HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 cc581-2
36. Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in view of the need to reinvigorate the salmon industry in Scotland, what plans have been made by Her Majesty's Government regarding its further development.

Mr. Noble

The development of the salmon industry is primarily a matter for the owners and lessees of salmon fishings and for Salmon Fishery District Boards; but I shall, of course, take into account any suggestions which may be made by the Hunter Committee when it reports.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the old days in Scotland salmon used to be as common as brown trout and that many varying interests will benefit if we can once more recreate that situation? Further, is he aware that many people believe that a more vigorous policy against the seal menace and against the pollution of our rivers and in favour of more salmon hatcheries would do very much more good to the salmon industry than merely restricting inshore fishing?

Mr. Noble

I share my hon. Friend's hope for the future of the salmon industry in Scotland. I am sure that these points will come out when the Hunter Committee reports.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the most important step he could take for the purpose of improving salmon stocks in most of the Scottish rivers would be to get rid as soon as possible of the pollution which is still killing far more fish than all the illegal methods put together?

Mr. Noble

I agree with the right hon. Gentelman.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does the Secretary of State realise that this industry has for genenations provided whole colonies of fishermen with a livelihood for themselves and their families and that the present absence of a constructive plan is imperilling all that? Will he be a little more constructive so as to give some hope for the workers in this industry?

Mr. Noble

I appreciate what the hon. and learned Gentleman says. It was for that reason that we brought in the Orders to prevent drift netting for salmon. I am sure that any further constructive ideas will be considered when the Hunter Committee reports.