asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (I) in the light of the anxiety amongst employees and employers in fishing communities throughout Scotland caused by the lack of a decision over the question of interim aid to fish processors, if he will now take steps to end the uncertainty;(2) what steps he proposes to take to aid fish catching and fish processing industries through their present difficulties caused by the overfishing by the other EEC members; and whether any aid was offered to William Liston and Co. of Granton prior to its cessation of trading;(3) what steps he now proposes to take to prevent closure by fishing firms in Scottish ports with subsequent loss of fishing jobs.
The Government are considering with the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board possible changes in the structure of the catching industry and consequential alterations in our assistance. The deep-sea sector has made representations about its present financial situation and has been invited to submit a reasoned case for consideration. The Liston company made no approach to my Department before deciding to cease operations at Granton.Changes in the supply situation will involve adaptation by the whole fish processing industry and processors are no doubt considering this. More immediately the herring processors have a difficulty over the supply of home-caught fish and we are considering urgently their request for help.