asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that large quantities of sweet marketable oats are now available for purchase in Aberdeenshire, and that even larger quantities of last year's crop have been allowed seriously to deteriorate owing to lack of local storage accommodation; and whether, if the Ministry is not prepared to purchase these oats, he will remove them from the list of rationed feeding-stuffs?
I am aware that considerable quantities of oats are available for purchase in Aberdeenshire. Arrangements have been made for further purchases by my Department in this area in the immediate future, and there will also be a large demand for oats as rationed feeding-stuffs in the month of August. My Noble Friend is not prepared to remove oats from the list of rationed feeding-stuffs.
Is my hon. Friend aware that thousands of quarters of oats are rotting in Aberdeenshire, and of the failure of the Ministry of Food to take the necessary action? What is the use, in those circumstances, of asking farmers to grow more oats?
I was not aware of waste to the extent suggested, but instructions have just been issued to purchase a very large quantity of Aberdeenshire oats. The demand in August for such food-stuffs will be very large indeed, and I think that will relieve the situation. The Ministry of Food are anxious that these oats shall not be wasted.