Herring Industry Board

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1964.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon , Aberdeenshire East 12:00 am, 17th June 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the results of his recent discussion with the Chairman of the Herring Industry Board.

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

The discussion which I have had with the Chairman of the Board has satisfied me that the mistake which was made over the buying price at Stornoway last winter was an isolated error.

The Board had, however, initiated some time ago studies of its administrative arrangements and the Chairman has undertaken to lay before me plans which the Board is formulating. He has also written to the fishermen's representatives re-emphasising that the Board is very willing to try to meet any suggestions they might make, and suggesting regular meetings to promote mutual understanding. I do not consider that any further measures are called for.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon , Aberdeenshire East

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I am not sure that fishermen will regard it necessarily as just an isolated error? Is he further aware that after this new revelation as to how the Herring Industry Board has conducted its affairs, there is a real and, I think, enduring crisis of confidence among the fishermen on the issue of how their money is used and whether it is used well or not? How, in consultation with the Chairman of the Board, does my right hon. Friend propose to meet this real feeling among the fishermen?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

The Chairman of the Board has been in office for two years. A new Board was then set up. I believe that his explanations to me of the mistake which occurred over the Stornoway price were very frank and full. The measures which he is taking to prevent such a thing happening again, and particularly his suggestion of closer co operation with the fishing industry itself, will, I hope, quickly re-create full confidence.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon , Aberdeenshire East

Apart from the question of closer co-operation with the fishermen, to what further measures does my right hon. Friend refer?

Photo of Mr Michael Noble Mr Michael Noble , Argyll

As I told the House, the Chairman is initiating some new administrative arrangements. I have not yet seen them, but he is going to send me a copy of them.