HC Deb 01 August 1944 vol 402 cc1142-3
12. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare, whether he will give the latest available information on the position of the civilian population in Greece as regards food supply and the measures being taken to relieve grave malnutrition.

Mr. Foot

As the reply is a long one, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

As a result of the fact that the harvest has just been gathered there has been a recent improvement. Nevertheless it would be misleading to generalise about the food situation in Greece as a whole, since conditions vary widely between the larger cities, the provinces, especially those areas where there is active guerilla warfare, and the islands. There has undoubtedly been a considerable improvement over the past year in the circumstances of the urban population, an improvement which is reflected in the vital statistics. In those areas which are the scene of active conflict food supplies remain a very serious problem. In certain districts conditions of scarcity have been considerably aggravated by the action of the German authorities in destroying or seizing native produce, allegedly as a reprisal for guerilla activities. Moreover, military operations and the requisitioning of lorries involve considerable interference with transport and distribution. Conditions of acute shortage continue among a large part of the island population, owing to the great difficulty of sending supplies. As regards the last part of the Question the House is already aware that relief foodstuffs are being shipped to Greece at the rate of approximately 32,000 tons a month. In addition, arrangements have recently been made for supplies to be sent in Turkish coastal vessels to Mitylene and Chios, and the first cargo has been delivered.

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