HC Deb 31 March 1958 vol 585 c825
8. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the concern felt in the British trawling industry at the proposals to extend the territorial water limit to twelve miles; and, since such a proposal would bring ruin to the British fishing industry, if he will now make a further statement on the discussions that have taken place so far at Geneva.

Mr. John Hare

I am fully aware of the views of the British trawling industry on the question of the breadth of the territorial sea, and I have much sympathy with them. The Conference will not end until 24th April, and at the present time I cannot add to the statement made by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Osborne

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the fishermen and the trawler owners will want a great deal more than sympathy from him? Is he also aware that what they fear is that if the 12-mile limit is enforced the fishing industry will be utterly bankrupt, and will he do his utmost to resist this proposal?

Mr. Hare

I can assure my hon. Friend that my sympathy will be translated into as practical action as possible, but I hope that he has read the speech of my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General at Geneva quite recently, in which the attitude of Her Majesty's Government was very clearly explained.

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