asked the Minister of Food why he has found it necessary to cut down the quota of tinned milk foods supplied to infant welfare centres; and at what date he expects to be able to restore the previous allowance.
My Department does not control the distribution of proprietary brands of milk-based baby foods. Owing to the reduced production of milk in the first four months of the year—because of the great frost—there was a reduction in the output of milk powder and as a result manufacturers have had to restrict their sales of these proprietary foods. I cannot say when it will be possible fully to restore the old rate of sales.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have here a letter saying that a restriction was imposed by the Ministry of Food? It is signed by one of the managers of a firm distributing tinned milk food.
I take it that the writer of the letter, for which I am not of course responsible, is referring to the restrictions on the production of milk powder which had to be imposed for the reasons I have just given.
Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the main cause of the restriction on production was not the frost but the Government's failure to acquire adequate feedingstuffs.