HC Deb 08 December 1953 vol 521 cc1775-6
3. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the terms of the 1952 Agreement between Iceland and West Germany include a clause under which Icelandic trawlers may land iced fish in West German ports to the value of 400 million marks a year, and that they have already begun their landings; and, in view of this, what steps he is taking to enable the British fishing industry, particularly that part of it which is based on Scottish ports, to secure a share of the West German trade in fish.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

According to my information, the 1952 Agreement between Western Germany and Iceland includes a quota for1953 not of 400 million but of 7½ million Deutschemarks for fresh fish, under which iced fish would be imported. Our trade arrangements with Western Germany for 1953 provide for imports by Germany of white fish up to 700,000 Deutschemarks, and I am advised that our exporters have not so far used the whole of this quota. We also have a quota for the import of 4.2 million Deutschemarks of cured herrings in which Scottish fishermen are, as the hon. and learned Member knows, particularly interested.

Mr. Hughes

If the Icelandic Government can do things of that sort to protect their nationals, is it not a disgrace- ful thing that the present British Government can do nothing to co-ordinate and regularise the fishing industry in the interests of the industry itself and of the consumers of this country? What are the Government doing about this?

Mr. Thorneycroft

If the hon. and learned Member will look at the answer. I think he will see that we have not yet taken up the full quota which we are allowed.

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