HC Deb 12 July 1939 vol 349 cc2242-3
55. Major Milner

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster why the Government are pot making full use of the considerable cold-storage accommodation available in this country, particularly outside London?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the use of cold storage accommodation for reserves acquired under the Essential Commodities Reserves Act. The cost of storage is one factor which is considered in connection with the selection of foodstuffs and in which cold storage shows at a disadvantage. Edible oils, canned meat and canned fish, for example, are being stored at a cost much less than that of cold storage.

Major Milner

Is it not the fact that not 50 per cent, of the cold storage accommodation is now being made use of, and that there are many commodities which could be satisfactorily stored there?

Mr. Morrison

I told the hon. Gentleman that the question of cost had to be taken into account, and the object is, in general, to secure the highest possible food value for the money expended. The cost of cold storage is enormously greater than the other methods of storage to which I have referred, and I am aware that there is an excess of cold storage accommodation at the present time.

Major Milner

Is it not the fact that food storage accommodation is being reduced year by year because the Government are not taking advantage of it?

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