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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 12 Apr 1951

Vol. 125 No. 5

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Potato Exports.

Mr. Blaney

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state (a) the quantity of ware potatoes of the 1950 crop exported to Great Britain up to the present, and (b) the price per ton obtained for them.

I understand from the Irish Potato Marketing Company that some 6,730 tons of ware potatoes have been exported to Great Britain up to the 31st March, 1951. Under the contract with the British Ministry of Food, the prices payable are £10 13s. 6d per ton f.o.b. for shipments up to the end of January, 1951, and £11 8s. 6d. per ton f.o.b. for shipments after that date.

Mr. Blaney

Would the Minister state if the potatoes still remaining to be delivered will be accepted by the British?

I hope so.

Mr. Blaney

The Minister expects they will?

Mr. Blaney

This season or next season?

This season, I hope. Why not?

Mr. Blaney

Is there any truth in the statement or the talk that is going around that potatoes are not being accepted by the British under this contract due to some fault in the quality of the potatoes? I will put it this way to the Minister——

Be frank. Put it plainly.

Mr. Blaney

I am trying to be frank but it is hard to be frank with the Minister, who is never frank himself. Will the Minister state whether any cargoes of ware potatoes sent to Britain under this contract have been turned down?

If a difference at present exists between the Potato Marketing Board and the British Ministry of Food as to the quality of a cargo of potatoes, I am sure the Deputy will share with me the view that the potatoes are of excellent quality and fully up to the standards stipulated for in the contract.

Mr. Blaney

Yes, but I am really——

I trust the Deputy will stop at that.

Mr. Blaney

The Deputy is anxious to find out on behalf of those people who still have large quantities of potatoes on hand, whether there is a market available for them.

Perhaps the Deputy will roll up his trousers and play for our team for a while.

Mr. Blaney

I would not do it for a fortune.

I thought so.