HC Deb 04 March 1946 vol 420 c13
34 Mr. Sorensen

asked the Undersecretary of State for India what progress has been made towards securing food grains sufficient to meet the food shortage in India and the prospect of famine.

Mr. A. Henderson

The Indian Food Delegation have discussed with His Majesty's Government India's import requirements of food grains to meet the present emergency in India. These have also been considered and endorsed by the London Food Council and will now come before the Combined Food Board at Washington for consideration. The Indian Delegation are now on their way to Washington to assist the British Food Mission in representing India's requirements to the Combined Food Board. I need hardly say that His Majesty's Government will make every effort in Washington to see that India's requirements are met as fully as possible and at the earliest possible date, and for this purpose my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food, as the House is aware, is flying to Washington

Mr. Sorensen

It an earlier decision is made, in view of the urgent necessity for these grains in India will the food be shipped to India immediately?

Mr. Henderson

I should like to make clear that wheat is now being shipped in considerable quantities each month.

Sir Stanley Reed

Will the Minister give an assurance that rice from Saigon will not be shipped Eastward as long as the present needs of India are so immense?

Mr. Henderson

I can give that assurance as far as this country is concerned.

Mr. Gammans

Have any representations been made to Russia to help India at this time, in view of the fact that food rationing has been abolished in Russia?

Mr. Henderson

I am not in a position to answer that question