HC Deb 14 April 1943 vol 388 cc1213-4
53. Mr. Evelyn Walkden

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has considered the need for greater flexibility in the fish-zoning scheme; and why the West Riding of Yorkshire was, during the past two weeks, allowed to go short of fish when some other zones appeared to get more fish than they could sell or consume?

Mr. Mabane

Yes, Sir, this matter has been carefully considered in consultation with the Joint Council of the Industry, and new arrangements for the summer months were announced on 30th March and will come into force on 17th April. In reply to the second part of my hon. Friend's Question, I would refer to my answer to the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne) yesterday.

Mr. Walkden

Does my hon. Friend dispute, what is obvious in the shop windows of the fishmongers' shops, that in some areas there is actually a surplus of fish and in other areas a complete shortage, and will he answer that important question?

Mr. Mabane

Certainly, Sir. I cannot agree that there is in any of the zones a surplus of fish over the requirements of the general consuming public.

Mr. Holdsworth

If there is any surplus will the Minister see that it arrives in Bradford, because we have no fish at all?

Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward

Is it not true that some of the new arrangements to which he has referred have been postponed to the end of June?

Mr. Mabane

No, Sir.

56. Sir A. Lambert Ward

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been called to the serious situation which has arisen in Hull owing to the threatened breakdown of the fish zoning scheme; and what steps he proposes to take as this may cause complete dislocation of distribution?

Mr. Mabane

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given yesterday to the Question on this matter by the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne).

Sir A. Lambert Ward

Is the Minister aware that since the fish zoning scheme was introduced by his Department the fish merchants in Hull have either been unable to obtain any supplies of fish or else to dispose of such as they have succeeded in getting?

Mr. Mabane

No, Sir; I cannot agree to that.

Major Lyons

Is it a fact that since the scheme was introduced there has been a complete shortage of fish all over the country?