§ 8. Mr. Peter Freeman
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what increased amounts of food have now been allocated to Germany to meet the serious shortage; and what is the present calorific value of the amount now being actually received per head.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ernest Bevin)
A special emergency allocation of cereals, equivalent to 137,000 tons of flour, will increase the expected arrivals of cereals for human consumption in the combined zones to the equivalent of about 400,000 tons of flour in both June and July. The average daily calorie value of the ration actually available to normal consumers was slightly less than 1,000 calories in May and is likely to remain at about this level in June.
§ Mr. Freeman
Does my right hon. Friend consider that this amount—1,000 calories daily—is really adequate to keep the Germans from starving?
§ Mr. Skeffington-Lodge
Will my right hon. Friend be good enough to bear in mind the common sense and desirability of only announcing publicly in Germany the total ration which can be fully honoured?
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us the country of origin of this special allocation? Is it Eastern Europe or America.
§ 7. Mr. Stokes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is satisfied that the maximum advantage is being taken of vegetable supplies from Holland 1042 in order to ease the food situation in Germany; and whether he proposes to enter into arrangements with the Dutch Government to this end as and when vegetables become available.
§ Mr. Stokes
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that last year similar negotiations were initiated, and that a very considerable proportion of the vegetables available were not taken, and were thrown away? Will he make quite sure that that does not happen again?
§ Sir Waldron Smithers
Is not the main reason for the food shortage in Germany the fact that Russian policy refuses to allow Germany to be treated as an economic whole?
§ 25. Mr. Driberg
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many tons of grain, potatoes, sugar and other foods have been sent from the Soviet zone to Western Germany in the past year.
§ Mr. Driberg
While we all wish that these figures had been larger, is it not unfortunate, in view of these figures, that a public statement should have been made less than a fortnight ago to the effect that no food at all had been sent; and is it not now clear that that statement was a lie?
§ Mr. Richard Law
Could the right hon. Gentleman say how these figures which he has just read out would have compared with the comparable figures for a prewar year? They would, presumably, have been very much greater then.
§ 27. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will consider classifying Hamburg, Bremen and the Ruhr as distressed areas to be afforded priority in respect of food imports, if necessary at the expense of their agricultural hinterland.
§ Mr. Bevin
Large towns in the British zone are already being given a slight preference over other districts in the allocation of food, both for normal and for priority consumers. It would be unwise to make too great a distinction between town and country, since many rural districts are now short of food owing to the large numbers of refugees who have been sent to them.