HC Deb 03 June 1954 vol 528 cc1451-2

Telephone: TRAfalgar 7711.

Information and Liaison Branch, Whitehall Place, London, S.W.1.

22nd May, 1954.


In the course of a public enquiry at Talgarth, Brecon, into the circumstances of an alleged infection of schoolchildren by tuberculous milk, the Weights and Measures Inspector for the county is reported to have said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Laboratory in Silver Street, Brecon, refused to take samples of the milk; and that the County Council was thus left without facilities for sampling or testing.

This statement has received wide publicity in both the national and the local Press. As it is seriously misleading, I should be glad if you would allow me to state the facts.

The Ministry's laboratory in Brecon is that of the National Milk Testing Service. Its main duty is to test samples of designated milk for keeping quality. It is not equipped to test for the presence of organisms likely to cause tuberculosis. Responsibility for testing milk for the presence of pathological organisms rests with Medical Officers of Health.

The Ministry's laboratory could not therefore have tested the milk samples for tubercle organisms even if it had been asked to do so. But in fact no request was made by the Weights and Measures Inspector to the laboratory for any facilities at all.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

(Sgd.) O. R. APPLEBY,

for A. D. BIRD,

Press Officer.

Papers to the Editors of which the letter was sent

"Daily Mail,"

"Daily Express,"

"Daily Telegraph,"

"Daily Herald,"

"Western Mail and South Wales News,"

"Brecon and Radnor Express and County Times,"

"South Wales Echo and Evening Express,"

"South Wales Evening Post,"

"South Wales Voice,"

"Aberdare Leader,"

"Abergavenny Chronicle,"

"Glamorgan Gazette,"

"Merthyr Express,"

"South Wales Argus,"

"Hereford Times,"

"Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News."

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