§ Mr. E. Dower
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that herring fishing in Caithness and Sutherland is handicapped by harbour mouths being silted up; that at Helmsdale the fishing fleet are obliged to leave and make harbour at approximately high tide and that at Embo no boat can enter as the harbour is completely choked; and what steps he proposes to take to facilitate immediate dredging.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
I understand that accumulations of silt at a number of fishery harbours in Caithness and Sutherland caused some inconvenience to fishing vessels. I am, however, advised that this did not curtail this year's herring fishing. For the past few years dredgers belonging to the Scottish Home Department have been engaged on vital work for the Admiralty, but I am glad to say they are now again available for the dredging of fishery harbours. One of these dredgers is presently in operation in Wick, and the needs of other harbours in Caithness and Sutherland will be dealt with as soon as circumstances permit.