HC Deb 19 June 1958 vol 589 cc1305-6
37. Mr. Doughty

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated amount of foodstuffs which may become unfit for human consumption in the Port of London unless it is moved by the end of the week.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. J. B. Godber)

The greater part of the perishable food in the main docks has already been moved, but the Medical Officer of Health for the Port of London estimates that two hundred to three hundred tons, mostly of potatoes and onions, may have to be condemned. I cannot at present estimate the loss. Losses may also have been suffered by deterioration of quality in food already moved, but I have no information on this.

In addition, there are between seven thousand and eight thousand tons of butter and cheese in insulated barges in the river. Some of this may now be unfit for consumption, but no accurate estimate can be made of the quantity until it is discharged.

My right hon. Friend regrets that in answering my hon. and learned Friend's Question on 16th June he gave the approximate value of the food condemned up to that time as £150. The figure should have been £470.

Mr. Doughty

I thank my hon. Friend for the correction he has just made. Can he tell me what prospect he sees of a large proportion of the deteriorating foodstuffs being moved before the end of the week?

Mr. Godber

The present position is encouraging in that much of this food is now being moved, and being moved fairly rapidly.