HC Deb 19 May 1927 vol 206 cc1352-3
33. Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the increasing imports of skimmed condensed milk are depressing the market for liquid milk in this country; and whether, in view of the fact that this product is unfit for infants and is produced under conditions over which this country can exercise no control, he will assist the producers of milk in this country by prohibiting the importation of this skimmed condensed milk or by marking the labels on the tins, "Unfit for Infants," in more prominent type and letters than is done at present?


I am aware that the imports of machine-skimmed milk are increasing, although those of full-cream condensed milk appear to be diminishing in an equal degree. I have no evidence that the quality of these imports is such as would justify their prohibition, but I am giving some consideration to the suggestion contained in the last part of my hon. Friend's question.

Brigadier-General BROWN

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been directed to the statement of Sir Arbuthnot Lane as to the beneficent qualities of English milk supplied to the children of this country, and in the interest of the children will he not do something to discourage the importation of this foreign skimmed condensed milk?

Viscountess ASTOR

Would not the best way to assist the milk producers of this country be for the Government to advertise English milk on Post Office publications instead of beer?


May I ask whether, with a view to a fuller protection of the purchaser, the right hon. Gentleman will consider also the marking of the wrapper, as very often it conceals the marking on the tins at the time of purchase?


Yes, I shall be pleased to consider that, question.


Whose babies get the cream?


Before taking any action, will the right hon. Gentleman make quite sure that his supporters are not thinking of the protection of the purchaser so much as the protection of the United Dairy Combine?


asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is a considerable importation of skimmed condensed milk into this country, largely from countries where the sale is prohibited on the grounds of its lack of nutritive qualities; and what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter?


No, Sir. According to my information there is no prohibition of the sale of machine-skimmed condensed milk in the countries from which the bulk of the imported supplies come.