§ Procedure for Stopping Supply of Milk Under Section Three.
§ (5) The responsible authority if, in their opinion, the dairyman has failed to show cause why an order should not be made, may make an order prohibiting him, either absolutely or unless such conditions as maybe prescribed in the order are complied with, from supplying for human consumption, or using or supplying for use in the manufacture of products for human consumption, any milk from the dairy until the order has been withdrawn in accordance with the provisions of this Schedule.
§ (14) If an order prohibiting the supply or use of milk is made under this Schedule without due cause, or if a responsible authority or medical officer of health unreasonably neglect or refuse to withdraw any such order, any dairyman, if not himself in default, shall be entitled to recover from the responsible authority full compensation for any damage or loss which 1664 he may have sustained by reason of the making of the order or of the neglect or refusal to withdraw the order.
I beg to move, in Sub-section (5), after the word "dairy," to insert the words "or from any particular cow therein."
The House will notice that this Schedule sets out the machinery by which milk may be tracked down to the particular dairyman and to the particular cattle in his dairy that are alleged to be producing impure milk. It may be a large dairy which is supplying a considerable amount of milk from animals that are entirely sound, and yet it may be from one particular cow that the trouble is traced. In that case there is no reason why the whole of this unfortunate man's business should be interfered with, and I think he should be allowed to continue his supply, and only the particular incriminated cow should be dealt with, and not the whole of the cattle in his dairy.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The object which the hon. Member has in view is obviously a proper one, but we intended to cover that point by the words "an order prohibiting him, either absolutely or unless such conditions as may be prescribed in the order are complied with." One of those conditions might be that the milk from a certain cow which is suspected should not, for the time being, be sold. I would suggest to the hon. Member a slight alteration in his Amendment. It may be a case where two cows are suspected, and therefore I think I would suggest that his Amendment should read "or from any particular cow or cows therein."
I accept that Amendment, and I will move it in that form.
Words "or from any particular cow or cows therein," there inserted in the Bill.
§ Mr. GEORGE TERRELL
I beg to move, in Sub-section (14), to leave out the words "under this Schedule without due cause, or if a responsible authority or medical officer of health unreasonably neglect or refuse to withdraw any such Order, any dairyman, if not himself in default, shall," and to insert instead thereof the words "against a dairyman he shall, unless the Order has been made in consequence of his own default or neglect."
1665 The only compensation given to a farmer is in the event of his farm being closed and being wrongfully convicted, and on appeal he can recover compensation. A farmer may have his business entirely stopped from selling milk at all if one particular cow is found to be giving tuberculous milk, because the county council have the power to make an Order and completely stop the farmer's business. In those circumstances, it seems only reasonable and right, as in all other cases where in the interests of the public cattle are slaughtered and measures of that character are taken, that the same principle should be applied to a farmer and he should be given fair compensation. That seems to me to be a fair way of administering this Act. We all want to secure a pure milk supply, but everyone knows if this Bill is going to cost the dairy farmer money, and I suggest that it is not fair that the whole of the loss should fall upon the dairly farmer alone. If it is not his own default or neglect, I suggest that the dairy farmer should have full compensation, and I am simply extending the scope of the Clause.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I submit that this is not so serious a matter as the hon. Member supposes, and it is very little different from the Bill, because the Bill as it stands gives the right to compensation in the words of Sub-section (14) which roads, "if a responsible authority or medical officer of health unreasonably neglect or refuse to withdraw any such Order, any dairyman, if not himself in default, shall be entitled to recover from the responsible authority full compensation." The hon. Member's proposal alters the words rather than the substance of the Clause. I could not candidly say that in no circumstances would compensation be obtained under the hon. Member's Amendment which could have been obtained under the Bill, but the difference is extremely slight.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not know whether this Amendment would mean a large or a small extension of the Bill.
§ Mr. HICKS BEACH
The Clause in the Bill contains the words "or if a responsible authority or medical officer of health unreasonably neglect or refuse to withdraw any such Order." My hon. Friend proposes to leave those words out, but I do not think he really wishes to do "that. It is conceivable that a farmer might be put to serious loss by a refusal 1666 to withdraw the Order. If these words are left out, I am not at all ceratin that he would get compensation under the words proposed to be put in.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I will consider that point, and, if it is so, I will put it right in another place. It is not intended to restrict the Schedule in any way.
§ Mr. GLYN-JONES
Does not the Amendment mean in every case where an Order is made, unless the dairyman is in default, that he is to receive compensation?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Yes, but the cases are exceedingly rare in which any Order will be made at all. The power to make the Order is given really to bring pressure to bear on the farmer to induce him to allow his cows to be examined with a view to detecting the cow which is tuberculous. As soon as it is discovered the cow is slaughtered under the Tuberculosis Order, and consequently most effective measures are taken to prevent her giving any more tuberculous milk. The whole of this elaborate procedure is put in so as to bring pressure to bear on the recalcitrant farmers who will not allow their cows to be examined.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule," put, and negatived.
§ Words, "against a dairyman he shall unless the Order has been made in consequence of his own default or neglect," there inserted.
§ Further Amendment made: At the end of paragraph (14) leave out the words "or of the neglect or refusal to withdraw the Order."