Orders of the Day — White Fish Authority (Publicity Scheme)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th March 1970.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon , Aberdeenshire East 12:00 am, 10th March 1970

I oppose the levy for this scheme at present, and I do so in the most moderate language.

I do not doubt the good intentions of the W.F.A. in desiring to promote sales of fish, and advertising cannot but be of great help towards achieving such an enterprise. But I notice that it has taken the authority 19 years to come to this conclusion, so it obviously is not a matter which has ever struck anybody as being of tremendous urgency.

I believe that the British people are fed up with Government bodies promoting their business out of the proceeds of an arbitrary levy on that business. We on this side should keep a very careful eye indeed on any extension of that practice, particularly so tonight. The parliamentary ink is hardly dry on an Order proposing an increase in the levy to that body, and nobody is feeling very rich in Britain anyway. Five years of squeeze—[Interruption.]