HC Deb 25 July 1960 vol 627 cc82-3W
54. Sir J. Maitland

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the low prices now obtaining for early potatoes in Lincolnshire; and what action he proposes to take to help growers.

Mr. Hare

I am aware of the low prices being realised for early potatoes in Lincolnshire. Larger acreages at home combined with higher yields have helped to increase the supplies available. Detailed figures are not yet available but imports in July from Belgium, our main overseas supplier during that month, appear to be lower than in the two previous years. A measure of protection is provided by the tariff on new potatoes which varies seasonally.

60. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Fool if he will state the tonnage of potato crops for the months of June and July in 1959 and 1960, respectively; and whether there has been an increase in the amount of potatoes imported this year.

Mr. Hare

It is estimated that sales of now potatoes off farms in the United Kingdom in June and July, 1959, were 163,000 tons and 301,000 tons respectively. I regret that similar information is not yet available for the 1960 crop.

As regards the second part of the Questions, imports of new potatoes from 1st January lo 30th June are provisionally estimated at 242,000 tons, an increase of about 6,000 tons over the same period last year.