Potato Drying Plants, Northern Ireland

Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies – in the House of Commons on 11th September 1942.

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Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food how many dehydration plants of those recently constructed are ready for operation in Northern Ireland; how many are under construction; how long have they been under construction; what is the cost of each plant; and how does that cost compare with similar plants erected by private companies in England?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

Nine factories for the drying of potatoes are under construction in Northern Ireland; of these it is anticipated that one will be operating by the end of September, 1942, and three by the end of October, 1942, the remainder being in varying stages of construction. The dates of commencement of work on these factories ranged from February to April, 1942. The final costs of the plants are subject to adjustments under the contracts and cannot therefore be given at present. Where similar plants are being provided to those in England, costs are relatively comparable, subject to increases attributable to war time circumstances.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

Will the hon. Gentleman take steps to expedite the matter? Who is responsible for this extravagance and waste? Is it not a matter which could properly be brought before the Select Committee on National Expenditure?