§ 2.55 p.m.
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any consultations have taken place with the Government of the Irish Free State on the subject of drift-net fishing for salmon, and, if not, whether it is intended to approach them, in view of the importance of co-ordination on the question.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, SCOTTISH OFFICE (LORD CRAIGTON)
My Lords, I understand that drift-net fishing for salmon in the Republic of Ireland is a localised industry of small boats fishing mainly within the three-mile limit for a short season. There is no evidence that boats from the Republic have taken part in drift-net fishing for salmon on the high seas in the vicinity of Great Britain. If there is some change in these circumstances Her Majesty's Government will, of course, consider whether it would be useful to open discussions with the Republic of Ireland.
My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply, but is he aware that it is not only Irish trawlers that are fishing off Ireland but that there are also a large number of Spanish trawlers and, I believe, French trawlers doing so? If there are, have we any methods of controlling trawlers of this sort?
§ LORD CRAIGTON
My Lords, that is a much wider question than the noble Lord's Question on the Order Paper, and I should prefer, if your Lordships would not mind, to deal with that in the debate which will come later.