HC Deb 09 March 1961 vol 636 cc675-6
35. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that the experiments in non-deliveries of milk on Sundays have caused and are causing difficulties and hardship to the consumers in the districts concerned; and whether, in view of the development now taking place with regard to deliveries, he will reconsider his refusal to introduce legislation to prevent the continuance of such actions on the part of the vendors of milk.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Christopher Soames)

The only experiment of this kind of which I am aware began only eleven days ago and it is too early to draw any conclusions from it. But I am not considering legislation to compel dairymen to deliver milk every day.

Sir B. Janner

Does the Minister mean that, in spite of what may be the result of this experiment, he will not continue inquiries or take action? Is he aware that the Milk Marketing Board, when taking a survey in nine towns, discovered that 20 per cent. more milk was supplied domestically on Sunday than on any other day? Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that this is an extremely serious matter, particularly concerning children who must have a supply of milk which is fresh?

Mr. Soames

No, Sir. The hon. Member has spoken about the grave consequences that might flow from this practice. My reply was that it had been operating for only one week and that it was much too early to judge any consequences of it. Indeed, the dairy distributing industry has a splendid record of service second to none in the country and I am sure that it intends to preserve it.