HC Deb 10 February 1955 vol 536 c2046
28. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Agriculture what progress has been made by the White Fish Authority in the exercise of their powers under Section1 of the Sea Fish Industry Act, 951, which provides for the compulsory keeping of records and furnishing of information by those engaged in inshore fishing, coastal and inland wholesaling, which is designed to show what is happening to prices and profits in the fish industry.

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (Mr. Heathcoat Amory)

The Authority has in preparation a sample investigation of trading costs covering these and other sections of the industry.

Mr. Dodds

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that there are few things that puzzle the consumer more than the difference between the prices realised at the ports and those in the retail shops? As the first Report of the White Fish Authority, published in July, 1952, stated that the Authority was looking into this matter, will the Minister explain why, in 1955, the job has not been done? Is it not a fact that the trade has been uncooperative in providing these interesting figures?

Mr. Amory

The White Fish Authority has, of course, carried out some investigations and has commented on them in two Annual Reports. It has now decided that this is the best way in which it can obtain the information it wants, and is taking steps to put this sample investigation in hand as soon as possible.

Mr. G. R. Howard

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the Fish Fryers' Association has submitted its accounts to the White Fish Authority?

Mr. Amory

I have no information that it has, or that it has been asked for information.

Mr. Dodds

Can the Minister answer my question as to whether or not the trade has been unco-operative?

Hon. Members


Mr. Dodds

I beg to give notice that, owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the answer, I shall raise the matter on the adjournment, if I cannot do so here.