HC Deb 05 June 1951 vol 488 cc791-2
16. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what reply he has sent to the complaint made to him by the secretaries of the Clyde Fisheries Association concerning the recent rise in the price of sisal from 75s. 3d. to a new peak price of 292s. per cwt., and of the difficulties this has caused to fishermen and to the herring industry.

Mr. T. Fraser

Prices of ropes are kept under review by the Central Price Regulation Committee but the Government have no control over the price of raw sisal. Special arrangements have been made for the release of 4,000 tons of manila for the fishing industry. Manila ropes should be available to fisherman in July at prices below the current price for similar sisal ropes, and as they have an appreciably longer life the effective cost to the fishermen should be substantially reduced. I am writing to the association more fully in this sense, and I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of my letter.

Mr. J. J. Robertson

Can the Minister not take steps to see that adequate manila rope is allocated to the Scottish inshore fishing fleet?

Mr. Fraser

I will note the representation.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Can the Minister say what the price of the manila rope will be?

Mr. Fraser

I could not, offhand.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Since the amount of manila rope to be made available will be rather small, is it not time, in view of the fact that sisal rope has increased in price five times in the last few years, to consider a subsidy for this essential part of the fishing industry?

Mr. Fraser

We note again this appeal for a subsidy from the other side of the House.

Squadron Leader Kinghorn

Will the Minister see that the English fishing fleet gets a fair share of manila rope?

Mr. Speaker

Scotland is certainly getting a fair share of Question Time today.