HC Deb 10 April 1946 vol 421 c1922
52. Mr. Boothby

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that the target figure of 500,000 barrels of cured herring cannot be reached this season unless there is an adequate supply of labour and raw materials, including timber for barrels; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the necessary labour and raw materials will be available.

The Minister of Food (Sir Benjamin Smith)

I have good reason to believe that the supply of materials, including barrels, will be adequate to reach the target figure for herring curing during the coming season. With labour, the main difficulty arises with skilled women workers, many of whom now have greater domestic responsibilties, but I hope that a sufficient number will come forward to help in this important work. As I said in reply to the hon. Member on 13th February last, I shall continue to take every practicable step to secure the necessary materials and labour.

Mr. Boothby

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that a supply of salt is also needed?

Sir B. Smith

I have already asked my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade to arrange the import of 7,500 tons to augment supplies in this country.