HC Deb 09 July 1941 vol 373 cc188-9W
Mr. Purbrick

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether, in view of the losses by enemy action of millions of pounds of foodstuffs through their being concentrated in warehouses and docks, he will, in the public interest, arrange that such stocks should be decentralised and distributed throughout the country in the smallest possible holdings, thereby materially reducing the risk of large losses; and to what extent measures toward this end have been taken?

Major Lloyd George

It is not clear to me why my hon. Friend should think it necessary to refer to losses due to enemy action in terms of "millions of pounds." Bulk foodstuffs are usually spoken of in terms of tons. The expression used by my hon. Friend may easily create in Germany an exaggerated idea of the success achieved by enemy action in this country and at the same time create quite unnecessary anxiety among our own people. In view of the terms of my hon. Friend's Question it may be desirable for me to say that the total losses of foodstuffs in this country due to enemy action have up to the present been negligible. The steps which he suggests in his Question have already been taken so far as circumstances permit.