HC Deb 22 November 1948 vol 458 cc861-2
58. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Minister of Food the cost of imported snoek, as compared with the cost of other imported fish and British herring, respectively.

Dr. Summerskill

We are negotiating for supplies of canned fish and therefore it would not be in the public interest to disclose these prices. Snoek can be bought cheaper than Group III salmon, but costs more than herring.

Sir T. Moore

While acknowledging that under the persuasive influence of the hon. Lady's skilled cooks this substance can be made quite palatable—indeed very palatable—may I ask whether she is satisfied that the ordinary housewife, without the assistance or the gadgets which are necessary to make it palatable, can secure the same result? Furthermore, may I ask whether it is really to the advantage of the people as a whole that snoek should be taken in at the expense of the more succulent and vitamin-full herring?

Dr. Summerskill

I must congratulate the hon. and gallant Member upon his ability to discard his prejudices and to judge snoek on its merits. I think that if he reads our recipes and consults our excellent cooks, he will discover that the ordinary housewife can make snoek up into agreeable dishes. Herring is bought, but snoek does provide a further variety.

Dr. Segal

Will my hon. Friend tell the House that she proposes to stop her little game of "snoeker" and give us salmon at I lower points value?

Dr. Summerskill

My hon. Friend could not have been here when my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer explained quite clearly to the House that canned salmon costs dollars. What my hon. Friend calls my "little game" is my attempt to persuade the people of this country to cat food from soft currency countries rather than from hard currency countries.