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Volume 463: debated on Monday 11 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Food if he will make an advance payment on all potatoes purchased by his Department.

All growers receive the acreage payment, usually in the autumn, which is, in effect, an advance payment equivalent to about 30s. per ton. In addition, advance payments are made on potatoes bought by my Department for end of season use. My right, hon. Friend is not able to do more than this.


asked the Minister of Food why, in view of the large surplus of potatoes, a circular from the Potato and Carrot Division, dated 31st March, 1949, Ref. A/E No. 90/, has been sent to merchants, stating that no further orders can be accepted for English grade A potatoes and that Gladstones from Ireland are still available.

There is no surplus of English grade A potatoes and Ministry stocks offered to London merchants have all been taken up. The attention of the trade was, however, drawn to the Northern Ireland Gladstones, as my Department is responsible for moving the United Kingdom surplus as a whole.

Can the right hon. Lady say how many tons of grade A potatoes, which the Minister bought under the guaranteed price, have been used for stock feed?

It is quite impossible for me to do so, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that those which were used for stock feed were deteriorating.