HC Deb 02 November 1948 vol 457 cc651-2
6. Mr. Niall Macpherson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of the potato crop in Scotland in general, and in Dumfries-shire in particular, has been lifted at the latest available date; and when he expects that the rest of the crop in Dumfries-shire will be lifted.

Mr. Woodburn

Between 85 per cent. and 90 per cent. of the potato crop in Scotland had been lifted by 30th October. The corresponding figure for Dumfries-shire is from 75 per cent. to 80 per cent. Given good weather, lifting should be completed in Dumfries-shire by the end of this week.

Mr. Macpherson

Is the Secretary of State satisfied with the amount of labour which has been available for getting in the crop this year in due time?

Mr. Woodburn

Weather handicapped the employment of existing labour during the time when it could have been best used. The problem of lifting the potato crop has not yet been solved in a permanent way. The matter is being looked into.

Mr. Snadden

Is it not a fact that the farmers of Scotland responded marvellously in growing an enormous crop of potatoes? Is it not up to the Government to get those potatoes in?

Mr. Woodburn

I think the farmers would agree that the Government had done everything humanly possible. Great tribute ought to be paid to the schoolchildren, who have played such a marvellous part in getting in this crop.