HC Deb 16 July 1956 vol 556 c847
41. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that the Potato Marketing Board, under prescriptive Resolution No. 4 of 1956, is levying on each registered producer a sum equal to 20s. per acre of potatoes planted for harvesting in 1956; and why he approved this levy.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

The Potato Marketing Board has power under Section 84 of the Potato Marketing Scheme to determine the contributions to be made by registered producers to the Board. My right hon. Friend's approval is not required.

Mr. Collins

Does the Minister realise that this levy will bring in nearly £750,000, which will be sufficient to pay the growers' share of a subsidy of nearly £14 million? In view of the fact that the acreage this year is roughly the same as it was last year, when there was a shortage of potatoes, does the hon. Gentleman think there is likely to be much subsidy needed? If not, will he have a word with the Potato Marketing Board on the question of keeping £750,000 of growers' money doing nothing?

Mr. Nugent

This levy is raised primarily to pay for the administrative expenses of the Board.