§ 16. Dame Irene Ward
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the herring fishing boats of North Shields were able to sail following the ban imposed by the Herring Board.
§ Dame Irene Ward
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that this hold-up was partly due to the fact that the Herring Board, for one reason or another, seems to be short of capital? Can he exercise as much pressure on the Chancellor as the Minister of Fuel and Power, so that the fishing interests are not impeded by lack of capital? And can I help him in that?
Perhaps the first thing my hon. Friend would do to help me is clarify her question. I do not quite follow her reasoning. The reason for this temporary ban was the exceptionally heavy landings of herring at most of the ports and the fact that a large proportion of the herring landed was not suitable for the fresh market or for pickle curing, and, therefore, had to go for the oil and meal factories, which were temporarily glutted.
§ Mr. G. R. Howard
Would my right hon. Friend not agree that perhaps what was in the mind of my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) was that capital for producing freezing equipment might be useful—
§ Mr. Howard
—and that if that equipment were produced the cost would be infinitesimal compared with the prices being paid for coal at this time?
I agree with my hon. Friend to this extent, that I think that freezing is one of the matters concerning the fishing industry to which it is right that we should give a very great deal of attention. We are doing that.