asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that a number of fishermen from the Fife coast are being paid off from Admiralty service, and have no boats with which to earn a living; and, if in order to prevent unemployment, he will arrange for the release of a few fishing vessels for the use of such men.
My right hon. Friend understands that a few former fishing craft previously employed in the Forth have been withdrawn for duties elsewhere, and that since the engagements upon which crews were serving did not bind them to these new duties, they were paid off. He is in communication with my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty in regard to the earliest possible return of fishing vessels to the area.
While being appreciative of that reply, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he will bear in mind that the admitted excessive withdrawal of fishing vessels from the Fife coast has resulted in that part of the coast, more than any other, being depleted of the necessary vessels?