HC Deb 13 February 1940 vol 357 cc612-3W
Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the milder weather, and as the cost of opening potato clamps is considerably less, he proposes to suspend the extra grant of 5s. per ton to growers; and whether he is aware of the resentment which is felt by the wholesalers at their inability to recoup themselves for distribution?

Colonel Baldwin-Webb

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that potato growers are of the opinion that the present controlled prices are not meeting current expenditure, and, especially in view of the losses during the recent frost, will he take the earliest possible opportunity of publishing the new schedule of prices to enable growers to see whether there is a certainty of guaranteed remuneration?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The Order permitting the 5s. per ton increase in growers' prices has now been superseded by a new Potato Control Order, which came into operation yesterday, and prescribes revised schedules of growers' and wholesale and retail prices.

Mr. J. Morgan

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that Teneriffe new potatoes are being imported which make up to 4d.a pound wholesale price; and will he take steps to prevent this extravagance seeing that plenty of reasonably good home-grown potatoes are available at less than 1d. per pound?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Imports of new potatoes, from Teneriffe and elsewhere, at this season of the year, are small in quantity, being mainly intended for the hotel and catering trades, and their effect upon the general consumption of home-grown potatoes is almost negligible. I do not think that it would be in the public interest to impose an absolute prohibition.

Colonel Baldwin-Webb

asked the Minister of Food whether, to avoid any confusion or trade dislocation, he has, before finally compiling the new schedule of potato prices, consulted all sections of the trade interested with the object of avoiding any of the difficulties which have arisen in the working of controlled systems?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The organised sections of the trade concerned, namely, the producers and the retail distributors were consulted before the schedules of prices were fixed.

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