Moray Firth (Foreign Trawlers).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 10th March 1931.

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Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Banffshire

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement with regard to his personal investigation of the circumstances attending the recent detruction by foreign trawlers of cod-nets in the Moray Firth; and, in particular, whether he will arrange for a cruiser to be detailed for special duty to protect the fishermen from loss till the end of the present fishing season?

Mr. W. ADAMSON:

A conference, at which I presided, was held at Buckie on Saturday last, the 7th instant. In addition to representatives of the Fishery Board for Scotland and the commander of His Majesty's Ship "Spey," the naval vessel on fishing patrol in the Moray Firth, there were present some 60 skippers, together with representatives of local authorities interested, fish salesmen and others. The situation was fully discussed, and I am now considering what further steps can be taken including the possibility of further protection. As the hon. and gallant Member is aware, the problem of the Moray Firth is one which this Government has inherited from previous Governments and is one which does not admit of an easy solution.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Banffshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is the second time during his present period of office that those depredations have taken place?

Mr. ADAMSON:

I am aware that from time to time during the last 20 years, or thereabouts, loss has been sustained by Moray Firth fishermen. I am well aware of that fact. I am also well aware, just as my hon. and gallant Friend is well aware, of the difficulties of the situation.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Banffshire

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the last part of the question? Will he arrange for a cruiser to be continuously on the fishing ground until the end of the fishing season?

Mr. ADAMSON:

In the course of my reply, I answered the last part of the hon. and gallant Member's question. I said "including the possibility of further protection."

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware—

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

We had this matter discussed on the Adjournment the other day.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Banffshire

On a point of Order. May I point out that, although I raised this matter on the Adjournment, the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was cut short by the fact that we had reached half-past Eleven, and he was not able to complete his statement. May I have an answer?