HC Deb 27 October 1980 vol 991 cc25-6
39. Mr. McQuarrie

asked the Lord Privy Seal what further progress has been made in gaining new orders from the World food programme for the canned fish processing industry.

Mr. Neil Marten

Since May 1980, 10 further orders for canned fish, totalling 536.2 tonnes, have been placed in response to requests from the world food programme.

Mr. McQuarrie

The Minister's reply is totally unsatisfactory because there is a serious situation in the fish processing industry in the United Kingdom. Is he aware that unless further aid is granted from the world food programme—rather than cash—in order to produce positive canned fish orders the industry in Scotland will go out of fexistence?

Mr. Marten

I much admire the persistence of my hon. Friend on the question of canned fish. However, the problem is that there is a limited demand for canned fish in the developing countries, and other countries supply it. We do our best to help my hon. Friend and the industry in his constituency.

Mr. Jessel

Will my hon. Friend say whether the world food programme includes the canning of kryll, which is a small crustacean now in glut in certain Arctic and Antarctic waters, having been the diet of whales which are now reduced in numbers?

Mr. Marten

I have never come across kryll in dealing with the world food programme, but I shall look into the matter and write to my hon. Friend about it.

Mr. Pavitt

Will the Minister say whether canned fish is included in the food programme for Zambia? Since the Minister's discussions with President Kaunda a few weeks ago, many events in that country rest on the success or failure of the food programme. Is there anything more that the Minister can do in this urgent situation?

Mr. Marten

We shall keep a close eye on the situation and do what we can to help.

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