§ 20. Mr. Grimond
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the freezing of white fish at the quick freezing plant at Lerwick; and if he will consider the provision of refrigerated coastal vessels for the transport of quick frozen fish for charter to the White Fish Board.
§ Mr. Henderson Stewart
I understand that the Herring Industry Board would welcome the greater use for the freezing of white fish of their plant at Lerwick when it is not required for freezing herring and kippers, and that they are in consultation with the White Fish Authority on the matter. The question whether special arrangements are necessary for the transport of frozen white fish is one for the White Fish Authority who, I am sure, will examine the hon. Member's suggestion.
§ Mr. Grimond
is not the Joint Under-Secretary aware that last winter, for instance, there were plentiful landings of whiting and other fish around the Shetlands, but that there was very great difficulty in securing an adequate price for the fishermen and in getting the fish to market in decent condition and at a price which the housewife could pay? Does he not agree that, by means of quick freezing, that difficulty would disappear?
§ Mr. Stewart
I am aware of that, but, as the hon. Gentleman knows, the Scottish Committee of the White Fish 1097 Authority are, at this very moment, visiting the Shetlands to discuss this and other problems, and I have no doubt that the interests concerned will make contact with the Committee.