HC Deb 06 November 1961 vol 648 cc594-5
11. Mr. P. Wall

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in order to enable British trawlers off the Icelandic coast to fix their position more accurately and so avoid the difficulties arising from unintentional violations of fishery limits, he will consult with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs regarding an approach to the Icelandic Government with a view to the development of better navigational facilities in that area.

Mr. Soames

There is no doubt of the advantages which would flow from better navigational facilities off the Icelandic coast to help ensure the effectiveness of the Anglo-Icelandic fishery agreement. My hon. Friend will, of course, be aware that the provision of such facilities is a matter for the individual country concerned. We would certainly be pleased to see the facilities improved and I will keep my hon. Friend's suggestion in mind.

Mr. Wall

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, since the conclusion of the Anglo-Icelandic agreement, six British trawlers have been arrested and heavily fined? Will he do his best to see that better Loran receivers are available or a Decca chain is set up in Iceland?

Mr. Soames

The navigational change to which my hon. Friend refers was answered in my original reply. Although I agree that this would be beneficial to the implementation of this agreement from both the Icelandic and our own points of view, it must be for the Icelandic Government to take a decision as to whether or not they should put one up.

Mr. Hoy

Is the Minister not aware that this might be extended further; that two Scottish vessels where convictions took place had these convictions quashed by the appeal court, arising from incidents at the Faroes, and, in view of these continual incidents in these grounds, will the Minister take the initiative about securing what has been asked for by his hon. Friend, since it is beneficial to the country and to our fishermen?

Mr. Soames

The question concerned Iceland and not the Faroes, although I had this very much in mind.

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