§ 70. Mr. Farey-Jones
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he refused a request from the Spanish authorities to extend the importation period for new potatoes on plant health grounds but has acceded to an identical request from the French Government.
§ Mr. Scott-Hopkins
Restrictions on the importation of new potatoes are imposed under the Destructive Insects and Pests Acts in order to prevent the introduction of Colorado Beetle. We judge the period during which we can import potatoes safely on past experience of imports from the country concerned, on our knowledge of the seasonal incidence of the pest and on the measures taken to control it. On the basis of this knowledge, we considered it safe to extend the importation period this year for French new potatoes but not for Spanish.