§ 2.43 p.m.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they propose to take in order to ensure adequate supplies of milk for liquid consumption this winter.
§ The MINISTER of STATE, DEPARTMENT of INDUSTRY (Lord Beswick)
My Lords, the United Kingdom is self-sufficient in milk for liquid consumption. Although actual production this winter will depend on weather and other factors, there is no reason to expect any shortage for the liquid milk market, which is given first priority by the industry. Discussions are now taking place to determine what measures are practicable to further the aim of the White Paper, Food from Our Own Resources, for an increase in production.
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for the assurance that there will be adequate supplies of liquid milk this winter. Does he realise that this will be at the expense of butter manufacturing, and that no butter will be produced from our factories between August this year and March next year? Is he also aware that fresh cream is likely to be in short supply in the winter and will have to be imported?
§ Lord SANDYS
My Lords, arising out of that reply, may I ask whether the Government are prepared to disclose anything in addition to what the Prime Minister said at the opening of the Royal Show a few days ago? There he rather indicated that—and I quote his extra six words— "and for help to do it" would be included in a Government White Paper?
§ Lord BESWICK
My Lords, what I have said is that discussions are now taking place, and following those discussions undoubtedly there will be a statement.