HC Deb 12 May 1943 vol 389 cc625-7
56. Major York

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether retail supplies of tuberculin-tested milk are included in the rationalisation of distribution scheme; and whether consumers requiring to change from non-tuberculin-tested milk to tuberculin-tested milk are at liberty to do so providing they can arrange a supply?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Mr. Mabane)

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, consumers may purchase whatever type of milk the supplier with whom they are registered provides, but if he does not provide "T.T." milk they are not permitted to transfer their registrations to another dairyman in order to obtain "T.T." milk. Efforts are being made to encourage and to assist dairymen to provide "T.T." milk for such customers as require it.

Major York

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the despondency his answer will cause, and, further, is he aware that this will wreck the possibility of the extension of supplies of this clean and disease-free milk.?

Mr. Mabane

I hope the hon. and gallant Gentleman will do his best to dispel any such despondency. The basis of the scheme is fixed registrations.

Major York

But is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this milk is different from ordinary milk, and that in the past it has been outside normal regulations? Will he reconsider the matter?

Mr. Mabane

We are doing all we can to see that as little "T.T." milk as possible is bulked and that as much as possible is sold as "T.T."

Major York

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.

58. Mr. Tinker

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he will give the number of gallons of milk used for consumption daily and what percentage of this is pasteurised; and whether the milk for school feeding is confined to one kind only?

Mr. Mabane

I regret it is not in the national interest to publish the total gallonage of milk consumed daily, but I am able to say that from 6o to 65 per cent. is pasteurised. Milk supplied to schools does not all fall within one category but must be approved as to source of supply and quality by the appropriate Medical Officer of Health.

Dr. Russell Thomas

If all this milk was pasteurised, would it not have the effect of putting small retailer-producers out of business? Is not that the chief object of such a scheme?

Mr. Mabane

That is quite a different question.

Mr. Shinwell

How can figures of the production of milk afford comfort to the Axis?

Mr. Mabane

Publication of figures of total production of any foodstuffs in this country is against the national interest.

Mr. Stephen

What percentage of pasteurised milk is more than one or two days old?

Mr. Mabane

I could not say without notice.

Mr. Thorne

Will the hon. Gentleman see that dried and tinned milk is taken off points?

Mr. Mabane

As I have represented to my hon. Friend before, dried milk is not on points.

65. Mr. David Adams

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he can now give an assurance that it has been decided by his Ministry that all milk for human consumption shall be scientifically pasteurised, and by efficient handling and transit thereafter to consumers, ensure to the nation a clean, fresh and safe supply of this food?

Mr. Mabane

I am not yet in a position to make a statement on this matter.

Mr. Adams

When will the hon. Gentleman be in a position to make a statement?

Mr. Mabane

I cannot say.

Sir Frank Sanderson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is by no means complete agreement?

Mr. Mabane

That has become apparent.