§ Mr. Jackson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (1) how many tons of ware potatoes have been sold by his Department for pig food during the past six months; and why these potatoes were not kept as a reserve supply to meet a possible end of the season shortage?
(2) whether he is aware that there has been a potato famine in Birmingham and district during the past week-end; and to what extent this position has been arrived at through the faulty handling of this crop by his Department?
Major Lloyd George
Approximately 277,000 tons of ware potatoes have been purchased by the Ministry in Great Britain and sold for stock feed and for processing in the last six months, of which about 95 per cent. were potatoes of varieties which would not keep for end of season requirements. Stocks of potatoes in Birmingham have recently been heavy and the shortage which has been reported from some districts in the last few days has been due to the rapid deterioration of supplies in the hot weather combined with the exceptional lateness of the new season's crop of early potatoes and not to any faulty handling of supplies by my Department.