HC Deb 17 October 1944 vol 403 cc2191-3
17. Commander King-Hall

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will lay a White Paper or make a statement informing the House of the facts in regard to the food situation in the liberated areas of Western Europe.

Sir J. Grigg

I am not at present in possession of such facts as would justify me in making any statement. I am endeavouring to obtain a general picture of conditions prevailing, but the hon. and gallant Member will appreciate that in the present state of operations, and with the damage which communications have suffered, it is extremely difficult to collect adequate information covering the wide area which has already been liberated.

Commander King-Hall

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the importance of this m[...]tter, in view of the conflict of evidence that exists, and the necessity for the public in this country knowing the facts as soon as practicable?

Sir J. Grigg

I think I have shown that by saying that I am trying to get a general picture of conditions.

Captain Cunningham-Reid

Would it not be even more satisfactory if, without further delay, Members of Parliament were allowed personally to investigate these matters?

33. Mr. Astor

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are being taken to relieve starvation in the liberated areas of Greece.

Sir J. Grigg

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Moss Side (Mr. Rostron Duckworth) on 11th October.

Mr. Astor

In view of the unparalleled heroism of the Greeks, and their unswerving loyalty and friendship to England during her worst time, does my right hon. Friend realise that many thousands of soldiers who have served with them consider that we owe them a primary debt of honour; and will he be kind enough to make a more extensive statement as to what his Department, which is responsible, proposes to do?

Sir J. Grigg

I thought my statement was fairly extensive. I entirely agree that we owe a great debt of honour to the Greek people, and I can assure my hon. Friend that for months past we have been making preparations in order to try and meet it.

The following Question stood on the Order Paper in the name of Sir EDWARD GRIGG: 73. To ask the Secretary of State for War, whether, with due regard for military considerations, some immediate measures can he taken to prevent the spread of famine in Belgium, Luxembourg and Southern Holland.
Sir E. Grigg

In putting this Question to the Secretary of State for War, may I express my gratitude to you, Mr. Speaker?

Sir J. Grigg

Port facilities are as yet limited and inland communications have been severely disrupted. These facts, together with the overriding need to sustain the battle, set considerable practical limits to what can be done now. But I can assure my hon. Friend that all possible steps are being taken by the combined British and American military authorities to bring relief supplies to these areas.