HC Deb 15 December 1938 vol 342 cc2210-1W
Mr. David Adams

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the cost of milk to the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Corporation for the 12 months now current, as compared with the cost for the 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the activities of the Milk Marketing Board, shows an increase of 5.275d. per gallon, or 45.5 per cent., or approximately £3,000 per annum, representing almost the product of one-third of a 1d. rate; and, as the diversion of so great a proportion of a local authority's income for the purchase of milk places a strain on other social services, particularly in the depressed areas, he will consider, in the new Milk Bill, taking steps to eliminate these hardships?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I have no precise information as to the first part of the question, but I appreciate that large purchasers of milk who were able to take advantage of the disorganised market conditions prevailing before the Milk Marketing Scheme came into force, have now to pay more for milk than formerly. As regards the last part of the question, I am unable at the moment to add to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 1st December.

Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that accredited milk may at the present time be produced from cattle suffering from tuberculosis, whilst the public is under the impression that such milk is entirely pure, he will now give an assurance that in any future legislation dealing with this matter he will seek to provide that such milk will be equally subject to the provisions of pasteurisation schemes?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

As the hon. Member will be aware from the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 1st December, the whole milk problem is to be re-examined, and pending the completion of that re-examination I am not in a position to give any assurance in regard to the form that further legislative proposals on the subject of milk may take.