§ 43. Sir W. Duthie
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied that the existing provision of £9,000,000 under the White Fish and Herring Industries Act, 1953, is adequate to enable the White Fish Authority to continue making grants for the construction and modernisation of fishing vessels; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Hare
The sums provided have been committed earlier than was expected, both because of the very large number of applications for grant which the White Fish Authority has received in the last year, and also because of a technical requirement that grants which have been cancelled and repaid have to be paid into the Exchequer and may not be used to make other grant payments. The total of applications approved has already reached £9 million gross, but in order to avoid a break in the continuity of approvals of these grants the White Fish Authority has been given permission to enter into further commitments up to the amount affected by this method of accounting, that is, until the amounts committed total £9 million net. Approvals thereafter will depend on the provision by Parliament of further funds. The Sea Fish Industry Bill now before the House contains a provision for this purpose.