HC Deb 17 December 1929 vol 233 cc1185-7
14. Mr. MILLAR

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has received representations as to the situation created in Scotland owing to the difficulty of marketing potatoes at a reasonable figure; and whether he is prepared to take any steps to meet the views expressed by the representatives of the industry whom he has met, and to rewove the difficulties at present standing in the way of the export trade to Canada and the United States of America?


The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I have, on various occasions, urged the representatives of the industry to adopt measures to improve existing methods for the disposal of agricultural produce and I understand that movements are now in progress with this object in view. With regard to the last part of the question the difficulties in connection with the export trade to Canada and the United States have been receiving my consideration for some time past in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture. I am afraid, however, that I cannot hold out any expectation of relief to the potato growers through this suggestion.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the extremely serious situation which has developed in his own county of Fife, as well as in other parts of Scotland, and is he not prepared to make a definite offer to reopen the whole question of export trade with Canada and the United States?


I am well aware of the position of the agricultural industry in Fife and elsewhere, and I am making efforts in various directions in order to assist the agricultural industry. [HON. MEMBERS: "What are they?"] In answer to a question a fortnight ago, I gave particulars to the House of our programme in regard to agriculture.