HC Deb 20 June 1961 vol 642 cc1148-9
10. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has yet decided to provide compensation to the owner, skipper and crew of the fishing vessel whose nets were seized by his fishery cruiser "Minna" on 9th October, 1960, and who were prosecuted by his Department, in view of the fact that the owner incurred loss by the seizure of his nets and the disbandment of his crew, was prevented from fishing for many weeks and was obliged to pay law costs for his defence before the prosecution was dropped in May, 1961, after many adjournments, full particulars of which case have been furnished to him; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Leburn

A claim has been intimated to my right hon. Friend's Department and is at present being investigated.

Mr. Hughes

That, again, is far too vague. Does the Minister not realise that this is a glaring miscarriage of justice and that the North Sea should not be made a battleground between his ship and the fishing vessels there? It is wrong that a battleground should be made, first, in the North Sea and then in the criminal courts and then the prosecution discontinued without giving compensation to the owners of the fishing vessels which are damaged.

Mr. Leburn

I could not accept all the comments of the hon. and learned Member. If, however, a claim is substantiated, damages will be paid.