§ 32. Dame Irene Ward
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what action he intends to take on the proposals of the White Fish Authority put to him.
§ 33. Mr. James Johnson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what proposals have been placed before him by the White Fish Authority; and what action he is contemplating upon these.
§ 41. Mr. Wolrige-Gordon
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what progress has been made with the proposed statutory minimum prices scheme for white fish and a licensing system.
§ Mr. Hoy
My right hon. Friend has received no recommendations from the Chairman of the White Fish Authority. However, he expects to receive shortly a progress report on the discussions which the Chairman has been having with the industry about minimum prices, and 433 he will consider the question of publication then.
The White Fish Authority did put certain proposals to my right hon. Friend's predecessor last year. Effect is being given to some of them through the Fishing Vessel Improvement Scheme and through additional aid for research.
§ Dame Irene Ward
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the White Fish Authority's Report distinctly says that proposals were made to his predecessor which could not be discussed because they were under consideration? Would it be possible now to disclose what the proposals were if there is going to be no answer to them; so that we shall know whether they ought to be answered or not?
§ Mr. Johnson
Is my hon. Friend fully aware that the larger companies in Hull are investing heavily in deep-water freezer vessels? Can he give an assurance that the White Fish Authority will step up research so that the industry may get the technical support which perhaps has been lacking in the past?
§ Mr. Wolrige-Gordon
On the question of statutory minimum prices, is the hon. Gentleman aware that in many ports some such system has already been in operation, though on a voluntary basis? Can he now take steps to put teeth into the operation of such schemes in order to deal with individuals who do not subscribe to the regulations which have been voluntarily agreed upon?
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
Is not my hon. Friend being a little pedantic when he says that no recommendation has been received from the White Fish Authority? Is not he aware that the White Fish Authority has given very close attention to the current needs of the fishing industry, and will he look at this with a view to shaping his course accordingly?
§ Mr. Soames
When does the Minister expect to be able to reach a decision on the question of minimum prices?