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Kippers (Export Licences)

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 6 August 1947

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60.

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that many kipperers have found it necessary to close down, or work short time, owing to lack of home demand; and, in view of the growing demand for kippers from foreign markets, particularly Australia and South Africa, whether he will increase the export licences to those who are willing and able to meet this demand.

I am aware that many kipperers have not been working to capacity. At the start of the season I authorised exports up to 2,000 tons, about the same quantity as the total 1938 export, and I recently increased the quota by 500 tons. But I am now considering whether we cannot dispense with this whole export licensing system at any rate during the flush herring season.

Is the Minister aware that the home market will decline further unless he does something to stop the dyeing of kippers, instead of curing them by the proper process?

Will the Minister consult with the Minister of Transport with a view to transporting fish more rapidly from Aberdeen fishing ports to the inland consuming centres where the food is badly needed?

I think the transport of fish this year has been considerably better than it was, and we have provided a lot of dry ice and other refrigerating facilities for that purpose. One of the difficulties this year is that the herring have been of low quality.