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Herring Marketing

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements have been made by the Herring Industry Board for the marketing of next season's herring catches; and whether contracts have been completed for the disposal of catches surplus to home requirements to the Control Commission for Germany, including klondyked herring.

The Board propose to purchase the whole of this year's production of cured herring in Scotland and England for disposal to the best advantage. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave on 30th April to the 'hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby).

While thanking my right hon. Friend for the assurance given in the first part of his answer, I would like to ask him if he is aware of the keen feelings of concern in the North-East part of Scotland in fishing circles about the fact that a contract has not been reached for the export of klondyked herrings, especially from the Shetland Isles; furthermore, whether representations have been made to him by the Scottish advisory panel with regard to the export of herrings; and what further steps he proposes to take to deal with this urgent matter?

I have had representations made in connection with the difficulties facing the herring industry from many sources, but I could not say without notice exactly what those sources are.

Is the right hon. Gentleman proposing to repeat this year last year's Shetland experiment in the buying and marketing of herrings?

I could hardly give a direct answer to that question without notice, but I would be quite willing to discuss the point with my hon. Friend after Questions, if necessary.

May I ask the Secretary of State if by complete purchase he means purchase at 100s. per cran for freshing, kippering or klondyking, purchase at 85s. per cran for curing, or purchase at 17s. per cran for fish meal and fish oil?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the last part of this Question is the really urgent one at present, and that unless there are contracts with the Control Commission the herring industry will be knocked endways this summer?