HL Deb 26 May 1851 vol 116 cc1410-1

The DUKE of ARGYLL moved the Second Reading of this Bill. The Bill embraced two objects: it proposed, in the first place, to render compulsory the cessation of net-fishing from the 1st of September, instead of the 14th of that month, thus giving the salmon a fortnight's longer run than they enjoyed under the present law. He proposed also that the "Saturday's Sabbath," during which the fish were allowed to run up the courses of the river without let or impediment of any kind, should, instead of beginning at sunset on Saturday, and ending on Monday morning at sunrise, as was enacted by the old statute of 1471, commence at eight o'clock in the evening of Saturday, and terminate at six o'clock on Monday morning. He need not remind their Lordships that the salmon fisheries of Scotland were of great importance; and it had been shown by the evidence of Mr. Hogarth, several years ago, that the value of the salmon imported in boxes into London from Scotland, amounted annually to a sum of between 200.000l. and 300,000l. He trusted, therefore, that their Lordships would give the Bill their careful consideration, so that there might be some chance of its passing into law during the present Session of Parliament.


said, that he was personally interested in salmon fisheries, but he should not divide the House against the Bill. Ho hoped, however, that the noble Duke would give time, before the Bill went into Committee, for the proprietors of the salmon fisheries in the north of Scotland to become acquainted with the fact that there was such a Bill before Parliament. He was not prepared to say that his noble Friend was wrong in wishing to close the net-fishing on the 1st of September, because he be- lieved that the best-informed fishermen on the Spey did not fish after that period; but he did not see why there should be a clause permitting rod-fishing, which he looked upon as a bribe to the upper heritors.


observed, that it ought to be remembered that it was in the waters belonging to the upper heritors alone that salmon could propagate their species, and ho did not think that it was too much for them to ask for a fortnight's or three weeks' rod-fishing after the season for fishing with nets had closed, since that would be the only time when they would catch any fish. Besides, it was but a trivial boon after all; for the number of salmon caught with the fly were but a drop in the bucket compared with those caught in nets and traps.


believed that the Bill was calculated to do good as far as it went, and it should, therefore, have his support. In his opinion, however, the most important part of the Bill was that which regulated the "Saturday's Sabbath."

After a few words from the DUKE of ARGYLL and the Earl of YARBOROUGH,

On Question, agreed to.

Bill read 2ª accordingly.

House adjourned till To-morrow.