I want to make a few remarks on this Bill as a whole. I take it that the object of it is to preserve the fish and the fishing around our coast for the benefit of the Saorstát. Reading the Bill, it seems to me as if it had not got as far as the fish or the fishing. I do not know how far this may be part and parcel of other Bills that are to come along, but there is no doubt that the trawling industry is passing through a very difficult time. The present fleet of trawlers in the Saorstát is, I think, down to about seven. The Government, apparently, have not very fixed ideas, because from time to time they have hired other trawlers to supplement the catches of the Sea Fisheries' Association.
I am not objecting to that policy, but I would like to urge upon the Government that they should make up their minds as to the direction in which the trawling industry is to progress. Is steam trawling a thing of the past? Are we coming on to smaller trawling boats and concentrating on smaller boats? Has a case arisen for getting out a quite different type of trawler, possibly driven by diesel engine? I suggest that is a question that possibly the Minister cannot answer at the moment. But a considerable amount of money is being spent upon the preservation of the fish and the Government might very well apply subsidies for the production of a trawler that is likely to be the type to be adopted for the future. For instance, if the Government could see their way to provide funds for one or two trawlers of an experimental type, quite a lot of useful ground could be covered and possibly yards of talk and discussion saved if it was found that vessels that certain people think are good, in the future were suitable or unsuitable. I am merely taking this opportunity on this occasion to urge that view upon the Minister.