HC Deb 19 November 1962 vol 667 cc799-800
11. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the current negotiations with the Common Market countries, what steps he is taking to protect and expand the British fishing industry and British exports of fish.

Mr. Soames

The Government's policy for the fishing industry is embodied in Command Paper 1453 and the Sea Fish Industry Act, 1962. The European Economic Community have not yet started to discuss their fisheries policy, but the Community countries are substantial importers of fish and our exports might be expected to benefit accordingly if we were to join.

Mr. Hughes

Whatever result may emerge from the Common Market negotiations, would the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is very satisfactory that the great nations, who have apparently antagonisms in other spheres, co-operate and work together in scientific matters, particularly in the exploration of the sea? But notwithstanding that, will the right hon. Gentleman say what plans he has to protect British fishing in those circumstances?

Mr. Soames

I am glad the hon. and learned Gentleman feels that there is scope for international action in research, and, as he knows, we made some contribution to this by a ship that was built in Aberdeen, the "Discovery". We shall certainly continue to play our part in this.