§ 19. Mr. Grimond
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any figures relating to the amount of gear lost by lobster and crab fishermen round the coast; and if he will consider some form of compensation or insurance scheme.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gilmour Leburn)
I regret that no figures are available for such losses. While my right hon. Friend sympathises with fishermen who lose gear, this is a commercial hazard inseparable from fishing, and he does not think assistance from public funds would be justified.
§ Mr. Grimond
Is it not the case that the loss of gear at present prices is a very serious matter to fishermen and sometimes represents a very heavy loss? While I appreciate the difficulty of establishing an insurance scheme, will not the Government consider giving assistance to fishermen to run some sort of co-operative insurance scheme of their own?
§ Mr. Leburn
I should welcome any move towards a scheme of mutual insurance, but I am afraid that this is a matter for the fishermen themselves and could not be run by the Government.