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Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Food whether he is allocating some of the supply of rice, that is now being imported, to canteens and restaurants which cater for Indians, Chinese and other Eastern people.

The very limited quantities of rice now being imported are by arrangement with the International Emergency Food Council used only for the special purpose of providing ships' stores rice for Asiatic crews. I regret, therefore, that it is not possible to allocate any of it to canteens and restaurants for Indians and other Eastern people.


asked the Minister of Food if he will publish a report on the investigations made on his behalf by officials of his Department into the rice situation in Siam, and the reasons for failure to mobilise surplus stocks in that country.

The Government of Siam estimated the quantity of rice which would be surplus to internal needs during 1947 at 420,000 tons. Shipments from January to May, 1947, have average 40,000 tons a month and it, as I hope, it is possible to maintain this rate of shipment, the entire surplus will, in fact, have been mobilised by the end of the year. In these circumstances I do not feel that a report on the lines suggested would really serve any useful purpose.


asked the Minister of Food what new measures or new policy he proposes to adopt in order to improve the low rice shipments from Siam with consequent lowering of the rice ration in Malaya and elsewhere.

New measures for the purpose of increasing shipments of rice from Siam are at present under discussion with the Siamese Government and until agreement has been reached I cannot disclose their nature.