HC Deb 27 September 1944 vol 403 cc260-1W
Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Secretary of State for War if any agreement has been reached as to the calorie basis of foodstuffs which will be available in the liberated territories of Europe under the responsibility of the U.S.A. and ourselves during the initial period of liberation.

Sir J. Grigg

The Combined United Kingdom and United States military authorities responsible for relief in Allied liberated territories until the responsibility can be transferred to the civil authorities have adopted a target of 2,000 calories a head. Subject to the availability of supply and shipping, and to military necessity, the combined military authorities will do their utmost to import sufficient foodstuffs to supplement local production up to this standard; but it will be appreciated that it may not always be possible to implement this policy, especially while fighting conditions prevail.

Miss Ward

asked the Secretary of State for War, in view of the food shortage in Belgium, if he has any information as to what action has been taken by U.N.R.R.A. to relieve the situation.

Sir J. Grigg

The Supreme Allied Commander, and not U.N.R.R.A., is responsible for these matters until it is possible to transfer the responsibility to the civil authorities. Relief supplies have been despatched, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that in present conditions the quantity is limited.

Mr. G. White

asked the Secretary of State for War if he can make a statement on the food situation in liberated Italy.

Mr. A. Henderson

Food is being imported into Italy by the combined British and American military authorities with the object of so supplementing local production as to give the population the necessary minimum standard of subsistence. My hon. Friend will appreciate that while the war continues, and more particularly while operations continue in Italy itself, there are considerable difficulties to be overcome, and that conditions must necessarily vary in different parts of Italy. But I understand that the situation has generally improved. The daily ration of grain in Southern Italy (including Naples) was raised from 200 to 300 grammes per head during the summer, which has not only facilitated the collection of the recent better harvest but has contributed to a reduction of black market prices for foodstuffs. While the ill effect on the health of the population of five years of war under Fascist and Nazi control is still cumulative, it would appear that, as Italy is still a theatre of war, a not unreasonable standard is now being maintained.

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