asked the President of the Board of Trade what consultations he has with the National Farmers' Union before fixing the date when import of new potatoes is to cease each year; what closing date the National Farmers' Union advised for 1952; and how far this advice was accepted by his Department.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
For those vegetables, including new potatoes, for which the open general licence is subject to seasonal suspension pending a decision on the National Farmers' Union's tariff 219W application, the National Farmers' Union are invited each year to put forward their views on the dates for suspension during the coming season.
When they were originally consulted about the arrangements for 1952, they made no proposal for varying the dates of suspension of the open general licence for new potatoes from those which had been used in 1951, and these dates, 1st June, 1952, to 31st July, 1952, were included in the provisional announcement made on 19th January, 1952. These dates are subject to review. In March and subsequently, the National Farmers' Union proposed that the date of suspension should be advanced; but this proposal was not accepted for 1952.
I announced yesterday, in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. G. R. Howard), the date for 1953.