§ 16. Mr. Dempsey
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his policy in regard to controlling the price of milk; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dempsey
Is the Minister aware that I have received complaints from pensioners to the effect that, according to Press reports, the price of milk could go up by 5d. a pint this year? Can he say whether existing legislation could prevent such an increase in the price of milk which would bear hardly on many sections of the community?
§ Sir C. Osborne
Does not the Minister think that an industrial worker, who earns about £16 a week, ought to pay the proper price for his milk, so that the agricultural worker, who is paid less, can get a better wage for producing it? Why should the industrial worker expect the farm worker to subsidise his food?
§ Mr. Peart
I think it would be very wrong to try to divide the rural worker against the industrial worker. I have always found that the industrial worker would like to see the rural worker get an adequate return for what he gives. All factors concerning the price of milk will, as I have repeated so often, be considered at the Annual Price Review.
§ 22. Mr. Charles Morrison
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in view of the rate at which farmers are going out of milk production, what 448 proposals he has for improving profit margins to farmers in the industry.
§ Mr. Morrison
Is the Minister aware that in the first three months of this year almost 1,700 milk producers went out of production and that unless the right hon. Gentleman takes steps to reverse this trend there will, in due course, be a serious shortage of milk?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. It is not necessary for the Minister to answer a question of that description. I do not think that the Minister has responsibility for it.