HL Deb 27 April 1978 vol 390 cc1979-81

3.31 p.m.


My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Thurso, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

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


My Lords, this is the second time that this Bill has passed through all its stages in this House. I should like to congratulate the noble Viscount, Lord Thurso, on his perseverence although he cannot personally be here. We have fully discussed the Bill and we have amended it. We now have a refined model of a Bill to protect salmon in Scotland from possible danger from predators and infection from imported species. Of course, it was the Coho salmon which aroused apprehensions during the past three years. I understand that the Bill in its present form is acceptable to all concerned, including the Government and including the interests affected outside Parliament.

I cannot too strongly underline the importance of salmon as a resource to Scotland. Very briefly, there arc three reasons for this. First, there are about 2,000 persons employed in jobs in or related to the commercial netting of salmon. This is carried out according to conservation rules in Scottish legislation which allow a proportion of the salmon to pass and swim up the rivers for anglers and to spawn.

Secondly, the Scottish tourist industry benefits substantially from the attractions of salmon fishing and would suffer if the stocks were to be decimated. Thirdly, salmon fishings are assessed for local government rates, and rates arc paid. Important beats, therefore, make significant contributions to the finances of local government in their areas. The question that now arises is, What will happen to this Bill in this Session? it does not need a money Resolution, but it is unlikely that time can be made available for its discussion in another place. Its best chance will occur if a Member of another place is successful in the ballot for private Members' Bills in the coming Session which is expected in about November.

I hope that the Government will place the Bill high on their list of possible Bills for Members of another place who are successful in the ballot and who consult Departments for suggestions for subjects.

Read 3a, and passed, and sent to the Commons.