HC Deb 25 May 1939 vol 347 cc2538-40W
Mr. Adamson

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that there is considerable dissatisfaction in the fishing industry at Milford Haven because of the continued employment of Spanish fishermen who were introduced two-and-a-half years ago as instructors in the Pareja method of fishing; when are the permits of the Spanish fishermen due to expire; and will he undertake not to renew them as the services of instructors are no longer required and over 100 British fishermen at the port are unemployed?

Mr. Peake

My right hon. Friend is aware of the circumstances in which a certain number of Spanish seamen have been engaged on trawlers at Milford Haven to instruct British seamen in a new method of fishing. Their permits to continue this activity will expire early in 1940, and, as at present advised, my right hon. Friend does not propose to renew them. Steps are being taken to warn the Spanish instructors and their employers accordingly.

Sir D. Thomson

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, as the quotas for imported fish were fixed when it was the custom to import fish whole and as fish is now imported filleted and headed, giving an advantage of over 100 per cent. in edible weight, he will consult with the Board of Trade and the Sea Fish Commission with regard to some amendment in the quotas?

Mr. Ramsbotham

My right hon. Friend is already considering, in consultation with the other Departments concerned, whether some arrangements can be made by which fish imported in filleted or headed form shall be computed for quota purposes at the equivalent weight of whole fish.

Sir D. Thomson

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has been informed of the proposed scheme for laying up home-water trawlers; whether he has asked the opinion of the Sea Fish Commission; and whether he will take steps to prevent the laying-up of British trawlers while foreign imports of fish continue?

Mr. Maclean

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the proposals of the British trawl owners to lay up 400 trawlers in order to restrict supplies and force up prices; and whether he proposes to take any action?

Mr. Ramsbotham

This proposal has been brought to the notice of my right hon. Friend, and he is given to understand that it is still the subject of discussion within the industry itself. My right hon. Friend is in touch with the White Fish Commission on the subject, but neither he nor they have any power to prevent trawler owners from voluntarily laying up vessels if they decide to do so.