HC Deb 13 March 1934 vol 287 cc176-7

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland on what grounds the Scottish Milk Marketing Board have decided that the winter price of milk, 2s. a gallon retail, is to be charged to consumers during the summer; and, seeing that this will mean an increase of £500,000 in cost to consumers compared with previous summer periods, and that the decision was made despite the protests of retailers and co-operative societies and without the consumers being consulted, what action does the Government intend to take to have the price reduced so that consumers, and particularly children, will get the benefit of abundant supplies during the summer?

The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir Godfrey Collins)

With regard to the first part of the question, the fixing of milk retail prices is a matter in the first instance for the Scottish Milk Marketing Board. I understand that complaints as to the price so fixed have been received and are now before the Consumers' Committee for Scotland.

With regard to the second part, I would remind the hon. Member that reports by the consumers' committee are, in accordance with the 1931 Agricultural Marketing Act, dealt with by the Scottish Committee of Investigation.

I am not in a position to make any statement as to future action until the report of the latter Committee has been received.


Did the Minister of Agriculture consult the Secretary of State for Scotland before he put this into force, that they were going to charge the same for the summer supply as for the winter supply?


As I said in my answer, the fixing of the milk retail prices is a matter in the first instance for the Scottish Milk Marketing Board. The 1931 Marketing Act set up elaborate procedure by which the interests of the consumers are conserved, as I have indicated in the latter portion of my reply.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the convener of the milk committee in Glasgow has stated that this will mean £16,000 extra charge on necessitous mothers and children in Glasgow?


I was not aware of that point, but I am very glad the hon. Member has brought it to my notice.

23. Lord SCONE

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is now in a position to make a statement regarding the representations recently made to him by the milk producers of eastern Scotland against the levy imposed on them by the Scottish Milk Marketing Scheme?


The representations received were lacking in specification, and I have asked that, if so desired, they should be repeated in detail. My Noble Friend will recollect that since the representations were made the situation has been altered by the announcement of the Government's milk policy.