HC Deb 13 November 1961 vol 649 cc13-4W
57. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is aware of the difficulties caused to the fishing industry by the fact that none of the four Conventions resulting from the recommendations of the first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea held in Geneva, at which Great Britain was represented, has yet come into force; and when each of them will come into force.

Mr. Heath

Her Majesty's Government are not aware of any such difficulties. Freedom of fishing on the high seas will not be affected by the entry into force of any of the Conventions.

Machinery for the settlement of conservation questions already exists, and a considerable measure of international co-operation has already been achieved within the existing conservation organisations. The Convention on Fishing and Conservation adopted at Geneva will, however, provide new procedures whereby negotiations can be initiated at the request of a State off whose coast fishing by foreign nationals takes place.

No estimate of the date of entry into force can be given, since it depends on the deposit of twenty-two ratifications.