HC Deb 05 May 1971 vol 816 c1369
30. Sir J. Gilmour

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what increase has taken place in the last six years in the value and quantity of fish landed in Scottish ports by the inshore fishing fleet of Great Britain.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Over the period 1965–70 there has been a 9 per cent. increase in landings by weight and 47 per cent. by value. With permission, I will circulate the annual figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir J. Gilmour

Do not those figures demonstrate forcibly the need to continue protecting our inshore waters? Is it not essential for the Government to go further than merely reserving their position? Should they not state categorically that they will not accept the Community's fisheries policy?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I have already said, as have Government colleagues of mine, that we find the Community's fisheries policy unsatisfactory. This is precisely why we are taking the matter up with the Community.

Mr. Maclennan

Why have the Government left it to the Norwegian Government to make public proposals for the protection of inshore fleets? Why cannot the British Government make proposals for the protection of inshore fleets which can be considered by the Community?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Every Government applying for membership of the Community must make their own tactical assessment of the situation. The Norwegians have approached the matter in their way. They are perfectly entitled to approach it in their way, if they wish to do so.

Following are the annual figures:

The landings in Scotland of all kinds of fish by British vessels under 80 feet in length were:—

Weight Value
(000 cwt.) 000)
1965 5,799 13,158
1966 6,411 14,281
1967 5,015 14,064
1968 5,098 15,052
1969 5,952 16,826
1970 6,349 19,363