman look into this whole question again and see whether it would be in the interests of the Government to make some further grant or take the responsibility off the owners of these boats whose engines are not up to the job?

Mr. Stuart

The matter has been considered very carefully, and there is at present outstanding a considerable sum of money.