asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, in view of the unsatisfactory system of zoning for Merseyside, whether he is prepared to receive a deputation of interests concerned to suggest a better method of co-ordinating distribution in this area?
I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Bootle (Squadron-Leader Errington) on 17th February. Since then further modifications of zonal boundaries and of distributive arrangements have been made in consultation with the Fish Industry Joint Council and will shortly be put into force, and my Noble Friend proposes to obtain experience of the effect of these changes before entering into discussions such as my hon. Friend suggests.
I asked in the latter part of my Question whether the hon. Gentleman is prepared to meet the deputation of people from Liverpool who know something about the difficulties of the situation. Is he aware that the anomaly in Liverpool is that fish supplies are not being received by the public but that draper shops can get them?
That is rather a complicated supplementary, but, as I said in my reply, modifications have been made which I think will meet the difficulties. When we have had experience of the working of these alterations, we can consider further discussions.
I have seen people in queues this week-end, and is not the Minister prepared to meet a deputation and go into the pros and cons of the position?
I have indicated that my Noble Friend wishes to see how the modifications will affect distribution and he will if they are unsatisfactory be prepared to consider receiving a deputation.