HC Deb 11 December 1946 vol 431 cc235-6W
95. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the estimated loss to the Palestine railways due to destruction by terrorists and to the suspension of services; what effect this had had on the export of the citrus crop, potash oil and foodstuffs; and if any steps are being taken to ensure a steady flow of these commodities to their eventual markets.

Mr. Creech Jones

Material damage to the Palestine railways is estimated at £325,000; the loss of revenue since 18th November is over £3,000 a day. Shipment of the citrus crop has not yet been seriously affected, since it has been possible, at a cost to the industry of an additional £10,000 to date, to use motor transport for 50 per cent. of the crop. Shipment itself may be delayed, should the present situation continue. Transport of potash by rail has been reduced to one-quarter, and the possibilities of using road transport are limited and expensive. I understand that the Potash Company will soon be compelled to stop production, should there be no improvement. Oil transport by rail has been reduced by approximately one-third. Adequate stocks of cereals had been built up in the main towns, and there has so far been no food emergency.

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