HL Deb 21 June 1923 vol 54 cc560-2

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a Third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a—(The Earl of Ancaster.)


My Lords, before we finally part with this Bill, I should like to say a word or two about it. Your Lordships will probably remember that at a very late stage in the other House a clause was introduced constituting a fishery board for the Solway Firth. This fishery board is of a somewhat peculiar character, and has to depend entirely for its funds upon the contributions which it would or could receive from some of the neighbouring fishery boards. In that part of the world, with which for many years I was very closely connected, we have always been struggling to get a fishery board for the Solway which, by administering the two sides of the Solway, the Scottish and the English, and having them both under their own control, would be able to carry out a just and fair administration as between the Englishmen and the Scotsmen.

At this stage I need not go into the many difficulties which exist as between the two sides of the Solway. We on our side think that the Scotsmen have always got the better of us and are in a better position to catch the fish in the Solway than we are. But, however that may be, I think we have agreed that the proper method of solving the difficulty is to have a joint board. So far, so good. But the joint board are given no powers of raising any funds for the purpose for which they would really be most useful; that is, to purchase the fishing rights in the fixed engines which belong to the Scotsmen on the northern side of the Solway. What we have always looked for is that some board would be established which would have the right to raise by some means or other sufficient funds to buy these proprietors out. On the last occasion on which this Bill was before your Lordships I suggested that the Solway Board should be given the right to establish fixed engines on the southern side of the Solway. Those engines they would let out by means of licences and would be able to collect funds, which, being accumulated, would enable them to buy out the nets on the other side, and then, in course of time, the nets on both sides would gradually disappear.

But superior wisdom decided that it was undesirable that the Solway Board should have this right. The result is somewhat peculiar, because the contributory boards—the Eden Fishery Board, for example, which would be a contributory board to the Solway Board—have the right of establishing these fixed engines under Clause 38, subsection (1), paragraph (e). The Bill gives power to every fishery board to set up fixed engines and to lease them, and in that way to raise funds for themselves. But the power which is given to the contributory boards is not given to the superior board. The result is that the superior board is left without any funds; whereas the contributory board, the minor body, is entitled under the Bill to set up these engines and to receive funds. I venture to think that is a very anomalous position and is really a rather serious blot upon the Bill. In all other respects I think the Bill is an admirable one and I am very glad indeed that it has had such an easy passage through your Lordships' House. I trust that it may result in the catching of a very much larger number of salmon than have hitherto come to the rod.

On Question, Bill read 3a.

Clause 38:

Contents of the Order.

38.—(1) An order under this Part of this Act may provide for—

THE EARL OF ANCASTER moved, in subsection (1), after paragraph (i), to insert the following new paragraph:— (j) amending or revoking any previous order made under this Act or any Act repealed by this Act. The noble Earl said: My Lords, I beg to move the Amendment of which I have given notice. I am very sorry that when this Bill came up for Third Reading on Thursday last I had to give notice to postpone the Third Reading because, on a careful examination of the clauses of the Bill as printed after the Report Stage, it was found that owing to a mistake subsection (4) of Section 5 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act, 1907, one of the Acts consolidated by this measure, had been omitted. The Amendment which I now move has the object of rectifying that omission. I am sorry that the mistake was not discovered earlier. The Amendment is pure consolidation and I hope that your Lordships will agree to it.

Amendment moved— Page 27, line 21, at end insert the said new paragraph.—(The Earl of Ancaster.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.