§ 46. Mr. Cooper
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement regarding the continuing high wholesale price for potatoes; and what information he has about recent levels of retail prices.
§ Mr. Soames
Supplies on the market have been light due to the effect on the new potato crop of late frosts and the long dry spell. At the beginning of this week wholesale prices were mainly in the range of 46s. to 54s. a cwt. Retail prices were generally round about 7d. to 9d. a lb. Both wholesale and retail prices of course vary considerably depending on variety and quality and on the level of supplies in the district concerned.
§ 48. Mr. Mackie
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the light of the experience of 1962, what plans he is making to avoid a potato famine in 1963; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Soames
It will not be until the late autumn, after much of the main crop has been lifted, that we shall be able to tell what is the yield and keeping quality of this year's crop. But from the beginning of the season I shall be watching carefully the level of supplies and trends in prices so as to judge at the earliest moment whether imports will be needed.