§ Mr. TREVELYAN
asked the Minister of Agriculture why the Conservancy Board of the River Coquet was not asked by him, before he gave his decision, to put forward their case for justifying an increase of the licence duty on netting at the mouth of the river, in view of the fact that they intimated to him that their demand was based on the extent and productiveness of the netting operations?
Before giving my decision, I invited the Fishery Board to put forward a "reasoned statement … in support of the proposed licence duty." I pointed out that the proposed duty was "out of all proportion to" that charged "in other districts … for fishing with similar instruments." I asked that any statement submitted to me should "explain on what principle in amount1518W so many times as much as the present duty had been adopted." The reply of the Fishery Board produced no evidence or arguments to justify the increase of the existing duty from £5 to 150.