HC Deb 06 March 1958 vol 583 cc1328-9
41. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the costings investigations into the price of fish which began in 1952, if he can yet make a statement on the conclusions reached.

Mr. Godber

The report of the White Fish Authority's inquiry into the costs of distributing white fish was published in March, 1957. The information it provided will, I hope, have helped to dispel any idea that exorbitant profits are being made in the distribution of fish.

Mr. Dodds

Are no further investigations taking place into the costings of fish by the White Fish Authority? Is this the completion of five years' study?

Mr. Godber

I would not say that there are no further investigations taking place or that none will take place. This is a matter for the White Fish Authority to decide on its own initiative, where it thinks necessary.

Mr. G. R. Howard

Is my hon. Friend aware that, as reported in the Fishing News of 28th February, at a meeting between the British Trawlers' Federation and the fish fryers, it was stated that: For the 12 months ended September, 1957, prices were higher but costs higher still. … Earnings averaged 73s, a kit and the costs, without allowing for interest, were 75s., so that a loss of 2s. on every kit landed was suffered, I do not think there are any exorbitant prices there.

Mr. Willey

Can the hon. Gentleman say what inquiries are taking place? Will he not agree that there is plenty of room for improvement in the distribution of fish?

Mr. Godber

If the hon. Gentleman will put down a Question on that point, I shall be happy to answer it.