HC Deb 29 May 1930 vol 239 cc1463-4

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the recent death of a child at Grimsby as a result of eating food made from imported machine-skimmed condensed milk, he will consider banning the import of such milk in the interests of public health?

71. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been called to cases of illness and death of children caused by skimmed milk or tinned milk imported from foreign countries; and if he will consider prohibiting the importation of such milk?


My right hon. Friend has made inquiries into the case to which he assumes the hon. Member for the City of Chester (Sir C. Cayzer) refers. He is not aware of any similar case. In that case the medical witness at the inquest stated that the child, who had not received medical attention, died from gastro-enteritis which might have been set up by dirty food conditions. It was also stated that, though the child appeared to be well nourished, his diet was injudicious and had included a meal of corned beef and suet pudding. The machine-skimmed milk was not made up as a drink but had been used for making milk puddings. My right hon. Friend sees no reason from a consideration of the circumstances of this case for prohibiting the importation of condensed machine-skimmed milk.


Can the Parliamentary Secretary say how many more inquests will have to take place before the Government appreciate the need for drastic action in this matter?


The gist of the answer was that it does not appear in the circumstances of this case that any purpose will be served by dealing with machine-skimmed condensed milk. It does not appear that that substance was responsible for the most lamentable death of this child.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

My question deals with the question of tinned milk which was given. Can the hon. Lady give me an assurance that no tinned milk is used? My information is that tinned milk was given.


I have no evidence at present with regard to tinned milk.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Has the hon. Lady read the depositions taken at the inquest in which it was said that tinned milk was given?


Would not all these cases of death by poisoning in this way be prevented if local authorities themselves undertook the food supply?