§ Mr. Thorne
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food what he intends doing about the glut of new potatoes?
§ Mr. Mabane
While the supply of new potatoes temporarily exceeds demand in some markets my Noble Friend is bound to consider the supply position by reference to the quantity of first-early potatoes which may be needed to meet consumption requirements before the lifting of second-earlies is generally permitted on 12th August. Any attempt to hasten unduly the clearance of first-early varieties might make it necessary to bring forward the lifting of the second-early and main crops. This would tend to reduce their yield and consequently next winter's food supply. My Department is, therefore, aiming at maintaining a flow from the areas of early production sufficient in volume to clear land in time for a following crop and prevent deterioration arising from delay in lifting and marketing the first-early crop. If a surplus over market requirements results, it will, as far as possible, be processed into a product for human consumption.