HC Deb 21 April 1939 vol 346 c668W
Sir T. Rosbotham

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can state the progress made by the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany with regard to research in connection with the potato-growing industry; what advancement has been accomplished in the introduction of new varieties of potatoes free from wart and other diseases; and whether the efforts made will be of national benefit in the form of encouraging more home-grown foodstuffs from this valuable product?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

Several lines of research ranging from questions of disease to methods of cultivation are being actively pursued at a number of centres with satisfactory results. New varieties of potatoes are introduced each year by breeders. To encourage this very desirable activity the Ministry has organised a scheme for practical tests, with particular regard to relative resistance to disease, to be carried out at the Potato Testing Station at Ormskirk. The measure of the success of these efforts from the national point of view is the extent to which new varieties of potatoes tested at the station at Ormskirk, and shown to be successful in the light of the experience thereby gained, are taken up by the industry to displace older, inferior kinds.