§ 11.49 p.m.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir ARNOLD WILSON
I beg to move, in page 15, line 34, at the end, to insert:'pure' milk means milk which has not been treated by beat in such a way as to destroy or modify its natural characteristics and to which no foreign matter such as water, skimmed milk, fat, or other sub stances have been added;'free from the infection of any disease' means—The object of the Amendment, is twofold. In the first place, it is to exclude pasteurised milk and milk treated by heat in other ways from the financial benefit of Clause 9. It is clear that were it to be included, it would wreck the scheme, but there are other reasons, and in the second part of this Clause the object is to set up a scientific body which would give scientific study to the great question of milk in all its aspects. That is exactly what the People's League of Health advocated in its memorandum of October, 1931, to encourage further critical study of the effect of a compulsory standard of pasteurisation on the nutritional qualities of milk and its influence on the distributional aspect of the milk problem. I am reluctant to detain the Committee for any length of time on this complicated subject, but the Hopkins Report, which has been in our hands for some time, deals only incidentally with the question of pasteurisation, which was scarcely within its terms of reference. I am very much impressed 352 on giving it careful study with the grudging support it gives to pasteurisation throughout. May I read a few extracts which have a direct bearing and which have induced me to put down this Amendment? It admits that vitamin C is undoubtedly destroyed to a greater or less degree by the process of pasteurisation and goes on to say that this deficiency, if it occurs, can be fortunately corrected by the use of orange and lemon juice, which are now so easily obtainable. But it is by no means easily obtainable. It costs anything from 6d. to 1s. per child, and in many parts of England it is, practically speaking, unable to be secured.
- (a) of a standard of bacteriological purity; and
- (b) of nutritional content at—
- (c) a given temperature within a—
- (d) given number of hours after production, which shall be fixed from time to time by the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Health after a public inquiry at the cost of the Milk Marketing Board."
The Committee go on to say, while far from praising pasteurisation, that there is no evidence that it has been in any way responsible for such diseases as are known to result from vitamin deficiency. A little further on it is stated that there is no clear evidence of greater vitamin deficiency in districts where the greater part of the milk is pasteurised than in areas where it is not. Again, a most equivocal approval. It mentions that, in America, where a large number of children were fed on pasteurised milk they promptly became Ticketty and the deficiency was only cured by the administration of an antiscorbutic diet of fruit juice. I could continue to quote at length from the report.
I am afraid there was a point which had escaped my attention. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman will help me. I cannot find any reference to "pure milk" anywhere in the Bill. If the expression does not occur, I do not think it will be in order to propose the insertion of a definition of "pure milk."
§ Sir A. WILSON
The words "pure and free from the infection of any disease" occur in the additional Clause which has just been moved by the Minister.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
The words "milk pure and free from the infection of any disease" do occur. It is "milk pure" not "pure milk."
The hon. and gallant Gentleman might possibly have raised the point on Clause 9 where it says that:the Minister … may expend out of moneys provided by Parliament such sums as he thinks fit, with the object of securing so 353 far as practicable that the milk supplied for human consumption in England or in Scotland, as the case may be, is pure and free from the infection of any disease.It is too late to do that now and I am afraid I must rule this Amendment out of order. It is a definition of something which does not occur in the Bill at all.
§ Sir A. WILSON
May I leave out the word "pure" and continue to discuss the words "free from the infection of any disease"?
I am afraid not. The hon. and gallant Gentleman can raise that, perhaps, by an Amendment on Clause 9.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.354
§ Clause 14 (Short title and commencement) ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow, and to be printed. [Bill 151.]
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.
§ It being after Half-past Eleven of the Clock, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
§ Adjourned at Four Minutes before Twelve o'Clock.