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Potatoes (Reserve Supply)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 2 November 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what is the proposed reason for the large potato store which he is asking farmers to form next year; whether shortage is expected, or a greater demand, both here and abroad; and what guarantee will be given that the clamps will be preserved in all weathers?

Following the precedent of the last three seasons, a substantial reserve of long-keeping potatoes is being bought by my Department for end-of-season use, not in anticipation of shortage but in order to spread supplies to the best advantage over the whole season, thus enabling any increased demand to be met more easily. In reply to the last part of the Question, no guarantee can be given that the potato clamps will be preserved in the event of abnormally severe weather, but growers entering into contracts are required to exercise reasonable care in storage, and to provide adequate protection against winter weather.