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Fish Merchant, Cleethorpes (Complaint)

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has studied the complaints, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Louth, of a Cleethorpes fish merchant whose fish arrives by train in Leeds early in the morning but is not delivered to the Leeds fish market till 7.30 a.m., whereas fish from Aberdeen is delivered at 6 a.m.; and, in view of his responsibilities for the efficient distribution of fresh food, if he will make representations to the British Transport Commission to speed up deliveries of fish from Cleethorpes to the Leeds market.

I have been in touch with the British Transport Commission and they have asked for more details than the hon. Member furnished me with in his letter. If the hon. Member will provide me or the Commission with the further details I have asked him for in reply to his letter, then the British Transport Commission will be glad to investigate the matter.

I am under the impression that I sent these details to the Minister of Transport to whom the Question was first put. I think that there must have been some misunderstanding between the two Departments. I will send the details to my right hon. Friend. All I am asking is that the Grimsby fish merchants should be protected. Their trade is entirely dependent on the railway services, and at the moment they feel that their Scottish competitors are getting an advantage. Will he see that they get a fair crack of the whip?

My information is that British Railways require the date and size of the consignments, and they further say that no representations have as yet been made to them locally. If my hon. Friend will provide me with these details, I know that British Railways will be glad to have them.

Would the Minister agree that one reason for this situation is that the interests of Cleethorpes and Louth are not so forcibly represented in this House as are those of North Aberdeen?

The hon. Gentleman would not necessarily arrive at the right conclusion if he thought that.

Is the Minister aware that Aberdeen gets up very early in the morning to do its business, and does it very effectively?

The Question is not about the time at which Aberdeen gets up. It is about the time at which fish is delivered to Leeds in the morning.