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Volume 154: debated on Monday 15 May 1922

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has any figures to show the number of merchants and other business men of British birth or nationality resident in Iceland; and whether, if there are any, he will consider inviting one of these to undertake the duties of consul or vice-consul?

According to the information available in this Department, there are no merchants or other business men of British birth or nationality normally resident in Iceland.

May I ask the hon. Gentleman, now that he is happily restored to this House, whether he will look into the question. There is much indignation amongst the fishermen who frequent those waters at the lack of protection they receive.

I know what the hon. and gallant Gentleman means. I had made inquiries.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he yet has any information with regard to the arrest, conviction, and fining of the British fishing trawlers, "Sethon" and "Mikado," in Icelandic waters; and whether he can see his way to consider the making of formal representations to the Icelandic Government against the harsh treatment of our trawlers visiting Iceland on their lawful occasions?

These trawlers were fined respectively 2,500 kroner and 2,000 kroner for being found inside Icelandic territorial waters without having their fishing gear stowed away as prescribed by law. The skippers pleaded guilty and acquiesced in the fines imposed. No grounds have been shown for making representations to the Icelandic Government in any of these cases.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the fine in the second case was 2,000 kroner—

And that these skippers by no means acquiesced in these fines. Complaints of harsh treatment by the Icelandic Government and the officers of the gunboat are very strongly felt?

I am aware that there is great dissatisfaction amongst the fishing community in regard to the matter.