HC Deb 18 February 1970 vol 796 cc409-10
27. Mr. Stodart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has come to a decision with regard to a statutory minimum prices scheme for white fish to apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mr. Buchan

I regret that I cannot yet add to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) on 22nd January.—[Vol. 794, c. 187.]

Mr. Stodart

Is there anything wrong with the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friend, because every time fish is mentioned, be it salmon, migratory trout or white fish, they get complete and absolute indigestion and are unable to act? Does the hon. Gentleman realise the effect that the delay in the decisions by Ministers on the statutory scheme may have on the voluntary scheme which Aberdeen producers are putting up and which they may be forced to abandon if a decision is not come to?

Mr. Buchan

I am very interested to find that the hon. Gentleman is changing his balance of interest from agriculture to fish. There may be reasons for that. We are, of course, consulting the authority about certain modifications that we have proposed to the scheme. Perhaps it is as well that there were no fish at his meeting in South Ayrshire. A further announcement will be made shortly.

Mr. Hector Hughes

I thank the Secretary of State for the attention he has hitherto paid to representations made to him by the Aberdeen and North Sea Fishing industry. Will he look again at those representations with a view to effecting a still further improvement?

Mr. Buchan

My right hon. Friend looks at every representation from the point of view of making still further improvements.

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