HC Deb 16 July 1941 vol 373 cc617-8W
Mr. Mainwaring

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what quantity of potatoes, held by the Ministry in different parts of the country, have been spoiled as a result of careless storage and other causes; and why, before being condemned for all purposes, these supplies were not made available as pig-food?

Major Lloyd George

So far as I am aware no losses were incurred through careless storage or other neglect on the part of the Ministry's officers. My Noble Friend is however having inquiries made in all Areas and when these investigations arc complete I will communicate with my hon. Friend.

Mr. Thorne

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether any agreement has been made with the Eire Minister of Agriculture to supply old and new potatoes during the next few weeks?

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir. Arrangements were made by my Department with the Government of Eire for the shipment of the maximum quantity of old and new potatoes which could be spared from the country during the latter part of June and the first few weeks of July. Shipments of old potatoes have been completed and shipments of new potatoes are now coming to an end.

Mr. Purbrick

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that, owing to the action of his Ministry in the allocation of potato supplies in Liverpool the week before last, one merchant, who does not normally sell in Liverpool, was allocated a large consignment intended for Liverpool, and that the" whole of this consignment was sold to a multiple shopkeeper whose shops were overstocked whilst many small traders, as well as wholesalers, were without supplies, and the public thereby inadequately catered for; and will he look into this, with a view to preventing similar occurrences?

Major Lloyd George

I have looked into this matter but I have been unable to identify the merchant referred to in the Question. I presume my hon. Friend has in mind certain supplies of potatoes recently imported from Eire. These supplies have been distributed equitably among the wholesale trade in Liverpool. If my hon. Friend will give me further details of his complaint I will look into the matter and communicate with him as soon as possible.