HL Deb 26 August 1907 vol 182 cc107-8


Order of the Day for Second Reading read.


The object of this Bill is to regulate the whaling industry which has recently been established in some of the northern islands off the coast of Scotland. The Bill is founded on the Report of the Departmental Committee which inquired into this matter in 1904, and which reported that it was desirable to regulate the industry for three principal reasons. The first reason was that a very great nuisance was caused by the manufacture of oil and other products from whales. The Committee reported that in some cases the sea was polluted for miles round by the amount of whales' blood and other refuse which was discharged into it. They also reported that a great nuisance was created by the smell. It is, in fact, stated in the Report that the Members of this Committee smelt one of these factories at a distance of a mile and a half. The second reason is to prevent injury being done to the herring fishing industry. This has been done in the present Bill by forbidding the killing of whales altogether during the winter fishing season, by allowing the Scottish Fishery Board to name a period not exceeding five weeks during which whales shall not be killed in the summer, by prohibiting the killing of whales within three miles of the coast at all times, and also by forbidding the killing of whales within one mile of any vessel engaged in fishing. The third reason for regulating the industry is to preserve the whales from extermination. The way in which the regulation is to be effected is by the issue of licences at the cost of £100. These licences will empower the holder to employ one steamer and the number may be increased to four at the discretion of the Board. I may add that this Bill is practically a legacy from the late Secretary for Scotland, and that it has already passed your Lordships' House on one occasion. There was no time for it to be passed into law that session. I beg to move that the House do give the Bill a Second Reading.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(Lord Hamilton of Dalzell.)

Read 2a accordingly. Committees negatived; then (Standing Order No. XXXIX. having been suspended), Bills read 3a, and passed.