Icelandic Trawlers (Loans)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th July 1949.

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Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow 12:00 am, 28th July 1949

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why permission was given to the Icelandic Government to raise the recent loans to build ten trawlers, in view of the fact that the British fleet with the projected building will be sufficient or more than sufficient to supply all the fish we need.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

I assume the hon. Member is referring to the £1¼ million 4½ per cent. Iceland Sterling Stock, 1960–69, for which applications were invited on 21st July last. Authority was given for the issue of this stock in order to assist Iceland, as an allied country in the sterling area, to modernise its fishing fleet.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow

Can the Economic Secretary say what Government Departments were consulted before this authority was given, and will he tell the House whether the British Trawler Federation, vitally affected by it, were consulted over its issue?

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

The Government consult all the appropriate Government Departments in all these cases, but I should have thought that the modernisation of the fishing fleet of a country which is a member both of the sterling area and of O.E.E.C. was a very desirable object.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow

Would not the hon. Gentleman also think that the preservation of the livelihood of our own people was equally important, and will he answer my question: which Government Departments were consulted specifically—was the Minister of Agriculture consulted; and secondly, were the British Trawler Federation consulted?

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

If the Iceland fishing fleet becomes more efficient it should be able to sell its produce here at lower prices and, therefore, the livelihood of our own people will be assisted.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow

That is no answer to my question.