§ Mr. Ness Edwards
asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he has taken to make available an adequate supply of seeds, and particularly seed potatoes, for the extended allotment programme, and at prices well within the capacity of the allotment-holders?
§ Sir R. Dorman-Smith
The question of ensuring that an adequate supply of seeds, including seed potatoes, will be available for the extended allotment programme is kept constantly under review by the Seeds Advisory Committee which I have set up and the Potato Section of the Ministry of Food, both of which bodies are confident that for most248W varieties the seed trade will be in a position to meet requirements. In the present circumstances, some increase in the price of seeds, particularly those kinds of vegetable seeds which are normally imported from abroad, is inevitable, but a careful watch is being kept on this aspect of the matter, and I am advised that the evidence so far available does not indicate that prices generally are disproportionately high. An Order will shortly be made by the Minister of Food dealing with growers' prices and merchants' margins for seed potatoes.