HC Deb 19 March 1934 vol 287 c864

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the Scottish Milk Marketing Board, when requested to operate Section 13 (1) of the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1933, by introducing a consultant to consider a fair summer price for milk, announced their intention to inform any consultant appointed that, whatever his recommendations, they would not depart from the 2s. summer price they as a board had decided; and what action he proposes to take in such circumstances?


With regard to the first part of the question, I would remind the hon. Member that the Statute confers upon marketing boards a discretionary power as to the appointment of consultants and that the fixing of milk retail prices is a matter in the first instance for the Scottish Milk Marketing Board. With regard to the second part, I would refer to the answer given by me on Tuesday last in reply to a question by the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood).


Does the right hon. Gentleman think that it is desirable to have such a dictatorial attitude with regard to persons who have received monopoly powers from the State?


I understand that the Milk Marketing Board decided that the appointment of a consultant would serve no useful purpose. As my hon. Friend knows, the interests of the consumers are safeguarded by the provisions of the 1931 Act.