HL Deb 03 February 1949 vol 160 cc523-41

4.5 p.m.

Amendments reported (according to Order).

Clause 1:

Use of special designation on retailing of milk (otherwise than as refreshments) in specified areas, and on certain associated sales.

(2) The use of a special designation shall be obligatory also for the purpose of a sale of milk by retail for human consumption (other than a catering sale), notwithstanding that the place of sale is not in a specified area, if the milk is delivered from an establishment (whether in or outside a specified area) where there is carried on a business of selling milk which includes any sales for the purpose of which the use of a special designation is obligatory by virtue of the preceding subsection.

(3) The preceding subsections shall not apply to the selling of milk as therein mentioned by a producer of milk from cows to persons employed by him in or in connection with such production or employed by him otherwise in agriculture, if he does not engage in any other selling of milk as mentioned in those subsections.

(4) In this Act selling milk by retail means selling it—

THE EARL OF DUDLEY moved, in subsection (2) to omit "where there is carried on a business of selling milk which includes" and to insert: at which there is produced, handled, or stored, any milk which without being subjected to any process is used for. The noble Earl said: My Lords, I am sure that all your Lordships want this Bill—which is a very necessary and a good measure—to go through as speedily as possible and be placed upon the Statute Book. But it is very important that it should be so framed as to avoid imposing any unnecessary or unfair hardship upon those who are affected by it. Under Clause 1 as it now stands, considerable hardship will, undoubtedly, be placed on a large number of producer-retailers. The Amendment which I have put down at this stage was moved during the Committee stage by my noble friend Lord Llewellin, and the noble Earl, Lord Huntingdon, gave what I am afraid I can regard only as a very unsatisfactory reply indeed. I feel that while the Bill is before your Lordships' House the matter should not be allowed to rest there.

This Amendment concerns the producer-retailers, a large number of whom have their commercial herds on the edge of an urban area. That urban area will presumably be made a specified area. The producer-retailer at the present moment, let us say, has a milk round and sells his milk non-designated—if you like to call it so, impure milk—in the urban area and also in the rural area. In future, when the urban area is specified, he will—quite rightly, of course—have to sell designated milk in the urban area, but under the present provisions of the Bill he will also be forced to sell designated milk in the rural, or unspecified, area. That must impose a great hardship on him. It is true that we all hope that in the near future the whole of England will be a specified area. Then, naturally, this matter will not arise, because the producer-retailer will have to sell specified milk everywhere. But for the time being, until the whole of England can be covered, there will be specified islands in a sea of unspecified districts. Whatever the noble Earl, Lord Huntingdon, may say, that is undoubtedly true.

The noble Earl, replying to Lord Llewellin during the Committee stage, said: I want your Lordships to look at this case not with an eye to specified areas as islands scattered about the country but rather as a flowing flood … That really is nonsense, if I may say so with all respect. What I have suggested is bound to happen. There will, to start with, be specified islands in a sea of unspecified areas. That cannot be avoided. If the producer-retailer has to go to the trouble and expense of taking the whole of his milk to be processed in the specified area, selling a part of it, which will be processed milk, in the specified area and selling the remainder as designated milk in the unspecified area, that must create great hardship, and will put the producer-retailer in a considerable difficulty as compared with his competitors who are selling "impure" milk in the unspecified areas. He will have only two alternatives—either to give up his milk round in the specified area and sell undesignated milk entirely in the unspecified area (thereby losing, perhaps, a valuable milk round in the specified area), or have the whole of his milk heat treated and designated and sell what he does not sell in a specified area against his competitors in the unspecified area. Either alternative must impose great hardship upon him.

The noble Earl, Lord Huntingdon, also said in his reply to Lord Llewellin during the Committee stage: I suggest to your Lordships that if a producer-retailer who lives outside a specified area is sending his milk into an area for heat treatment, surely it would not be much trouble, in the majority of cases, for him to distribute heat-treated milk whether he is distributing inside or outside the area. If a large part of the milk has to be heat-treated, why not treat all of it and distribute it when treated, so that the population on either side of the border, so to speak, get the advantage? I think that is an idealistic and impractical way of looking at things. After all, the noble Earl must know that the farmer is bound to be put to a great deal of trouble, expense and inconvenience if he is required to have the whole of his milk treated and taken back to the unspecified area and sold as heat-treated milk, against his competitors.

The noble Earl knows well what labour and transport difficulties exist. A retailer-producer may possibly sell only a small proportion of his milk in a specified area, the bulk being sold in the rural, unspecified area. He has to take the whole of it to the heat treating plant and has to find transport and labour to take it there. Perhaps he has to wait about most of the day while the milk is being treated, and then bring it back and sell it in the unspecified area in competition with his competitors who are selling milk that has not been heat treated and can get "off the mark" much quicker than he does. It is an intolerable hardship on him. I feel that unless your Lordships receive some assurance from the noble Earl that he will look into this matter before the Bill goes to another place, to see that the hardship is removed, your Lordships ought to divide on this matter.

The noble Earl gave another reason for resisting this point. He said: There is another and perhaps even more important point involved For administrative reasons—or rather, shall we say, for the proper enforcement of this provision—it would be extremely difficult to allow a farmer to have some of his milk heat treated and some which was not. The only way you can find that out, or prove your case against a man who is selling milk wrongly, is by finding his lorry on the road and taking a sample to see whether it is heat treated"— An army of "snoopers" I suppose— If he always had the answer: 'Yes, but the sample you have taken I am bringing back into the unspecified area where I am selling it,' it would be almost impossible to catch him. You would always get that defence; that the particular milk you had found which was not heat treated would be milk that he was going to deliver, at some time, in the unspecified area. The Government should not impose a hardship on a man because the administrative regulations under the Bill are not yet in order. I know that when the whole of England is a specified area, as I hope it will be very soon, these cases will not arise, but you cannot stop a farmer producer-retailer from taking undesignated milk through a specified area. Surely he may have to take undesignated milk through a specified area in order to complete a part of his milk round.

There is also nothing under this Bill to prevent a producer taking undesignated milk into a specified area to sell to a caterer for certain purposes, or to a wholesaler. Suppose that a "snooper" stops him on the way, finds he has undesignated milk and prosecutes him. The producer will have to say either that he is taking it to a wholesaler or a caterer, or that he is going to a part of his milk round which is in an unspecified area. Surely the example which the noble Earl gave cannot apply so long as there are specified and unspecified areas. I feel strongly upon this point, and so do a great many of these producers, who will be very hardly and unfairly hit by this Bill. I hope the noble Earl will give a more satisfactory answer this afternoon than he gave on Committee stage.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 7, leave out from ("area") to ("any") in line 8, and insert the said new words.—(Earl of Dudley.)


My Lords, the noble Earl who so eloquently moved this Amendment, which we discussed at length on Committee stage, is apparently not satisfied with the reasons I gave then for resisting the Amendment. The noble Lord casts some doubt on my simile of a flood of clean milk spreading through the country. According to his view, there would be islands on which we should have designated milk and other areas in which we should have undesignated milk—two quite separate compartments, as it were. Against this, I look upon it as a flow of milk which does not stop at the borders of the specified areas, but flows over them. Where there is a retailer-producer in a specified area some of his milk—designated—will be sold in an unspecified area. What we are aiming at, and this is what I tried to explain on Committee stage, is to secure that the maximum amount of clean, pure milk is distributed throughout the largest possible part of the country.

The question which lies behind the noble Lord's Amendment is that of hardship to farmers. But before coming to that, I should like to try to clear up one point. It is true that on Committee stage I said that the stopping of a man and his lorry was the probable way in which we might discover offences committed under the Bill. I cannot understand, however, how a man could have ready for delivery in his lorry bottled milk that did not need to be designated. The farmer-producer-retailer produces milk which is undesignated and takes it, in bulk, to a heat-treatment plant. It is then, perhaps, pasteurised and bottled in the same district.


I am dealing with the man who is selling undesignated milk, and who will go on selling undesignated milk in an unspecified area until that area is specified. He is bound to have undesignated milk in his lorries; he does at present. He may have to take it through a specified area in order to reach his pitch in an unspecified area on the other side or, alternatively, go several miles out of his way. It is impossible to stop him going through a specified area with his undesignated milk. I think the noble Earl must look at these things in a practical, rather than in an idealistic way.


I do not think the noble Earl quite grasps the point. If a man has a licence to sell designated milk, then, under the Bill as it stands he can sell only designated milk, which will be in bottled form for delivery. Therefore, I cannot see why that man will be carrying undesignated bottled milk through either an unspecified or a specified area. He will either be transporting in bulk unclean milk, or he will be transporting bottled—designated—milk for delivery. I do not know whether the noble Earl can explain it, but I do not see how the particular point arises.

I pass from that to the case of hardship to the individual farmer, which I feel is the important thing in the noble Earl's Amendment. In this transition stage, while we are working on isolated areas, and until the whole country becomes a specified area, there are bound to be cases in which a large proportion of the milk will be produced outside the specified areas. Very likely there will be farmers round the edges of the areas, all sending in their milk, which will have to be sold retail under a designated licence. For most of these farmers there may be a certain amount of extra hardship, but I do not see why they should not send in their milk in bulk, have the whole lot pasteurised, if necessary, and deliver from that area to their customers in both the specified and unspecified areas. In the majority of cases I think that could reasonably be done. But one must admit—and here I would say the noble Earl is on stronger ground—that there will be cases of hardship in certain isolated farms, where perhaps the milk has to go a long way to be heat treated, and a certain amount of extra transport is involved.

We want to make the operation of this Bill as simple as we can, and in those particular circumstances where there would obviously be cases of hardship we have the saving grace of Clause 3 under which the Minister can give concessions in cases where he thinks there is particular hardship. That is the reason why Clause 3 has been inserted in the Bill. In individual cases we can help but it would be impossible, I submit, to distinguish in an Act of Parliament between different cases, saying that such-and-such is a case of hardship, where a concession should be given, and that another case is not. If the Amendment of the noble Earl were accepted, it would lead to very many exemptions; in fact, the majority of these farmers, who would perhaps be outside the specified areas, could go on delivering gallons and gallons of raw, infected milk in these unspecified areas, causing great harm to the people who drink it—and that is a matter which must not be forgotten. I suggest to the noble Earl that, although there may be some hardship, we can counter that, and that it would be better not to pursue this Amendment.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Earl for the explanation which he has given, but I believe there is a difference of opinion between us which I would like to have cleared up. As I am advised, it will be possible for a retailer as producer to have a licence to sell designated milk in a specified area as part of his total milk product; it may be from one farm, or it may be from several farms. If he is a farmer in a big way, he is producing milk on several farms. Perhaps with one herd he is now producing designated milk, and with another he is not. In the initial stages of the working of this measure—that is to say, before the whole country is covered by specified areas—it will be possible for that retailer-producer to have a licence to sell some of that product as designated milk in a specified area, and some of it as undesignated milk in an unspecified area, as he is doing at present. I would like the noble Earl to clear up that point, as it is very important.

The noble Earl said that in future the whole of a man's milk product, if he sells any part of it in a specified area, must be designated. As I am advised, that is not the case. He can still go on selling part of his milk product as undesignated milk in an unspecified area. That is where the hardship is imposed upon him, because he cannot then sell that part of his product as undesignated milk, as his competitors and rivals, who have other milk rounds, will be doing alongside of him. He cannot compete against them, because he has to have the whole of his milk clean. He will have no complaint whatever when the whole country is specified and everybody has to sell designated milk. I am talking only about the interim period. I am afraid the noble Earl cannot talk me out of the view that great hardship is bound to be imposed upon those men who still sell some of their product as designated milk in a specified area, and the remainder of it as undesignated milk in an unspecified area.


My Lords, I may speak again only with the permission of your Lordships. I would very much like to clear up the noble Earl's point, which certainly calls for an answer. If the Bill becomes an Act, it will be laid down that a farmer who sells any milk by retail under designation will have to sell all his milk under designation, whether the milk is sold in an area which has been specified or in an area which is not specified. Admittedly, there will be cases of hardship, particularly where a farmer might own two farms, one of which is near the specified area, and the other perhaps in a far part of the county. Those are the cases likely to arise, and they are the cases which we want to deal with under Clause 3. Under the Bill as it is drawn, that man would normally have to supply designated milk wherever his places of sale may be. There is one other point, which I raised on the Committee stage, and which I do not think has been dealt with by the noble Earl, as to the enforcement of the Act. I feel that enforcement would be very difficult, with farmers having different types of milk in their lorries, on their premises or on the border somewhere, some of it being unclean milk. They would always have an explanation as to why particular bottles of milk were not as they should be. That is one of the administrative reasons why it is important not to accept this Amendment.

On Question, Amendment negatived.

4.30 p.m.

LORD CRANWORTH moved, in subsection (3), after "selling" (where that word last occurs) to insert: "at the place where the milk is produced." The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this Amendment once again, I notice that the last words I said before were that I hoped for the best. I regret to say that my incurable optimism has once again let me down. The object of this Amendment is to provide that those farmers who produce milk outside the specified area and sell designated milk inside that specified area, but who have previously been accustomed to selling to their employees, should not be prevented, by this Bill, from going on with that practice. When I moved this Amendment in Committee, the noble Earl said he had sympathy with the Amendment but that there were two reasons which prevented his accepting it. One was that the milk which went into the specified area and was pasteurised might then be brought back to the farm and the employees would thereby get better milk. I think that was rather begging the question. In any case, he must know that even a better article produced twenty-four hours later is not the same as an article produced in the morning, when the employee wants it. He wants his milk in the morning; he does not want milk at night, even if it may be said to be better.

The other argument he put forward was that it would be possible, under Clause 3, to get an exemption. As the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin, so rightly pointed out, what will happen, of course, is that the farmer—who will not know anything about this, in any case—will go on supplying his farm employees with the milk they have always had, and one day some snooper will find out what he is doing and the unfortunate farmer will be prosecuted. He will presumably be fined for some offence which ought not to be an offence and the law will be brought into ridicule. All that could be avoided by inserting the words which I now beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 15, after ("selling") insert ("at the place where the milk is produced").—(Lord Cranworth.)


My Lords, one cannot but have sympathy with the noble Lord in his Amendment. We argued this matter fairly lengthily on the Committee stage of the Bill, and two things emerged. In the first place, the noble Lord laid a certain amount of stress on the fact that the product would not be so good in a later stage as it would be in an earlier.


I did not go so far as that. I merely said that it was a debatable point, because, after all, the noble Earl will remember that in this House it has been admitted on both sides that pasteurised milk is not the best form of milk.


I agree, but I think it is probably better than infected milk. I suggest that the real answer for the farmer is to grade up his herds, which is a matter in which my Department is very interested. If we can induce the farmer to grade up his herds and expand the output of T.T. milk it would be a satisfactory outcome. The difficulty we are faced with on this Amendment is that, unless we are going to allow all farmers to give their employees undesignated milk, we would have to attempt the impossible task of defining in the Bill the cases in which exemption can and cannot be granted. In order to avoid that difficulty, we have framed a clause saying that the employee must have designated milk where designated milk is being sold, but we retain Clause 3 to provide for those cases of hardship which are bound to arise. The Minister in such cases can, and will, exempt the farmer from having to bring back from long distances milk for his employees. I think that is the crux of the matter. We want to protect the employees of the farmer, and, wherever possible, to give them and their families T.T. or designated milk. I agree that in cases of hardship farmers will be exempted, and that can be done most satisfactorily under Clause 3 of the Bill. I hope that with that assurance the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment.


My Lords, I am not sure that we are leaving this matter in a very satisfactory state. Under this clause, we are first allowing any farmer who sells milk by wholesale to sell undesignated milk to his employees. That is a very reasonable provision, because otherwise they would probably get none. The second set of circumstances at which we have to look is where a farmer is producing T.T. milk—and I agree with the noble Earl that that is what we want to see. In that case the question will not arise, because the employees will get the same milk. The third set of circumstances is where a man who is selling milk by retail has the plant to carry out the pasteurisation on his own premises, and there I have not the slightest doubt that he will pasteurise the milk for his employees just as he does for anybody else.

The fourth set of circumstances—and this is the one with which I think my noble friend is most concerned—is where the farmer does not possess his own pasteurisation plant, and the milk has to be taken from his farm to be pasteurised. If he is going to provide milk for his employees, it has to be brought back to the farm to be given to them. That is the case we are dealing with when we are discussing this Amendment. In some instances there will not be much difficulty in a few bottles being put on a cart and brought back to the workpeople. In other cases, perhaps the cart will not be coming back that way or, at any rate, will be going on a long milk round before bringing it back to the farm. In that case the workpeople will not get their milk quickly but will have to wait until the end of the milk round. Of course they will not wait for that. The milkman himself will have milked the cows and he will take his jug of milk out of the milk pail as he has always taken it, and he will know that it is pretty clean because he is the man who looks after the cows. He will not mind about this fantastic idea of doctors that it has to be pasteurised, and he will just take it. Then, if the wretched farmer is eventually prosecuted under this provision, I fancy that the workpeople will in future not be provided with any of the milk from his farm, and that would be a most regrettable thing.

What I hope will happen—and I suggest it to the noble Earl—is that in every case where a man owns two farms, one of which is supplying designated milk and the other not, he should be exempted from giving designated milk to the workers on the undesignated milk farm, because there will not be any coming to that farm. I suggest that in every case where there are two or more farms concerned, one of which does not provide any designated milk, an exemption should be made under Clause 3. In regard to the other cases, I suggest that exemption should be made under Clause 3 where it is quite obvious from the way the man conducts his busi ness that the workers on his farm who get milk will not get it until late at night when the round is completed. If the noble Earl will look into it from that point of view, I think a satisfactory compromise might be made.

On Question, Amendment negatived.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY had given Notice of an Amendment to add to subsection (4): "(c) to a caterer as defined in this Act." The noble Lord said: My Lords, I moved the same Amendment on the Committee stage, and the noble Earl said he thought the point was covered but promised to look into it. I see that he is now about to move an Amendment to Clause 6 which I think will cover the point perfectly and make the matter clear. In the circumstances, I shall not move my Amendment.

LORD LLEWELLIN moved, after subsection (4) to insert as a new subsection: (5) Nothing in the said Regulations shall prohibit milk which has bun processed at one licensed establishment from being bottled at another duly licensed establishment. The noble Lord said: My Lords, we had some discussion on this matter on the Committee stage of the Bill, and the noble Earl then said that plenty of time would be given to a man who wanted to set up a pasteurisation plant on his own farm. As the Bill will not be coming into operation for perhaps two or three years, presumably an exemption will be given in these cases under Clause 3.

There is one other point to consider in this connection, however. Some of the smaller men who are doing admirable work may not have the extra money to buy the plant. I am told that a really substantial plant costs about £6,000 and that you cannot buy one for a small herd under about £2,000 or £3,000. That is a substantial outlay for some of these small farmers; and the requirement will probably cause such a man to change the whole tenor of his business, and if he has to cease bottling on his own farm because he has not a pasteurisation plant he will have to dismiss some of his people. This will unsettle the whole of his business and the lives of the people who were previously employed. I hope, therefore, that if necessary extensive use will be made of exemptions under Clause 3 of the Bill. If the noble Earl can repeat the assurance previously given, I am sure it will be helpful. I repeat that I think the best method would be to convert their herds, if they can, into T.T. herds. That, of course, would overcome this difficulty, and that is the advice I myself should give. But that is not a very rapid process, and it is expensive. I hope, therefore, that in a case where a man is taking pains to convert his herd from an ordinary herd into a T.T. herd he will be allowed to carry on his existing business, and will be given reasonable time until he has achieved his object of building up a T.T. herd.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 25, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Llewellin.)


My Lords, I shall be pleased to repeat the assurance that I have already given the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin. As the noble Lord says, it will take some years before this scheme comes into operation. In the second place, my right honourable friend the Minister of Food is prepared to look into any difficult cases. We do not want to press people unreasonably to get plant when they cannot do it. Thirdly, the T.T. herd is something we have very much in mind, and any farmer who is struggling to upgrade his cattle will receive sympathetic consideration. With regard to the money clause, I do not know that I can give a definite assurance, but I gladly assure the noble Lord that I will look into the matter.


In view of what the noble Earl says, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 2:

Use of special designation as regards sales in specified areas of milk or milk products as refreshments.

(4) Any person who makes a catering sale which is unlawful by virtue of subsection (2) of this section, or who sells milk without the use of a special designation under a sale for the purpose of which the use of a special designation is obligatory by virtue of subsection (3) of this section, shall be guilty of an offence.

LORD LLEWELLIN had given Notice of an Amendment to add to subsection (3): Provided that the use of a special designation shall not be required in any case where the caterer gives the person who sells the milk an undertaking in writing or otherwise as the Minister may approve that he will comply with the aforesaid conditions stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection. The noble Lord said: My Lords, this also is an Amendment which I moved on Committee stage. On that occasion, the noble Earl said he would see what he could do to meet me. The Amendment in his name at the top of the next page of the Marshalled List meets the point which I had in mind, and in view of that I do not now propose to move my Amendment. I should like to take this opportunity of thanking the noble Earl for the Amendment that he is about to move.

THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON moved to add to subsection (4): Provided that a person shall not be guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (3) of this section if at the time of the sale in question he had reasonable cause to believe that the conditions specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection were satisfied as to that sale. The noble Earl said: My Lords, as the noble Lord Lord Llewellin has said, this is an Amendment to meet a point raised in an Amendment originally put down by the noble Lord. I am glad to find that it satisfies him. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 3, line 19, at end insert the said proviso.—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)


My Lords, I have an Amendment following on this one, and perhaps I may be permitted to speak on the point now. The Amendment which the noble Earl has just moved does give considerable protection to vendors against dishonest caterers, but I do not think it goes far enough. Nor do I think—and those who advised me in this matter are rather concerned on this point—that it covers the case of a dishonest man who makes himself out not to be a caterer but who in fact turns out to be a caterer. For instance, a producer might sell his unspecified milk in a specified area to a man who made himself out to be a wholesaler; the producer might in good faith make a wholesale sale to that man; and it might subsequently be revealed that that man was in fact a caterer, and had misused the milk bought from the producer in such a manner as to commit an offence. In that case, as I am advised, the vendor also would be guilty of the offence, even though he was able to prove that; so far as he knew when he made the sale, he did not think the man was a caterer. That is the point that should be covered. That is the point which my Amendment, which follows the noble Earl's Amendment, makes an effort to cover. It would surely be unfair that a retailer should be made guilty of an offence unless he knew that the caterer was in fact a caterer. I hope that the noble Earl will be able to deal with that particular point.


My Lords, by leave of the House, may I speak on that for a moment? The noble Earl's point is covered by the words in my Amendment where it says: reasonable cause to believe. I should have thought that that was sufficient safeguard because, if the caterer pretended he was not a caterer, surely he would be the guilty one; and, if a vendor can plead "reasonable cause to believe," that exempts him from any other liability. It is a technical, legal point, but I should have thought that those words would protect him.


I hope that the noble Earl will look into that particular point before the Bill goes to another place. That is the only point I wish to make.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 5:

Areas for operation of preceding provisions

(2) Before making an order under this section the Minister shall consult with such representative organisations as he thinks fit.

THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON moved, in subsection (2) to leave out "he thinks lit" and insert appear to him substantially to represent the interests concerned with the purposes of the order. The noble Earl said: My Lords, this particular Amendment is put down to meet an Amendment which the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, had on the Committee stage. The noble Lord did not seem to agree with the original wording, which was that the Minister shall consult with such representative organisations as he thinks fit, and pressed that something more extensive should be inserted. We have extended it, and I hope that the words of this Amendment will satisfy the noble Lord. I should like to remind him that there are bodies other than retailers, dealers and producers who would have to be consulted.

Amendment moved— Page 4, line 21, leave out ("if he thinks fit") and insert the said new words.—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl for introducing this Amendment which entirely meets my case. I notice that he puts on to the Minister an onus which I, of course, would never have had the temerity to do!

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 6:

Power of the Minister to provide facilities for treatment of milk

6.—(1) The Minister may install, maintain and operate apparatus for the subjection of milk to any process to which it is required to be subjected as a condition of the use of a special designation in connection therewith, and may provide any other facilities for that purpose, in any case in which it appears to him, as respects any area which is a specified area, or an area as to which he proposes to make an order bringing subsection (1) of section one of this Act into operation, that facilities for the application of such treatment sufficient to provide for supplies of milk of that designation in that area in requisite quantities are not available and are not likely otherwise to become available.

(2) Where the Minister provides facilities under this section he may either buy the milk to be treated and re-sell it otherwise than by retail after treatment or apply the treatment to milk of others.

THE EARL OF DUDLEY moved, in subsection (1), after "may" (where that word occurs a second time) to insert: after consultation with such representative organisations as he thinks fit. The noble Earl said: My Lords, under this clause, the Minister is given power to provide facilities for the treatment of milk in specified areas. Those who advise me are rather concerned lest the power to provide heat treatment plants should be exercised by the Minister to the exclusion of the private undertakers or the Milk Marketing Board, who might otherwise do the job. They feel that the risk is particularly great at the present time, when private persons have considerable difficulty in getting these plants and obtaining licences. If the Minister took advantage of the priorities that are his right, he might well establish heat treatment centres in many areas where private undertakers were willing to set them up but were unable to do so by virtue of not being able to get licences and priorities. I should like to have some kind of undertaking from the noble Earl that there will be no danger of the Minister using his rights to the exclusion of private undertakers. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 4, line 45, after ("may") insert ("after consultation with such representative organisations as he thinks fit").—(The Earl of Dudley.)


My Lords, I am happy to give a full assurance on that subject. My right honourable friend the Minister of Food has no intention of going about setting up these heat treatment plants. He does not wish to compete with the trade; he is all out to help the trade. The last thing he would do would be to take advantage of priorities to give him a start in that field. Our object is really that, in cases of default, there should be a sort of latent power that might be needed in particular cases of people not doing their duty. I willingly assure the noble Earl that the Minister has no idea of entering into competition in setting up these plants far and wide. On the contrary, it is only an emergency, a reserve, power. I hope that that explanation will satisfy the noble Earl.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Earl, and I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


My Lords, this Amendment meets a point originally raised by the noble Lord, Lord Amherst of Hackney, regarding caterers. I confess that I thought the point had been covered originally on Committee stage, but we looked into it more fully and found that the noble Lord was right—that there was some doubt about it. Therefore, I am moving this Amendment to make the position quite clear. I hope that it will satisfy the noble Lord. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 5, line 8, after ("retail") insert ("or to a caterer for the purposes of his business as such").—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl for looking into this again, and to say that the Amendment meets the point perfectly.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 9:

Restrictions on liability under the preceding section.

(2) Such a breach of condition as is mentioned in the last preceding section shall not render the holder of the licence guilty of an offence under that section unless it was the later, or a later, of two or more such breaches, occurring within a period of twelve months, of conditions either of that licence or of it and another licence to which the last preceding section applies held by him, and was committed either—

  1. (a) after the licensing authority had given notice in writing as to an earlier of those two or more breaches informing him of his being alleged to have committed it, and warning him of the liability to prosecution imposed by the last preceding section; or
  2. (b) after he had been convicted of an offence under that section by virtue of an earlier of those two or more breaches.


My Lords, this Amendment covers a somewhat difficult point. Under the provisions of the Bill there must be two offences before a man can be prosecuted. But what we do not want to bring about is that by the expiry of the original licence, which might terminate after a period of months, or whatever it might be, the man should be free to go on committing offences. By this Amendment, we make the subsequent licence one with the first, so that if the man should commit a breach on the first licence and then another breach on the second, the two would be taken together and the man would be prosecuted. It is to clear up a possible difficulty and misunderstanding in the Bill. I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin, will agree to this. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 6, line 14, leave out from the third ("of") to ("and") in line 15, and insert ("that licence and a former licence by way of renewal whereof that licence was granted."—(The Earl of Huntingdon.)


My Lords, I believe that this Amendment goes further, and that it meets the point that I raise in my next Amendment. I am merely trying to make it clear that a man who runs a farm in one county and another farm in another county could be penalised in respect of only one of those farms by breach of licence, and that it would not run to all his licences. I think that my next Amendment is covered by the words that the noble Earl is now substituting. That being so. I should like to thank him for meeting my point, and say that I shall not move my next Amendment.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


My Lords, this is a simple little Amendment. I want to know whether, under the Bill as drafted, it will be necessary, before a man can be convicted in a court, to prove, not only the second breach but also the first, for which he will have been warned. I presume that it must be a factor precedent to conviction that both the second breach and the warning from the first breach will have to be proved. It is for that reason that I move to insert these two words. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 6, line 30, after ("on") insert ("and proved").—(Lord Llewellin)


My Lords, I can give an assurance to the noble Lord that both cases would have to be proved. I hope that that satisfies him.


My Lords, with that assurance, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.