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Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what immediate steps he is taking to utilise the herring glut for the relief of starvation in Germany; and whether the maximum use of the fishing fleet is being made for this purpose.

The British and American authorities in Germany, who are jointly responsible in this matter, have authorised the placing of orders for 25,000 tons of pickled herring and 20,000 tons of fresh herring. These were the maximum quantities which the United Kingdom herring industry estimated it could make available. There is now a possibility that these quantities can be increased and the matter is again under consideration in Germany.

Does my right hon. Friend mean that the shoals of herring at present off the East Coast are being caught for this purpose, or is it to be considered after the shoals have gone away?

No, Sir, I am not responsible for the catching of the herring. I am only responsible for their disposal after they are caught, and no one knows better than my hon. Friend that the last question put to me should be put to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.