HC Deb 31 March 1958 vol 585 cc825-6
9. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the price and quantity of milk referred to in paragraph 17 Command Paper No. 390, relating to the need to discourage the highest cost production; what are the highest and lowest production costs per gallon; and at what cost is the bulk of English milk produced.

Mr. John Hare

The Government do not regard it as practicable or desirable to try to set precise commodity production targets in free market conditions, but it is clearly desirable in present circumstances to reduce production of milk and to do so by eliminating the highest cost output.

Information on milk production costs is not available for all farms in the country, but the latest evidence from the National Investigation into the Economics of Milk Production suggests that milk production costs in England and Wales ranged from less than 1s. 8d. per gallon to over 3s. per gallon in 1956–57. Two-thirds of the milk produced on this sample of farms was in the range of cost from 1s. 10d. per gallon to 2s. 8d. per gallon.