HOUSE OF COMMONS
Third Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.
LOCAL FISHERIES COMMITTEES (FEES FOR COPY BYELAWS) ORDER 1993
Tuesday 29 June 1993
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The Committee consisted of the following Members:
Chairman: MR. EDWARD O'HARA
Ainger, Mr. Nick (Pembroke)
Butcher Mr. John (Coventry, South-West)
Cann, Mr. Jamie (Ipswich)
Conway, Mr. Derek (Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Dover, Mr. Den (Chorley)
Dunn, Mr. Bob (Dartford)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr. Charles (Wimbledon)
Hughes, Mr. Robert (Aberdeen, North)
Jack, Mr. Michael (Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
Macdonald, Mr. Calum (Western Isles)
McFall, Mr. John (Dumbarton)
Mitchell, Mr. Austin (Great Grimsby)
Porter, Mr. David (Waveney)
Townend, Mr. John (Bridlington)
Wallace, Mr. James (Orkney and Shetland)
Waterson, Mr. Nigel (Eastbourne)
Williams, Mr. Alan W. (Carmarthen)
Wolfson, Mr. Mark (Sevenoaks)
Dr. P. C. Seaward, Committee Clerk2 3 Third Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c. Tuesday 29 June 1993
[MR. EDWARD O'HARA in the Chair]
Mr. John McFall (Dumbarton): I beg to move, That the Committee has considered the Local Fisheries Committees (Fees for Copy Byelaws) Order 1993 (S.I. 1993, No. 1116). As you can see, Mr. O'Hara, the massed ranks of the Opposition have strong feelings about this particular statutory instrument. I have been left alone on the bridge to explain why we want the statutory instrument to be probed. I believe that the order was tabled in the days of the old penny. This is a seemingly small and insignificant order. I should like the Minister to explain its effect on the work of the sea fisheries committees throughout the United Kingdom.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Michael Jack): I congratulate the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) on the brevity and strength of his probing into this singularly crucial matter for the fishing industry. I was genuinely surprised that the Opposition prayed against this deregulatory order, which provides an opportunity for the sea fisheries committees, which do excellent work in conserving the inshore fisheries of this country, to make widely and freely available small booklets, such as the one that I am holding. I brought it 4 with me, for the convenience of the Committee. It contains the byelaws of the southern sea fisheries district. It describes, in intimate and careful detail, the rules and regulations for the control and conservation of those vital inshore fishing stocks—everything from mullet to the crustacea that we all enjoy. The sea fisheries committees invited us to make the order, to bring their practice into line with the regulation. They are already making the byelaws available, free of charge, to those people who need them. It is a positive measure to make the information freely available, without the bureaucracy of having to charge up to one penny for it. I am sure that it will be noted in fishing communities throughout our land that it was the Opposition who sought to fetter such information being made available, free of charge, to those who need it. I hope that the Opposition will not press the issue to a Division. I hope that they want our sea fisheries committees to be able to get their message across, unencumbered by the regulation.
Mr. McFall: So many Government acts have been done behind closed doors, in secret. This was one issue that was brought up front, making it open and deliberate. Like the Minister, I congratulate the sea fisheries committees on their excellent work. After so many minutes deliberation in committee, the Opposition have brought this issue to the Minister's attention. We congratulate the sea fisheries committees on wanting to ensure that such information is freely available, day in and day out.
Question put and agreed to.
Resolved, That the Committee has considered the Local Fisheries Committees (Fees for Copy Byelaws) Order 1993 (S.I. 1993, No. 1116).
Committee rose at twenty-seven minutes to Eleven o'clock.
THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:
O'Hara, Mr. Edward (Chairman)
Townend, Mr. John
The following also attended, pursuant to Standing Order No. 101(2):
Nicholson, Miss Emma (Torridge and Devon, West)