asked the Minister of Food what quantities of grain, cattle cake and other feedingstuffs have been stored at Kimbolton Aerodrome, Huntingdonshire, for longer than four months; and whether he will make a statement as to his policy for disposing of the commodities placed in that store.
On 23rd April the quantities were 492 tons of maize; 554 tons of barley; 182 tons of oats, and 141 tons of cattle cake. These will be issued from store in the normal course of releases for consumption.
Is the right hon. Lady aware that this practice of holding foodstuffs in store is a very wasteful one, that at a time when local farmers and others are badly needing them they are being consumed to some extent by rats and mice and other vermin, and will she look into this matter further with a view to avoiding such waste?
I do not think that the hon. Gentleman should generalise in that way. If he cares to give detailed information I will look into it. He has already written about this aerodrome. He has put a Question down, and we have made inquiries and find no sign of deterioration at all.
Will the right hon. Lady agree to a representative of her Ministry accompanying representatives of the farming industry and myself on an inspection of this and other similar premises in the area?
Representatives of my Ministry are always inspecting these places.
Is it not necessary to retain in store sufficient feedingstuffs to meet the requirements of our rapidly increasing herds and flocks between now and harvest? Is it not a fact that the depredations of rats are far less in the stores than in the stacks on the farms?
I agree with my hon. Friend. If we had no stocks of feedingstuffs, we should be vulnerable to attack.