White Fish Authority (Loans)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1957.

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Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South 12:00 am, 17th December 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that, owing to the difference between Scottish and English law, the White Fish Authority has to limit aid on the capital cost of new developments to Scottish industrialists, as Scottish law does not acknowledge movables as security as is the case in England; and what action he proposes to take to overcome this handicap to the Scottish fishing industry.

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

I am aware that the law regarding security for loans in Scotland has caused some difficulty for the White Fish Authority and Herring Industry Board. I am exploring the matter with the Authority and the Board to see whether a solution can he found.

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

While appreciating the great difficulty in this matter, may I ask my right hon. Friend if it is not true that the Legal Department has been considering it for a very long time, and that it involves a much greater question than only the White Fish Authority, because it applies to all Scottish industry? Will my right hon. Friend therefore also investigate these wider possibilities?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

As my hon. Friend has said, the widest possible implications are raised by her supplementary question, and I assure her that the difficulties arising out of the present situation have been looked at for a considerable period of years and that no clear solution has yet been found. We have explored the particular point raised in her first question with the Authority, and we are trying to see whether we can get round it in any other way.

Photo of Mr Douglas Johnston Mr Douglas Johnston , Paisley

As the right hon. Gentleman has said, this whole question of the floating charge raises very large considerations. Would the right hon. Gentleman consider remitting the question of the amendment of the law on the floating charge to the Scottish Legal Reform Committee?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

I should like to think about that.