HC Deb 22 March 1917 vol 91 cc2031-3

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food if his attention has been drawn to the fact that certain potato growers are refusing to supply potatoes in some cases under £12 per ton; and whether he-will take proceedings against such firms if he is supplied with evidence to that effect?


Proceedings will be taken against any person who contravenes the Potato Orders issued by the Food Controller, if sufficient evidence of this contravention is available. If the hon. Member has any such evidence I should be glad if he will furnish me with particulars.

65. Mr. WATT

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he proposes to take any action in dealing with growers of early potatoes in Scot land to prevent them digging in this time of war early or immature potatoes in view of the fact that potatoes so dug yield only 4 to 5 tons per acre and are a luxury, whereas, if left in the soil until ripe, at least double that weight per acre could be secured?


It is not clear that the course suggested would increase the total production of food, as it might interfere with the raising of a following second crop from the same land, but I am communicating with the Scottish Board of Agriculture on the subject


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has any official information showing that a quantity of potatoes were received from England and were offered in the market in competition with those grown in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Western States; the date on which these goods were exported from England and the names of the firms exporting them?


I believe that a statement of the character referred to in the question has appeared in a Texas newspaper, and, perhaps, elsewhere. The statement is untrue. The importation of potatoes into the United States from Europe is prohibited. The export of potatoes from this country is also prohibited, except under licence, and no licences have been granted.

72. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that Mr. Sam Francis, of 156, King Street, Hammersmith, greengrocer, was selling, on Saturday 17th March, potatoes at 2½d. per lb. to women with market baskets, and that the greengrocer living at 198, King Street, Hammersmith, was charging 3d. per lb. and had a board up which advertised King Edward seed potatoes at 3d. per lb.; and, seeing that the local police refused to warn the greengrocers in question, if he intends taking any action in the matter?


I was not aware of the circumstances stated in the question, but I am causing inquiries to be made, and proceedings will be taken if it appears that a breach of the Food Controller's Orders has been committed.

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