HC Deb 06 November 1961 vol 648 cc603-4
21. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what new advice he proposes to circulate to farmers about precautions to be taken against radioactive substances likely to damage crops and contaminate milk.

Mr. Soames

I do not consider that at the moment there is a need to give any special advice to farmers.

Mr. Hughes

Can the Minister tell us whether, when the advice he has already given has been carried out and it is discovered that a farmer has radio-iodine in the milk, the farmer will be compensated if the Government decide that the milk must not be used for public consumption?

Mr. Soames

This is all based upon the premise, with which the hon. Gentleman started his supplementary question, about whether the advice that I have given has been followed. In fact, it has not been necessary to give any advice to farmers in this respect.

Mr. S. Silverman

In view of this series of Questions and Answers, and particularly in view of the subsequent replies which the right hon. Gentleman has given, will he take this opportunity to confirm what was said by his right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence the other day, that nothing in the existing situation need give anyone any present anxiety?

Mr. Soames

Where foodstuffs are concerned, that is correct.

Mr. P. Browne

Will my right hon. Friend take this opportunity to say that, while very careful watch is being kept on the contamination of milk, there is in the meantime no danger whatever in drinking milk and, therefore, people should not buy less of it?

Mr. Soames

I absolutely agree with what my hon. Friend has said. There is no reason whatever why people should not drink all the milk that they wish, and more if they will.