HC Deb 17 July 1919 vol 118 cc608-9
95. Mr. HIGHAM

asked the Food Controller if he will explain the reason for the congestion of foodstuffs at the London docks; whether these goods are being held for export to Germany, where higher prices may be obtained; and, if so, will he take the necessary action to see that these goods are kept in this country, particularly in view of the shortage of food and the present high prices?


The congestion of foodstuffs in ports is part of the general congestion which is engaging the attention of the Departments concerned. There is no reason for supposing that foodstuffs are being held in the hope of export to Germany at higher prices, since the export of the staple foodstuffs from this country is still prohibited, and there is at present no intention of altering that prohibition. Some of the supplies which were sold by the Government to Germany as part of the Armistice arrangements remain to be shipped, but no new sales of any staple article are in contemplation. The last part of the question does not, therefore, arise.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this congestion arises as a result of the jealousy between the executive which is looking after and carrying on the ports and harbours of the country and the executive of the railways?


No, Sir; I think the consideration is much more profound than that.