HC Deb 17 March 1947 vol 435 cc23-4
33. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the Minister of Food what quantities of groundnut are held in Nigeria and Gambia for our account.

The Minister of Food (Mr. Strachey)

According to the February return, 264,358 tons of the new crop of groundnuts were held for the Ministry of Food's account in Nigeria, and 42,300 tons in Gambia.

Mr. Shepherd

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether last year's crop has been shipped? How long has this quantity lain in Nigeria?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, Sir. The old crop was completely shipped before the new crop was gathered, and these tonnages I speak of have only just been harvested in Nigeria.

Mr. Erroll

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that there is considerable delay in shifting this crop, due to the shortage of new spare parts for the Nigerian railways? Could he have that attended to?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, Sir. This is a question which causes us great concern. The Nigerian railway system is improving, but there is no possibility this year of moving the crop very quickly. But it is safely stored there, and no damage will be done.

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