§ 2. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now consult the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for the purpose of devising a means of increasing the powers of the White Fish Authority to enable it to build or otherwise acquire fishing vessels to be operated permanently by that Authority.
§ Mr. Henderson Stewart
I regret I am unable to add to the reply given to the hon. and learned Member on 13th December last.
§ Mr. Hughes
Does the Joint Under-Secretary not realise that this has become a national problem, because the high price of scrap is diminishing the fishing fleets and the scarcity of steel and its bad distribution are making it impossible—at all events difficult—for private builders to cope with the problem?
§ Mr. Stewart
The Authority has not asked to be given powers to build and operate trawlers. As the hon. and learned Member knows, there have been several grants for new vessels in Aberdeen and there are indications that there will be still more. I hope that the hon. and learned Member will help us to persuade local firms to make use of the possibilities open to them.