HC Deb 19 June 1950 vol 476 c846
29. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that 450 trucks of potatoes tendered by his Department between December, 1949, and May, 1950, to wholesalers at Smithfield Market, Birmingham, were condemned by his inspectors as unfit for human consumption and subsequently sold for stock feed; what was the loss on these transactions; and if he will take disciplinary action against those responsible.

Mr. Webb

Four hundred and twenty trucks of Ministry potatoes were rejected by Birmingham wholesalers between December, 1949, and May, 1950. Not all of these consignments were sold for stock-feeding; many contained only small quantities of unsound potatoes and after being re-sorted were sold at a reduced price for human consumption. Claims were raised against the growers responsible, but it will be some time before accounts are complete.

Sir W. Smithers

When will the right hon. Gentleman stop meddling with business of which he knows nothing and leave it to the experts, thus saving the taxpayers' money?