HC Deb 30 May 1960 vol 624 cc966-7
1. Mr. Crosland

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take, in the light of the Norwegian Government's decision to extend fishing limits to 12 miles, to protect the British fishing industry, whether by renewed international negotiations or other methods, from the now widespread threat to its traditional fishing grounds.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. John Hare)

As stated in an official communiqué issued in Oslo, useful exploratory talks between United Kingdom and Norwegian officials were held there on Friday and Saturday, 27th and 28th May, and it is hoped that further talks will take place shortly.

Mr. Crosland

While recognising the difficulty of this problem, may I ask the Minister to bear in mind that time is passing rather rapidly, that the trawler industry is still kept outside the 12-mile limit off Iceland, that the industry is suffering loss in consequence of this and that the patience of the skippers and crews is being very sorely tried? Can he give the House some indication when he hopes that these consultations and others will come to some kind of fruition?

Mr. Hare

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I am well aware of all the facts he has mentioned, but I do not think I can usefully add to what I have already said.