HC Deb 13 March 1952 vol 497 cc1545-6
15. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the President of the Board of Trade what quota of new potatoes is allowed into the country during the first six months of this year.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

New potatoes can be imported without quota restriction from certain countries under open general licence, but this licence is subject to suspension during the main season for marketing the home crop. It is proposed this year to suspend the open general licence for new potatoes from 1st June to 31st July, during which period no imports will be licensed: these arrangements are subject to review in the light of supplies available from home production.

Mr. Williams

Why cannot we have British potatoes all the year round? Does my right hon. Friend agree that new potatoes are a luxury and that we can grow very good potatoes in this country? Will he do all he can, if not this year then next, to encourage farmers to grow enough potatoes so that we do not have to import new potatoes at this time of the year?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am always perfectly willing to enter into discussions with the National Farmers' Union or other interested parties to see that the whole problem is considered.