HC Deb 12 December 1945 vol 417 cc409-10
58. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Food if, in view of the fact that fish mongers in the Cheltenham area are able only to obtain fish of inferior quality from Fleetwood under the existing zoning scheme, he will consider either abolishing the zoning or permit Cheltenham fish mongers to obtain supplies also from Grimsby.

Sir B. Smith

Cheltenham retailers, under the existing zoning scheme, are allowed to obtain, in addition to their regular supplies from Fleetwood, surplus fish when it is available from ports in the Milford Haven zone. I regret that I cannot at present allow Grimsby fish to go to Cheltenham, but I am reviewing the zoning arrangements in view of the increased supplies which may be expected in the Spring, and I will bear in mind the hon. Member's suggestions.

Mr. Lipson

While thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask when he hopes that a review of the zoning arrangements will be completed?

Sir B. Smith

It is going to take some little time. I hope it will be extended over a wider area.

64. Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence

Asked the Minister of Food if he will send representatives of his Department to Aberdeen to meet representatives of producers and merchants from various Scottish ports in order to discuss marketing problems.

Sir B. Smith

Yes, Sir. A meeting with Scottish inshore fishermen on marketing problems connected with white fish has, in fact, already been arranged, and I shall be glad to arrange for meetings with merchants and other interests, if it is desired.

Sir B. Even-Spence

Will the Ministry invite the fishermen from Whitehills Campbeltown, Shetland and inshore fishermen from Aberdeen?

Sir B. Smith

The hon. Member has put the onus on me. I invite them and I am susceptible if they will approach me.

65. Sir B. Neven-Spence

asked the Minister of Food if, in view of the unsatisfied public demand for white fish, he will ascertain the reasons for the restriction of catching and occasional dumping which occurs at some of the smaller ports and take steps to remedy the situation.

Sir B. Smith

I have, for some time, given much attention to the problems of restriction of catching and of dumping at the smaller ports, and my Department has taken whatever steps have been practicable in particular circumstances to remedy the situation. I have also arranged for a review to be made, in the very near future, of the marketing arrangements at some of these ports, and I am prepared to take steps to increase the buying power at any port where the review may prove it to be necessary.

Sir B. Neven-Spence

In that case will first-hand allocations be given?

Sir B. Smith

I am prepared to discuss it, and review it, as 1 said. I stand by that.