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Milk (Transport Delays)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the thousands of gallons of milk for which payment was refused to the farm dairies throughout the country during the recent hot weather spell, due to delay in transport and long hours standing in the sun after leaving the farm dairies, before delivery, he will take steps to ensure that the transport during hot weather spells is expedited and that farmers are not rendered liable for the loss, which in most cases cannot be attributed to their negligence or lack of efficiency on the farms.

Although the hot weather spell coincided with the peak of milk production there is no evidence that delay in transport was the primary cause of the souring of such milk as was rejected. Special arrangements to expedite transport are therefore unnecessary.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that much of the milk which has been examined was perfectly good when it left the farm dairies, and will he look into the question of transport, because no milk will keep in. churns if it is exposed to the sun for hours?

I have no information to that effect. As a matter of fact, investigations have shown that milk which is satistorily produced and handled at the start will show little change in keeping quality even if the churns are exposed to the sun for several hours. On the contrary, unsatisfactory milk will sour rapidly in such conditions.

Would the right hon. Gentleman have a word with me afterwards. This is a very important matter.