HC Deb 26 November 1917 vol 99 cc1618-9
29. Colonel YATE

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture what is the percentage of potash that can be obtained from burnt bracken; and whether potatoes can be successfully grown in ground previously covered with bracken?

Colonel J. CRAIG (Treasurer of the Household)

Bracken ash may yield from 2 to 40 per cent. of soluble potash, according to the time of year the plant is cut. The Scottish Board of Agriculture has issued a leaflet on bracken as a source of potash, of which I will send my hon. and gallant Friend a copy. Potatoes may often be successfully grown on land previously covered with bracken, though its presence is no indication that the land is specially suitable for the purpose.

Colonel YATE

Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell me what is the proper time to cut bracken?

Colonel CRAIG

I will make inquiry and let my hon. and gallant Friend know. I am answering only on the part of my right hon. Friend.


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, with reference to the Potato Order limiting the bonus to be paid to growers who sold 4 tons and upwards, as this Order would have the effect of excluding 75 per cent. of the Irish farmers, whether he will consider the question of allowing the small farmers to pool their potatoes for the same purpose?


This point has now been carefully considered. The pooling arrangement suggested by the hon. Member would extend the benefits of the Government guarantee to persons to whom that guarantee did not apply, and would thereby impose an unjustifiable burden on the Exchequer. The Food Controller sees no sumcient ground for making this extension.