HC Deb 18 November 1964 vol 702 cc430-1
26. Mr. Wall

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what requests he has had to consider the problem of quotas on foreign fish landings; and what has been his reply.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. James Hoy)

The Grimsby Fish Merchants Association has asked for a meeting with me to discuss the restrictions imposed by certain sections of the industry on the landing of Faroese fish. The meeting will be held tomorrow.

Mr. Wall

May I congratulate the hon. Gentleman upon his appointment, particularly on his special responsibility for the fishing industry? When the meeting takes place will he bear in mind that the problem of Faroese landings is due solely to the unilateral action of the Faroese Government and that the problem can be solved only by negotiation? Will he do his best to persuade the Faroese Government to negotiate?

Mr. Hoy

May I thank the hon. Gentleman for what he said about myself? He has correctly described the cause of the position in which the industry now finds itself. That will have to be taken into consideration.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does the Minister realise that foreign landings have inflicted great loss upon the fishing industry of north-east Scotland, particularly Aberdeen? Therefore the regulation of quotas is urgently necessary. Will he give his attention to that with a view to tackling the problem of the fishing industry in north-east Scotland?

Mr. Hoy

We shall be discussing this problem tomorrow. I should prefer to wait until I have had this meeting with the merchants before making any statement.

Lady Tweedsmuir

What is the exact position about these landings at the moment in the Port of Aberdeen?

Mr. Hoy

My information is that certain Faroese vessels have been refused landing rights. I gather this from the Press. This is one of the questions which will have to be studied, because apparently their landings would exceed the quota laid down by the British Trawlers Federation.