§ 4.35 p.m.
§ [The question was as fellows:
§ To ask, whether it is true as broadcast, that His Majesty's Government have asked the United Nations that the 626 burning of foodstuffs should be considered an international crime; and whether it is proposed to extend the definition to include the loss of foodstuffs by jettison or other forms of destruction: or if not, what is the reason for the differentiation.]
§ LORD HENDERSON
My Lords, I assume that the noble Lord is referring to the statement made by the leader of the United Kingdom delegation to the Food and Agriculture Organization Preparatory Commission in Washington, on November 12, 1946, in his speech to Committee 11 on Price Policy and Objectives. My honourable friend reminded the Commission that modern opinion and conscience is utterly opposed to the organized destruction of basic foodstuffs at a time when men are hungry or starving, and stated that he hoped the Commission would declare such action a crime against humanity. The statement was framed in such a manner as to cover all forms of the organized destruction of Foodstuff, and was not limited merely to their destruction by burning.
I am obliged to the noble Lord for his answer. Not for my own satisfaction, but to make it abundantly clear to other people concerned, may I ask whether His Majesty's Government apply that principle to the destruction of fish in our own country the same as anywhere else?
§ LORD HENDERSON
Certainly. I should have thought it was perfectly clear, from the initiative taken by the British representative, that His Majesty's Government did apply it to themselves. As regards fish being dumped back into the sea after a local glut, I am informed that the amount involved is relatively negligible, but in any case my right honourable friend the Minister of Food is taking steps to deal with that problem in the future in a much more satisfactory way.