100. Mr. E. P. Smith
asked the Minister of Food if he will state, in terms of tonnage, what stocks of oats were held in London by his Department as at 31st December, 1946; whether he is aware that some of these stocks have been warehoused for many months and that oats are, of their nature, highly perishable; and what is the reason for continuing to hold stocks which are daily deteriorating.
§ Dr. Summerskill
It is necessary to maintain a reserve supply of oats for release in the event of sales off farms being insufficient to meet the requirements of oatmeal millers and essential town horses. The stocks are kept under supervision and I have no evidence of any deterioration. It would not be in the public interest to disclose figures of stocks held by my Department.