HC Deb 12 May 1947 vol 437 cc1062-3
10. Mr. Edward Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what arrangements are being, made by the British Control Commission for the exporting of herring by the English fishing fleet to Germany during the ensuing fishing season.

6. Mr. Boothby

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any decisions have been reached by the joint Anglo-U.S. authority regarding the importation of fish to Germany during the remainder of this year.

Mr. McNeil

The British and American authorities in Berlin who are responsible for the procurement of food for the com- pined British and American zones have not yet reached any final decisions on the importation of fish into Germany.

Mr. Evans

In view of the importance of fish, both to the dietary of the very hard pressed German population and to the industry in this country, cannot the Minister assure the House that there will be, as there was last year, an open market for the herring, particularly in the English herring season? Will he assure the House that the arrangements to be made will be more satisfactory in order to have a better result than last year?

Mr. McNeil

I completely agree about the importance of this source of proteins for the German population and I also think we ought to make better arrangements than last year, if possible. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will not press me, because it is completely a matter of costing, and that subject we are examining most closely.

Air-Commodore Harvey

In view of the amount of money British taxpayers are having to put into Germany, and also because the Americans are considering placing this business in Norway, will the right hon. Gentleman see that we get preferential treatment in this matter to make up for the money we are spending?

Mr. McNeil

The amount it is costing the taxpayer is a prominent feature for consideration.

Mr. Wilson Harris

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not forget that very superior fish, the Cornish pilchard.

Mr. McNeil

Nor will I forget the herring.