§ 74. Mr. WATT
asked why such prices as up to £80 and £100 per acre have been permitted by his Department to be paid to farmers for early potatoes in Scotland, in view of the facts that those potatoes cost little more to grow than late potatoes, for which only £6 per ton is permitted, 1858 making on the average £30 per acre, and that catch crops can be grown by early potato growers, which cannot be done in the other case; and whose advice was followed in naming such a figure?
§ Mr. PARKER
The prices of early potatoes were settled in consultation and agreement with the three Departments of Agriculture with reference not to any particular district of Scotland, but to the general condition of the crops in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands. The object was to prevent the lifting of immature main-crop potatoes and to protect the interests of the consumer. I may add that the cultivation of early potatoes, both in Scotland and elsewhere, cannot be regarded in the same light as the cultivation of main-crop potatoes, so that any comparison in price would be fallacious.