HC Deb 19 October 1949 vol 468 cc554-5
54. Sir Ian Fraser

asked the Minister of Food how much oil is required to maintain the present margarine ration; how much has been received by his Department so far from the East African groundnut scheme; and how much he expects to receive by the end of the year.

Mr. Strachey

The present margarine ration and caterers' allowances take about 6,500 tons of oil a week. The Overseas Food Corporation expect to ship the equivalent of 550 tons of oil from East Africa by the end of the year. Oilseeds representing about 235 tons of oil have already arrived.

Captain Crookshank

Does not the right hon. Gentleman remember that in the last Debate he did say that there would be several thousand tons sent to this country this year? What has happened that the amount has now dwindled to 550?

Mr. Strachey

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman is now confusing tons of oil and tons of seed from which the oil is extracted.

Mr. York

Is it the policy of the Corporation or of the Department to ship the seeds over here, or is it now the policy to ship the oil only?

Mr. Strachey

No, Sir, the seed.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether during last cropping season as many groundnuts were taken out of the soil as were put into it?

Mr. Strachey

As many groundnuts taken out of the soil this year as there were put into it? Oh, yes.