HC Deb 18 March 1937 vol 321 cc2283-4W
Mr. Bossom

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state the extent of the food storage capacity in this country in addition to the normal storage that is required for day-to-day use, either in food months or in tonnage; and whether this surplus storage capacity, as well as the day-to-day requirements, is fully protected against contamination from either local sabotage or enemy aircraft attacks of poison gas?

Mr. Runciman

With regard to the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which was given yesterday to the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton). As regards the second part, all aspects of the question of safeguarding food supplies in this country during an emergency are receiving attention.

Mr. Maitland

asked the Minister of Agriculture how long it would take to secure an increased yield of home-produced beef, mutton, wheat, potatoes, bacon, sugar, and milk, respectively, in the event of a national emergency?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The time required to increase the home output of wheat, potatoes and sugar would depend largely upon the time of year when the emergency arose. Increased output of beef, mutton and bacon would require approximately three, two and one years respectively to bring into effect. Some increase in milk production could be achieved in rather less than a year, by continuing the use of cows which would normally be drafted out of the dairy herd.

Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the difficulties at present being experienced by our farmers and the fact that the workers are to-day leaving the soil, he intends to increase the home production of food; and, if so, by what means?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Central Southwark (Mr. Day) on 11th March last.

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