HC Deb 18 October 1916 vol 86 cc542-3

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the rise in the price of milk, he proposes to take any steps to commandeer all supplies and to control the price and distribution, as was done in the case of sugar?

64. Mr. SUTTON

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if his attention has been directed to the agitation against the increase in the price of milk which is proceeding all over the country; is he aware that the increase charged is having its effect upon the poorer classes of our large cities; and will he take steps to reduce the price of milk by the Board of Agriculture regulating the prices of the same?


I have been asked to reply to these questions. I am in agreement with the views expressed in the course of yesterday's Debate by speakers who represent agricultural interests, that the increases in the expenses of dairy farming have not been so great as to justify a contract price for milk higher than 1s 4d. per imperial gallon at London stations and corresponding prices in other large towns. Outside the large towns prices should be on a lower level than this. The possibility of taking steps to secure a limitation of price to this figure without reducing the supply of milk is engaging the careful attention of the Board of Trade and the Board of Agriculture. It is hoped that dealers will succeed in resisting demands for higher prices in any purchases that remain to be made. In any case it is proposed to take immediate steps, by legislation if necessary, to carry out the recommendation of the Departmental Committee on Prices to obtain information as to milk contracts and the prices paid.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the milk producers in certain parts of the country are already threatening the consumers that if they persist in their agitation for a reduction in the price of milk matters may be much worse for them?

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