HC Deb 17 July 1958 vol 591 c1407
3. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on the financial arrangements of the new guarantee system for potatoes.

Mr. Godber

Discussions with the producers' representatives are still going on and I cannot yet add to the reply given on 30th June to the hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Pott).

Mr. Willey

While I appreciate the Parliamentary Secretary's position, may I none the less ask whether he is aware that the producers cannot judge this scheme until they know what the financial provisions are? Can he assure the House that the provisions will overtly fall within the spirit of the 1957 Act?

Mr. Godber

I gladly assure the House that this will come fully within the ambit of the 1957 Act in respect of guarantees. This is a change from an individual guarantee to a global guarantee, but the 1957 Act fully operates.

Sir J. Duncan

Will my hon. Friend give an assurance that any new arrangements made will see that Britain can feed herself in potatoes in any year of bad yield?

Mr. Godber

My hon. Friend is asking me to do something which it would be impossible to do because of the weather conditions which in certain circumstances—in the last two years out of three—have made very great difficulties. I think, however, that the plan which we have here is adequate in any normal circumstances which the Government envisage.