HC Deb 22 May 1950 vol 475 cc1626-7
12. Mr. Douglas Marshall

asked the Minister of Food how far he anticipates that he will be able to limit foreign imports of fish.

39. Mr. G. R. Howard

asked the Minister of Food whether he will make a statement about his policy in regard to the import of boxed fish from abroad.

Mr. F. Willey

The whole position of the fishing industry, including the question of imports, is being examined by the Ministers concerned, and I cannot say more at present.

Mr. Marshall

May I ask the Minister, in view of the answer he gave to my hon. Friend on 18th May showing the staggering increase of foreign imports, how soon he is likely to be able to make a statement because, in particular, inshore fishermen cannot wait any longer? How long does he think it will be before his statement can be made?

Mr. Willey

As the hon. Member knows, this is not an easy matter and it will depend on the length of time required for the examination.

Mr. Howard

May I ask the Minister, in view of the gravity of the present situation, which is causing serious underemployment in the fishing industry and many fishing vessels to be tied up at the present time, if he will bear this in mind when making his statement?

Mrs. Castle

Is not my hon. Friend aware that some of the difficulties of the fishing industry arise from the present unsatisfactory arrangements for the handling of fish between the producer and the retailer? Will he bear this in mind before he agrees to force up prices through the classical Tory method of restriction?

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