HC Deb 29 April 1955 vol 540 cc85-6W
Mr. Duthie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether a decision has yet been taken on the draft rule made by the Herring Industry Board fixing minimum prices.

Mr. J. Stuart

Ministers have decided to approve the making of a rule fixing minimum prices for herring sold to the home market during the period 1st May to 30th September, 1955, in accordance with the draft rule published by the Board in March, subject to the following modifications:

  1. (1) That the minimum price fixed for herring caught by ring nets should be reduced from 85s. per cran to 80s. per cran.
  2. (2) That the minimum price proposed for all other herring should be reduced from 100s. per cran to 91s. per cran.
  3. (3) That the buyers' right to reject up to 10 per cent. of their purchases should apply to herring caught by ring net as well as to other herring.

In reaching their decision, the Ministers gave careful consideration to the reasons advanced by the Board in support of the draft rule, to the objections made by various sections of catchers and distributors, and to the further representations made to them by the Board, with whom the position was discussed. Ministers were concerned about the possible effect—as brought out by the objec- tions—of the draft rule on retail prices; they believe that the rule they have approved, by effecting an improvement in the quality of herring, should encourage larger sales without giving grounds for any marked change in retail prices.