HC Deb 17 May 1922 vol 154 cc349-50
49. Colonel NEWMAN

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the great hardship to all classes, and loss of infant life that is being experienced in Vienna owing to the acute shortage of butchers' meat and milk; and whether, seeing that this is the result of Hungary not being able to send either meat or milk to Vienna, because, under a Treaty obligation, she has to give up her cattle to Roumania and Yugo-Slavia, and that both these countries are, as compared with Vienna, amply supplied with meat and milk, he will make representations to the countries in question to forego their claim for cattle and take their reparation in some other form?


I am aware that considerable distress exists in Vienna owing to the difficulty experienced by many of the inhabitants in obtaining sufficient meat and milk. This situation, which has existed for some years, cannot, however, be due to the demand made upon Hungary for the surrender of cattle. This demand is made in accordance with the Treaty of Trianon. Although a very generous time limit has been allowed to the Hungarian Government within which to fulfil it, they have not, as a matter of fact, yet complied. Moreover, the number of cattle now to be surrendered represent only one-fifth of Hungary's annual surplus live-stock, or one-half of 1 per cent. of her total stock.

Colonel NEWMAN

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Hungary gives this as the actual reason why she cannot send meat to Vienna?


I have no official statement from Hungary to that effect.

Lieut.-Colonel ASHLEY

As Germany has been let off so easily in the matter of reparations, could not the same consideration more suitably be extended to Austria and Hungary?

Captain ELLIOT

Is it not a fact that the Roumanians themselves carried off enormous numbers of livestock from that territory, actually themselves collecting the reparations in question?


These are large questions and I must have notice.

Lieut.-Colonel ASHLEY

Has not the whole matter been raised by the question of the hon. Member opposite?


This is leading to debate.