§ Mr. Harvey
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare whether he will state the amount of the contributions which have been made to the relief of famine in Greece and to the controlled distribution of food in Greece by Turkey, Canada, Sweden, Argentina and other countries, including Great Britain; and whether he can give any particulars as to the size and composition of the staff of the International Red Cross which is supervising the work of relief.
§ Mr. Foot
Between October, 1941, and August, 1942, there were sent to Greece approximately 20,000 tons of assorted foodstuffs from Turkey and approximately 22,000 tons of wheat and flour from Egypt, Palestine and the United States. These supplies have been to a considerable extent paid for by the Greek Government and the Greek War Relief Association of the United States. The Canadian Government has given 15,000 tons of wheat monthly since August, 1942. The United States Government has contributed on Lend-Lease terms 3,000 tons of dried vegetables monthly since November, 1942, except that 300 tons of this monthly amount has been replaced by dried soup concentrates. Since the end of 1942 the United States Government has also contributed tinned milk, the original rate of 300 tons monthly being increased to 600 tons monthly in July, 1943, and is now providing 900 tons monthly of fish pro-1634W ducts. These foodstuffs are the basic constituents of the Relief programme. In addition, various occasional contributions of foodstuffs, and regular supplies of medicines and vitamins on a substantial scale have been provided by the National Red Cross Societies and the Greek War Relief Associations of the United States and of Canada.
Further, the Argentine has recently given 50,000 tons of wheat to the Greek Government, and a cargo is likely to be shipped in the near future. The Swedish Government has loaded on a ship now proceeding to Greece some 2,000 tons of salt fish and 200 tons of dried milk. This is in addition to various smaller contributions of foodstuffs and medicines sent from Swedish sources in the past. Substantial contributions, of which I have not at present full particulars, have been made during the last two years from Switzerland. Contributions of foodstuffs and medicines on a smaller scale have reached Greece from many other sources, including Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, the Argentine, Egypt, Turkey, Portugal and the Vatican. In general however the transmission of gifts from sources other than the main sources of supply gives rise to increasing difficulties. Apart from these, vital contributions on an important scale have been made by the United States Government and donors in the United States, and also in Canada and Sweden, to the provision of transport and other accessories necessary for the work of the Relief Commission in Greece. Account must also be taken of the indispensable services of the Swedish Government and the Swedish Red Cross as also of the International and Swiss Red Crosses in the work of organisation and the provision of staff.
As regards the second part of the Question, I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind all the neutral workers who are supervising the work of relief and not only those directly appointed by the International Red Cross. I cannot give an exact figure since the neutral delegates from time to time return to their own countries, while others come out to take their places. According to my latest information however, there were in Greece still 17 delegates of Swedish nationality, and 14 delegates of Swiss nationality. Numerous Greek administrators are of 1635W course working with the Relief organisation, and a very large number of Greek nationals are employed in its services.
§ Mr. Oldfield
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare what proportion of the 1,800 deaths in Athens in October is estimated to be as a result of starvation and diseases consequent upon malnutrition and what proportion is the normal death rate for the population; whether an estimate can be given of the total number of deaths as a result of starvation and consequent diseases in the months of November and December; and whether any similar estimates can be given for the Greek Islands or for other cities on the Greek mainland.
§ Mr. Foot
The monthly death rate before the war in the Athens-Piraeus area appears to have varied between 900 and 1,500 for a population of rather over 1,000,000 persons. It is probable that the population is now higher. I regret that I have, as yet, no statistics regarding the months of October, November and December, 1943, either for the Athens-Pireaus area or for other cities on the Greek mainland or for the Greek Islands. For this reason, I cannot confirm that the figure of 1,800 deaths mentioned in the Question is correct.