HC Deb 20 March 1956 vol 550 cc975-6
7. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, if he will make a statement on the work which has been done by the fishery research ship "Sir William Hardy" since she put to sea during the last few months; where she is now; what are her future plans; and what scientific, or other contribution, her researches have made to our knowledge of fisheries

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. J. R. Bevins)

Tests on refrigeration equipment have been carried out in the "Sir William Hardy," which has also supplied fish for important researches by the Torry Research Station. The vessel is at present in dock for maintenance. Her future programme includes the examination of freshly caught fish in the ship's laboratory and the testing of new methods of handling, storing and processing. It is too soon yet to evaluate this work.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Minister realise that this expensive ship was a very long time in getting under way and that it is very disappointing to learn that it is now back in dock? It has great potentialities for the fishing industry and its scientific work should be made the subject of frequent reports to the fishing industry and to the public. Will the Minister take steps to see that those reports are regularly made?

Mr. Bevins

I will certainly bring that suggestion to the notice of my noble Friend. The vessel is at present temporarily in dock for the scraping of the hull. It is purely a matter of maintenance.