§ The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)
I sympathise strongly with the hon. Member's intentions. Unfortunately, Spain, Palestine, Portugal, France and French North Africa have all prohibited the export of olive oil; we have got a little from Syria but shall need it all for medicinal purposes. We are, however, trying other sources of supply.
§ Mr. Hogg
In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has been importing a good deal of fruit from Italy, and in view of the fact that such small quantities of olive oil as could be obtained would count towards the fat ration, would he not consider the possibility of importing olive oil from Italy?
§ Mr. Strachey
I did not say that the Italian Government had prohibited the export of olive oil. We have not been able to buy any, but we will try.
§ Mr. Renton
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that last season Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, both of which are under British control, each had an exportable surplus, and will he say whether any quantities of olive oil came from those countries to this country?
§ Mr. Walkden
Has the Minister sent any strong buying mission out to Greece —places like Corinth and Patras—to find out what is available, and with authority to buy?
§ Mr. Strachey
We are closely in touch with the Greek representatives, whom I 194 saw in recent weeks. We hope to buy this and other commodities from Greece, but I think I would be misleading the House if I suggested that there were any large quantities of olive oil.