§ 12. Mr. Grimond
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received about the refusal of British Railways to carry small consign ments of shellfish; what reply he has given; and what is his estimate of the effect of this decision on the shellfish trade in the North of Scotland.
§ Mr. Willis
I have received such representations, but I understand that small consignments of shellfish are carried in guards vans of passenger trains, provided there is room, and I shall reply to that effect. I appreciate that some fishermen are anxious lest this should result in delay and losses, but I have no evidence 1124 that it has had any significant effect on the shellfish industry.
§ Mr. Grimond
Is the acceptance of these small consignments in the guards vans of passenger trains a new offer of British Railways? Will these people be charged the penal rates by British Railways which are being charged for a full van consignments? Has there been any exploration of other methods of moving them if this proves unsatisfactory?
§ Mr. Willis
Some of the fishermen are arranging their own schemes for the consignment of shellfish, as with other fish. As far as we can see, this seems to be working quite well. British Railways gave a three-month halt in the arrangements coming into effect to enable it to be done. The prices to be charged are as set out by British Railways in their scheme. No change was made.