HC Deb 06 April 1936 vol 310 cc2430-1W

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take action to have increased the financial assistance offered in the present herring fleet survey; and whether, in so doing, his action will have regard to any financial losses already incurred in the survey by share fishermen?


I understand that the first part of the question refers to a scheme which the Herring Industry Board issued in December last offering a contribution not exceeding £3 towards the expense of slipping steam drifters for survey under certain conditions. I am informed by the Herring Industry Board that that scheme was discontinued in February. The precise effect of the suggestion in the second part of the question is not clear to me but if the hon. Member will be good enough to send me explanatory particulars the point will be examined.


asked the Secretary of state for Scotland whether the Government, considering the serious position of the herring fishing industry and the lack of power on the part of the Herring Board to deal with the situation, contemplates taking any emergency measures for the assistance of that industry?


The powers which Parliament conferred on the Herring Industry Board under the Act passed last year at the request of the herring industry were granted with full appreciation of the serious position of the industry and, in the opinion of the Government, they provide an adequate means for dealing with the situation. The schemes recently issued by the Herring Industry Board include the offer of loans on favourable terms for the reconditioning of boats and the provision of nets and gear. The board arc also taking steps with the aid of grants under the Herring Industry Act for the purpose of stimulating, so far as practicable, the markets for herring at home and abroad. In my view these efforts by the board backed by the cooperation of the fishermen and others concerned offer the best hope of further improvement of the condition of the industry and I cannot hold out any prospect of emergency measures being taken outside the scope of the Act, such as have been suggested in recent resolutions, for the purpose of assisting the industry.