Communication from Mr. J. Fletcher-Cooke of the United Kingdom
delegation concerning the food supply situation in Palestine.
May I refer you to paragraph 2 of my letter of 3rd February on the subject of the food supply position in Palestine.
I now enclose a schedule giving estimates of the basic foodstuffs position in Palestine.
You will appreciate that the commodities referred to in this schedule are those in respect of which the Food Control Department of the Government of Palestine is closely concerned, either because such foodstuffs are purchased against quotas arranged with the Ministry of Food or because they are purchased on Government account. As the supply and distribution of other articles of food is effected through normal trade channels, from the supply angle the Government of Palestine has no special responsibility in respect of such foodstuffs.
NOTES: 1. Ministry of Food are kept advised of Palestine’s cereals position and are responsible for supplying cereals to the extent of programmed requirements which at the present amount to 13,000 imported flour (or the quantity of cereals equivalent thereto) per annum. Thus, although the above schedule shows stocks at 31 March 1948 on the basis of present advises as nil, it meet be assumed that additional quantities will have been shipped to provide some carry over at that date.
2. Arrivals of oilseeds are spasmodic and have not for some time past been sufficient to provide for more than a much reduced percentage of normal requirements. Existing stocks will be exhausted by the end of February 1948, and advice of further allocations is now awaited from Ministry of Food who, as for cereals, are responsible for supply to Palestine.
3. Butter and Cheese are imported on Government account against limited quotas authorized by Ministry of Food, to supplement indigenous production. 750 tons of butter are on order and are expected to arrive in April. This will cover requirements until October if issued on existing rationed basis.
4. To relieve the severe shortage of fresh beef caused by the cessation of cattle exports from Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Trans-Jordan to Palestine, Ministry of Food have for the first tine authorised import against quota of Frozen Meat from Australia. Quantities listed represent an interim quota of 600 tons granted in the latter part of 1947 plus 750 tons for the period 31 January 15-May 1948 on the basis of 2400 per annum. Imports of frozen meat are being effected through normal trade channels.
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