HC Deb 12 June 1945 vol 411 cc1487-8W
Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland what reply has been sent to the letter of 2nd June addressed to the Secretary of State by the Federation of Scottish Herring and White Fish Catchers protesting against the handing over of British motor fishing vessels to the Italian Government, while repeated requests from the Federation and the hon. Member for East Fife, acting on behalf of Scottish inshore fishermen, for the release of a few of such vessels for the use of Scottish fishermen, have been refused; and what action the Government proposes to take.

Commander Galbraith

My Noble Friend has made careful inquiries from which it appears that the representations referred to are based on a misunderstanding of the position. He is informed that, in accordance with the policy for the con- duct of Italian domestic affairs, the Italian Ministry of Marine is being given a certain amount of responsibility, under British and American supervision, of Italian vessels, which remain entirely under Allied control. No British vessels are involved, and in particular no motor fishing vessels are included in these arrangements. I should add that the rate of release from naval service of British vessels for fishing in home waters is governed by operational necessity alone, and that the Admiralty have arranged to release for this purpose all fishing vessels as soon as they become redundant.