HC Deb 27 February 1941 vol 369 cc631-2
60. Mr. Denville

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that in the North-East in general, and Newcastle in particular, there is a great shortage of peas, especially Carlins; and what steps he is taking to remedy the situation?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Major Lloyd George)

There is a shortage of dried peas in all parts of the country, owing to the fact that our principal sources of imported supplies in peace time are now in enemy hands. I appreciate the importance of the particular variety referred to by my hon. Friend, but I regret that I am unable to anticipate the recurrence of arrivals such as have been experienced in the past. Pulses other than dried peas are more readily available, but I can hold out no hope of a general improvement until the home crop of threshed peas is harvested next summer. The acreage under peas is being considerably extended.

Mr. Denville

Is the Minister aware that the shortage of Carlins will stop an old Thanksgiving custom of great sentimental value to people of Tyneside? Is he also aware that this custom was observed during the last war?

Major Lloyd George

The hon. Member will appreciate that a vast proportion of dried peas are imported, and that the sources of supply were cut off very suddenly last May with the result that home supplies were quickly exhausted. In regard to the custom to which the hon. Member referred, I could not possibly guarantee that my Noble Friend will be able to repeat it.

Mr. David Adams

Does the Minister know that the answer he has given will give great dissatisfaction?

Major Lloyd George

I am very sorry about that, but the hon. Member will appreciate that in the North of England practically all peas were imported. Surely he can convey to his part of the country the fact that the sources of supply have now been cut off?

Mr. Denville

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there are large quantities of peas in certain parts of the country, while there is a shortage in other parts?

Major Lloyd George

I cannot accept that, because I happen to know there is a shortage of peas in the country generally.

Forward to