HC Deb 03 February 1947 vol 432 cc1389-90
81. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Minister of Food what is the estimated potato tonnage available for public consumption in this country between now and August, 1947; whether he estimates that this will be sufficient for public requirements; or what action he is taking to obtain supplies of potatoes from overseas.

87. Air-Commodore Harvey

asked the Minister of Food if he will make a statement regarding the potato stocks in this country at the latest date; and how do these stocks compare with last year's figures.

Mr. Strachey

The January stocks census shows that supplies of potatoes of the 1946 crop available for consumption are almost exactly the same as those of a year ago. Consumption is, however, running at a higher rate than last year and there would be cause for anxiety if no action were taken. I am, therefore, both arranging for imports and putting in hand with the full cooperation of the trade a voluntary scheme for limiting the present high rate of off-take.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Can the Minister give' an assurance that there will be no rationing of potatoes?

Mr. Strachey

I see no reason to ration them, because I have the full co-operation of the trade in these matters.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Will the Minister make representation with a view to seeing that more potatoes are grown during the coming season, particularly on land at Army and Air Force camps?

Mr. Strachey

That is a very valuable suggestion.