HC Deb 22 March 1934 vol 287 cc1374-5

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that recent catches of sprats by fishermen from Poole have frequently fetched only 4d. a bushel, and in some cases have had to be disposed of to local farmers at 3d. a bushel for manure; and whether he will arrange for consideration to be given to some scheme which will enable British fishermen to obtain better prices for their fish, if necessary by arranging for its retail disposal to a greater extent in the areas near where it is caught instead of through the London market?

The Minister of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Elliot)

I am informed that only on two occasions during the past season have sprats landed at Poole been sold for manure, once because the fish were exceptionally small, and once because abnormally large quantities were landed. The average price realised during the season was one shilling a bushel. As regards the last part of the question, I understand that throughout the season sprats were distributed directly from Poole to a large number of towns throughout the Midlands and south of England, as well as to London. I am, however, asking the Sea Fish Commission to include the marketing of sprats in their inquiry.