57. Dr. Russell Thomas
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether the scheme for the allocation of fish is related to the normal consumption of any particular district, or, if not, by what method is it allocated?
§ Mr. Mabane
Under the Fish Distribution Scheme the country is divided into zones and sub-zones, and fish is allocated to each sub-zone in proportion to the population of that sub-zone. The fish sent to each sub-zone is allocated to each wholesale and retail trader and fish frier according to the purchases made during the datum period, July to September, 1941, which was agreed by the trade as a period during which distribution was on a reasonably equitable basis.
Does not this scheme encourage fish eating in districts where it is not normally eaten, and will it not make it difficult to get fish in the places where it is always eaten, both in fried fish shops and at home?
§ Sir Percy Hurd
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that his answer is not consistent with what is happening in towns in Wiltshire which are getting fish in nothing like the proportion that they formerly received?
§ Mr. Mabane
Having regard to the present catches that may be so, but the 628 hon. Member must remember that present catches are substantially lower, and must be lower, than in pre-war days.