§ 64. Mr. TIMOTHY DAVIES
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has yet made investigation in the matter of a firm of potato growers offering to sell and selling potatoes at £12 per ton, thereby contravening the Potatoes (1916) Main Crop (Prices) Order; and whether he has taken or proposes to take proceedings against the firm?
Investigation has been made, but it has not been found possible so far to trace the offer referred to. It the hon. Member will kindly furnish the name of the intending purchaser and the date of the alleged offer, it will greatly facilitate the investigation.
§ Mr. DAVIES
Can my hon. Friend deny that this firm has sold and offered for sale potatoes at £12 per ton recently?
No, Sir; but from the nature of the letter forwarded by the hon. Member it is quite apparent that this supposed transaction took place long before the Ministry of Food came into existence and long before any of the Potato Orders were issued.
§ Sir COURTENAY WARNER
(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if, according to the existing regulations, German prisoners of war are receiving a potato ration while the people of London and other large towns are going without?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Macpherson)
The scale of rations for prisoners of war has recently been specially considered by a Committee on which the Food Controller and the Director-General, Army Medical Service, were represented. It was then decided to limit the potato ration to 4 ozs. a day. With regard to further proposed action, however, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on the 2nd instant by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Food Controller.
§ Sir C. WARNER
Considering the anxiety that is felt throughout the country as to the shortage of potatoes, will the hon. Gentleman take immediate action, in conjunction with the Food Controller, to remedy the present state of things?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I will certainly communicate at once with my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Food Controller and will see what can be done.
§ Mr. R. McNEILL
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in response to the appeal made by the Food Controller a considerable number of the more well-to-do people are now voluntarily abstaining from using potatoes, and can he expect that to continue if the German prisoners are to be given potatoes?
Sir H. DALZIEL
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the new Order prohibiting the use of potatoes in hotels will extend to those establishments occupied by Germans?