HC Deb 05 February 1968 vol 758 cc49-50W
Mr. Buchanan-Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, what were the stocks of potatoes on farms at the end of December 1967; how this compares with stocks at the end of 1964, 1965 and 1966; and to what extent this exceeds estimated requirements at present consumption levels.

Mr. Ross

The Potato Marketing Board announced earlier this week that its census taken at the end of December showed farm stocks in Great Brita n, excluding seed, of 2,530,000 tons on the basis of the riddles at present in force. The comparable figures for the end of 1964, 1965 and 1966 were 2,350,000 tons, 2,670,000 tons and 1,990,000 tons, respectively; equivalent Scottish figures from 1964 were 415,000 tons, 325,000 tons, 285,000 tons and 475,000 tons, respectively.

Present stocks are substantially in excess of probable consumption requirements, but the size of any eventu2l surplus will depend on such factors as the effect of weather on wastage over the remainder of the season.