§ 54. Mr. Osborne
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many new potatoes were imported during February and March, 1954 and 1953, respectively, both in volume and value; and, since there are still heavy supplies of home grown potatoes available at lower prices, and, in view of the difficulty which English and Scottish growers have in finding a market for these supplies, if he will take steps to control the importation of new potatoes until the old stock has been absorbed.
Revised import duties on new potatoes have recently been introduced for the period 16th May to 30th June. My right hon. Friend is not at present prepared to consider any change in these arrangements.
The following are the figures for which my hon. Friend asks:
Imports of new potatoes from all sources into the United Kingdom have been as follow:—
— 1953 1954 Cwts. £ Cwts. £ February 68,081 196,112 57,687 166,804 March 217,187 602,349
The figures for March, 1954, are not yet available.