§ MR. G. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that during the month of April there were some 40 French boats with 20 to 24 men in each amounting to 900 men fishing off Crook-haven, that two Manx Companies employ between there and Kinsale 140 boats and about 1,000 men, and that there are several hundred fishermen from France, Isle of Man, and other places who find remunerative employment around the Irish coast, while many of the native population can find no work to do; and as Irish fishermen are too poor to purchase large-sized boats and proper outfits without which the business cannot be worked successfully, will he consider this matter with a view to placing the natives in a position to compete on fairly equal terms with the French or Manx fishermen?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
It is the fact that a 1464 number of French boats fished off the south-west coast of Ireland in the spring of this year, and Crookhaven, which is one of the many ports in this district, has been made the head-quarters of the Co-operative Manx Fishing Company, much to the benefit of the locality. A considerable number of large fishing vessels are owned by native fishermen in this part of Cork, the majority of which have been purchased by means of loans issued through the Inspectors of Fisheries or Congested Districts Board. If the hon. Member will look at the last-published reports of the Fishery Inspectors and Congested Districts Board he will find that the total number of loans advanced on the recommendation of the former to December 31,1895, for the purchase of boats and for other fishery purposes, was 474, amounting to £10,062, in addition to which 619 loans for £9,515 were issued by the Congested Districts Board down to March 31,1896.