HC Deb 31 March 1965 vol 709 cc1648-9
26. Mr. Wall

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about his recent discussions with the Chairman of the White Fish Authority.

Mr. Hoy

I have nothing to add to the reply given on 10th March to the hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) and my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson).

Mr. Wall

Can the Minister confirm that Mr. Matthew is to continue as Chairman of the White Fish Authority and can he say when the Government expect to make a statement on the statutory minimum prices scheme?

Mr. Hoy

I have heard nothing to the contrary with regard to the first part of that question. Mr. Matthew has had a few meetings with me and nothing but friendly meetings have taken place. We hope that, as a result of these negotiations, we shall very soon be able to table proposals to deal with the fishing industry.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does my hon. Friend realise that the discussions referred to in this Question have an important bearing not only upon the fishing industry as such but on the ancillary industries and on the consumers and that, therefore, his statement should be expedited and elaborated?

Mr. Hoy

There are, of course, many people who depend on the fishing industry in addition to the catcher. There are many land-based establishments whose livelihood it is. We have also the responsibility to the consumer, but we think that within the next few weeks we shall be able to make certain announcements. After all, Mr. Matthew's proposals reached us only at the beginning of this year.

Mr. G. R. Howard

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether it is likely that this report will be before the House between now and July?

Mr. Hoy

I would certainly hope that a decision will come before July.

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