HC Deb 09 July 1934 vol 292 cc11-3
15. Sir P. HURD

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many local authorities have a sufficient veterinary staff to carry out the clinical inspection of dairy herds that will be necessary under the proposals for a roll of accredited producers to be established from October onwards; and what steps are being taken to ensure that other local authorities will be prepared to enable milk producers in their areas to qualify for the accredited list?


I regret that I am unable to answer the first part of my hon. Friend's question, as it is impossible to tell beforehand, either generally or for any particular county, in what numbers and at what times milk producers will apply to be placed on the Roll of Accredited Producers which the Milk Marketing Board contemplates instituting as from next October. As regards the second part of the question, I have no doubt that local authorities will do their utmost to meet the situation.


Has my right hon. Friend evidence that the local authorities are alive to their duty in this matter?


I have noticed debates in several county councils, indicating that pressure is being brought to bear on them where the producers think that they are not sufficiently alive.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are many counties which employ no inspectors at all, and, in view of the general default on the part of county councils, does he himself intend to employ inspectors to see that inspection does take place?


No, Sir. That would make it certain that no county council would ever employ inspectors again. In view of the fact that producers are now bringing pressure to bear on the county councils, I think they will see the necessity of doing their duty in this respect.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the position could not be worse than the Hopkins Committee proclaimed it to be, and does he not think in those circumstances that he ought to insist on the local authorities employing inspectors, or supersede their power and do it himself?


I am not quite sure if my hon. Friend realises that steps are actively in progress which are leading, as my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Sir P. Hurd) knows very well, to pressure being put on the local authorities to carry out these inspections, and, if we were to do it from here, that would be the shortest way of bringing these events completely to a standstill.

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