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Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 6 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Food whether he will state the tonnage of ware potatoes still in clamp on the farms; and what steps are being taken to ensure that the large surplus is being diverted to manufacture.

It is estimated that there were 2½ million tons of ware potatoes on farms in Great Britain on 1st March. My Department is very actively engaged in moving the surplus for stock-feeding and processing, and factories are working to full capacity seven days a week.

Can we be assured that all potatoes of last year's crop, if they do not go for human consumption, will at least find their way into industrial uses?

Would the right hon. Lady be prepared to consider what I believe to be a practical scheme of linking the profitable consumption of surplus potatoes with the problem of the man or woman who wants to keep a pig? Will she be prepared to consider a proposal which I should like to put before her?

Certainly, Sir. I am always prepared to consider proposals, especially from the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Can the right hon. Lady confirm that 70,000 tons a week are now going to processing? How long will she be able to maintain that amount?

Thirty-two thousand tons are going to stockfeeding and I believe that the quantity mentioned by the hon. and gallant Gentleman goes for processing.