§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has regarding the alleged dumping of 2,000 tons of potatoes in the city of Dundee; what loss this will cause to consumer or taxpayer; and if he will hold an inquiry.
§ Mr. Hugh D. Brown
Under the potato guarantee arrangements, the Potato Marketing Board contracted to buy part of last year's potato crop. Some have since been resold through normal market distribution channels and some have been disposed of for stock feed or for processing. However, in most parts of Great Britain some potatoes remain which are surplus to market requirements now that new potatoes are available. These cannot be stored much longer because they are rapidly deteriorating, and in effect they are now virtually unsaleable. The board is, therefore, authorising holders of contracted stocks to dispose of them.
For plant health reasons, its is preferable that disposal should be away from farms whenever this is possible, and, in accordance with this practice, the dumping of 400 tonnes in municipal tips in Dundee has been sanctioned by the local authority.
It is too early to estimate the overall cost of price support measures relating to the 1977 crop.
I see no reason to hold an inquiry.