§ 74. Mr. Beswick
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the composition of the Fish Marketing Board in Hong Kong; and to what extent the Registrar of Co-operatives has succeeded in developing this Government initiated Board into an independent co-operative society.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
The Fish Marketing Organisation in Hong Kong is not a board though I find that it was inadvertently referred to as such by my right hon. Friend when replying to a question by the hon. Member for Trades-ton (Mr. Rankin) on 23rd July last year. It is administered by the Registrar of Cooperatives, who is also Director of Marketing, assisted by co-operative and marketing department staff common to both the Fish and Vegetable Marketing Organisations. In addition, staff employed exclusively on fish marketing include an executive officer in charge, an adviser and organiser of the salt fish processing section and an officer in charge of the collecting and distribution centre.
Among the fishermen progress in cooperation has been slow, owing partly to their own resistance to new ideas, and partly to the effect on the fishing community of the unsettled conditions obtaining in neighbouring territory. One credit society has, however, been registered and its progress is expected to be closely watched by other groups of fishermen.
In its present form the Fish Marketing Organisation continues to benefit producers in many ways, and is fully self-supporting. It is so planned that eventually it may be taken over by the fishermen and run as a fully co-operative organisation.