HC Deb 04 April 1940 vol 359 cc326-7
87. Sir Annesley Somerville

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what plans, and in which potato-growing districts, have been settled for converting surplus potatoes into farina, starch, and potato-flour, with the intention of producing additional home-grown food, and being prepared with plans, without having to make decisions in a hurry and at the last moment, to provide work for demobilised men immediately on the cessation of hostilities?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

One of the factories, at Wisbech, has been in existence for several years. Another, at Skelmersdale, Lancs, was recently completed and is now ready for production. Sites for three of the new factories have been chosen at Dundee, Selby, and Boston respectively, all centres of large potato-growing districts. The site of the remain- ing factory is still under consideration. The present intention is that all the new factories will be employed wholly on the production of potato meal for animal feeding stuffs, but they can be used, if necessary, for the manufacture of meal for human consumption. No decision has yet been reached with regard to farina manufacture or other starch products, but the question of providing or adapting factories for that purpose is still under consideration. With regard to the last part of my hon. Friend's Question, the arrangements now being made are directed to meeting requirements during the war period.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

When will the hon. Gentleman be in a position to make a statement as to the ownership of these factories, the financial arrangements under which they are to be conducted and what control, if any, the State will exercise on them?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I hope to be able to make a statement after a short period; meanwhile I can say that the flour will be the property of the Ministry of Food.

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