§ 59. Lady Tweedsmuir
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now increase the grants available for building new trawlers.
No, Sir, I have no power to do so. The rate of grant is fixed by the White Fish and Herring Industries Act of 1953 and to increase it would require fresh legislation. Certain changes in the schemes for grants proposed by the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board, some of which would require legislation, are under consideration, but I am not in a position to make a statement.
§ Lady Tweedsmuir
While the Minister is considering these matters, will he bear in mind that it is more practical to encourage the new building of trawlers by these arangements than by giving large subsidies for steam vessels?
I agree with my hon. Friend that these building grants and loans are extremely useful, and they are producing a very satisfactory result in the number of new trawlers being built and the number of new engines being fitted.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
As this Question pinpoints a very real defect in the White Fish and Herring Industries Act, will the Minister take steps to rectify that defect?
§ Mr. Hughes
On a point of order. The Minister said he was not clear about the purport of my question. Perhaps you will allow me to make it clear, Mr. Speaker?