HC Deb 29 April 1930 vol 238 cc48-9W

asked the Minister of Agriculture the quantity of last year's potato crop which still remains unsold; the prices now being obtained for potatoes in the open market; and whether the Ministry is now prepared to assist a comprehensive marketing association and any forms of research and, if so, on what lines?


The latest information available with regard to title amount of last year's potato crop remaining unsold was published in the Ministry's Agricultural Market Report on 17th April, and the latest prices realised in the more important markets in the issue of 25th April. It was estimated that on 1st April the quantity of potatoes remaining in farm stocks in England and Wales was 996,000 tons, or 28 per cent. of the 1929 crop. The averages of the prices realised at the more important markets for first quality potatoes of the principal varieties during the week ended 23rd April were: Ally, 55s. per ton; Great Soot, 48s.; Arran Chief, 51s.; Kerr's Pink, 46s. 6d.; Majestic, 50s. 6d.; King Edward VII (Lincs. and Yorks.), 75s. I need hardly add that my Department is always ready to give to marketing organisations or producers any advice and assistance in its power including loans on favourable conditions while, as regards research, the hon. and gallant Member may be aware that research into methods of disposal of potatoes, surplus to human consumption, has been conducted in various directions, particularly as to the preparation of concentrated stock foods in the form of dried potatoes, or of silage, and as to the manufacture of industrial products such as acetic acid. My Department has already provided the National Farmers' Union and other interests concerned with information on this subject.