HC Deb 12 December 1957 vol 579 cc149-50W
77. Mr. Coldrick

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that the policy of the Potato Marketing Board cost the taxpayer £12,750,000 last year, and resulted in a waste of 350,000 tons of potatoes; and what action he will take to prevent such extravagance in future.

Mr. Godber

The figure £12¾ million quoted by the hon. Member is the estimate made by the Potato Marketing Board at the time when its Annual Report was prepared of the total cost of the Agriculture Act guarantee for potatoes in Great Britain in respect of the 1956 crop. Of the total cost, the Exchequer bears 95 per cent. In years of very heavy yield, when feedingstuffs are plentiful, it is not practicable to move all surplus potatoes scarcity of fish on the grounds which has been the result of natural factors and that an enquiry would serve no useful purpose.