asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction of many consumers caused by certain fishmongers showing undue favouritism to selected customers and by other back-door methods of selling prime cuts of controlled fish; and whether, upon receipt from his officers of authentic proof of such practices, he will take steps to terminate the supplies of fish to such retailers?
The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." As regards the second part, my hon. Friend will, I am sure, realise that it is very difficult to obtain "authentic proof" of an allegation of "undue favouritism," but my Noble Friend is in sympathy with the object which my hon. Friend has in view and wherever satisfactory evidence is forthcoming that a retailer is deliberately disposing of his supplies in an unfair manner such action will be taken as lies within the power of my Noble Friend.
While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his statement, which will please the mass of the people who are writing to him and other Members, may I ask whether he will make it clear that anybody who cheats or does not play fair with the people's food will be dealt with severely and immediately?
They will be dealt with, as I say, within the powers of my Noble Friend.