asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the poor average quality of broccoli produced, he will take steps to improve the quality of the seed available to West of England growers.
My reports are that the broccoli crop is early but of good quality. As regards the seed, I am aware that there is evidence that the seed of the Roscoff strains deteriorated during the war when the customary arrangements for growing on were impossible. But every effort is being made to restore pre-war standards, though not necessarily by reverting wholly to pre-war arrangements.
In his effort to assist in the restoration of pre-war standards, will my right hon. Friend consider supplementing the work of the Gulval experimental station and, if necessary, consider acquiring land for this purpose under Section 83 of the relevant Agriculture Act?
The National Agricultural Advisory Service are trying out a number of samples on the experimental plot at Gulval in Cornwall, and we are hopeful that the results will be fruitful.
While agreeing with the Minister that the crop is not only abundant but of splendid quality, and while I also agree that the experiments at Gulval have proved very useful, would he consider what can be done in the Empire, in place like Cyprus, to breed seed, because there is no doubt that there are certain places which are of great advantage both as regards the property of the soil and the climate?
I hope that the leading seed firms are aware of the possibilities of Cyprus and, indeed, of any other country, and I hope they will meet the needs of our growers with the right seeds.