HC Deb 27 January 1930 vol 234 cc604-5

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the last Report of the Development Commission in regard to the south-eastern province, including Kent, Surrey, and East and West Sussex, and to the statement that only 15 of the farmers in the province are taking advantage of the facilities offered by the South-Eastern Agricultural College for the periodical tests to ensure a satisfactory standard of cleanliness in their milk; whether he can state the total number of milk producers in the province; and what steps are being taken to induce a larger number to make use of the facilities offered?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I regret that I am unable to give the information asked for in the second part of the question. In reply to the last part, I may explain that the tests to which my hon. Friend refers are carried out under a special scheme of the College, which forms only a very small part of the College's work for the improvement of the milk supply. I am informed, however, that the College hopes to obtain an increase in the number of milk samples submitted under this scheme as the result of the reduction of the charge to farmers for the analyses.

Brigadier-General BROWN

Is it not a fact that many counties already have milk recording societies, to which many thousands of farmers belong, and that they have competitions and take samples of milk; and would not such a scheme attain the same object as certificating clean milk?


Yes, that is certainly the case.


Is it not a fact that the county agricultural committees in the counties concerned also have their clean milk competitions, and will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to secure that there shall be no overlapping between those county committees and the Wye Committee?


The Ministry will endeavour to do that.