HC Deb 13 June 1950 vol 476 cc21-2
43. Mr. Duthie

asked the Prime Minister whether he has any statement to make on the white fishing industry.

45. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Prime Minister if he is now in a position to make a statement in relation to the white fishing industry.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The Departments concerned have been giving careful consideration to this question, but no statement can be made until the Government have had an opportunity of considering their report.

Mr. Duthie

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Government have given a promise to treat this as a matter of urgency for the last two months, that conditions are going from bad to worse, and that it is a most serious matter for the economy of the whole coastside? Will he give it absolue urgency?

The Prime Minister

Yes, absolute urgency is given to this matter, but it is not an easy problem.

Mr. Edward Evans

Can the Prime Minister tell us what proposals have been received from the industry itself, and do not these involve substantial subsidies? Can he tell us whether the industry is prepared to accept an over-riding authority in order to integrate the varying elements in the industry?

The Prime Minister

I should like to see that question on the Paper.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Can the Prime Minister say what action the Government are considering in regard to restricting foreign imports?

The Prime Minister

That is one of the matters to be taken into consideration.

Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

Is the Prime Minister aware that telegrams have been coming in from the Scottish White Fish Producers' Association asking for consideration of the immediate setting up of a white fish industry board, and is he aware that this has great support from hon. Members on this side of the House?

The Prime Minister

Yes, I am aware of that.

Brigadier Medlicott

Can the Prime Minister give an approximate idea of how soon this statement can be made?

The Prime Minister

As soon as possible. I cannot tie myself to a day.

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