asked the Minister of Food if his attention has been drawn to irregularities in the supply of potatoes reaching the Merseyside area; and what steps he proposes to remedy the existing shortage.
Yes, Sir, and all possible steps are being taken to ease the position, but I fear that some shortages are likely before the new crop is available in adequate volume.
Would the Minister care, without notice, to make a statement with regard to the prospects of the new potato crop?
The old crop potatoes are now coming towards their end. We knew from the beginning of the year—and I said so frankly to the House—that because of the difficulties of last autumn we should have difficulties at this period with our potatoes. The new Cornish crop is now coming in, and we are deflecting supplies to the areas where there are the least supplies of the old crop potatoes.
Are there any crops coming from Jersey?
No, Sir, not yet.
asked the Minister of Food why Shropshire has been excluded from those areas to receive an allocation of Cornish early potatoes; whether he is aware that Shropshire as a producing county has exported all its potato surplus under instructions of his Ministry; and whether he will take steps to see that Shropshire shall share with other counties in receiving a reasonable allocation of early potatoes.
The stock of old potatoes in Shropshire is still sufficient to meet a fair proportion of the demand and I do not, therefore, propose to allocate Cornish new potatoes to that district at present.