HC Deb 17 October 1945 vol 414 cc1155-6
34. Sir Arthur Salter

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the available food surplus in Denmark is being exported to adjacent European countries who greatly need it, through U.N.R.R.A., or otherwise; and, if not, what are the obstacles.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Yes, Sir. Food is being exported from Denmark to countries which have concluded agreements with the Danish Government. Among these countries are France, Belgium, Holland, Finland, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom. Part of the Danish surplus of food also helps to feed the Army of Occupation in Germany.

Sir A. Salter

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether all the available foodstuffs are being exported, or only a relatively small portion?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I understand that there is no difficulty at all about exporting, except as regards live cattle. There is a difficulty there about shipping, and a further difficulty concerning payments in the areas to which they could go over land. The whole question of the export of live cattle is now under very active consideration.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Minister aware that statements have been made recently that at least another3,000 tons a week could be exported from Denmark to Europe?

Mr. Noel-Baker

That is not my information, but I will look into the matter.

35. Sir A. Salter

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent the export of the Danish food surplus is being restricted by a deficiency of motor transport; and whether steps are being taken to meet this deficiency with unused British and American motor-lorries.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I have not heard that the export of Danish food supplies is hampered by a shortage of motor vehicles. I understand that the railways are capable of moving all the available surplus.