HC Deb 10 April 1974 vol 872 c401
1. Mr. Ancram

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the impact of increased fuel prices on the fishing industry; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Mr. Bruce Milian)

There is great variation in the impact of increased oil prices and the industry itself is best placed to provide the Government with a comprehensive assessment.

Mr. Ancram

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that answer. Is he aware that the increased costs are causing great destruction within the industry, that it is one of the few industries that cannot pass on its costs, and that in many cases in the smaller boats around areas like Berwick and East Lothian it is causing a loss of between £3 and £4 a week for the crew members in pay? Does he intend to do anything about it?

Mr. Milian

As I said, it is basically for the industry to make out its case. I understand that the various associations have been meeting. No doubt they will be making representations to us in due course. I am not sure that I wholly accept what the hon. Gentleman said about not being able to pass on increases in costs. If he or any other hon. Member has information on this matter, naturally I should be glad to consider it.

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