Fish Rates.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons at on 20 March 1922.

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Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

48.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport if English railway companies are still insisting on fish being paid for in advance for its transport instead of carriage forward; that Scottish railway companies are accepting fish for transport carriage forward; if he is aware that English fish merchants and trawler owners are penalised in consequence in comparison with Scottish merchants and owners; whether prepayment was insisted upon during the War under Government control; and whether the Government have taken any steps to endeavour to have this war-time disability on the fishing industry removed?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

The general practice of railway companies is to require prepayment of charges for the transport of goods (including fish) by passenger train. The exception whereby the Scottish companies accept fish with carriage "to pay" was made primarily to meet the small fishermen in the Western Highlands. I am not aware that the English merchants and trawler owners are prejudiced thereby. The railway companies, who were asked to review the question in November last, replied that they could not see their way to revert to the old practice in view of the considerable addition to their staff which would be necessary.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as long as the railway companies get their money before handling the fish they do not care whether it arrives to time or not, and therefore the English fishing industry is prejudiced as compared with the Scottish?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I think two totally different questions are being intermixed. The question of prompt delivery does not seem to me to bear any strict relationship to prepayment.

Photo of Mr Thomas Tickler Mr Thomas Tickler , Grimsby

Is it not the fact that the arrangement was made on account of representations by the railway companies that it would save a considerable amount of labour during the War and that the restriction could afterwards be removed.

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

That may be so, but the difficulty remains that to alter the existing practice would involve the employment of a substantial additional staff, without any increase of revenue for it.