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Rations (Calorie Deficit)

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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37.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent there has been failure to meet the rations in Germany in the past three months.

The daily ration of 1,550 calories for the normal consumer in the British zone was not met to the extent of 145 calories in October, 203 calories in November, and 260 calories in December, 1947. During the current ration period, which ends on 1st February, the deficit is likely to be the same as in December last. It is expected that the differential ration system to be operated in the February ration period will help distressed urban areas.

Is the right hon. Gentleman able to give an assurance that the rations will be honoured in the next few months?

Mainly because of the differential rationing scale, to which the German authorities have agreed, we believe that the worst defects in the rationing system will be avoided in the areas in which we expect greatest hardship, and that is in the urban areas.

Is regard being paid to the immediate effects on health as a result of this terribly low standard of diet?

In view of these deficiencies, can my right hon. Friend say whether he is still satisfied that the administration of Herr Schlange-Schoeningen is the most efficient possible?

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that his answer reveals a most deplorable state of affairs, and in view of the fact that we are increasing our fat ration in this country, what steps are being taken to bring about an improvement in Germany, where there is no fat ration at all? May I have an answer to my question?

You allowed me to pose it, Mr. Speaker, but have not given my right hon. Friend an opportunity to answer it.