asked the Minister of Agriculture when Norway succeeded Great Britain as the leading sea-fishing nation in Europe; whether he is aware that the loss of this position by Great Britain is principally due to the neglect of the deep-sea herring fisheries; whether the Norwegian Government has subsidised directly or indirectly the development of the Norwegian deep-sea herring fisheries; and whether he proposes to adapt similar methods to the herring fisheries of the United Kingdom?
While I do not accept some of the suggestions in my hon. Friend's question, it is true that since 1927 Norwegian landings of fish have, except in 1931 and 1934, slightly exceeded British landings in weight (though not in value) and that in some years this position would not have arisen had British landings of herrings continued at their former level.
The Norwegian Government are, at the present time, devoting considerable sums to the assistance of their fishing industry, but the information at my disposal suggests that only a minor portion of these sums goes in aid of the herring fishery. So far as financial assistance to the British herring industry is concerned, the policy of the Government is embodied in the Herring Industry Acts, 1935 and 1938.