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Condensed Milk

Volume 154: debated on Monday 15 May 1922

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that on account of the increased importation of skimmed condensed milk into the United Kingdom, which during the first three months of 1922 was nearly four times that of 1920, the production of condensed full cream milk in this country had been very largely reduced to about one-third of the production that obtained in 1920; and whether he is prepared to take steps to protect this British industry that has been established for over half a century, and which was, at the request of the authorities, so largely developed during the War?

During the first three months of this year the importation of sweetened separated or skimmed condensed milk unto the United Kingdom was 278,230, as compared with 82,901 cwt. in the corresponding period of 1920. I am told that this large increase has affected the sale of full cream condensed milk manufactured in this country.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that during the War the surplus production of Switzerland was supplied to the British Armies in France in order to comply with the wish of the British authorities, and that the transfer of importations referred to from Switzerland to America was mainly due to the importation by the Ministry of Food during the same period of the lower quality condensed milk prepared in North America; that the absence of a condensed milk standard in this country is one of the main causes for the large reduction in production of the article in this country for consumption in the United Kingdom; and whether he will use his influence to establish, at the earliest possible date, a condensed milk standard not inferior to the voluntary standard adopted by manufacturers in Great Britain prior to food control?

It is, I believe, true that during the War exports of condensed milk from Switzerland intended for Great Britain were, at the request of

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the British authorities, supplied direct to the British Armies in France, and that their place in Great Britain was filled by inportations from North America. The second and third parts of the question concern my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, with whom I am in communication.