HC Deb 17 July 1940 vol 363 cc211-2
49. Mr. Key

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food on what date it is expected that the distribution of milk, free or at a reduced price, promised under the scheme recently propounded will actually commence?

Mr. Boothby

The distribution of permits for the supply of milk under the National Milk Scheme, either free or at the reduced price of 2d. per pint, has commenced, and the first deliveries of milk on these permits will be made on Sunday next, 21st instant. With the exception of certain areas in the more remote parts of Scotland, where special arrangements are being made, the organisation of the scheme is complete and in readiness to deal with applications for the supply of liquid milk.

53. Sir P. Hurd

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that the prewar price scheme of the Milk Marketing Board tends to discourage milk production in the lower-priced regions such as Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset; and whether, now that there is a national minimum wage and a general stabilisation of charges, he will remove a differentiation in milk prices to the farmer which is no longer justified on the ground of lower costs of production in these regions?

Mr. Boothby

I understand that milk producers, through their marketing scheme, have accepted the principle of differential regional prices to which my hon. Friend refers. No information has been furnished to me to support the suggestion that this principle has discouraged milk production in areas where the regional price is lower than the average.

Sir P. Hurd

Has the hon. Member forgotten the fact that we have now a national wage and the whole business on a national basis, and, in view of this fact, could not the Minister reconsider the matter, so as not to drive farmers out of milk production in those areas?

Mr. Boothby

I am not aware of any great dissatisfaction at the present time.