HC Deb 28 March 1950 vol 473 cc178-9
42 and 84. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what steps he is taking to compensate Scottish fishermen for the sharp rise in prices of all fishing gear; and

(2) what representations have recently been made to him by the Scottish fishing industry; and what action he has taken in response to their plea for urgent measures to avoid a crisis in the trade.

Mr. McNeil

Representations have been made to me recently by the Scottish fishing industry against the decontrol of fish prices, against the termination of the flat rate transport scheme for fish and the withdrawal of the present subsidy on near and middle water fish, and against the high cost of fishing gear. The position of the fishing industry at Aberdeen is being examined by the Departments concerned and the position of the inshore fishermen is being discussed with their representatives by the Scottish Home Department.

Mr. Stewart

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the extreme urgency which is associated with this matter, and that, in the opinion of the leaders of the fishing industry, unless something is done quickly about most of these matters, a crisis will develop with which we may not be able to cope?

Mr. McNeil

I have already taken part in discussion with representatives of the Aberdeen fishermen.

Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this affects the fishing industry right round the coast? If he has not got the powers, will he seek powers to control this shocking exploitation of the ordinary fishermen by private enterprise?

Captain Duncan

Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to announce the result of these consultations before Easter?

Mr. McNeil

I should not like to be tied to a date. I have asked the Inter-Departmental Inquiry to expedite their business as much as possible.

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