§ Mr. Peter Mills
No wonder the Minister cannot forecast this figure. Will the hon. Gentleman now tell us how the farmers will cover the increased cost they have in milk production, which is at least 2d. a gallon?
§ 28. Dame Irene Ward
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will give an assurance that he will retain the present system on which the remuneration of the milk distribution is based, in view of the need to maintain regular supplies of milk in sparsely populated areas.
§ Dame Irene Ward
Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the great anxiety of dairymen who are making very strong representations, as they want to continue supplying milk to the sparsely populated areas? Is he aware that, under the possible arrangements forecast, they seem to be in great difficulty? Will he give their claims very sympathetic consideration?
§ Mr. Peter Mills
Does the Minister realise how important this matter is? Is he aware that it is not only a question of increased costs to some of the towns and rural areas, but involves the whole question of health and treated milk?
§ 40. Mr. Hastings
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what method of sampling was used by the National Board for Prices and Incomes when compiling its figures for the remuneration of milk distributors quoted in Command Paper No. 3744, and, in particular, for the figures in table 3.
§ Mr. Hastings
Is it not true that these figures are based on an ad hoc sample taken in 1942 which was never intended as a measure of absolute cost but simply as one of movement? If that is so, does it not mean that the recommendations of the Prices and Incomes Board, particularly concerning retailing in the provinces, are invalid?
§ Mr. Hoy
It is not for me to make a judgment on that matter. I answered an earlier Question on this point. The hon. Gentleman should remember that the Prices and Incomes Board is an independent body. It has discretion to determine the method by which it carries out an investigation. It is for us, at the end of the day, to make a judgment on the case which it has presented to us. As I said earlier—I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman was here at the time—I shall certainly give serious consideration to representations which we receive.