HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 c213
3. Mr. Buchanan-Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has had regarding a minimum prices scheme for white fish; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Buchan

The representations my right hon. Friend has received related to the draft scheme published by the White Fish Authority on 3rd February. The Authority has informed the Government within the last week that, having regard to the objections lodged, it does not intend to proceed with the scheme. The Authority has, however, told us that it still believes a statutory minimum prices scheme with Exchequer financial support is desirable, and my right hon. Friend and his colleagues will consider the situation that has now arisen.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that decision will be largely welcomed by the Scottish inshore fishermen? Will he bear in mind that if the White Fish Authority were to bring forward a new scheme some Government help and subvention will be greatly welcomed by the industry?

Mr. Buchan

Whether the White Fish Authority brings forward a scheme is for the Authority, but we are keeping the matter under review.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Has the hon. Gentleman noticed that the White Fish Authority has again called for a Treasury subvention? Surely this is the essential answer to the problem.

Mr. Buchan

We have, of course, noted that point, and we recognise that this is the Authority's view. We are now looking at the new situation which has arisen as a result.