Orders of the Day — Fishery Limits Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Crosland Mr Anthony Crosland , Grimsby 12:00 am, 6th July 1964

Although we on this side of the House welcome the Bill, I wish to make one point about it. One of the disadvantages of this kind of Measure, as I suggested on Second Reading, is the inevitable resentment it causes in the fishing industries of other countries. In the last few days we have had a dramatic example of the sort of resentment and confusion which can be caused by the extension of fishing limits. The Minister knows about the extension of the Faroese limits a few months ago and the restrictions imposed on Faroese landings by the Federation with the support of the trade unions. This is an example of what could follow from this sort of Bill.

I wonder whether the Minister has observed that a group of merchants in Grimsby have applied to the Dock Labour Board to be allowed to become employers of labour in order that, contrary to the ban, they may land Faroese fish. This is a direct result of the extension of their limits by the Faroese.

I regard this sort of situation as nothing less than dangerous for the industry. I think that the Minister agrees that the only hope for the industry to have any kind of prosperous future is if all sides are united. In this kind of situation we have, on the one hand, the merchants and, on the other hand, the trawler owners, the trade unions, the skippers and the mates. If the Minister has seen reports on this situation which has arisen in Grimsby, I wonder whether he has any comment to make on it. It is a very delicate situation.

I do not propose to go into the rights and wrongs of it at this stage, but it is precisely the kind of situation caused by the extension of limits elsewhere which is creating conditions inside the industry which in the long run can do only harm to it. I shall be grateful if the Minister will tell us whether he regards himself as having any Ministerial responsibility in the matter.