§ 78 and 79. Mr. Brewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) why he has removed restrictions on the importation of potatoes from Corsica after 30th June while potatoes from the mainland of France are prohibited after that date;253W
(2) why 20th May, the closing date for imports of potatoes from Italy, will no longer apply to Sardinia.
§ Mr. Hoy
Imports of new potatoes from mainland France and mainland Italy are prohibited after 30th June and 20th May respectively, because of the risk of bringing in Colorado beetle. We are satisfied that the same risk does not apply to imports from Corsica and Sardinia where Colorado beetle is not known to exist.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he refused permission to the Potato Marketing Board to enter the market in the week beginning 15th February, 1965.
§ Mr. Peart
I do not know what the hon. Member has in mind in his reference to 15th February. In response to an approach towards the end of January, I notified the Chairman of the Board on 3rd February that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, and I, wuold keep the position under review, but that the market situation at that time did not in our opinion justify the introduction of an Exchequer assisted support buying programme under the terms of the potato guarantee arrangements. I confirmed this conclusion when the Chairman of the Board came to see me on 8th February. In the light of developments in the next two weeks, the Secretary of State and I decided that the time had come to introduce a buying programme on the basis announced in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury and Radcliffe (Mr. Ensor) on 22nd February.
§ Mr. Brewis
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he has lifted the ban on imports of potatoes from the Azores.