17 JULY 1915, Page 12



[To THE EDITOR OF TDB "SPECTATOR."1 Sin,—The article in your last issue under the above heading is very timely. At present our food reserves are entirely insufficient in view of the fact that interruption of our over- seas supply is threatened by the action of enemy submarines, which may possibly become still more numerous and effective in the future. Yon say that "the Grand Victualler to the Nation should have nothing else to think about except keeping the national food cupboard full." May I suggest that his first duty should be to see to it that he has " cupboards " which he can fill? At present be has few such " cupboards," if any, as nearly all warehouses in our great ports are full to overflowing with other articles than food. It is obvious that until the proper "storage " for reserves of imported food is organized, it will be impossible to build up any adequate reserves. An increase in values has misled many people into thinking that we are importing extra food supplies, but I see it stated in the Press that during the last six months we have really imported nearly three and a half million hundred- weights lees of wheat, and about twenty-five per cent. less of meat, than in the corresponding six months of last year.

In this connexion I would draw your attention to a debate on " Food Supply " which took place in the House of Commons on May 19th last, from which you will see that the then Under- Secretary to the Board of Trade admitted the " gravity " of the suggestions that had been made, and agreed that there remained "legitimate ground" for my contention "that the question of food supplies becomes more serious the longer the war goes on." Still, in spite of assurances of "serious con- sideration," nothing—as far as the public are aware—has been done to meet either the need for larger food reserves, or to organize the storage accommodation necessary if adequate reserves arc to be built up in this country.-1 am, Sir, &e.,