HC Deb 01 December 1919 vol 122 cc48-9W
Major-General Sir N. MOORE

asked the Food Controller whether he is aware that of twenty refrigerated ships now in port only about one-half of that number are able to discharge their meat cargoes owing to there being no further room in which to store frozen meat, practically every refrigerated warehouse being full, and that among the vessels thus detained in port, and now being utilised as warehouses, are Australian liners urgently wanted to carry returning troops to Australia, and that, in addition to the steamers now unable to discharge their meat, there are many others due to arrive at short intervals for some months to come bringing similar cargoes of perishable food, while there is some 140,000 tons of refrigerated meat still awaiting shipment in Australia and New Zealand, where the killing and freezing of meat is still going on, thus aggravating the present unsatisfactory position caused by the unnecessary delay in unloading steamers; and will he take steps to rectify this situation?


The number of refrigerated ships in port is approximately as stated by the hon. and gallant Member, but arrangements hate now been made for dealing with the greater number of the cargoes involved. I am not aware that there has been any serious delay in the discharge of Australian liners. With regard to the latter part of the question. I would point out that the present abnormal supply of imported meat is due to the release of the quantities accumulated in Australia by reason of the shortage of tonnage occasioned by war conditions, and will not continue for long. Further, I have every hope that by the time the quantities now awaiting shipment arrive in this country the cold storage position will have considerably improved.

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