§ 20. Mr. James Johnson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and 2080 Food what negotiations he has had with the fishing industry concerning a minimum price system; and when he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Johnson
While I accept the Minister's Answer for the time being, will he accept my view that the take-over bid of the Associated Fisheries Combine by the Ross Group will alter the nature of the industry as we know it, not least the nature of the wet fish auction sales in the dock? Will he consult the White Fish Authority about the effect of this proposal?
§ Mr. Hoy
I think that I had better leave it to those two giants to fight out whether one will pay £16 million and the other will receive it. On the other hand, it is true that it may have an effect on the market, and I have no doubt that the White Fish Authority will be paying attention to any consequences arising from this sort of take-over.
§ Mr. George Y. Mackie
Is it not time that there was an amalgamation between the Herring Industry Board and the White Fish Authority?
§ Mr. G. R. Howard
While hoping that we shall get this statement very soon after the Recess, may I ask whether I am not right in saying that the Chairman of the White Fish Authority, Mr. Roy Matthews, who has done so well for the industry, is very much in favour of a minimum price? I hope that the Government will be able to accede to the wishes of the White Fish Authority.
§ Mr. Godber
May I endorse what my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. G. R. Howard) and others have said? There is great concern among those in the industry about the matter. They need something to give them a greater feeling of security. I am sure that we all wish this to be done, and I hope that the Minister will be able to be helpful.