§ 75. Mr. Boothby
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the present high price of coal adds enormously to the running costs of steam trawlers and drifters and is a great handicap to our fishermen; and, in view of the desirability of maintaining the fishing fleets in the interests of national defence, whether His Majesty's Government will consider the possibility of providing coal at a special price for bona fide fishermen, as is already done in the case of oil fuel?
§ The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Ramsbotham)
I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend is aware of the difficulties with which the fishing industry is faced as the result of the increased cost of coal. With regard to the last part of the question, whilst fully recognising the value of the fishing fleet in time of war, the Government regrets that it is not able to adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion, which would involve the direct subsidisation by the State of coal prices to one class of coal consumers.