Famine Prevention (Bengal)

Oral Answers to Questions — India – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1945.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone 12:00 am, 17th December 1945

asked the Undersecretary of State for India what special steps are being taken to avoid famines occurring in Bengal at times when monsoons are below the average.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

The Government of Bengal are in a far better position to deal with any threat of famine than they were in 1943. In particular rationing of the population of over 4 million in Greater Calcutta has now been running smoothly for the past 18 months, and it is being gradually extended to other urban areas. Also the local government now hold considerable working stocks of rice and they have at their disposal the necessary transport and storage facilities to enable them to distribute these stocks to any area where a threat of shortage may exist.

Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone

If I put down the Question again, will the Minister give a more comprehensive answer, as he has given only a few high spots and has not explained the situation?

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

I shall be glad to give a full statement if the hon. Member will put down a Question.