§ 4.23 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF WORKS (LORD MORRISON)
My Lords, the House will remember that during the Second Reading of the Bill great interest was taken in this measure and noble Lords who took part in the debate expressed the view that in the interests of salmon fisheries it should be passed into law at the earliest possible date. The noble Earl, Lord Selkirk, who I am sorry to say is not here this afternoon, raised on Second Reading a point in relation to the apprehension of offenders by private citizens, and I undertook to give a reply at this stage. I am informed that: Scottish law recognises the right and duty of any citizen witnessing a common law offence to apprehend a criminal, but in relation to a statutory offence there is no power in the citizen to apprehend an offender unless that power is conferred by the Statute which sets up the offence. This view was expressed in Macdonald's Criminal Law of Scotland, Fifth edition. I may say that the Lord Advocate in replying to an 616 Amendment moved by Lord Dunglass during the Committee stage of the Bill in another place, dealt more fully with this subject. It is a long time since a measure dealing with the Scottish salmon fisheries was added to the Statute Book. This Bill seeks to bring the law into line with modern conditions, and also to give the freshwater fisheries a better and more logical system of protection than they have hitherto enjoyed. In particular, it is designed to protect stocks of fish against the destructive methods of poaching which have been developed in recent years and to give salmon a somewhat longer period at the week-ends to make their way up river to spawn. The Government appreciate the friendly and encouraging reception which has been given to the proposals contained in the Bill. I beg to move that the Bill be read a third time.
§ Moved, that the Bill be now read 3a.— (Lord Morrison.)
§ LORD BALFOUR OF INCHRYE
My Lords, my noble friend Lord Selkirk asked me to convey his apologies to the noble Lord, Lord Morrison, and to your Lord-ships that he is unable to be here to-day. He will no doubt read the observations made by the noble Lord. I will only repeat what I said on Second Reading: I think this is a good Bill; it does not give all we want, but it goes a long way. The sooner it is on the Statute Book, the better we on this side of the House shall be pleased.
§ On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.