HC Deb 19 June 1958 vol 589 cc1294-5
19. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the almost complete dependence of Iceland's economy on the fishing industry and of the bearing of this dependence on Iceland's claim to extend her territorial sea and fishing limits, if he will state his plans for increasing imports from Iceland into the United Kingdom of commodities other than fish in order to assist a solution of the present international dispute as to sea territorial limits.

Sir D. Eccles

The United Kingdom already takes about one-fifth of the exports to which the hon. and learned Member refers. I am not aware of any restrictions on the import of these goods and I should be pleased to see the trade increase.

Mr. Hughes

But does not the right hon. Gentleman realise, as other countries—notably Russia—realise, that there must be international reciprocity in territorial limits, and that we cannot expect to limit Iceland's staple fishing industry without some compensation to her? Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to set up an expert and authoritative commission to investigate all aspects of this complicated problem?

Sir D. Eccles

That would not be a question for me, but these fishing rights are of great interest to the fishermen of Scotland.