HC Deb 22 April 1970 vol 800 cc415-6
30. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the work carried out by river purification boards on fishing matters including the participation in stocking and fishing management programmes presently undertaken by the Clyde Angling Association.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

River purification boards are primarily responsible for preventing pollution. I understand, however, that the Clyde Board gives advice to fishing associations on fish rearing and stocking.

Mr. Rankin

Is my hon. Friend aware that, while we recognise that the river purification boards are functioning very well on the east coast of Scotland and, with the appropriate officers, had to do so because of the value of the salmon fisheries there, on the west coast of Scotland last year 30,000 dead seagulls were picked up most of which on examination were shown to have died through the effects of pollution? Is he aware that this is increasing on the west coast of Scotland and that river purification boards there are practically non-existent and there is only one purification officer known to me and he was recently appointed by Glasgow Corporation.

Dr. Mabon

I would be very glad to comment on the latter part of the question when we reach Question 46. Sticking strictly to the terms of Question No. 30, my hon. Friend will be glad to know that the Clyde and the Ayrshire boards employ biologists to measure the quality of the river waters in terms of animal and plant life and other bodies have the advantage of advice of the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory at Pitlochry. If he has other points to make in correspondence, I will answer them.

Mr. Rankin

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of that Answer I shall present my hon. Friend with the other points on an Adjournment Motion.

Mr. Younger

Is the Minister aware of the great concern felt by anglers about the pollution of the River Ayr by the National Coal Board in recent months? Will he say what he proposes to do about the representations made to him on this subject?

Dr. Mabon

That is an entirely different question, but I will willingly correspond with the hon. Gentleman about it. In fairness, I cannot answer matters raised on Question 30 which are dealt with in later Questions today and Questions put down for later dates.