Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £17,150, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1936, for payments in respect of milk used for manufacture in Scotland, payments for improving the quality of the milk supply in Scotland, and contributions towards certain expenses of Milk Marketing Boards in Scotland.
§ 7.12 p.m.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
This item requires a word of explanation. Under the Milk Marketing Act, 1934, provision was made for various Exchequer payments to the Milk Marketing Boards in respect of various subjects, in particular milk utilised for the purpose of manufacturing into milk products. Among the Exchequer payments so authorised was one for the purpose of making up the difference between the standard price of milk and what was described as "the appropriate manufacturing price." in the case of milk manufactured by the Milk 346 Marketing Boards themselves in their own factories. The determining factor in fixing the amount of that payment was the "appropriate milk manufacturing price," and that was defined under the Statute as a sum certifiable by the Secretary of State in accordance with a particular formula which was specified in Section 2 (2) of the Act of 1934. Unfortunately, the terms of that formula created legal difficulties and practical difficulties, and the result was that it proved impossible for the Secretary of State to certify the appropriate manufacturing price for the 1934 milk until after the close of the financial year 1934–35.
These difficulties fortunately have now been overcome. The "appropriate price." has been certified and the claims payable under the Act of 1934 are now due to be met. The purpose of this Vote is to provide the net sum required for the purpose of meeting this year a claim which was unavoidably delayed for the reasons explained. The position is that the Committee are really being asked to re-vote for the purposes of the present financial year a sum which, but for the unfortunate circumstances that I have explained, should appropriately have been covered last year. On these grounds, and simply adding that the payment is one which in certain circumstances will be repayable to the Exchequer, I ask the Committee to agree to the Vote.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
After the clear and explicit statement that we have heard we will not oppose the Vote.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Captain W. T. SHAW
In November, 1934, the Secretary of State issued an Order which was intended as a concession to wholesale and retail milk producers under which they were permitted to pay in the shape of a levy. This Order was renewed last year. There have been great changes since 1934. For example, people have died and, because their sons were not producers at that date, they cannot get this concession.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member appears to be entering upon the general question of the administration of the Milk Act, 1934. That does not arise.