HC Deb 23 April 1936 vol 311 cc293-4

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the doubts existing among producers, distributors and the general public in Scotland regarding the retail price of milk in May and June; whether the minimum price of 1s. 8d. per gallon determined by the board is likely to be the general price; and if, in view of the threat of the distributors to maintain a price of 2s. per gallon and in order to encourage the consumption of liquid milk, he will take steps to prevent this high price being enforced by the retail trade?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Lieut.-Colonel Colville)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, while producer-retailers and distributors may sell milk retail in May and June at a price in excess of 1s. 8d. per gallon, my right hon. Friend hopes that this minimum price will be general during these months within the area of the Scottish Milk Marketing Scheme. He has no power to take action as suggested in the last part.


Is the Under-Secretary aware that the Scottish Milk Marketing Board in their news letter state specifically that according to Press reports the distributors have decided to endeavour to maintain a 2s. retail price, and is not a definite statement of that kind bound to create anxiety in Scotland?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

I have heard such rumours, but if the distributors retain such a price it will have no legal sanction to hold it.


Is not the position entirely due to the action of the Secretary of State in refusing to adopt the recommendations of the impartial committee of inquiry and refusing to publish the report of the inquiry?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

No, the decision of the Secretary of State is in the interests of all concerned.


May I ask why the Milk Marketing Board does not fix 1s, 8d. per gallon as the maximum price?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

The hon. Member will be aware that it is the minimum price that is fixed.