asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will name the oases, and give the circumstances of each case, where seizure of fishing gear by Her Majesty's fisheries cruisers was not followed by conviction or by prosecution; and if he will state in each case the amount of compensation for loss and damage which was paid under the Sea Fisheries Compensation (Scotland) Act, 1959, or otherwise.
There has been only one case since the Sea Fisheries Cornpensation (Scotland) Act, 1959, became law where seizure of fishing gear by one of my Department's vessels has not been followed by prosecution and conviction. This was the case about which the hon. and learned Member asked me a Question on 18th July when I informed him that I had been advised that there was no liability against the Department and that the claim for compensation had therefore been refused.
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that this amounts to Star Chamber conduct and is repugnant not only to English law but to Scottish law? Will he see that it does not occur again?
The hon. and learned Member knows very well that the procedures followed have been strictly legal and proper.