HC Deb 07 March 1951 vol 485 cc437-8
57. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Food to what extent the present shortage of food is due to stockpiling for the Festival of Britain.

Mr. F. Willey

No food is being stockpiled for the Festival of Britain; and it is misleading to talk about a general shortage of food in this country.

Hon. Members


Sir J. Mellor

If a large number of visitors come from overseas to the Festival of Britain, will not everybody in this country go very hungry?

Mr. Willey

I think we should be careful about this matter. We are welcoming these visitors and the House should know—it has previously been pointed out—that less than one-tenth per cent. of the ration requirements of the United Kingdom for the Festival period will be required for every million visitors for every week they stay.

Mr. Eden

That may be true, but is it really desirable to advertise in American newspapers that food here is plentiful when everybody knows that that is not true?

Mr. Harrison

Will my hon. Friend arrange to have published in the American newspapers copies of some of the London hotel menus—

Mr. Ellis Smith

The dinners and the wines.

Mr. Harrison

—so that the American people can see that there is plenty of food in this country for visitors?

Mr. Eden

Is not that a reflection on the Government?

Mr. Nicholson

If the hon. Gentleman is right in saying that there is no shortage of food in this country, will he be kind enough to divulge the whereabouts of the meat?

Mr. W. J. Taylor

Was not the Parliamentary Secretary's statement the biggest howler made in this Parliament?