HC Deb 14 April 1943 vol 388 cc1186-7
5. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the hardship caused to the civilian inhabitants of Madagascar through the grave shortage of clothing materials; and whether efforts are being made to supply cotton cloth and other necessary piece goods, as well as other essential commodities, to take the place of goods which can no longer be obtained from France?

Mr. Eden

I am aware of the grave shortage of clothing and other necessary materials from which Madagascar has suffered as a result of a long period of economic isolation. All possible steps are being taken to ensure that Madagascar is allotted a generous share of the limited goods available from the appropriate sources and that these goods are shipped with the least possible delay.

Mr. Harvey

While I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply, will he see that special care is taken, in view of the impending cool season in Madagascar, to get the necessary supplies?

Mr. Eden

We are doing what we can. My hon. Friend will know the difficulties both in regard to shipping and supplies.

Major Petherick

While sympathising with the object of this Question, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he will cause to be explained to the inhabitants of Madagascar that there is a very great shortage of material in this country?