§ 28. Mr. CECIL WILSON
asked the Minister of Health whether he will state the cases brought to his notice in which, during the last 12 months, food of any description fit for human consumption has been destroyed and, in each case, the reason for the destruction and the action taken by the Department, either before 375 the destruction or since; and whether it is intended to take further powers to prevent such destruction?
§ Sir K. WOOD
No such cases have been brought to my notice as having occurred in England or Wales, and I do not consider that it is necessary to take steps to obtain further powers in the matter.
52 and 53. Mr. DAVID ADAMS
asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) whether he is aware that the Herring Industry Board is advertising in the daily Press, recommending the population to eat herring for reasons of health and of economy; and what steps the board are taking to prevent the repeated cases of waste of food by cargoes of herring being thrown back into the sea owing to low market prices;
(2) whether he is aware that on 30th and 31st May several trawlers arrived at North Shields with catches of fresh herring and, being unable to obtain their minimum price, took their cargoes again to sea and discharged them overboard; and will he intervene to prevent any recurrence of such waste of food, especially in the special areas of Tyneside with its necessitous population?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Elliot)
I am aware of the efforts that are being made by the Herring Industry Board to increase the sale of herring. I am also aware of the discharge at sea of a quantity of herring off North Shields on 30th May last which was, I understand, due to unexpectedly heavy landings beyond the then capacity of the market. The fish in question were "over days," that is, more than 24 hours old and iced. The difficulties in this case were accentuated by the fact that the landings took place on the Saturday preceding a Bank Holiday. As regards the steps which are being taken to deal with landings of herring surplus to the capacity of the markets which are occurring from time to time at various fishing ports in Great Britain, I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given to questions in this House on 25th May by my 376 hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, and on 26th May by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland to the effect that the Herring Industry Board are at present considering, in consultation with the Commissioners for the Special Areas and the Food Council, the problem caused by occasional and temporary very heavy supplies of herring.
When may we anticipate that this waste will cease by the distribution of herring under proper conditions to the distressed areas?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
The question of giving relief in kind is a very delicate one and is greatly objected to by many hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite.
The Minister has already stated that the Herring Board is considering proper distribution.
§ 54. Mr. LEONARD
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether any arrangements have been made between the Pigs Marketing Board and the Milk Marketing Boards for the better utilisation of skimmed milk now going to waste at certain creameries?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
Collaboration has been, and is taking place between the Pigs and Milk Marketing Boards in regard to the utilisation of skim milk for pig feeding, and I am informed by the Milk Board that they have no knowledge of any supplies of skim milk being wasted at any creamery. If the hon. Member will inform me of any case within his knowledge of skim milk going to waste, I shall be glad to pass the information on to the Milk Board.
§ Mr. LEONARD
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the present issue of the Pig Marketing Board's bulletin m which such charges are made?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
Yes, Sir, but since then the difficulties have been entirely removed and these supplies are now being utilised.