Oral Answers to Questions — Food Supplies – in the House of Commons on 18th November 1942.

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Photo of Sir James Henderson-Stewart Sir James Henderson-Stewart , Fife Eastern

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence of what happened last year, when best quality potatoes were kept back till the Spring, the public being given largely the poorer qualities and later being obliged to see many of the better qualities going bad and being fed to pigs; and whether he will ensure that best quality potatoes from the present crop are made available in good condition to the public, thus reducing the demand for bread?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

While I cannot accept the implications in the first part of the Question, the demand for best quality potatoes this season has increased to such an extent as to prejudice the acquisition of the necessary end-of-season reserve. Marketing of long keeping quality potatoes has therefore been restricted but ample alternative supplies of high quality potatoes, unsuitable for end-of-season use, are available and are now being marketed. Moreover, growers have been informed that my Department will be responsible for supplying old potatoes for consumption after 30th April, 1943, a month earlier than last year.

Mr. Stewart:

Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that there will not this year take place the waste of potatoes that was obvious in many parts of the country last year?

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

I will give an assurance that every effort will be made by the Department to ensure that the normal wastage is not exceeded.