HC Deb 29 July 1952 vol 504 cc1263-4
43. Mr. Hayman

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the losses sustained by Cornish producers this year on the early potato crop, due to mistiming of open general import licences; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent such a thing recurring in 1953.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I am advised that the temporary break in prices in mid-June was primarily due to the early English season which brought crops from several districts on to the market simultaneously. As regards arrangements for 1953, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given yesterday to a similar Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Cornwall, North (Sir H. Roper).

Mr. Hayman

Is the Minister aware that the Cornish growers this year have lost over £250,000 on this crop, that one of my constituents lost £220 on four acres of potatoes, that the answer he has given is that he will follow precisely the same procedure next year as this year, and will he next year take steps to consult the growers directly?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I intend to consult my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Food in this matter.

Mr. G. R. Howard

Does my right hon. Friend realise that the only way to cure this is by tariffs, but in the meantime will he give some assurance that Her Majesty's Government are doing their utmost to make this quota system more efficient until such time as tariffs can be applied?