asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent the sums available to the White Fish Authority for offering grants and loans towards the cost of boats built for the inland water fishing fleet have been or will be curtailed by the Government's economy measures.
The Government naturally took account of the financial situation in deciding what funds could be made available for grants and loans for building fishing vessels, but the sums available for inshore vessels in fact represent an increase over the average in the past three years.
Is it not a fact that the White Fish Authority asked to be able to spend up to £1 million in grants over the next three years, and do not the figures which the Minister has given the House represent a big cut? Is he aware that this is having a serious effect upon the small building yards in many of our fishing ports?
The hon. Member must not have heard what I said. I said that the sums available for inshore vessels represent an increase over the average of the past three years. The provision for grant approvals for inshore vessels in this financial year and next average over £280,000 compared with approvals averaging about £160,000 during the last three years. I could give other figures for the herring industry.