HC Deb 14 June 1951 vol 488 c2513
48. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent his officials use D.D.T. as a summer spray; and if he is satisfied that no injurious effects are caused on beneficial insects by the use of this method.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

Approximately 30,000 acres of potatoes in the south-east and east of England are sprayed annually with D.D.T. as a preventive measure against Colorado beetle. D.D.T. is also officially recommended for use in late spring or early summer to control a number of pests of other crops. If the advice given about proper use is followed there is little or no danger to beneficial insects.

Mr. G. Williams

Will the Minister explain why his horticultural advisers recommend that D.D.T. should not be used after the end of April if his officials use it as a summer spray?

Mr. Williams

My own officials do everything they can, in leaflets and Press notices, to warn the public against spraying open blossom so that bees and other pollinating insects are not killed.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is not the way poison is being squirted all over the place in these days very alarming, and is it not more important to go into the reasons for these pests rather than try to destroy them after they have arrived?

Mr. Williams

There are all sorts of poisons other than D.D.T.