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LEGISLATION FOR FISHERMEN. Although the fish supply of this country M a matter of the highest inportance, very 6* Rrac^cal assistance had been given to is in ustry until the present Government legislated upon it. Our local authorities, however, o not seem to have a very lively appreeia on o the interests of a large section « bo*"3- have beea so apathetic as to "Imost eg' taking any steps what- them in the fishery inw^ »Pon they are of hood of hundreds of their co„stituents as one of the sources ot the food sunnlv t this country. The present Government have done have done their share of the work, and it now only remains for our local fishermen to insist on their representatives extending to theit in- dustry that share of their serious attention and care which it undoubtedly deserves. Early in March next our fishermen, in common with the rest of the electorate, will have an opportunity of pushing forward their cause, elicit from their present representatives what they have done in the past, and they them- selves will be to blame if they do not return to power those persons only who have shown active sympathy with them, and who will pledge themselves in future to exercise a diligent and adequate supervision over the same. The trawler has been for years the peat and spoiler of the genuine fisherman. The evidence of scientific authorities proves that trawling on inshore waters has been the cause of the wholesale destruction of im- mature and young fish. The present Unionist Government, not considering the fisherman's interest beneath its notice, passed the Herring Fishery Act which was again supplemented by an amending Act the following year. Where these laws have been set in force justice has been done to the fisherman's in- terests. It may, perhaps, be worth while quoting the testimony on this point of a northern member, Dr. Clark, M.P., who, being a strong Gladstonian, cannot be suspected of any partiality for the present Administration. Addressing his constituents at Thurso the honourable gentleman said that the fishermen often received more generous support from the real Tories than from some of their so- called Liberals." This is but the bare truth as applied to any other section of the working- class population of this country, notably those employed in factories and mines. Proceed- ing, Dr. Clark said, in regard to trawling, they (the fishermen) had got a measure which would effectually prevent trawlers from destroying local fishermen's nets on fishing grounds within the three-mile limit." Dr. Clark, although a pronounced Radical, is as honest in his praise of Unionist legislation on behalf of our fishermen, as is Mr Plimsoll in regard to Conservative legislation for the better protection of the lives and properties of our mariners. Despite all the praiseworthy efforts of the present Government to improve the lot of those who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow we have representatives, on our local authorities, too indifferent to the interests of our industrial classes, or too bigotted to encourage and put in force legislation of vast importance to a large and increasing portion of our population. This is not as it should be, and the electorate should no longer tolerate this state of things. For the information of some that possibly may not know, we may add that the penalty for boats trawling within three miles of our shores is now JEIOO, or, in default, imprisonment for a term not exceeding sixty days. It is for our local authorities to be roused from their slumbers, provide adequate arrangements for the careful superintendence of the fisheries to make this Act as valuable a measure as any one passed by a Government distinguished by the number and scope of its measures directly bearing upon the material improvement of the conditions under which our industrial classes work out their daily existence.










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