HC Deb 27 February 1919 vol 112 cc1948-9

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the repudiation of the proprietorship by the Government of blighted potatoes in the hands of the growers thereof; whether this repudiation is contrary to the pledge given by the late Lord Rhondda at a public meeting at Bristol and by the then Director of Vegetable Supplies at public meetings convened for the purpose of inducing farmers to devote as largo an acreage as possible to the 1918 potato crop at Edinburgh, Cardiff, Doncaster, Boston, Spalding, Oxford, Maidstone, Dunstable, Taunton, and Banbury; and whether he can make any statement on this subject?


I have been asked to reply. The Food Controller does not propose to repudiate any pledges officially given with regard to the potato crop of 1918. The late Director of Vegetable Supplies has agreed that the pledges given in respect of this crop are embodied in the Report of the Potatoes (Growers' Prices) Commission dated 18th October, 1918. This Report, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy, does not include any reference to blighted potatoes.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at a public meeting at Spalding the present Director of Vegetable Supplies has, on the part of the Government, repudiated any ownership in blighted potatoes now in the hands of growers?


I am not aware of the details of these things at all, and will bring the matter to the notice of the Department.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a great number of small-holders who grew potatoes expecting them to be taken over by the Government are in great financial difficulty through the potatoes not being taken over and paid for?


I have no information as to that.