HC Deb 04 April 1949 vol 463 c1669
3. r. John Lewis

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that wholesale potato merchants in Bolton have been advised by the regional traffic officer that no part of their fuel issue may be used for carrying potatoes by road from the Eastern Counties or Yorkshire; and, in view of the fact that rail traffic demands the use of jute bags which are in short supply, and that these merchants have equipped themselves with suitable vehicles at great expense to handle this traffic, if he will take steps to annul this order.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Barnes)

The district transport officer's instruction was due to a misunderstanding. As soon as this was discovered the instruction was cancelled and the Bolton Potato Merchants' Association so informed.

Sir Waldron Smithers

Is the Minister aware that this confusion and the loss of £10 million to the taxpayer is due to interference by the Ministry of Food with the law of supply and demand, especially with potatoes?

Mr. Barnes

I do not recognise the figure of £10 million in connection with this issue.