HC Deb 10 November 1942 vol 383 cc2271-2W
Mr. Arthur Duckworth

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to. the Ministry of Food whether he is aware of the great inequality of treatment as between one retail trader and another at Shrewsbury as a result of the fish zoning scheme; and what steps he intends to take to prevent the hardship thereby imposed upon the fried-fish merchants who are unable to obtain sufficient supplies to carry on their business?

Mr. Mabane

Supplies to fish-mongers and fish-friers, under the fish distribution scheme, are intended to be proportionate to the quantities they received during a datum period agreed with the trade, namely, July, August and September, 1941. Any trader who considers he is not receiving his due proportion of available supplies on that basis should communicate with the area fish distribution officer of his district. A complaint has been received that in the first week of the scheme's operation one retailer in Shrewsbury received smaller supplies than his entitlement justified, and I have arranged for the investigation of this complaint by the Area Fish Officer.

Mr. Duckworth

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he can make any statement on the working of the zoning scheme for the distribution of fish; and how far reports indicate that the results are satisfactory or otherwise?

Mr. Mabane

The object of the distribution scheme for fish, which came into operation on 17th October last, is to economise internal transport. According to the information which has reached me from various parts of the country, the scheme is working on the whole satisfactorily and is receiving co-operation from the majority of the trade. Such difficulties as have arisen and which were not unexpected are of a minor character. A certain amount of inevitable dislocation has arisen in connection with the changeover of trade customers which the scheme necessitates, but these difficulties are being steadily removed. The scheme provides for equitable distribution of supplies to the various classes of traders over a period and it is unfortunate that during the opening weeks of the scheme landings at the main ports have been more than usually irregular

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