HC Deb 11 June 1956 vol 554 cc23-4
29. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in HANSARD a list of the shops visited by his officers, where, on 28th May, potatoes were on sale at 3d. a lb. or less.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Harmar Nicholls)

No, Sir. It is not the practice to publish information in respect of individual businesses.

Mr. Lewis

Is the Minister aware that the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food made a statement to the effect that a number of such shops had been visited? Is he aware that many of my hon. Friends had some doubt in their minds as to what shops and what types of places the officers visited, because we on this side of the House were unable to find any shops that had these potatoes for sale? Is he aware that, unless he publishes the facts, some of us will think that the Minister has been misled or may perhaps be misleading the House?

Mr. Nicholls

The hon. Gentleman need have no doubts about this matter. Officers from the Division went to 336 premises on the day mentioned in his Question and it was found that in more than half of those premises potatoes were available at 3d. a lb. or less.

Mr. Willey

Can the Joint Parliamentary Secretary say which officials of his Department are entrusted to carry out these inquiries?

Mr. Nicholls

The Department's marketing officers.

Mr. Lewis

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.