HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 cc2677-8
48. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Minister of Food the total amount of whale oil produced by British, Norwegian and Argentinian floating factories and shore plants in the Antarctic to date; and what amount will be available for British use.

Sir B. Smith

The latest returns of whale oil produced by floating factories and shore plants are as follow:

British catch up to 31st March 37,000
Norwegian catch up to 23rd March 80,800
Argentine catch up to 17th March 10,000

The total quantity of whale oil now allocated to the United Kingdom by the Combined Food Board is 62,40o tons.

Sir D. Robertson

Is the House to understand from that answer that the fats situation is very much better than it was originally deemed to be by the right hon. Gentleman?

Sir B. Smith

The hon. Member should understand exactly the contrary. It is not better.

Mr. King

Has the Minister satisfied himself that all British floating factories are in fact in use? Is he aware that there is one standing outside Falmouth which could he repaired, and has not been repaired, and that at a time when many men in Falmouth Dockyard are being taken away for want of work?

Sir B. Smith

Every possible step has been taken for this season which is now ended, but for the next sea n all ships which were then under repair will, I hope, be available.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Do the 60,000 odd tons of whale oil correspond to the ioo,000 tons the Minister mentioned in the last Debate and the 135,000 tons?

Sir B. Smith

No, the facts are that the allocation is 62,400 tons as against the original allocation of 85,500 tons.

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