HC Deb 19 June 1950 vol 476 cc837-8
10. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware of the decision of the Aberdeen Fish Sales Association to protest against foreign landings of fish by refusing to sell after 27th May any fish landed by foreign fishing vessels or imported by direct consignment and to sell any white fish from any strange British trawler or great liner from the fishing grounds of Faroe, Iceland. Bear Island, Norwegian coast, White Sea, Spitzbergen or Newfoundland, and that this will seriously affect the fishing industry and consumers' supplies; and if he will inquire into the matter in order to remove the grievances.

Mr. Webb

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." I cannot say exactly how this has affected supplies for consumers because some of the boats are probably going to other ports. I am sorry that the salesmen have taken this action in the middle of our review of the problems of the white fish industry as a whole. It does not help us to get the practical, long-term solution we are seeking.

Mr. Hughes

Will the Minister see that the grievances indicated in this Question are considered by whatever committee he is setting up to inquire into the whole question of the fishing industry?

Mr. Webb

We have been considering all these grievances and many others, for some weeks.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Aberdeen fleet of 140 trawlers are losing £14,000 a week, and that the consumer can hardly be denied supplies when 388 tons of good quality fish are sold for fishmeal because they cannot get buyers? For that reason will the Minister make a statement on the various decisions which have been taken by the Government as to the industry as a whole?

Mr. Webb

The situation in Aberdeen is only one of many consequences of this industry's return to private enterprise.