Fishery Protection

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1976.

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Photo of Mr Douglas Henderson Mr Douglas Henderson , Aberdeenshire East 12:00 am, 14th December 1976

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the serious situation which has developed between Scottish boats and a fleet of large French trawlers outside the 12-mile limit but within 50 miles south-east of Shetland? Is he aware that the fishermen appreciate the prompt action of the Secretary of State for Scotland in ordering the protection cruiser "Westra" to the scene in response to my appeal to him yesterday? Has he been informed of two further instances this morning, when a Scottish boat's nets were cut by a French trawler and, I understand, "Westra" had to board the vessel in question? Will he keep in close touch with the Scottish Office on these incidents, and can he reinforce the Scottish fishery protection fleet if necessary? Can he assure the House that the strongest representations will be made to the French Government?