HC Deb 16 July 1969 vol 787 cc610-1
47. Mr. W. H. K. Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for the assistance of the fishing industry to undertake industrial fishing; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Buchan

The issistance given by way of white fish subsidy has already been extended to cover industrial fishing, and some landing restrictions have been eased. Further measures will depend on the result of investigations now in progress.

Mr. Baker

Would not further assistance in this connection help to ease our balance of payments problem in that more industrial fishing could be carried on?

Mr. Buchan

I am well aware of the importance of this matter and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, I have been giving a good deal of consideration to it. It was partly with the import saving aspect in mind that we have made the improvements we have done.

Mr. Stodart

Will the Under-Secretary undertake to treat this matter with more urgency that he has the Hunter Report? Is he aware that imports of fish meal amount to 86 per cent. of our total consumption and that there is great room for import saving here?

Mr. Buchan

I will certainly undertake to give it exactly the same urgency as I have given to the Hunter Report—that is, considerable urgency.