asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has considered representations made either direct to the Ministry or to the divisional officer at Aberdeen about the high retail prices of fish at Lerwick; whether these representations have been made officially, or otherwise; and what action he will take to give effect to these public protests?
Careful consideration has been given to representations made to my Department both officially and otherwise in regard to this matter. The maximum retail prices for fish prescribed by my Noble Friend are not fixed prices. Within the maximum prices, variations of price can and should be made in accordance with exceptionally favourable conditions of supply. I regret it would not be possible to vary maximum prices to meet temporary or local conditions.
Is it not the case that controlled prices take into account freightage charges and certain middlemen's charges? When retailers buy direct from the boats at Lerwick is there any justification for charging controlled prices?
It is a matter of supply and demand. If supply exceeds demand, prices may and do drop. I would emphasise that these prices are maximum, and the public should insist, if there is reason, that fish should be sold at lower prices.