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Fish Zoning Scheme

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 24 March 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, as by the Fish Zoning Order merchants are tied to ports for supplies of fish and retailers are tied to wholesalers, he can state the reasons for failing to tie each consumer to one fishmonger; and whether he will now adopt a simple form of consumer registration for fish?

The suggestion of my hon. Friend has been carefully and sympathetically considered, but I regret that, in view of uncertain landings and the perishable nature of fish, it is not possible to assure a specific share of supplies to the individual consumer. Without such an assurance, registration would have only a restrictive effect and would not in itself secure more equitable distribution of supplies between individual consumers.

While arriving at those conclusions, has my hon. Friend taken into account the widespread complaint against fishmongers, especially on the ground of unfair distribution? Is he also aware of the experiment carried out by a very successful and enterprising firm of fishmongers in London, who have formed their own registration scheme and satisfied all their customers registered with them?

Yes, Sir, all these matters have been carefully taken into consideration. If all the fishmongers would act in the way chosen by the firm mentioned by my hon. Friend, I think that distribution would be a great deal better.

Why has there been absolute failure, especially in the Southern districts?