Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Retail Price of Fish.

asked the Minister for Supplies whether he is taking any and, if so, what steps to control the retail price of fish, and whether he will state what action he proposes taking regarding the selling of fish retail in Dublin at prices which are 300 per cent. in excess of those realised at the corresponding period in 1939.

The question of fixing retail prices for fish has been considered, but up to the present it has not been found to be practicable. Supplies are restricted and spasmodic, and turnover on the trade is considerably curtailed. I am satisfied that retail fish merchants are not making excessive profits although prices are considerably higher than they were in 1939. In the past 12 months only two complaints have been received as to prices of fish, and these were not substantiated.

Does the Minister consider it justifiable for him not to take steps to control a valuable food commodity like fish, the price of which has increased by 300 per cent. to the consumer since 1939, having regard to the Standstill Wages Order No. 83?

I do not see that the Wages Order No. 83 has anything to do with that. I take it that the risks by those who catch fish have increased by 300 per cent. The import of fish has ceased, and the very limited supplies available vary from week to week, and there is no practicable method for their disposal except that of auction.

They are throwing mackerel back into the sea in the West of Ireland.