§ Mr. Patrick Thompson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made towards liquidation of the national food stockpile; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mrs. Browning
The national food stockpile originally consisted of flour, biscuits, sugar, fat, yeast, sweets and emergency feeding equipment stored in buffer depots around the country, to provide a reserve to help feed survivors during a recovery period after a nuclear attack. Following a phased reduction of activities after 1991, an announcement was made in March 1993 to liquidate the stockpile. This was possible because an assessment of food supplies in the context of modern distribution and storage practices within the food industry had concluded that there would be ample stocks available to meet any conceivable attack. Remaining foodstuffs have since been disposed of and the last buffer depot has recently been closed.