Food (Soviet Resources)

Oral Answers to Questions — Germany – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1946.

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Mr. Vane:

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent requests he has made to the Soviet authorities to release any substantial quantity of grain from their resources to help solve the further food crisis in the British zone of Germany; and what reply he has received.

Photo of Mr John Hynd Mr John Hynd , Sheffield, Attercliffe

The Soviet authorities are being constantly pressed to offer more food, including grain, under a programme of trade exchanges concluded last September between the British and Russian zones of Germany. Quantities are now coming forward, in return for steel, of which the Soviet authorities are in urgent need.

Mr. Vane:

Will the Minister agree that there is no possible solution to this recurring food problem in the British zone unless we can draw food from the territories East of the Elbe as was done before 1945, and that it will not be solved by job lots from America?

Photo of Mr John Hynd Mr John Hynd , Sheffield, Attercliffe

I entirely agree that it is highly desirable that as soon as possible Europe should get back to a proper and normal economy and to the exchange of goods in the proper direction, but the simple fact is that that is not yet the position and His Majesty's Government are not in complete control of the situation.

Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

Can the Minister say what proportion of the total requirements in the British zone has been provided this year from the Soviet zone?

Photo of Mr John Hynd Mr John Hynd , Sheffield, Attercliffe

If the reference is to food, I could not give any actual figures, but it has been very small indeed and in exchange for other commodities.