Puslapio vaizdai

An Account of the Quantity of Linen Cloth, of all sorts, exported from Ireland to Great Britain and Foreign Countries, in the year ended 5th January 1825; distinguishing British, Irish, and Foreign Linen.

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First Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons appointed to take into Consideration the State of the Salmon Fisheries of Scotland, and of the United Kingdom, and the Laws affecting the


THE Committee beg to state that their resolutions are founded partly upon the evidence taken in the last and present session of Parliament, but materially also upon a minute inspection of the returns received in answer to the queries sent in the last session of Parliament to all parts of the United Kingdom, which are necessarily so voluminous, and so various in form and substance, as to render them unfit to be presented to the House. In re porting these resolutions, the Committee have been desirous to make known as soon as possible the result of their investigations, upon some of the least difficult branches of the inquiry committed to them, with the intention of continuing their researches into the more difficult, but very important parts of the subject.

1. Resolved, that it is the opinion of this Committee, that the salmon fisheries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland have for many years past rapidly decreased, and that there is every reason to apprehend that they will be diminished still more rapidly, unless effectual measures be resorted to for their preservation.

2. That it is of the utmost importance that the fence months, or close time, should be extended, and should commence and cease at the same period in all the salmon fisheries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

3. That the taking or attempting to take, the having in possession, the selling or purchasing salmon, grilse, sea trout, botcher, whitling, whiting or finnock, during the fence months, or close time, ought to be declared illegal, and to subject parties offending to a penalty.

4. That during the fishing season there ought, throughout the rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, and sea coasts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to be a close time weekly, commencing at sunset in the evening on Saturday, and terminating at sunrise on Monday, guarded by

such penalty as may be deemed sufficient.

5. That it ought to be declared illegal, maliciously to injure or molest in any way the salmon, grilse, seatrout, botcher, whitling, whiting or finnock, when in the rivers, streams, or in the lakes, during the fence months or close time, or in any way maliciously to injure or disturb the spawningbeds, banks, or shallows, and to subject parties offending to a penalty.

6. That the owners or occupiers of mills or other buildings, for the benefit of which water is taken from a river, stream, or lake, in which salmon exist, for the driving of machinery, or any other purpose, ought to be required to erect and maintain such gratings or fenders as shall be sufficient to prevent fish, going from or returning to the sea, from entering the stream so taken from the main current; a specific description of such fender or grating to be furnished for their regulation; the maintenance of such fender or grating to be enforced under a penalty.

7. That it is indispensable to guard against the admission into all rivers, streams, estuaries, and lakes, in which salmon exist, of any matter proceeding from manufactories of any description which is known or deemed to be poisonous or deleterious to fish.

8. That the use of lights in taking salmon, or any other species of fish, ought to be declared illegal, and to subject the parties offending to a penalty.

9. That the size of the meshes of all nets used where salmon fisheries are carried on, ought to be regulated.

10. That there ought to be esta blished on each river and estuary, including such streams, lakes, and coasts as may be connected therewith, such number of conservators or water-bailiffs as may be necessary, proportioned to the value of the salmon fishery, for

the purpose of giving effect to such regulations as are or may be provided by law; the expense of such establishment to be defrayed by the proprietors or lessees of salmon fisheries in the proportion of their respective interests, and to be compulsory upon all persons having legal right to salmon fisheries; the conservators or water-bailiffs to have right to traverse and inspect the banks of all rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, and coasts, within their respective districts; to inspect all weirs, cruives, dams, mill-streams, and mills, &c. with power to seize and destroy all nets or other engines used for or calculated to kill fish, in any way or at any time, contrary to law.

11. That a process at law ought to be established by which the summary conviction of offenders may be had.

12. That the chairman be instructed forthwith to move for leave to bring in a bill or bills to carry into effect the foregoing resolutions, throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively.

30th March, 1825.

An appendix contains minutes of evidence taken before the Committee; a letter from Dr Flemming to T. F. Kennedy, Esq. dated 16th March, 1825; a paper delivered to the Committee by Sir G. S. Mackenzie, Bart. (with three plans) and a plan of the lower part of Tweed.

Second Report from the same Committee.

Your Committee have, since their last report, proceeded in their inquiries into some of the more difficult branches of the subject of the salmon fisheries; in particular, the important consideration of obstructions to the free passage of salmon between the sea and the upper parts of rivers and lakes, where the spawn is deposited,

and the young fish come into life. They have been particularly desirous to consider this point in all its bearings, because upon such free passage being afforded depends the possibility of the breed being multiplied; and they have approached the inquiry with additional anxiety, because they are fully aware of the delicate ground in some, and of the difficult circumstances in all cases on which they have felt themselves called upon to touch. In some cases such obstructions exist, connected with the salmon fishery, in so far as parties have become possess ed of rights to take salmon by means of those obstructions placed across rivers, and which can never exist with out a greater or less degree of injury. In other cases similar rights are claimed, although probably on no good foundation. And another class of cases, and that of no small magnitude, is, the obstructions arising from the application of water to the purposes of manufactures. Your Committee are abundantly aware of the difficulty of this part of the subject, and while they beg to express the strongest opinion as to the injurious tendency of all obstructions extending across rivers, they think, as each case may be in some degree different from another, the best course they can at present adopt is, to recommend that individuals should endeavour, as far as may be possible, to ascertain the foundation of right on which such obstructions may have been erected, and are maintained, and, except in such cases as those in which the interests of the salmon fishery must and ought to be permanently subordinate to manufacturing and other interests, that persons interested should endeavour to accommodate differences, by uniting in securing a free passage to the salmon. Your Committee do not hesitate to say, that the attainment of this object must be the foundation of all

future prosperity to the salmon fishery, and that individuals who possess a temporary advantage by the enjoyment of an undue facility of taking salmon, by means of fixed works across rivers, in many instances mistake their own ultimate and real interest by maintaining them. Your Committee consider it essential that this free passage should be afforded during the fence months, or close time, for the purpose of securing the multiplication of the species; and they are equally of opinion that it should be afforded in a considerable degree during the fishing season, because if those persons in whose property, or within reach of whom, salmon breed, be not permitted to take, when of a mature size, some proportion of the countless multitudes of fish which their care and protection may bring into life, it is in vain to expect that such care will be exercised, or that any protection will be given, or to hope that any law will be effectual to prevent the injurious practices during the breeding season, which, wherever they exist, almost extirpate the race. In those rivers on which large commercial cities are situated, and on which the interests of manufactures have led to the expenditure of vast capital, it is not to be looked for that the salmon fishery should flourish; and while it may be from those causes nearly extinct, it would be chimerical to expect that it should ever be restored. Such cases must be obvious, and the Committee by no means wish to make recommendations respecting them, which could end only in failure. But while they wish not to be misunderstood in this respect, they are equally sure that there scarcely is a river in the United Kingdom in which the salmon fishery may reasonably be expected to prosper, on which obstructions do not exist, and on which a vast general and public advantage would not arise from the

removal or regulation of such obstructions. Your Committee have also gone into evidence, at considerable length, respecting the modes of taking salmon practised in different parts of the United Kingdom, with a view to as certain the circumstances attendant on each, which ought to recommend it to the sanction, or suggest it to the regulation or condemnation of the le gislature. In pursuing this branch of the inquiry, the end in view has been to ascertain what modes of fishing are adapted to the greatest variety of circumstances, and calculated to secure the largest permanent supply of fish in fine condition, and, being adapted to the habits of the animal, do not interfere with those habits, so as to restrain its vast prolific powers. Such a subject is necessarily complicated in its nature; but the Committee trust their proceedings may not be deemed wholly unavailing, and that the evidence may be considered as containing the groundwork of principles on which the legislature may be justified in proceeding, in a future session of Parliament, to sanction a measure having for its object the general regulation of the salmon fisheries of the United Kingdom. Although your Committee were of opinion that they possessed abundant evidence on which to found the resolutions contained in their last report, they have, in taking further evidence, excluded no branch of the subject, but have availed them

selves of the full extent of the information of all the witnesses who have come before them. The testimony of some witnesses may appear to militate against the opinions which have been expressed by your Committee, but they beg to state, that, upon the whole, they have not seen cause to alter the opinions which they have already formed; and they report the evidence with a conviction, that when fully examined and understood, it will be felt, that while anomalies and exceptions are to be met with, no great or permanent good can be effected without an adhe rence to uniform principles, which, if called into full operation, will, even to individuals, much more than compensate the partial sacrifices which the adoption of sound and general principles may call upon them for a time to make. In conclusion, your Committee cannot refrain from expressing an opinion, that the salmon fisheries of the United Kingdom are eminently deserving, and greatly stand in need, of the protection of the legislature; and that there is every reason to be lieve, under the influence of a general law, founded in sound principle, that they might rise to an importance and magnitude hitherto unknown.

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-Year 1824.

An Account of the Number of Ships, with their Tonnage and Men, who have entered the Ports of the United Kingdom during the Years 1822, 1823, and 1824, respectively, distinguishing British Ships from Foreign.


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Ports of entry. Ships.




Tons. Men. Ships.



Men. Ships. Tons.





Tons. Men.


Scotland Ireland...

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*** 9,416 1,398,476 82,661 2,860 387,812 23,964 9,635 1,481,198 96,197 3,486 497,149 29,103 9,975 1,507,107 90,770 4,879 650, 128 35,970 1,028 176,327 11,223 229 28,156 1,647 1,063 187,138 11,830 272 31,571 1,872|| 1,149|| 198,388 12,712 401 44,752 2,692 573 89,383 5,092 300 53,183 2,810| 643

72,523 4,217 311 54,276 2,853 609

91,825 5,218 373 64,561 3,4.50

11,087 1,664,186 98,976 3,389 469,151|28,421||11,271 1,740,859 112,244 1,069 582,996 33,828 11,7331,797,820 108,700 5,653 759,441| 42,112|


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