HC Deb 15 December 1942 vol 385 cc1743-4
11. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare whether he will make a statement as to the food conditions now prevailing in the countries of Europe occupied by the Axis forces, especially as regards the position of young children; and whether he will issue a White Paper containing the latest information available on this subject?

Mr. Foot

Food conditions in countries occupied by the Axis forces have not substantially changed since the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend on 2nd July. While special provision is generally made for nursing mothers and very young children it is broadly true to say that in Belgium, Holland, France and Norway the food shortages are most acutely felt among children of school age and adolescents. As regards the last part of the Question, I hardly think the subject is appropriate to a White Paper, but I shall be glad to furnish my hon. Friend with any information on this matter which it is within my power to give.

Mr. Harvey

While I thank the Minister for his reply, in view of the great public interest in this matter, could not this information be published in the OFFICIAL REPORT or otherwise made available to the public?

Mr. Foot

It would be a very long statement to publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT, but I will consider what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Molson

Will the Minister give an assurance that there is no intention in any way of relieving the blockade on occupied Europe?

Mr. Foot

Our constant endeavour is to tighten the blockade.

12. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare whether the supply of foodstuffs and other necessities to Greece is proceeding satisfactorily; and whether he has any information respecting short age of food supplies in Norway, Belgium and Holland?

Mr. Foot

Shipments to Greece from Canada have so far been regularly maintained. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave on 21st July to my hon. Friend the Member for the English Universities (Mr. Harvey), and also to the answer which I have just given.

Mr. Sorensen

May we take it that most of the supplies sent to Greece have been delivered and that very little has been destroyed on the way; and is it possible to secure information from the Governments named in the Question regarding their present food position?

Mr. Foot

I have already given a statement regarding the food situation in Belgium, Holland and Norway, and I do not think there is any great shortage of information regarding conditions in these countries. As regards the first part of the Question, the shipments from Canada have all reached Greece according to schedule, but I would not like to say that I am yet completely satisfied as to the working of the safeguards for the protection of Greek domestic produce.

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