§ MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)
To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether the Board are aware that the black scab of the potato has broken out in Germany; and whether they intend to take steps to prevent the importation of diseased potatoes into Great Britain by issuing an order in similar terms to the Irish Order of 1st October, which prohibits the importation of diseased potatoes into Ireland.
(Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The Board understand that the disease in question has appeared in certain small holdings in Germany that are cropped year, after year with potatoes, but that fields under rotation are free. The Board do not propose to adopt, at any rate at present, the suggestion of the hon. Member.
§ MR. LAURENCE HARDY
To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether the Board will proceed against the outbreaks of black scab in potatoes in England and Scotland by adopting the same measures as are being carried out in Ireland, namely, the immediate destruction of the diseased tubers and the isolation of the infected area; and, if not, why this disease should be treated differently in this country.
(Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The number of outbreaks of the disease in Great Britain is far greater than is believed to be the case in Ireland. In all case growers have been urged to destroy diseased tubers and to take other means for preventing the spread of the disease, but it would be impracticable to "isolate" all the diseased premises. Isolation to be effective would have to be enforced for more than five years.