HC Deb 06 July 1961 vol 643 c1648
41. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the failure of British Government efforts to achieve international agreement on disputes relating to fishing territorial waters, if he will now appoint a Minister who will give his whole attention to problems relating to fisheries.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Hughes

Does not the Prime Minister realise that food, agriculture and fisheries are three major industries in this country, and that they are far too much for one Minister to attend to and, therefore, for the last few years they have been hopelessly neglected, as is evidenced by the complaints made by the people in each of these industries? Will he reconsider his decision?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I do not think that we should gain by that administrative change. Moreover, with regard to international agreements, of course, whatever Minister deals with fisheries, that matter must largely be conducted by the Foreign Office.

Dame Irene Ward

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I support the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes), that in my opinion the agriculturists get far more support from the Treasury than the fishing industry does, and that I personally think that the fishing industry, which is related to a great many other problems besides fisheries, ought to receive more attention and more support from the Treasury and my right hon. Friend? Will my right hon. Friend kindly reconsider his decision?

The Prime Minister

I am, of course, impressed although not wholly convinced, by this combination.