asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been drawn to the numerous prosecutions of caterers in Glasgow for having obtained fish supplies greatly in excess of their permits; and what steps he proposes to take to deal with the firms who supplied the fish?
I am aware of the cases to which my hon. Friend refers. No action is proposed against the suppliers since my Noble Friend is advised that they have not committed any offence under the Fish (Supplies to Catering Establishments) Order 1942.
Is it not absurd that a receiver who gets a permit can be prosecuted and fined up to £200, while a person who supplies in excess of the permit gets away scot free?
Catering establishments are not tied to any particular suppliers, and, therefore, it may well be that excessive supplies could be obtained from one supplier. We are considering whether we can have some system of permits which would tie a catering establishment to a particular supplier, which would allow us to take action, as he suggests, if offences were committed.
Will the hon. Gentleman give power to local food control committees to deal with suppliers who do not take steps to ascertain what permits to purchase amount to?
That is the sort of action we have in contemplation.
Will the Parliamentary Secretary remember that we have enough bureaucrats without adding to them?