HC Deb 22 February 1945 vol 408 cc937-9
27. Mr. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the action of wholesale milk dealers in Bombay who poured large quantities of fresh milk into the streets as a protest against the recent Government Order restricting the use of fresh milk in restaurants so as to enable supplies for children and expectant mothers; what action is being taken against those responsible for this action; and will he now remove the distribution of milk and other essential food from such private interests with a view to its public control and distribution.

Mr. Amery

I have no information about this regrettable incident beyond the Press reports. The matter is obviously one for the Government of Bombay who, I am confident, will take whatever action is called for.

Mr. Hynd

Are any inquiries being made into the authenticity of this report; and in view of the unfortunate repercussions which this kind of thing must have on the war effort, is the India Office taking any action?

Mr. Amery

I must leave a matter of this sort to the Government of Bombay. It is impossible for the Secretary of State, at this end of the world, to deal with a matter of that sort. The Government of Bombay have been doing everything they can both to control the milk supply, and to see that it reaches those who need it most.

Mr. Shinwell

While recognising that these provincial matters must be left to provincial Governments does the right hon. Gentleman not recognise that an incident of this sort, if accurately reported, has violent reactions on our associations with India? Ought he not to consider the matter from that angle?

Mr. Amery

I am not depreciating the importance of this matter in any way, and I nope that the Government of Bombay are dealing effectively with it.