HC Deb 10 June 1953 vol 516 cc203-4
17. Captain Duncan

asked the Minister of Food the tonnage of potatoes used for human consumption in each of the last five years; and what his estimate is for 1953.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Charles Hill)

As the reply includes a number of figures, I will, with permision, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the information:

Crop Year Estimated tonnage of potatoes used for human consumption in the United Kingdom '000 tons
1947–48 5,249
1948–49 5,697
1949–50 5,699
1950–51 5,591
1951–52 5,185
1952–53 5,275

Captain Duncan

In view of the apparent fact that there is a large surplus of potatoes in Angus at the present moment, can my hon. Friend say whether in fact there is a surplus in the country as a whole and, if there is, what steps is he taking to relate supply to demand?

Dr. Hill

There has been a particularly good crop in Scotland in the current season, but it has been almost entirely cleared from the farms. On 1st March there were 525,000 tons on the farms, but the position today is that there are less than 30,000 tons.

Mr. Manuel

In view of the Parliamentary Secretary's reply in connection with Scotland, can he indicate whether a greater acreage was planted for this year's spring crop than for last?

Dr. Hill

If the hon. Gentleman will put down that question I shall be glad to answer it.