HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2071-2
68. Mr. Quibell

asked the Minister of Food whether he can now state when it is proposed to commence the erection of potato processing factories; whether the cost of such factories will be met out of the accumulated levies on the producers; and whether they will be operated as a public corporation, or handed over to be completely run by private enterprise?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

Negotiations for the erection of new factories are still proceeding, but it is hoped that the work of erection will commence in the near future. It is proposed that the factories shall operate under private ownership. Pending completion of the negotiations, I am not in a position to make any statement as to the cost of their erection or as to the nature or extent of the Government assistance that may be necessary.

Mr. J. Morgan

Will any of the existing milling interests be interested in these potato plants?

Mr. Morrison

Not that I am aware.

Mr. T. Williams

When private enterprises erect these factories will they be guaranteed a price which will produce a reasonable profit?

Mr. Morrison

All the financial implications involved are at present under discussion and pending the completion of these negotiations I would not like to give a statement on that point.

Mr. T. Williams

If it is the intention of the Government to allow private enterprise to erect these factories and to guarantee a reasonable profit why did not the Government do so at first?

Mr. Wilmot

Can the right hon. Gentleman state who is going to run these factories?

Mr. Morrison

Not yet, Sir.

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