HL Deb 23 June 1868 vol 192 cc1915-6

House in Committee (according to Order).


desired to call attention to one unforeseen result of recent legislation affecting the herring fishery trade. Various Bills had been passed for the protection of the salmon fisheries, I which he need not say was a national object; but some years ago a Bill was passed on another subject, which indirectly had a most injurious effect upon the salmon fisheries. He alluded to the Bill which legalized trawling with herring nets. It had been represented to him, and indeed the fact had come under his own observation, that the restrictions upon trawling having been removed, trawlers now carried very large nets and approached close to the embouchures or mouths of salmon rivers, and, under the pretence of fishing for herrings, carried away fish of a much more valuable character. This was clearly contrary to the spirit of the law, and some of the earlier statutes, which now had been virtually repealed, were especially directed against such a practice. Until a clause was introduced into the present Bill, restoring the policy of those earlier Acts, the salmon fisheries of Scotland would be rendered totally insecure. He begged, therefore, to ask his noble Friend opposite what were the intentions of the Government with regard to this point?


said, the question was an exceedingly difficult one, especially as restrictions on trawling had been recently removed. But he should be happy to facilitate the object which the noble Duke had in view upon a clause suitable for the purpose being prepared and submitted to him.


complained of the stringency of the clauses of the Bill that related to the mills and other manufactures on the rivers. He believed that nothing was more demoralizing than to make stringent and irritating clauses which they had not police enough to enforce. He moved to omit the clause.


said, he had inserted the clauses because he found them in a Bill which in 1866 had been considered by a Select Committee, and which had passed their Lordship's House, though it was not proceeded with in the Lower. However, he admitted there was some weight in the noble Earl's objections, and if the noble Earl would withdraw his Amendment he would consider it before the Report.

Amendment (by Leave of the House) withdrawn.

Amendments made: The Report thereof to be received on Thursday the 2nd of July next; and Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 172.)