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Fish Exports (Aberdeen)

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to extend the export of Aberdeen-caught fish to Czechoslovakia and other European land-locked 5/9/2007countries; and how successful they have been.

Both the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board are prepared to help merchants to develop an export trade in fish to foreign countries. I am informed, however, that at the present time Aberdeen merchants are experiencing difficulty in obtaining suitable supplies to meet their existing export contracts.

Does the Minister realise that during the last nine months alone Czechoslovakia has imported 900 tons of fish valued at £77,000, besides importing fish from Iceland and Norway, and that the potentialities for Aberdeen and Scotland in general are very great? As negotiations are at present going on between Her Majesty's Board of Trade and Czechoslovakia with a view to enlarging that trade, will he take steps to see that Aberdeen gets a fair share?

I am aware of what the hon. and learned Gentleman has said, and, of course, we want to encourage the export of fish, but with the best will in the world, unless we can meet our existing contracts, it is very difficult to expand it.