HC Deb 13 April 1921 vol 140 cc1114-5

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he proposes to deal with the importation of Continental potatoes where wart disease is not notified nor inspected, and when costly efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture in this country are now bearing such good fruit, seeing that imported potatoes have no certificate of immunity, especially when these countries insist on inspection and guarantee of freedom from wart disease of all potatoes they purchase from growers in this country?


I am aware that wart disease of potatoes exists upon the Continent, and that imported potatoes, should they have been grown upon infected soil, might, if used as seed, be the means of introducing the disease to hitherto uninfected land in this country. I may add, however, that potatoes imported from the Continent are rarely used as seed, and that there is no evidence that imported potatoes have been the cause of any outbreak of disease. The question whether any restrictions should be imposed on the importation of potatoes is at present under consideration.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the suggestion, supported by strong evidence, is that the first wart disease that we had in this country was imported from Germany and that the same possibility still continues?


I do not think there is any evidence of that. The whole matter is under consideration at present.

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