HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 c607
29. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Food how many tons of potatoes discharged at Southampton from the "Rochester Castle," on 6th or 7th April, were unfit for human consumption; who is responsible for the order to use cheap packing; and who bears the loss.

Mr. Strachey

About 100 tons, out of a cargo of 2,125 tons, will have to be sold for stock feeding. The jute pockets used are regularly employed for carrying South African potato exports and had proved satisfactory in a trial shipment to this country. I am inquiring into the cause of, and responsibility for, the loss.

Sir W. Smithers

When the Minister has studied the results of the inquiry will he take disciplinary action against those officials responsible for this heavy loss to the taxpayer?

Mr. Strachey

No Sir, I cannot for one moment agree that 100 tons out of 2,125 tons of a particular cargo is a heavy loss, and the responsibility for the loss has yet to be determined.