HC Deb 29 November 1950 vol 481 c1157
63. Mr. Perkins

asked the Minister of Food how far he proposes to import Irish seed or eating potatoes; and whether he can give an assurance that the port of Sharpness will be used for this trade.

Mr. Webb

Irish seed potatoes will be imported by private traders. My Department will ship Irish eating potatoes but as we take the surplus from Northern Ireland as well as a quantity from the Irish Republic I cannot now give an estimate of the tonnage. As Bristol is the most economic distribution centre for South-West England it is not proposed to use Sharpness.

64. Mr. Perkins

asked the Minister of Food the total number of grain ships he has directed to the port of Sharpness between 1st January, 1950, and 1st November, 1950.

Mr. Webb

Eight, Sir.

Mr. Perkins

Is the Minister aware that this port is becoming a distressed area, because his Department does not use its influence to bring its ships to it? Can he use his influence to give us more ocean-going ships or, at any rate, to abolish the system of bulk purchase?

Mr. Webb

This is not an easy port for use by certain kinds of vessels. We cannot enter into uneconomical arrangements on that account.

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