HC Deb 19 July 1938 vol 338 cc1963-5
6. Mr. T. Johnston

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the extensive market for pickled and smoked herring in the British West Indies; whether he is aware that the smoked herring imports into Jamaica from Norway are 10 times the amount sent from this country; and whether,

Following is the answer:

Table showing the total quantity of cotton piece goods and the total declared value of cotton yarns and manufactures, excluding apparel and embroidery, of United Kingdom manufacture exported to the undermentioned countries during the years specified.

through the agency of the Colonial Empire Marketing Board or otherwise, he will encourage the export of West Indian citrus fruits or other produce to Great Britain in return for bulk supplies of pickled and smoked herring?

Mr. Stanley

There is a substantial import of fish into the West Indies, though the market is not at present filled to any substantial extent by imports of pickled or smoked herring. Imports of smoked herring into Jamaica from Norway in 1937, while they were 10 times the quantity imported from this country, were relatively small, amounting to only £351 in value. I will certainly consider, in consultation with those of my colleagues who are concerned, any suggestions which the right hon. Gentleman cares to make for the development of the trade in United Kingdom herring in the West Indies.

Mr. Johnston

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have already made some suggestions in detail, and can he suggest any adequate reason why the Government should continue to contemplate a situation in which 50 per cent. of our herring fishermen are in starvation conditions and 50 per cent. of the citrus fruit workers in the Colonies are in starvation conditions? Why cannot we swop these foods?

Mr. Stanley

The difficulty at the moment is that there is no great consumption of herring in the West Indies. I understand that the major amount of the fish which is imported from Canada and Newfoundland to these islands consists of mackerel.

Mr. Johnston

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a considerable export of herring from Canada and Norway to the West Indies? I give the figures for Jamaica only, but is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are a million people who are consumers of fish, salted and cured, in the West Indies?

Mr. Stanley

I shall be glad to do anything I can to increase the consumption of herring in the West Indies.

Mr. Macquisten

Will my right hon. Friend watch and see that there are no dyed herring imported into the West Indies?

Mr. Stanley

I will make certain that they are dead but not dyed.

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