HC Deb 22 April 1964 vol 693 cc1276-7
12. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the operations, in and about the Faroes fishing grounds, of the British inspection ship "Duncan", indicating its duties and the incidents in which it has been involved since its arrival there in March.

Mr. Hay

H.M.S. "Duncan" was on patrol off the Faroes from 11th March until 7th April, when she was relieved by H.M.S. "Malcolm". The duties of these ships have remained as stated in my reply to the hon. and learned Member on 16th March last. There have been no reports of incidents involving either H.M. ships or British trawlers.

Mr. Hughes

Do the Government think that the presence of these inspection ships is conducive to better relations between the respective fishing fleets? If so, in what way? If not, will the Government invite the relevant Governments to have a further conference with a view to settling the differences that have existed since the recent conference in London, which failed in this respect?

Mr. Hay

No, Sir. As I explained to the hon. and learned Member on 16th March last, the purpose of H.M. ships being around the Faroes is to …give advice to any British fishing vessels which are uncertain as to the position of the new limits▀¬"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th march, [964; Vol. 691, c. 127]. That is the purpose for which our ships are there, and so far the thing is working very smoothly.