HC Deb 06 August 1941 vol 373 cc1954-6
Mr. Graham White

(by Private Notice) asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is in a position to make any statement regarding the distribution of milk during the coming winter; and whether there is any prospect of an increased quantity of cheese being made available to the general public in the near future?

Major Lloyd George

Substantial quantities of condensed milk have been manufactured in this country during the summer, and very large quantities are being supplied from overseas. There is therefore no reason to expect that anyone will be short of milk during the coming winter, but individuals may have to consume rather more condensed milk and rather less liquid milk than they have been accustomed to do in the past. In view of the perishable nature of milk and the paramount importance of avoiding waste, we are satisfied that a formal rationing scheme for milk is undesirable. My Noble Friend is determined, however, that those who need liquid milk most shall be given the opportunity of obtaining sufficient quantities of it. Supplies of one pint of liquid milk per day will continue to be available to all expectant mothers and infants up to five years of age under the provisions of the present National Milk Scheme. Supplies of half a pint per day will also be available for children and adolescents up to the end of their 17th year on payment of the full current prices.

To enable liquid milk to be provided for these priority classes and to assist in the distribution of liquid milk to the remainder of the population, all members of the public will be required to register for milk. Full instructions will be issued shortly. It will greatly assist the smooth working of milk distribution if each household is registered with a single dairyman.

In answer to the second part of the Question, the cheese ration will be increased to 3 ozs. per head for the ordinary consumer as from 25th August. The ration of 8 ozs. for the priority classes will remain unchanged.

Colonel Arthur Evans

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend say whether it is the intention of the Government to discontinue milk bars throughout the country?

Major Lloyd George

I am not quite sure where milk bars stand. I believe they come under catering establishments, arid if that is so their priority would be low.

Mr. E. Walkden

Is it the intention to announce in the immediate future a minimum unit per person per day?

Major Lloyd George

That must depend on the number of registrations, because until we know what that is likely to be, it will be very difficult to say what the unit should be.

Mr. Mathers

Will condensed milk come within the ration in any way?

Major Lloyd George

Possibly it will have to. But there is no ration of milk in that sense, although, of course, condensed milk may have to be relied on to make up any shortage.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Have the cows been informed what is to be expected of them in the future, and have their rations been thoroughly safeguarded?

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir. There is to be a broadcast on the subject.

Mr. White

Will the condensed milk to which my right hon. and gallant Friend has referred be available through the dairies, the usual suppliers of milk?

Major Lloyd George

I should like notice of that Question, but I should think that obviously if it has to be used to make up a lack of liquid milk, it will have to be made available through the dairies.