HC Deb 04 March 1947 vol 434 cc56-8W
Mr. Baker White

asked the Minister of Food his reason for making it compulsory in 1947 to purchase the white varieties of potatoes from his Department as from February, whereas, in 1946, such purchases were not compulsory before May; and whether this decision is due to weather conditions or whether it indicates his deci- sion to widen permanently the period of control.

Dr. Summerskill

My Department is continuing to prohibit the sale to private buyers of a large proportion of the best white potatoes in order that we may direct those supplies to the consuming areas where they are most needed. This is part of the general plan agreed with all sections of the potato industry for spreading the remaining stocks of potatoes over the rest of the season and for providing a fair share of the supplies to all consuming areas. This operation does not indicate any permanent extension of the period of control, but has been found necessary owing to the danger of temporary or local shortages this season. In addition, my Department has acquired an end-of-season reserve which will be generally released, as in previous years, from May onwards.