There are no Government restrictions on the prices of foreign-caught fish. I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the minimum price agreement operating at Hull and Grimsby. I am informed that foreign trawlers landing at these ports conform to this agreement.
Do I understand that when foreign trawlers come to Grimsby and Hull with catches, unless they can get a certain price, automatically all the fish has to go for fertiliser, fishmeal or to the glue works rather than to the housewife to enable her to have an opportunity of getting cheaper fish?
The hon. Gentleman can read my answer in HANSARD tomorrow. I should like to remind him that the White Fish Authority have power, under Section 4 (1) of the Sea Fish Industry Act, 1951, to act as fish salesmen in certain circumstances. If they thought there was a salesmen's ring which they ought to break in the national interest, it would be open to them to set up in competition with established fish salesmen. So far they are satisfied that there is no call for such action, because they do not regard the system of minimum prices as being against the national interest.
Is it not a fact that a lot of the long-distance trawler owners in Hull and Grimsby, who are well known to be making big profits at present, constitute the authority who have laid down these prices, and nobody else? If not, who did it? Will not the Minister answer? As the Minister refuses to answer a very simple question, I beg to give notice that I intend to raise the matter at the earliest opportunity on the Adjournment.