HC Deb 27 October 1943 vol 393 cc198-9W
Dr. Russell Thomas

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been drawn to the high prices of fresh vegetables in parts of the London area during August and September, 1943; and what steps were taken by his Department with regard to that matter?

Mr. Mabane

I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply on 23rd September to the hon. and gallant Member for Chatham (Captain Plugge).

Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what losses have been incurred by his Department in the first nine months of the year in its dealings in swedes, turnips, carrots and potatoes?

Mr. Mabane

The gross trading losses incurred by the Ministry of Food on swedes, carrots and potatoes in the first nine months of 1943 were approximately £47,000, £260,000 and £4,536,000 respectively. There were no dealings in turnips.

Colonel Carver

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his winter vegetable policy will involve the requisitioning of green vegetables; and in what districts are the prospects of supply regarded as satisfactory or the reverse?

Mr. Mabane

It is hoped with the assistance of committees of growers and merchants, which are now being set up in the principal producing areas, to divert supplies of cabbage by voluntary methods should serious local shortages of green vegetables occur. My Noble Friend is prepared to requisition cabbage for the purpose but it is thought unlikely that the need for this will arise. As regards the second part of the Question, a statement recently made on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture summed up the prospects as followsWhile supplies as a whole will not be so plentiful as they were last season, there is no reason to fear any acute shortage of green vegetables during the forthcoming winter, given normal weather conditions.

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