HC Deb 28 February 1918 vol 103 cc1531-2
32. Captain WRIGHT

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been called to the recent operations of the United Dairies Combine, whereby a virtual control of the supply and distribution of whole and condensed milk to many parts of London and elsewhere has been established; whether these operations have been carried through with his encouragement and approval; whether they are of so great benefit to the consumer and producer as to outweigh the obvious disadvantages of such a monopoly in the hands of a combine trading for profit during the War and subsequently; and if he will either take over the business of the above combine in its entirety or so limit the difference between producers' and consumers' prices as to reduce the possibility of profits to a reasonable rate?


The Food Controller is aware that the United Dairies Combine has under its control the greater part of the supply of liquid milk distributed in London, though it controls only a very small proportion of the condensed milk supply. Its operations have neither been approved nor disapproved by the Food Controller. There are certain advantages in an organised system of distribution, provided that any monopoly obtained is not used to the detriment of the community in general. The Food Controller is considering what steps are proper to be taken in order to protect the interests of the consumer.

Captain WRIGHT

Is there any intention on the part of the Ministry of Food of using this combine as the organised means of distribution of the milk supply?


That would depend upon circumstances. We have to use, or not to use, existing organisations according to present requirments.