HC Deb 23 October 1979 vol 972 cc192-3
Q2. Mr. McQuarrie

asked the Prime Minister if she will visit the fish processing factories in Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to do so.

Mr. McQuarrie

I very much regret that it is impossible for my right hon. Friend to visit the fish processing factories in my constituency. However, will she press her Ministers to hold a meeting with those responsible for fishing in order to secure a negotiated agreement for the industry and remove the threat of unemployment that hangs over thousands of people as a result of high costs and lack of supplies? Is she aware that the industry has been asking for that for four years without success and that during that time almost every sector of the industry has had to apply for temporary employment subsidy to remain in business?

The Prime Minister

I know the problems that my hon. Friend is facing in this area. The overriding necessity is to conserve herring stocks, and until they have recovered there will be very little supply for that branch of the fish processing industry. My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland will be discussing the problem with representatives of the industry this week.