HC Deb 08 July 1970 vol 803 cc656-7
20. Mr. Sillars

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will conduct a special examination of the likely effects on the Scottish fishing industry of the United Kingdom joining the European Economic Community.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

We have, naturally, been following closely the discussions in the Six on a common fisheries policy; these discussions have not, however, yet produced a firm policy. As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster made clear in his opening statement, fisheries policy may be one of the questions we shall want to discuss in our negotiations for entry.

Mr. Sillars

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many people in the fishing community are very concerned about the possibility of Britain's entry to the E.E.C. and the effect that it would have on the present 12-mile limit? Would he press on his right hon. Friend concerned with the negotiations the point of view of the fishing community?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree that since the E.E.C. has not yet agreed on its own fisheries policy it is not possible to say what the effect of our entering the E.E.C. might be. But I give the hon. Gentleman the assurance that I am thoroughly aware of the concern of Scotland's inshore fishermen.

Mr. Clark Hutchison

Is my hon. Friend aware that not just the fishing industry but many other people have reservations about our joining the E.E.C.?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I am sure that he will not lose any opportunity in the House for putting questions on other aspects of this matter.