HC Deb 24 May 1922 vol 154 cc1182-3
37. Mr. DOYLE

asked the Minister of Health (1) what immediate steps he proposes to take to safeguard the health of the inhabitants of the city of Newcastle-on-Tyne, in view of the report of the medical officer of health and confirmed by the representative of the Ministry of Health, showing a dangerous degree of pollution in the milk supply of that city; if he would recommend the boiling of all milk offered for consumption until such time as definite measures have been taken to remove the serious menace to the health of the local community;

(2) whether he has made inquiries and, if so, has he reason to believe that the serious conditions existing in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as shown by the medical officer of health, indicating 60 per cent. of pollution in samples of milk taken and tested, are applicable to other and, if so, to what towns and cities in England and Wales; and if new legislation is proposed to ensure a purer milk supply in the country?


I am advised that the conditions found in Newcastle are probably similar to those existing in other towns in the country, and, as I have previously stated, I am hoping shortly to introduce legislation on the subject of milk. It is generally advisable to boil milk intended for children unless it is derived from a certified source or has been properly pasteurised. The local authority will no doubt be guided by the advice of their medical officer of health in this matter and in the exercise of the powers vested in them for dealing generally with the situation.


Can the right hon. Gentleman indicate if legislation on the subject will be introduced this Session?


I hope so.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not of opinion that it would expedite matters if a few of the distributors of impure milk were boiled as well as the milk itself?


Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the desirability of introducing this legislation in another place so as to give further time for its consideration?


I will consider all these questions.