HC Deb 02 June 1937 vol 324 cc1016-7
67. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in preparing his long-term policy for milk and poultry, he is considering the facts about malnutrition among the poor and the opportunities thereby afforded for assisting the poor greatly to increase the consumption of milk and eggs?

The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Ramsbotham)

I have been asked to reply. The policy of the Government is based on the general principle of ensuring the maximum supplies for the consumer consistent with reasonable remuneration for the producer. In determining long-term policy for particular commodities, I can assure my hon. Friend that all relevant facts will be borne in mind.

Mr. Stewart

Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that from the producer's point of view it is equally necessary to stimulate consumption among the poorer sections of the community?

Mr. Thorne

Raise their wages.

Mr. Ramsbotham

Clearly these matters of nutrition and nourishment are factors which are relevant and will be borne in mind in the long-term policy.

Mr. T. Williams

Is the Minister of Agriculture in consultation with the Minister of Health on the subject mentioned in the last part of the question; and has the hon. Gentleman considered whether it might not be more useful to agriculture in certain circumstances, to subsidise consumption instead of subsidising production?

Mr. Ramsbotham

There is constant consultation between the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Health.

Mr. Cassels

When will the hon. Gentleman be in a position to make a definite statement with regard to the poultry industry?

Mr. Ramsbotham

I cannot say at present.