§ Mr. Bishop
My right hon. Friend received representations from the Potato Processors' Association and others on the possibility of serious redundancies in the industry. We hope the scheme for processors set out in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) on 6th February, will help to stablise employment—[Vol. 943, c.457–8.]402W
§ Mr. Mudd
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why the decision has been taken to supply cheap potatoes direct to processors rather than through the distributive trade, when similar action in 1972 was only taken after the Ministry and the Potato Marketing Board had given specific undertakings that such action would not be repeated.
§ Mr. Bishop
The reason for assisting processors to obtain supplies from potatoes contracted under the Potato Marketing Board's support buying programme was set out in the reply given to my hon. Friend the member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) on 6th February.—[Vol. 943, c.457–8.] I am aware of no undertaking to the distributive trade of the kind suggested and the arrangements do not preclude members of the distributive trade from acting on behalf of processors on certain aspects.