HC Deb 18 February 1963 vol 672 cc5-6
9. Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what effect the extension of the Faroese fishing limits will have on the United Kingdom fishing industry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames

Negotiations with the Danish Government on the future arrangements for fishing by British vessels around the Faroe Islands started today and I cannot speculate about the outcome.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, but it seems that this move towards an extension of limits will go on. Is he aware that many fishermen, in Aberdeenshire particularly, who have been as much affected, if not more so, by an extension of the Faroese limits, feel strongly that this process cannot go on and on without our taking some sort of reciprocal action to safeguard, expand and conserve our native fishing industry within the extended limits of our own territorial waters?

Mr. Soames

I assure my hon. Friend that I am well aware of the importance of these waters and of these talks to the middle-water fishing industry.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Even though the Minister cannot speculate on the outcome of these talks, will he at least state who the delegates are, their names and status and the agenda for the talks so that we may know what is the purpose of the talks, as they have been kept a dead secret up to the present moment?

Mr. Soames

It has been well known for some time that these talks would take place, although the time was not known. A delegation has come over from Denmark consisting of representatives from the Faroes and from the Danish Government. The talks will be continuing during this week on the question of the limits round the Faroes.

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