§ 32. Sir BASIL PETO
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the difficulty caused by the practice of the co-operative societies giving a discount off the retail price of milk by way of dividend, thus, in effect, selling below the normal average retail price in the district and under-selling retail private traders in milk; and whether he proposes to make any alteration in the milk scheme to deal with this?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
The contract prescribed by the Milk Marketing Board for the period 6th October, 1933, to 31st March, 1934, permits payment of dividends on retail sales of milk by any registered co-operative society, where the dividend is paid not oftener than once in every three months. The contract also provides that other retailers may allow to their cus- 348 tomers dividends or discounts on retail sales of milk not oftener than once in every three months and not exceeding the rate per pound actually paid on retail sales of milk by any co-operative society operating in the district. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.
§ Mr. LEONARD
Is the Minister aware that in the constituency represented by the hon. Baronet there are no co-operative stores selling milk?
§ Sir B. PETO
Is the Minister also aware that there are hon. Members who ask questions in the public interest and not with one eye upon their constituencies?
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
Would not the whole problem be solved if all consumers joined co-operative societies?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
Not at all. This puts purchasers from retailers exactly in the same position as purchasers from co-operative societies.