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Fishing Boats (Grants)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th March 1957.

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Photo of Sir William Anstruther-Gray Sir William Anstruther-Gray , Berwickshire and East Lothian 12:00 am, 26th March 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that shore owners can obtain a grant for a new engine for a new boat but not for a new engine for an old boat although working owners can obtain a grant for both new and old boats; and whether he will reconsider this anomalous situation.

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

My right hon. Friend is aware of the distinction referred to. The position was carefully reviewed before the introduction of the White Fish and Herring Industries Bill, passed by this House last week, but the conclusion was reached that there was no evidence that the absence of re-engining grants for shore owners seriously interfered with fishing operations.

Photo of Sir William Anstruther-Gray Sir William Anstruther-Gray , Berwickshire and East Lothian

In view of the fact that it is desirable to have the maximum number of boats reconditioned, is it not a pity that the withholding of this grant should interfere with a single case of an old boat requiring to be reconditioned with a new engine?

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

I do not think one can assume that there has been such interference. This distinction is not a new one, as my hon. and gallant Friend knows. It maintains one which has been already decided upon, and I think that it is probably wise to retain it.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

Is the Minister aware that this is only one of many outstanding problems which have not been dealt with by the Government in recent legislation relating to the fishing industry? Will he consult the industry with a view to having those problems efficiently dealt with in a comprehensive Bill?

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

The whole point is that the problem has been dealt with, and that is exactly why my hon. and gallant Friend put down the Question.

Photo of Sir William Duthie Sir William Duthie , Banffshire

Will my hon. Friend accept the assurance that this is a major problem in the fishing industry? Will he undertake to look at the matter again, together with the respective fishermen's associations, which. I can assure him, feel very strongly in this matter?

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

The strong feeling has been known. It was in view of that and all the other circumstances that this decision was taken, although it was bound not to be universally popular.