HC Deb 12 December 1938 vol 342 cc1605-7
61. Mr. Quibell

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the Potato Marketing Board has issued a regulation to compel growers to eliminate all potatoes exceeding one pound in weight from sale to the consumer, and that this practice means a consequent loss in many cases of 30 per cent. of the best crop; and what steps he is taking to secure compensation to the growers for the losses incurred?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Howdenshire (Major Carver) on 23rd November.

Mr. Quibell

Can the right hon. Gentleman say under what regulation this order has been applied to this particular crop?

Mr. Morrison

There are a number of regulations, and I cannot give the precise

Norfolk (Mr. De Chair) on 314th November.

Information is not available regarding the average price paid by brewers for malting barley, but the statement includes average prices of home-grown barley of all descriptions as ascertained from returns received under the Corn Returns Act, 1882, and the Corn Sales Act, 1921. A large proportion of the sales so recorded relate to barley of malting quality.

regulation without notice. I am advised that what has been done is well within the powers granted to the Producers' Board by the scheme.

Mr. Levy

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this regulation is imposing a great hardship on farmers who have a really good crop of potatoes of large size? Is not this one of the cases where the man who has a good crop, and might get a decent price, is being detrimentally affected?

Mr. Morrison

The action has been taken not by me but by the Producers' Board, in the interests of the producers themselves. If the producers have a complaint to make it is against the Board, and they should make it to the Board, and not to me.

Viscountess Astor

Have pot the consumers a complaint also?

Mr. Rhys Davies

Are we to understand that this Board is capable of asking farmers to destroy all potatoes over one pound in weight?

Mr. Morrison

It is not a question of destroying potatoes, but of not putting them on the market at the present time.

Mr. Quibell

In view of the unsatisfactory answer to my question, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment to-night.

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