HC Deb 04 December 1956 vol 561 cc113-4W
Sir A. Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the concern of home producers at the effect of imports on both new and maincrop potatoes; and if he will give consideration to the better co-ordination of imports with home production.

Mr. Amory

Yes. Representations were made to me on this subject in the summer by the Potato Marketing Board, and I have given very careful consideration to their suggestions.

Importation of new potatoes is under an open general licence, but there is a seasonal tariff with its highest rate during the main marketing period for the home crop. During recent years, the importation of main-crop potatoes has been permitted only during periods of actual or prospective shortage. Within this general framework, the day-to-day conduct of business is, in the Government's view, best left to the judgment of individual traders who are in the closest touch with the market and whose own money is at stake.

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