§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that on 8th July, 1959, the Icelandic coastguard vessels "Aegir" and "Albert" fired live and blank shots on British trawlers at sea off Iceland; and if 10W he will make a statement on the origin and nature of this incident.
§ Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing
The following incidents between Icelandic coastguard vessels and British trawlers took place on 7th and 8th July.
On 7th July the Icelandic coastguard vessel "Aegir" fired two blank shots at the trawler "Northern Dawn" off the north coast of Iceland. The "Northern Dawn" was fishing at the time in the vicinity of the 12-mile fishery limit claimed by Iceland.
Also on 7th July, the Icelandic coastguard vessel "Albert" fired four blank shots and one solid shot at the trawler "Robert Hewitt." The solid shot landed about one mile astern of the trawler. This incident took place off the south-east coast of Iceland; the trawler skipper stated that at the time he was between 12 and 14 miles from the coast.
On 8th July the coastguard vessel "Aegir" fired two blank shots at the trawler "Conan Doyle" which was at the time 12 miles off the north-east coast of Iceland.
Her Majesty's Government have protested on several occasions to the Icelandic authorities against the dangerous action taken by Icelandic coastguard vessels in interfering with the legitimate activities of British trawlers. They have made it clear that they will continue to give protection to British vessels on the high seas.