HC Deb 23 May 1938 vol 336 cc836-8
29. Briģadier-General Clifton Brown

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether a new Milk Bill is to be brought in before August or whether the provisions of the present Milk (Amendment) Act, 1937, are to be continued for a further period?

The Minister of Aģriculture (Mr. W. S. Morrison)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Parker) on Friday last.

Briģadier-General Brown

Will my right hon. Friend answer the second part of the question?

Mr. Morrison

I will make a statement on the matter as soon as possible.

30. Briģadier-General Brown

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the Milk Board's Report that the operation of the Milk Acts, 1934–37, for the year has resulted in a liability for repayment of £26,320 for milk used in manufacture, he will separate the two accounts so that the producer of liquid milk does not in future have to pay for the deficiencies of manufactured milk products?

Mr. Morrison

As stated in the White Paper on Milk Policy of last July, the Government intend to release the Milk Board from any liability accruing after 3oth September, 1937, for the repayment of advances under the Milk Acts, 1934 to 1937. My hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that this is independent of any question of amending the pooling provision of the Milk Marketing Scheme, which would be a matter for consideration, in the first instance, by the Milk Marketing Board and registered producers.

Mr. Thorne

Will the right hon. Gentle man inform me who decides upon the price of milk, whether it should go up or down?

Mr. Morrison

As far as my Department is concerned, the price of milk received by the producers is arranged by negotiations between them and a body known as the Central Milk Distributors' Council.

36. Mr. Macquisten

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to certain experiments made by a body called the Hannah Institute, assisted by contributions from the cooperative societies and a large milk combine, by which the said institute are alleged to have satisfied themselves that over 60 per cent. of calves fed on fresh milk soon contracted bovine tuberculosis; and what steps does he propose to take in view of these experiments?

Mr. Morrison

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) on 1st November last.

Mr. Macquisten

If these experiments are in order, is it then, part of the policy of the Hannah Institute that no cow should be allowed to nurse its own calf; and how is it, if these experiments are right, that we have any cattle at all, seeing that cows and calves have been fed on raw milk for untold generations; who supplied the milk in these experiments, and who supplied the obliging calves?

Mr. Morrison

My hon. and learned Friend will not expect me to be responsible for experiments conducted by a scientific body, but, as I said in the reply to which I have referred him, this is only one experiment. Many others are being carried out. It would not be safe to go by experiments of a narrow range, and we are trying to review the whole subject in the light of other experiments as well as this one.

37. Major Procter

asked the Minister of Agriculture what organisations he has consulted in drawing up the terms of the new Milk Bill which is shortly to be presented to Parliament; and for what reason he has not consulted the National Federation of Milk Producer Retailers, whose interests are likely to be seriously affected?

Mr. Morrison

Informal and confidential consultations are taking place with representatives of the national organisations of local authorities, producers and distributors. Among these organisations are the National Farmers' Union and the Milk Marketing Board, both of which bodies include among their members or constituents large numbers of producer-retailers. I propose also to arrange for similar consultations with the organisation referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend.

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